This tutorial will show you how to use and update the Joomla metadata settings which Google uses in the search engine results.
What is Metadata ?
The metadata information are HTML elements that describe and summarize the contents of your website and website pages to search engines like Bing and Google.
Both the metadata titles and descriptions are used for search engine optimization purposes and to improve the websites click through rates (CTR) in the search engine results.
The meta title should ideally be between 50-60 characters and meta description should be around 160 characters long for the best results in Google.
Below is an example of how we have used the meta title and description to tell Google what this website is about.
Joomla Metadata Options
Joomla provides you with three different options to update the Metadata settings for your website.
- Global metadata This gets applied throughout the website unless you override at menu or page level.
- Menu metadata used to override the global options at a menu level.
- Page level metadata should be updated for every page you create.
Global Metadata Settings
To access the Joomla global metadata setting login to the website administrator area and select the System menu and Global Configuration menu.
You will now see the following options where you can update the websites global metadata settings for the website title, description, keywords, robots and author tags.
- Description tells Google what your website is about. ideally this should be 160 characters long for the best click through rates.
- keywords are no longer used by Google or Bing.
- Robots are used to tell Google how to index your website in the search engine results.
- Author tag tells Google who created the content at the website
- Show Joomla version. We recommend you disable this option for security purposes.
You can also define how Google will index your website using the Robots directives.
However unless your a skilled search engine optimization specialist we recommend you use index,follow for a majority of the Robots directives.
The menu metadata options allow you to override the global website settings.
This option is mainly used for the home menu item to provide your website with a unique title and description however you can use it for any menu items you create.
To access the home menu ( if you have created one, if not then you need to create one first) at your website select Menus , Top Menu and open the home menu item you have created.
The first thing you need to do i update the home page title to describe your website to Google.
To update the page title select the page display tab
Once you have updated the website title select the metadata tab and enter your website description to let the search engines know what the website is about.
As noted above the global metadata is applied throughout the website unless you override it at the menu or page level.
It is important to ensure you create unique meta descriptions for each page you create at your website due to the following.
Note: The article meta title will be taken from the title you enter when you create the page..
- It will help Google understand what the page is about
- It will help you rank the page higher in the Google search engine listings.
- You can use it to improve the pages CTR click through rates
- It will help you to avoid duplicate issues which can impact your page and websites position in Google.
- If you don’t create a unique description Joomla will use the global metadata description.
To update the page metadata complete the following steps
Select the content menu and articles menu and open a page you have created at the website.
You can update the following for the page. These setting will override the global configuration settings
- Page meta description
- Google does not use keywords anymore
- Robots leave this option as global ( it will pick up the index, follow settings from the global meta settings
- Enter the author for the article and copyright reference.