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SEO written in scrabble tiles

Drupal SEO needn't be hard to master. That's because Drupal itself is designed from the ground up to enable strong Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) approaches, and the architecture encourages site designers to incorporate good SEO practices into their workflows.

Drupal core includes SEO-friendly naming conventions, content tagging, and an emphasis on accessibility, all with the objective of making your site easier for search engines to find and classify. If your site has focused content, a well-developed theme, and SEO-boosting components installed, it has a good chance of ranking well.

There are several specific challenges to efficiently optimising your site, whether you're using Drupal 7, Drupal 8, or Drupal 9. Let's have a look at the Drupal SEO basics.

Drupal SEO fundamentals

To begin, conduct keyword research. The heart of your SEO strategy is effectively presenting the goods and services you offer to your target audience and using the right keywords to help them find you. The website's main goal(s), such as educating, converting purchases, generating subscribers, and so on, should then lead to your site's content. When creating a keyword plan, tools like Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush, as well as Google Ads Keyword Planner, are great places to start.

The importance of content cannot be overstated. Many factors go into creating an effective SEO strategy, but your content will ultimately determine how well you rank. If you have well-produced, highly relevant, shareable content that meets the desire of your audience, you'll rank higher in Google and other major search engines. You should be able to obtain links from other websites if your material is good, and the more authoritative these sites are, the more SEO juice you'll get. Google, on the other hand, has progressed and now prioritises connections from a variety of sites of all sizes with high domain authority.

Analyse what you've learned thus far. You'll need to be aware of the metrics that can help you mould your strategy choices over time if you want to stay on top of SEO. Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools can help you analyse data and acquire vital insights for audience segmentation, landing page optimisation, and conversion route optimisation, among other things.

Also, don't forget about social media. We should use the numerous social media channels that weave their influence in our online world to sell our companies as we become increasingly linked via the myriad social media channels that weave their impact in our online world. Simply said, social networking is becoming important in Google's search algorithm and is becoming a cornerstone of interactive marketing.

Non-content SEO ranking factors

While on-page content SEO ranking criteria are outside the focus of this article, Google's search algorithm analyses hundreds of parameters in addition to content when determining where a web page should rank in the results.

The following are three of the most essential factors:

  • Website performance
  • Accessibility
  • Mobile-friendliness

The performance of a website is a key component in Google's ranking algorithm. Your website must load swiftly and respond to user input such as clicks and interactions.

In Drupal, there are various techniques to increase website performance:

  • Keep your photos compressed and optimised
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN)
  • As far as possible, avoid using third-party libraries and Javascript
  • Use a Drupal-friendly hosting company (in fact, we specialise in Drupal hosting)

Use the most up-to-date caching technology

Troubleshoot performance problems at the code, database, server, or browser level using performance measurement tools like Google Lighthouse.

While SEO is primarily concerned with optimising for search engines, it is also concerned with optimising for visitors. Google wants anybody who clicks on the sites in its search results to have a positive experience. Searchers will lose faith in Google if the page runs slowly or gives little value.

Using a dependable, fast hosting provider, a strong platform like Drupal to create your site, and optimising the information on your site to load as quickly as possible are all ways to improve the speed of your website.

User experience and accessibility

Google considers both accessibility and user experience (UX) to be key aspects. This, once again, boils down to offering a user-friendly experience for visitors, which pleases Google.

Add alt tags to your photos, make sure the code that makes up your pages is well-formed, and organise your material logically using headers, subheadings, and so on to increase your website's accessibility. These are only the fundamentals. Colour contrast, tabbing, and other accessibility features guarantee that screen readers and other accessibility tools can properly process and understand the content.

When it comes to UX, not only is mobile-friendliness key, as we'll discuss below, but also aspects like layout cleanliness, page loading speed, page interactivity, and visual stability. In our SEO essay, we go through these elements in further depth.


Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets account for more than half of all search engine visits. Mobile traffic climbed by 222 per cent from 2013 to 2019.

With so much online surfing taking place on mobile devices, websites must have a mobile-friendly design that is simple to navigate on tiny displays. Because mobile devices come in a variety of sizes, well-designed websites use a responsive design that adjusts to multiple sizes.

This criterion, like the previous two, is heavily weighted by Google since it has a significant impact on user experience. It's not going to be a positive experience for someone who is looking at their smartphone and ends up on a site that doesn't adapt properly to the tiny screen size.

Essential Drupal SEO modules

Drupal is a sophisticated platform that makes managing content on your website a breeze. However, it is not configured for best SEO performance by default.

You'll need to add certain modules if you wish to boost its SEO efficacy. These modules improve the way Drupal configures certain aspects of each page on the site by adding features or changing the way Drupal configures them.

1. Checklist for SEO

The Drupal Checklist module specifically for SEO has no direct impact on your site's health. Instead, it includes a checklist of SEO best practices that you can use to evaluate your site's optimisation and indicate areas where it may be improved.

It's updated on a frequent basis when Google makes algorithm adjustments, so you'll be able to remain on top of them without having to spend a lot of time keeping up with the current news.

2. Drupal SEO in Real-Time

The Real-Time SEO for Drupal module aids in the optimization of Drupal articles as they are being written. It looks at things like the length of your text, metatags, and the usage of subheadings, among other things.

This saves you time by allowing you to boost the SEO of a new article without having to go back and adjust it afterwards.

3. Analytics

The Google Analytics plugin for Drupal makes monitoring your website a breeze.

Google Analytics does not immediately boost your SEO, but it does make it simple to monitor many aspects of your website and the people that visit it. You may use this data to identify popular sites, pages where users abandon your site in greater numbers, and a variety of other things.

Once you have that data, you can select where to concentrate your SEO efforts.

However, if you're not convinced about using the system at the moment, we recommend the open-source and fully-GDPR-compliant open-source alternative, Matomo Analytics.

4. Redirect

Redirects on your site are simple to set up using the Redirect module. This allows you to redirect URLs to a "canonical" page on your site, reducing duplicate material. The Global Redirect module (only for Drupal 7) is responsible for this.

Duplicate content might hurt your Google rankings since it makes it harder for Google to figure out which page to send searchers to. You may wind up lower in the rankings if you rely on guesswork.

5. Pathauto

One of the first SEO modules you should install on every Drupal site is Pathauto. It modifies the URL structure of your site's content so that they are more search engine friendly.

Drupal pages have an address that looks somewhat like this by default:

The only difference between each page on the site is the node number. This makes it more difficult for Google to determine the purpose of each page.

Instead, Pathauto replaces the page's address with clean URLs like this:

Because it's more clear to the searcher, this is much simpler for Google to digest, and it'll likely earn a better clickthrough rate in the search results.

6. Menu Breadcrumb

On each page of your site, the Menu Breadcrumb module creates a breadcrumb navigation menu. These menus make navigation around your site simpler for both human users and search engine bots.

The module generates a navigation menu that appears as follows:

/ Main Category / Subcategory / Page / / / / / / / / / / /

This builds a basic hierarchy for your site's pages and categories.

7. Perform a 404 search

The Search 404 module redirects users to a search page when they encounter a 404 error, allowing them to rapidly search your website. If your visitors come from Google, you may be able to reduce your bounce rate.

When someone attempts to access a page on your site that doesn't exist, they'll receive a "404" error. If they came through a Google link, they'll generally go back and try a new site right away. This is referred to as a "bounce."

To prevent a bounce, this module directs users to a search page with any terms in the URL already put in the search field.

8. XML Sitemap

The XML Sitemap module generates a sitemap file that Google and other search engines use to locate pages on your site. The plugin will automatically upload the sitemap anytime you make updates to your site after you've published it using Google Search Console (previously Webmaster Tools).

This helps Google in determining which pages it should crawl as well as the importance of each page on your site. Pages with a higher priority are crawled more often.

9. Menu Attributes

The Menu Attributes module gives you greater control over your menu items by allowing you to add attributes to them.

You may, for example, use the "nofollow" tag on menu items that you don't want Google to consider. This allows you to connect to pages on your own or another site while alerting Google that the link should not transmit any PageRank.

10. Metatag

The Metatag module allows you to simply add metadata to your site's pages.

Metatags are tags in the HTML code that provide search engines structured information. This includes information such as the page title and description that appear in search results, as well as social media information for Facebook and Twitter and other data.

Most of the time, visitors to your site aren't aware of this information. Its only purpose is to aid search engines in determining what your page is about, how to show it in search results, and how it connects to other websites.

Drupal and SEO - Final Thoughts

Play according to the regulations. In the past, SEO was simpler to understand, and it was usual for businesses to attempt to cheat the system by using tactics and strategies to improve their SEO ranks. However, since SEO is more difficult to manipulate today than it has ever been, enterprises should be aware that penalties may occur from unethical (black hat) practices used to raise rank, and it may be difficult or impossible to reverse them.

Be adaptable and willing to adjust. Keep in mind that the SEO environment is always changing, so what works today may not work in six months. SEO isn't a "set it and forget it" strategy. 

It should be a part of your long-term business strategy, backed up by sufficient time and resources. It's also not a stand-alone discipline; it needs to be weaved into other digital marketing channels like branding, public relations, email marketing, content marketing, social media, and so on.

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