Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2012 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Downloading free plugins takes about two minutes, so it’s worth it for a small business owner or blogger to try a couple different plugins until the website is perfect. SEO plugins are a great way to help make sure you’re optimizing your content for search engines, but there are so many to different choices that it can feel overwhelming—especially if you own a Joomla site.
Joomla sites are popular because they are easy to use, easy to customize, and put a large emphasis on content management. Despite that degree of user-friendliness, it’s still necessary for a Joomla owner to download at least one SEO plugin in order to ensure that the site is ranking well and being easily indexed by search engine bots (something WordPress does better at the outset). Consider below a few of these must-have SEO plugins for Joomla:
Top 5 Joomla SEO Plugin
1. Sh404SEF – Although the name isn’t the easiest to remember, this plugin has great ratings and is known to have excellent customer service should you have a problem. This plugin allows you to track all social sharing numbers and utilize Google analytics and reporting from the backend of the website to name just a few of the features. It’s geared at increasing traffic through SEO efforts, so it’s particularly useful for bloggers and businesses.
Price: Several free downloads online with paid extensions and files also available
2. JoomSEF – This plugin helps make sure that your URLs are ready for search engines to index. Having detailed and helpful URLs are important (must like content is important), and this is one thing that WordPress does better. In other words, this is a must-have plugin for the serious Joomla website owner.
Price: Free version and plugins available with a paid version that includes customer support and other features available, ranging from $50-$100.
3. SEOSimple – This is one of the most popular Joomla extensions. It allows a user to either insert Meta data manually or can choose automated meta data based on the page you are trying to optimize. As the plugin says, it “generates the meta data ‘on the fly.’”
4. Xmap – Site mapping might not be the most exciting practice, but it’s certainly a necessary part of SEO. It helps Google index the site pages and eliminates the complexity that can come with a Joomla site. Simplifying your sitemap will allow search crawlers to navigate your site with ease, having a positive SEO effect. Fortunately, Xmap isn’t difficult to use and gives straightforward approaches to site mapping.
Price: Support membership available for $25/month or pro membership available for $37/month. A free trial is available for first time users.
5. SEO Boss – This plugin focuses on metadata management. You can use it for keyword management, external link hiding, as well as page management and more. You can also remove duplicate content with it, and the uncomplicated user interface makes it an ideal SEO management tool for a Joomla site.
Price: 6 or 12 month subscriptions available, ranging from $40-$150.
What are your favorite and least favorite Joomla SEO plugins? Add to this list by letting us know in the comments!