Drupal is a CMS that’s well-known for its security and flexibility. But do you know of another aspect that Drupal excels at? It’s Drupal’s excellent built-in SEO functionality. While Drupal itself plays pretty well with search engines, there are a host of measures you can take to ensure you stay on top of the SEO game even more. After all, the internet is a competitive market, making a site’s SEO all the more competitive. In this post, I’ll explore some of the most common SEO measures you can take to bolster your Drupal site’s SEO efforts.
All the basic SEO measures that are applicable to all other types of sites is applicable for Drupal as well. Before proceeding with Drupal specific steps, I would like to highlight some of the common SEO practices which prevail through all the websites out there
- Quality Content
- Backlinks and Internal Linking
- Site speed
So, how do you go about improving your Drupal site’s SEO? Well, there are several steps you can undertake. Note that there are some excellent modules available for Drupal which help with these steps, I’ll be listing down these modules with the appropriate steps as well.
First and foremost, you should come up with a keyword strategy for your site. This involves figuring out the major keywords and working on getting ranked on those keywords. The categorization of keywords for the main site as well as various sections is also important.
Google places a lot of emphasis on the use of user-readable URLs. Clean URLs are URLs which can be read and understood by the user as to what the page contains. An example of a clean URL for an about page of a site would be: www.example.com/about-us.
An excellent module for Drupal which makes this process a lot easier by automatically converting URLs to clean URLs is the Pathauto module.
Meta tags are small pieces of text that are placed in the header part of your website to inform the search engine about what a web page is about. Without meta tags search engines would have to guess what the page contains; this would seriously hamper the page’s SEO.
Luckily, you do not have to delve into the code of your Drupal site’s web pages to implement meta tags as there is an excellent module available just for this purpose. It’s called the Metatag module, allowing you to automate the process of placing meta tags and HTML title tags in the header of your webpage.
Mobile First Website
With the massive boom in the mobile internet space, Google now gives preferences to sites which play well with mobile devices. What this means is that your Drupal site should be well optimized for screens of different sizes. Also, with Google’s own AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) technology (which allows faster delivery of web pages on mobile) now being a stalwart of search engines, it would benefit Drupal site owners greatly if they implement AMP on as many web pages on their site as possible. The process of implementing AMP, while still being a little complex, can be done via the Drupal AMP module.
One good news here is that Drupal 8 is responsive out-of-the-box (one of the reasons for Drupal’s excellent SEO compatibility).
Keep Drupal Updated
Drupal is regularly updated to integrate new features as well as keep potential security risks at bay. A site without vulnerabilities is always in the good books of Google, hence keeping your site updated is an important factor in your Drupal SEO journey. Make sure you update your Drupal site as soon as an update is rolled out to keep ranking high on that golden first page of search engines.
Key Drupal SEO Modules
There are some key Drupal SEO modules out there loved by Drupal users. I’ll list some of them here:
- Drupal SEO Checklist: An all-in-one Drupal SEO analysis module that analyzes your site and gives recommendations as well as things to fix for your Drupal site.
- Page Title: As the name implies, this module gives you the ability to give page titles to nodes (an important factor of search engine rankings).
- Drupal SEO Tools: An all-in-one Drupal SEO suite with the ability to control functions like: keywords, paths, titles, redirects, Google Analytics etc.
There are loads of other Drupal SEO modules as well which you can browse through on Drupal’s official site.
Search engine optimization for a Drupal site is a constantly evolving process. SEO practices should be actively performed on a Drupal site to keep its visibility high amongst the sea of websites. More exposure for a site equals more visits. Implement the tips in this post on your Drupal site and you should see a significant boost to your site’s ranking on search engines.