If you've been around Joomla seo for a while - you know about the importance of the html H1 tag.
This is one of the most important on-page Joomla seo you can do - this is because Google gives the tag a lot of importance, and it is one of those pieces of content which can still be used to directly influence SEO. If you use the H1 correctly, you can have a very positive influence on your search engine rankings.
Unfortunately, Joomla has not been very H1 friendly historically. For whoever knows what reason, the article title is not marked as H1, instead it is marked as h2.
Somehow, to get the best value out for our Joomla seo process, we need to be able to tweak this to ensure that our title - which obviously is an intrinsic part of our seo Joomla strategy - is being tagged correctly.
Fixing the h1 in Joomla - the manual way
Step 1: create a title in your Joomla article which is tagged with an H1 tag in the HTML editor
Step 2: change the parameters of the article such that the article title is not shown. This should be done so that you don't have a duplicate title (this is bad for Joomla seo because of penalties associated with keyword stufffing).
You should now verify using the view-source functionality of your browser to confirm that the title is now surrounded by h1 tags
This method works well but, it was what we used to do on collectiveray.com a long time ago, but does not scale well, especially if you have a lot of existing articles which you would need to edit manually.
Fixing the H1 - using a component/plugin
The easiest way to fix H1 titles in Joomla throughout is to enable an SEO plugin which automatically looks for the article title and surrounds it with the H1 tag for maximum SEO juice. For example. sh404SEF has this functionality built-in. There are other components which do this of course.
The reason for this is that for some time, the H1 tag was abused by spammers, so Google and other search engines had to implement this H1 penalty. Joomla SEO components are able to automatically scanning the content of a page and make sure htere is only one h1 tag.
USE A TEMPLATE OVERRIDE to display the title as H1
A template override is used to change the core way that Joomla deals with specific part of the layout. So for example, template overrides are a perfect scenario if you want to change the H1 tags. Since Joomla 3, defining new template overrides is really easy, so there's no hassles to create these for the added benefit of getting good Joomla SEO ;)
Go to Extensions > Template Manager > Templates and select your template. Go to Create Overrides tab, and click on com_content, and when the hidden options are shown, click on Article. You now have a code-editor where you can define the template override. Find the following section:
<?php echo $this->escape($this->params->get('page_heading')); ?>
You can also do this in Joomla 2.5 by copying the file default.php from components\com_content\views\article\tmpl to templates\YOUR_TEMPLATE\html\com_content\article. If the folders do not exist, you will need to create them. The changes described above need to be done in this file.
This small but crucial change in the way Joomla deals with articles goes a very long way to improving your Joomla SEO and does much to improve your search engine rankings.
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