Drupal people! Where you at?
If you’re using Drupal, and you’re trying to increase your organic traffic, you’re in the right place. Drupal is a flexible content management system and a great option if you’re trying to get a website up and running quickly without having to code new pages from scratch. Its unique design allows you to make your site search engine-friendly AND user-friendly.
In the article, we have compiled all of the standard Search Engine Optimization steps and SEO best practices plus the specific details to get the most out of Drupal.
Let’s get started!
1. Check Drupal SEO Health
The first step is to ensure the optimization of your Drupal website. To do so, conduct a thorough SEO health checkup. There are several free online tools to analyze your SEO performance and give you fast results to start as a base point.
Set up a Google Search Console for your website to see:
● Keywords that people use to find your website;
● The most visited web pages on your website;
● Countries that drive the most traffic;
● User devices used to access your website;
● The number of backlinks your website gets.
Google Search Console or Google Webmaster Tool will help you to assess and enhance your site's SEO performance regularly.
Another recommended module for Drupal is the Drupal SEO Checklist module. It gives relevant suggestions to enhance SEO performance and maintains track of your progress. It further performs a background check for new updates to your custom checklist.
Finally, Google Analytics will assist you in obtaining information about your website's performance. You can collect data on the following points:
- What are the demographics of your site's visitors?
- How do they locate your site?
- What is the average number of visitors to your website?
- What is the purpose of their visit?
- How much time do they spend on your site?
After performing all of these actions, you should have a good understanding of your site performance. The checkup will also give you an idea of Drupal SEO checklist issues that need attention and need to be fixed to improve your website’s search engine performance and search engine rankings.
2. Research Keywords
Keywords are the most influential aspect of your website to rank for search engines. Keywords give context to search engines on what your content is about.
You can use Google Keyword Planner, KW Finder, Google Trends, Moz, WordTracker, etc., tools for keyword search.
Pro Tip: Building a separate page for each target keyword can reduce false positives and improve the strength and effectiveness of your keyword list.
3. Add New and Quality Content
The most significant aspect of your website is its content, which includes all of the articles, photos, videos, blogs, and anything else that the user associates with the website's value.
This content attracts visitors to your website while also offering them value-packed information. So, make sure to provide new, updated, and quality content to your audience. It's also a good idea to structure your content and organize the information on your website. In the long run, being strategic about how you manage, present, plan, and schedule your content will pay off well.
4. Add Relevant Meta Tags
Meta-tags are small texts appearing in grey under search listings. They summarize the content on a target page, letting search engines know about the content of each page.
These also show how your page is described on other websites, particularly in search engine results.
If you are concerned about a large number of pages on your website, all you need is the Drupal Metatag module:
● To generate meta-tags for all of your content automatically,
● To add the required metadata (meta tags and meta title) to the <head> of each page.
Meta-tag lets the search engines crawl and index your website appropriately by providing a personalized description on each page.
5. Faster Site Speed
Since search engines rank your website depending on how responsive your web server is, having a fast and responsive website is always helpful.
You can test the responsiveness of your website using a variety of online tools such as Google Lighthouse, GTmetrix, YellowLabTools, and others. We recommend GTmetrix because it gives two-speed scores and also includes recommendations for speed improvements.
There are many ways to improve the speed of your website, and some of them are:
- Enabling browser caching (enabled by default for Drupal 8/Drupal 9),
- Switching to a better hosting provider or selecting a rapid hosting plan,
- Compressing images both still and animated using the lazy-loading module, and
- Background management, off-time backups, and implementing background process modules.
However, this phase may need more expensive hosting services or servers.
6. Mobile Device Compatibility
Your website's responsiveness to different screen sizes and display devices is another essential SEO ranking factor. Especially now that Google has begun indexing the mobile version.
You can perform the Responsive Test and Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to see how your website functions across various devices.
Drupal 7 and earlier versions required the use of a responsive website. Now, Drupal 8/9+ will automatically ensure that your content is responsive and suitable across all devices automatically. This will almost certainly improve your website’s SEO ranking significantly.
7. Fix Broken Links and Clean URLs
Search engines find your content through your unique link. When these links are broken, the visitors get a 404 Error message instead of your site which provides a user experience.
You can use various online tools like Dr. Link Check to check broken links on your site.
You should not forget to manually update the broken links if you find one. You can also use Drupal Redirect Module which provides manual redirects to bring traffic back to your website when URLs are altered.
When you create new content, remember to use clean, SEO-friendly URLs.
To enable a clean URL in Drupal, follow the given four steps:
- Go to Administer> Configuration> Search and metadata> Clean URLs
- Wait for automated tests to run
- Check the “Enable Clean URLs” checkbox
- Click on “Save Configuration”
With these four steps, you can use URLs that include keywords. This will help search engines to understand your page better and thus rank it higher.
8. Seek Backlinks, Share, and Advertise
After you’ve created excellent content that can help potential audiences, your next step would be to reach those people.
Try to have as many backlinks to your site as possible. Backlinks are links to your site from other sites. This SEO strategy demonstrates to search engines that your site has valuable content and is worth ranking high.
The best way to generate backlinks is to create high-quality content and share it widely. It is helpful to let the spread look natural and link to different pages of your website to enhance the overall quality of your backlinks.
Finally, the last step is to repeat the cycle.
After completing all of these steps, your Drupal Search Engine Optimization checklist performance will likely improve. But, like with everything else on the internet, nothing lasts for long. Every software updates in response to its market, economy, or user base's overall trend.
This is why SEO is continually in a state of transition. It will constantly require regular interventions, updates, new SEO strategies, and website health checkups.
So, keep repeating the SEO best practices mentioned above, adding more relevant material, and evolving your content structure to match market trends, and you'll stay afloat.
If you’re getting your new site all set up and you want to have an SEO-friendly Drupal site right from the beginning, have our checklist open and run through these steps. Our checklist is intended to guide you and serve as an easy way to make sure any Drupal site is correctly optimized for search engines.
You can download it below!