The Joomla! Community Magazine™

5 Quick SEO steps for better rankings and more traffic

Written by | Tuesday, 01 March 2011 00:00 | Published in 2011 March
As the number of websites worldwide continue to grow at an incredibly fast pace, and the race to be at the top of search engine result pages is getting more and more competitive, SEO optimization is hardly a matter of choice any more. If you want to bring more traffic to your website — and not just any traffic, but visitors who are uniquely attuned to and looking exactly for the services and products that you offer, then take the time to optimize your website — it’s free, it’s easy to do, and most importantly, if you do it right, you can see real and tangible results within several months, or even sooner.
SEO Ranking SEO Ranking Macsimice

Unlike most of the web tools and content management systems out there, Joomla! offers a set of easy-to-use tools that will enable you to quickly optimize your website and make it search engine friendly, faster.

Here is a quick 5-step guide that is easy to follow and that will provide you with no-fail, tried and tested return on your SEO efforts. It has been put together with “a little help” from Kristoffer Sandven, SEO expert and founder of Joomla!Blogger.net

While Kristoffer says that when it comes to SEO, there are no ‘quick fixes', he is confident that “there will be long-term rewards for those who approach it in a serious manner.” As an example, he shares this graph, which shows the improvement in traffic, over time, for one of his clients.

GoogleAnalyticsTrafficresults

“The previous site they had was invisible in the search engines. After moving the website to Joomla! and FlexiContent, the traffic improved steadily, and still does. As you can see, the growth has been steady, but still, it has taken several months to get to where we are at today. So, be patient, and your work will be rewarded.”

Step 1.

Do use Joomla!’s friendly content management interface to optimize texts, images and links the easy way.

  • Always add unique META descriptions to your pages. Make it a habit to add the description as you write or copy-paste your content into Joomla!’s friendly editing interface.
    addingSEOdescription
  • Ideally, descriptions should not exceed 130 characters. This is how they will be displayed on Google’s search results, for example, so the more compelling the description, the higher the likelihood that a user will click on your link.
    Googlesearchresults
  • Do make sure every image on your page has a keyword-rich alternate text (short description) and title (for example, avoid using titles like image.jpg).
    addingSEOtitles
  • Do create internal links, inter-relating your web pages. When adding the hyperlinks, use Joomla!’s friendly pop-up link editor to make sure you do not leave the hyperlink title attribute empty. Instead, use it as one more opportunity to add relevant keywords that will augment your optimization efforts.
  • When writing your text, try to organize it effectively around the search keywords you are competing for — those are the words people are actually using when they search for the product or service similar to the one you are featuring on your page.

Kristoffer’s advice:

As you know, there are meta tag fields in the Global Configuration screen of Joomla! that many of you will be tempted to populate and use. This might seem like a good idea at first. Since unlike Joomla! 1.6, Joomla! 1.5 doesn’t support meta tags on section and category pages, all of your section and category list and blog pages will automatically “inherit” your site’s global meta description. The same will happen to any of your pages that do not have unique description tags. While duplicate meta tags won’t get you directly “penalized” by Google and the other search engines, they will negatively affect the SEO performance and ranking of your individual pages.

Step 2.

Do use Joomla!’s built-in SEO or a third-party extension (if your site is fairly complex) to generate search engine friendly urls.

Search-engine friendly urls will help you boost your page rankings if you use them the right way. Since the url needs to indicate to both the engines and the human users what this page is about, make sure that your url is keyword-rich, while summarizing the content on your page. If possible, avoid using special characters ($, #, @) and keep things simple.

Kristoffer’s advice:

Using Joomla!’s built-in SEO feature is easy to setup and requires minimal investment. Third-party SEO extensions give you more control and flexibility, especially if you are using components that are a must for your site, but have no native SEO. Since everything comes with a price though, be prepared to lose some speed.

Step 3.

Do take the time to manage your content effectively.

It is important to understand that a lot of SEO has to do with individual page optimization. You won’t automatically have great rankings for all pages even if you have it for one. However, if you approach SEO at a holistic level, incorporating it in everything you do, the sum of all the factors will improve your general site visibility.

Kristoffer’s advice:

Amount and quality of your content
Presenting relevant content is the main objective of Google. Thus, the more content you have about a particular topic, the more relevant you will appear to the search engines. If you already have a lot of content you want to publish, I would consider publishing it over time so as to get the benefit of regular content updates (see next point).

Content update frequency
How frequently you should update your content will depend on the kind of site you have. But all sites need regular updates to be attractive to the search engines. Regular updates is one of the reasons blogs have such good rankings for many keywords and phrases.

Step 4.

Do get your website indexed by Google and Yahoo!

Indexing allows your website to be added to the search engines and is the first step to climbing their ranking positions.

Kristoffer’s advice:

Do sign up with and add your website to Yahoo! Site Explorer and Google Webmaster Tools. These are free webmaster services that will not only enable you to improve your site’s search engine visibility, but will also provide you with relevant and live feedback about its back links, crawl errors, top search keywords, top pages, etc.

Next, create a sitemap for your website, using a tool like XMap. Easy to install and use, this extension will create your XML sitemap files in seconds. Submit your sitemap to both Yahoo! Site Explorer and Google Webmaster Tools.

Step 5.

Do take the time to promote your website

Start building backlinks to your website – these are the in-bound or external links that point to your site — by adding its url to relevant online directories, swapping links with partners, etc.

If you don’t have time to tweet, create an account with some of the popular social sharing sites out there, including Del.icio.us and StumbleUpon.com , and submit a link to your website. Make it a habit to “share” your latest news, announcements, and new pages. Don’t forget to take advantage of Flickr, YouTube and Slideshare – posting your videos, images and relevant presentations will definitely help promote your rankings.

In conclusion

To check if you’re making progress, add your site to Google Analytics — it is free, and easy to use. It will provide you with vital information about your overall visits and how they change over time, along with other relevant information about your visitors, how long they stayed on your website, etc.

You might also consider using a free optimization tool like SEO for Firefox to do keyword research and track your ranking positions in Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Last, but not least, do keep in mind that optimization is not a one-time activity — it is a constant work in progress, the results of which you can and should measure on a regular basis if you want your SEO efforts to be a success.

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Tagged under Did you know...?
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Bla, Bla, Bla that's what al these SEO specialists do. Read this article and you'r on your way. It's not difficult, just do it.

Good and clearly written.
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Hey Milena Mitova,
Great article. Its help me.

Thank you
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I got some great insights from this article! These Search Engine steps are fairly obvious... but that isn't the problem - the problem is people overlook these steps!

A blog that is updated everyday with good new, fresh, valuable content, is a wonderful way to get not only search engine ranking, but subscribers, followers, and geninuly interested customers!

Travis Chapman
Owner @ Chapman Media Marketing
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Kristoffer Sandven Wednesday, 02 March 2011
Exactly - the steps are the basic, need-to-do steps, but people don't do them consistently. A lot of SEO success has to do with consistent effort over time. It'd not rocket science, but it needs some TLC ;)
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Rouven Weßling Tuesday, 01 March 2011
This is all good advice.

However the one I don't agree with the one regarding a "keyword rich alternate text".
This may be good for SEO, but may be bad for accessibility. The alt text should contain a text suitable to replace the image when it isn't loaded, an author should image the image isn't there and he has to replace it with text. If the image is purely presentational the alt text should be empty.
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Kristoffer Sandven Wednesday, 02 March 2011
Hi Rouven, I fully agree! Doing keyword research, you will find the keywords and phrases that fit your target audience and give you maximum effect for the minimum of effort.
I try to use human readable text as much possible - keyword stuffing is not good.
Over at my blog, I have a tutorial on how to do keyword research with one of my favorite tools.
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I use Drupal instead of Joomla, but these steps are perfect for any CSM. You may want to add a step 4.5 Pick Good Keywords for your site and subject matter.
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It is a great article! Many thanks to Milena for summing up and Kristoffer for his advices!
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This article just proves how good Joomla! is for providing SEO features straight out of the box. Meta keywords, aliases, sef and a good extension like xmap makes life easy for SEO novices.
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web marketing melbourne Wednesday, 02 March 2011
Very nice tips you have shared here.
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I have a question re: Kristoffer's advice in Step 1 - are you recommending that for 1.5 sites we NOT populate the global config meta tag fields to avoid duplicate tags on a site? Or, should we populate it but be sure that every published section, category and article page has meta tags?
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Kristoffer Sandven Thursday, 03 March 2011
Hi Alice.

I would recommend leaving it blank. The reason being that you will end up with a lot of duplicate meta description tags if you use it.

Of course, if you have every section, category and article page tagged with individual meta descriptions, it will be OK to have something in the global fields. But what's the point with that?

I would rather have a blank description tag in my page than a duplicate one. Why?
Because if there is no description tag, the search engines will show a portion of your page text that contains the keyword searched for. And, most likely, that will be more relevant to the search than a generic meta description. Makes sense?
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It makes good sense Kristoffer - Thank You! :-)
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Great article, Milena! I plan to use these steps on an upcoming site! Thank you!
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Step 5 is the most important. It's easy to see which seo muscles are over developed. We ( www.sem.ie ) often see poor websites but they rank high in a search so make money.
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In step one Kirstoffers advice is not clear to me. Can this be explained more clear ... "Since unlike Joomla! 1.6, Joomla! 1.5 doesn’t support meta tags on section and category pages, all of your section and category list and blog pages will automatically “inherit” your site’s global meta description." or perahps I just don't get it ... HELP!
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Hi Terry,
Thank you for your question - I will try to answer it, Kristoffer will probably also help:) clarify the global meta tags for you.
When you log into the admin back-end of your joomla site, go to and open the Global Configuration, and look at the first tab (Site). You will see the 'Metadata Settings', under which you can find the global site meta description and keyword boxes. They need to be left empty if you are using Joomla 1.5, especially if you have menus that point to a content section blog/list or category blog/list page view. Unlike content articles, where you have the option to add unique metadata information for each article as you are adding your text (right hand side, Metadata Information), categories and sections do not have that option.
The Global Configuration applies to your entire website, hence if you have "global" metadata description/keywords, they will be automatically populated on all of those website pages that do not have unique metadata information added to them.

Please let me know if I was able to answer your question. Thank you.
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Hi, Milena!
Excellent article for beginners. But, first of all you need to know your niche, the right keywords, the level of competition. And only after this deep analysis has to do everything else.
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I've been doing internet marketing for a while now and I can tell you that this information is good. It's pretty basic but it's correct and it's a good guide for newbies to check out. One thing, though, is that I don't like Joomla's user interface and text controls.
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UnqiueITSystems Friday, 04 March 2011
nice post it is really helpful for more information about SEO visit Unique IT Systems
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Muy buen aporte, muchas gracias me ha aclarado muchas cosas.
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Do register your site for Google webmastertools as well as the mentioned Google analytics so you can get reports about how search engines "see" your site as well as those stats about visitors.
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Victoria Tourville Monday, 07 March 2011
Thanks for your informative article. I learned the hard way how important following good SEO practices is to a business. Last fall I made the mistake of converting my bed and breakfast web site to iWeb. Our traffic dropped to almost nothing. Luckily I use google analytics and noticed the drip off after just a few moths. After redoing our new site in Joomla and following good SEO practices our traffic has increased 300%. As a small business in a tough economy with stiff local competition this almost put us under water. After reading your article is seems I have some more work to do, but at least We are on the right track now. Thanks again..
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Wow, I am sorry to hear that your traffic was affected like that. Thank you for sharing your experience, this is really useful. So glas you were able to increase your traffic in such a dramatic and great way!
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Great job! Outstanding writing skill about SEO. I get new idea. Thank you.
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Boutique Website Design Wednesday, 09 March 2011
Ranking as well as Traffic is the main importance of SEO.
[size=medium][/size]
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It may be suprising to see how many of these rather simple steps are actually very important SEO factors. If you're looking for better site rankings and more traffic, definitely do try these out. Thanks for the tips, Milena!
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Welcome, Gerardo!
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Thanks Milena and Kristoffer for a great article!

For people who are interested in basics of SEO I'd like to recommend the official Google Guide www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-en...on-starter-guide.pdf

Anh Tuan.
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A, great resource, thanks for this!:)
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Nice article, original content is kong. :D
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You can get more traffic also by using multilingual solutions. It will make your website to have more international traffic as well. Check this out: edo.webmaster.am/gtranslate
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I know I may be repeating whats been said here, but these steps are the first simple step to optimising any website.
One thing not mentioned here is make sure the content on your pages is also optimised correctly, make sure there is only one H1 tag and all the other headings on your page are H2 headings. Do not saturate your content with the keywords, use a few variations and 2 or 3 times. We have been using joomla for over 7 years now and have been at the top of the search engines on google UK, for search terms such as 'Web Design Company' and 'Cheap Web Design'.
My advice is make sure your content is optimised as well as the basic on site SEO.
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Yes, this is a very good point. Thank you, Sean.
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Primary & essentials SEO steps. Thanks for reminding Milena.

Expected some tips for handling duplicate contents
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Duplicate content is tricky. It involves various and sometimes highly individualized situations. A good way to control that is to use SEOMOZ pro - they will review your site and will let you know exactly where your duplicate content is coming from. In my case for example, I had duplicate content originating due to K2, Docman (no page titles), Category pages (Joomla 1.5), tabs, etc. It depends on the components you are using, and the content you are featuring.
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very informative contents..thanks for sharing...
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great article, excellent reading, thanx.
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Ranjeet Kumar Ranjan Friday, 25 March 2011
really its very 5 important points for SEO
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Great article!

I think there's only one thing missing from this and that's page speed.

Your page speed affects your SEO. One extension I found really useful for this was: extensions.joomla.org/extensions/site-ma...ite-performance/7350

You can check your page speed with:
code.google.com/speed/page-speed/

I've also written a blog post on customizing your joomla site titles which will also improve your SEO:
bit.ly/hld5or
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Agree. I would say that lots of things are missing:). We can't cover everything in just one article:).

Thank you for these great resources though, much appreciated!
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Absolutely a guiding description. we www.keralatravelexotica.com wishing you the best.
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Thank to inform me that gave me some good technique in increase your traffic happy to use these technique.
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Thank you for your article, I surely will try to improve the traffic on my sites following your advices!
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Very good article. Any suggestions on how having a twitter increases page ranking would help greatly.
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Kerala Honeymoon Tours Friday, 13 May 2011
Thank you so much for such a nice information. its very helpful for me
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Well, that was a good tutorial based on Joomla. But if you can extract more than surely you can use the methods for other scripts too. Joomla has been one of the most extensive script already and proved it's value to the market.

Just want to add
And when you complete SEOing your website or follow the guide provided, you can use the tools like getmysite.info to gather your SEO data via different resources. The tools takes less than a minute to generate your broad report with tips to iprove in your website.
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Thanks for your informative article Milena.
It is a great article!
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Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips on how to rank better in the search engines. Joomla is hands down the best when it comes to web design and creativity. Nice post.
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Jochen Kirstaetter Monday, 15 August 2011
Thanks for sharing your summary.

Luckily, over the time I gathered some of your advices from different resources. But this concentrated article makes it easy to get it under one roof.

Regards, JoKi
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great article
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Thanks! Makes me think to build my next site with Joomla instead of WP
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From here I can see the important of SEO in SERP...Thank you
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Women Dance Clothes Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Very good, step by step basics to get your website ranked with the major search engines, Google, Yahoo, MSN.
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Your web analytics series is fantastic this helps me out quite a bit because I want to optimize my analytics to really see what is going on with my blog that is hosted through Google
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enter your message here...Good Advice which cross references everything I have read about on this subject.
Thank you

Nicky
www.theshadestudio.co.uk
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Thanks for the wonderful article. I was at my wits end to promote my travel website. It's been online for two years yet no performance. I always thought SEO would be time consuming and expensive but this beautiful article has given me HOPE! I have finally added my website to Google Analytics and signed up with Google's & Bing's Webmaster's tool and will be following your tips religiously!

Thanks again
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Glad it was useful:)You are welcome!
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gr8 article, thanks :)
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You are welcome!
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I liked your advice about getting thwebsite indexed by Google and Yahoo! Thanks, it was very useful
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Glad it was helpful!
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Hi Milena,

I like your briefly defining style and I have lent lot of thing.

Thanks for this great post.
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creation de site web Saturday, 08 September 2012
you seem like very qualitative SEO specialists and those information are very pertinents. thank you
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just want to say .. good job Milena Mitova.... Thanks for sharing it.
I am very pleased with the thought and don’t feel like adding anything in it.
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i really need to focus more & double up my efforts in order to get more traffic ,,thanks a lot for this nice tips & steps :)
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Web Design London Monday, 01 October 2012
Very Basic but good tips. Another good tip is to use SEOquake by Firefox to ensure that your headings descriptions and keywords are the correct length.
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Hi Rouven, I fully agree! Doing keyword research, you will find the keywords and phrases that fit your target audience and give you maximum effect for the minimum of effort.
I try to use human readable text as much possible - keyword stuffing is not good.
Over at my blog, I have a tutorial on how to do keyword research with one of my favorite tools.
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how To i can do fast SEO for this web site www.gulfdealz.com
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[url=http://SEO]www.bestseocompanyphilippines.com/[/url] campaign by making it all about more traffic, or getting that top ranking in Google. Instead, focus on making your site a rewarding resource for targeted visitors, and make judicious use of a large variety of researched keywords to maximize your number of rankings.
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Hi Milena,
Great post! It is very important that titles do not have more than 70 characters and meta descriptions should not have more than 155 characters. This is critical for SEO and click thru rates.
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thanx........
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gefunden werden Monday, 24 June 2013
great idea man.
thanks
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Then get link building, white hat style!

Directories
Article/Blog posts
Profiles
Q&A's
Social bookmarking
Press Releases

etc
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I had used joomla on my previous website, but now most of my website is using wordpress..for me joomla is the best cms, but needs to spend more on plugins because most of them are paid, or i didn't find the free ones?
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what a simplicity for dynamic output.hats off to u,
it is our honour and privilege to thank you very much for your outstanding teaching...very proud of u.. live long
krishna rao
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Thanks for the great information! Newbies like me are grateful for your help! Keep doing your great work :-)
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O-o Great, thank you!
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Very relevant information. So many would be webmasters are overawed by the amount of learning.
I always say, "take it easy, you will soon pick it up and understand what gets a domain to the top of the search engines."
Take it one step at a time.
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Hello. I have Joomla 2.5 Is there a way to add meta data to modules?
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These days, you can only compete if you use SEO tactics. There are many companies that do SEO that can help you optimize your site and spread links around the internet. It's important to build an online reputation and attract new clients.

James | hunterstore.net/about-us/
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Such a great and informative article. I learned the hard way how important following good SEO practices is to a business and it may be surprising to see how many of these rather simple steps actually very important SEO factors are. You can get more traffic also by using multilingual solutions. It will make your website to have more international traffic as well.
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how to top rank in google
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Hi, I am very new in this sector, i don't know how to increase more traffic, please suggest me how to get top rank in google.
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Well, the article delivering more convenient ways to optimizing Joomla websites ..I am planning to develop a web application project project in Joomla 3.3 (latest version), do you have more tips for ve more close tips?
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Well, Thanks for helpful information. I have been looking for the same to implement on my latest website application development . my website is on joomla 3.3, which is latest version hence I found article useful. Thanks
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