Drupal is one of the most powerful and flexible content management systems available. If Drupal has any weakness, it is the fact that its default settings aren't ideal for search engine optimization.
A large part of SEO is structuring your website to make it easy for Google to crawl it and determine the topic of each page. If you are using Drupal with its default settings enabled, issues with website structure and keyword density may make some pages difficult for Google to index accurately. Thankfully, configuring Drupal for excellent SEO is actually quite easy.
Are you ready to increase your website's rankings on Google? Let's examine how to employ some common SEO practices on your Drupal website.
Keywords in URLs
A URL such as "example.com/node/130" doesn't tell Google -- or users -- very much about the content of an article. That's why Google gives a small ranking bonus to pages with keyword-rich URLs. Enabling clean URLs in Drupal gives you the ability to use the titles of articles as their URLs.
Clean URLs are enabled by default in Drupal 8. To begin using keyword-rich URLs in Drupal 7, navigate to the "Configuration" section in Drupal's administrative menu. Select "Search and metadata," and then enable the "Clean URLs" option.
Eliminate Duplicate Content
After you enable clean URLs in Drupal, it will still be possible to access articles on your website through the old URLs such as "/node/130." If two URLs contain exactly the same content, Google's algorithm may not index the correct one. Google may even penalize both URLs for containing duplicate content. Install the Global Redirect module to automatically redirect the old URLs to the new clean URLs.
Keywords in Site Structure
Descriptive keywords in your website's categorization system can help users know where they are in your site' structure. For example, you might divide the content on a website about furniture into categories such as "Living Room," "Dining Room" and "Kitchen." Content categories aren't just helpful for users; they can also help Google's algorithm to understand your website's primary themes. You can use the Path Auto module in Drupal to create keyword-rich category names for your posts.
Keywords in Content
The way in which you write the articles on your website largely determines how Google will index those articles. For example, let's suppose that you wanted to write an article about how to buy the right table for a dining room. If you'd like people to see your article when they search for the keyword phrase "how to buy a dining room table," you should allow that phrase to fall naturally within your article as often as possible.
Using keywords in your text is just one aspect of writing content for SEO purposes. The SEO Checklist module for Drupal can help you refine your writing skills and create content that ranks well on Google.
A webpage has the ability to store descriptive information within its source code in the form of meta tags. One meta tag -- the description tag -- is particularly important because it explains what a page is about. Google may sometimes show the meta description tags of webpages on its search results pages, so it is wise to write meta descriptions that describe your articles accurately while enticing users to click through to your website. The Metatag module for Drupal allows you to customize the meta tags of each page on your website.
TechAspect has years of experience in Drupal implementations, integrations, maintenance and more. Contact us today for help if your organization needs help deploying a new Drupal platform, or migrating an older version of Drupal to Drupal 8.