With our Drupal SEO guide, you don’t have to go too far in search of SEO tips, features and modules to boost your Drupal website ranking. Read and bookmark this for future reference!
We all know Drupal as this robust, flexible and dependable CMS platform but not many realize its abilities when it comes to SEO.
SEO can be one of the most influential factors for the success of an organization or a business. Did you know that 93% of online experiences start with search engines and 51% of all website traffic is attributed to organic searches (source)?!
When people from around the globe search for your product or services, you want to appear as high as possible on the search engine ranking. Improving your SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking is now more important than any other marketing strategy. Ideally, Drupal SEO is about making your website easy for both your visitors and the search engine crawlers to understand. Thus, your SEO strategy begins long before your Drupal website is built.
With an effective long-term perspective, its amazing collection of modules, its flexibility and customization options and not to forget, the loyal community working towards the betterment of the open source platform, Drupal 8 tops the CMS chart. Drupal 8 offers some exemplary SEO modules that can boost your Drupal 8 SEO and SERP ranking.
Lay your Foundation
With Drupal 8, most of the required SEO best practices are already embedded into the core of the platform and with a little knowledge of SEO and some must-have configurations, anybody can possibly boost their website’s SEO to drive more traffic. But before you jump right into the tools and other configurations on Drupal 8, sit back and think about the basics which you need to get right for your website's success.
Things to remember -
- With your website goals in sight and your visitors' interests in mind, sit down and form a proper pre-SEO strategy to begin with.
- Know your audience before you begin with your Drupal 8 SEO strategy. Once your audience set is established, shooting targeted content will be easier.
- Pay attention to every detail that goes into your On-page SEO (content, improve keyword ranking), Off-page SEO (backlinks) and Technical SEO (site architecture, UX, clean code).
- Website performance and site speed directly contribute to a website’s SEO ranking factor. This is not just true because of Google’s algorithm update for speed but also because a slow loading website hampers user experience.
- Yes, come 2019 and Google has changed the way SEO used to work previously. The focus is more now on the value you bring to your users – mainly through content. Hence, getting your Content strategy right is very crucial for a good website ranking.
- Google favors websites that make it easy for users to navigate and access irrespective of the device. With Drupal 8, you can be assured of a responsive website because of its Mobile-first approach.
- Remember that SEO works differently for different businesses. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to crafting an SEO strategy for your Drupal website.
Drupal SEO Modules
With Drupal 8 and the continuous innovation approach, it has adopted some of the best-in-class technologies thus making it more future-proof. More importantly, it has made content authoring more powerful and easier at the same time. One of the great things about Drupal 8 is that it is "SEO ready" right out of the box. To begin with, let us talk about some important Drupal SEO modules that help enhance your SEO efforts on your Drupal website.
1.Drupal SEO Checklist Module
If you are a ‘To-do-list’ person who is in love with organizing things, this module is for you. This is an important module which does not directly affect your Drupal SEO and improve the SERP but will provide critical information on the changes to be made on the site. The Drupal SEO Checklist module checks your entire Drupal website for proper search engine optimization against SEO best practices and tells you what to do. It provides a detailed report on what needs to be done to improve the performance of your Drupal website.
Drupal SEO Checklist
It keeps a track of how tasks have been taken care of, what has already been done (with timestamps) and what needs to be attended to. If a task needs you to install a module, it provides with a link to download it as well. This data provides a report that can be used for further monitoring.
Using clean URLs that indicate what content it represents is extremely important for SEO. One of the most important and useful modules for Drupal SEO, Pathautho plays a major role in creating SEO-friendly URLs on your website. The usual "example[dot]com/node/1" can be replaced with more SEO specific URL aliases such as "example[dot]com/page/keyword". Based on the category of your website page or based on the page title, with Pathauto you can build URLs which are SEO friendly. These intuitive URLs are easy for the visitors on your site to understand what they are looking at and where they are, which helps in improving your site ranking on search engines.
3.Google Analytics Module
In our recent post, we discussed how you can add Google Analytics module to your Drupal website and also create custom reports for better performance of your website. Though the Google Analytics Drupal SEO module does not have any direct effect on your Drupal SEO or does not improve your ranking, it plays a major role in providing the necessary information that can amplify your Drupal 8 website's SEO success. By tracking your visitors, their behavior and interests within your site, you can change or add new strategies to drive more traffic and increase conversions. You can also use the GA Reports module that can provide you with a graphical representation and details reports about your Drupal website.
Google Analytics Module
4.Global Redirect Module
Google certainly does not like spammy duplicate content on a web page. Such content can have a negative impact on your SEO efforts and as a result, can harm your rankings on the search engine. On Drupal, while you are happy creating clean URLs with the alias system, you should note that there is a small problem arising. With the creation of new URLs, the default URL still exists and the search engines do not see it as a good sign.
Global Redirect module
The Global redirect module helps in rectifying this problem by verifying the existence of an alias for a URL and redirecting it to the same. The module also plays a role in checking the URL implementation and permission or the access required to the nodes and URLs. However, this module has been deprecated for Drupal 8 and the functionalities are now merged into the Redirect module.
5. SEO Compliance Checker Module
A module which is of great help to Drupal SEO beginners and webmasters, SEO Compliance Checker performs a complete check when a node is created or modified on your Drupal site. The execution includes checking if the titles and meta tags are optimized, no alt tags are missing, optimized keywords usage and other important factors for better SEO and to improve keyword ranking.
SEO Compliance Checker Module
While the core module - seo_checker does not perform any of these checks, it is the submodules that come along (basic_seo_rules.module and keyword_rules.module) which execute these checks for the implementation of some basic SEO rules. The core Drupal module on the other hand, gathers the required information about the checks to be performed and applies them to collect the results.
In addition to these modules, there are many other Drupal 8 SEO modules such as the Page Title module which allows the page title to be set, the Meta tag module which equips you with complete control of meta tags on your Drupal website, and the XML Sitemap module to create a search engine readable, dynamic sitemaps.
Some Additional Tips
Just to let you know, in the time you took to read the blog until this point,
- More than a million Google searches were made.
- Close to 20,000 Facebook posts were posted.
- More than 1000 blogs were posted on the internet.
The internet is noisier than ever now, and it doesn't seem like it is going to stop anytime soon. SEO at its beginning stages was all about cramming your website with keywords and let the crawlers do their magic. But over time, SEO has blossomed with Google introducing some amazing algorithms and updates to curb the black hat SEO practices.
Right now, for a successful Drupal 8 SEO campaign, you need to study your visitors, their behavior and interests on your website and curate the content accordingly to stay ahead of the curve. You don't want to be in the midst of a content gap which can create problems for your website's conversions. With this study, you have a real opportunity in hand to develop fresh content for your Drupal website and optimize it for the searches on the search engine.