So, you own a full-fledged Drupal website with a burning desire to amplify its popularity? The only step left for its success story is to optimize its SEO performance. And this checklist is about to be one of your best friends for as long as you feel like owning your website and its success stories.
A website which has undergone a Search Engine Optimization will rank higher in the vast cutthroat search engine results, connect relevant customers towards it, and bring up organic traffic that in-turn result in a success story for your website. You are about to commence on a step-by-step simple list of powerful tools and strategies that you can perform on your Drupal website for it to become one of your most successful stories. Let’s begin!
Drupal SEO performance measure, the pawn that checks
Firstly, an SEO health checkup. There are lots of free online tools that will analyze your SEO performance and give you fast results to start as a base point.
- You’ll want to set up google search console for your website and find out:
- What keywords do people use to land on your website?
- Which specific pages of your website are landing what number of traffic?
- Which countries are driving the most traffic?
- What user devices are accessing your website?
- How often does your website land a link through google search, & much more?
This powerful free tool shall allow you to regularly benchmark, as well as improve your site’s SEO performance.
- Another recommended module for Drupal itself is the Drupal SEO Checklist module. It does nothing but:
- Points you in the most relevant suggestions to enhance your SEO performance.
- It keeps track of all your progress to optimize your SEO.
- Also, it runs in the background to check for any new updates to your custom checklist.
- Finally, Google Analytics will help you obtain data about the performance of your website. You will obtain data about:
- Who is using your site?
- How do they find it?
- What number of visitors are coming to your site?
- Where are visitors coming from?
- What is their nature of visit?
- How long do they spend on your site?
These three “pawns” check everything that is relevant to the SEO health of your website.
After all these, you probably have an idea of where your SEO performance is, currently. This, I hope, enables you to see through the rest of this checklist to completion and reach your targeted successful website.
1. Meta tags, the bishop of all traffic
Meta-tags are small texts that summarize a target page’s content, letting search engines know about each page’s content, individually. These also indicate what your page is described as in other websites, esp. in searches.
However, you may be alarmed at a large number of pages on your website, all you require is the Metatag module for Drupal:
- To automate generating all the required meta-tags for each of your content.
- Place the appropriate meta tags and meta title in the <head> of each page
The “bishop” of your traffic now allows a targeted description of each page for the search engines to crawl and then index your website properly.
2. Content is king, keywords are its crown jewel
The essence of your website is its content, which are all the articles, images, videos, audio, and anything in-between that the user relates to the value of your website.
These materials are why users flock to your website while also defining the purpose of their visit to your website. So, you will rarely go wrong by adding newer, updated, better content to your website. It is also highly recommended to create a plan for your content, and how to best format the content of your website. It is regarded as the most important aspect of your website, and you already know it. So, being tactful about how you handle, portray, plan and time your content will pay off very well in the long run.
Keywords are the bull point of your website for search engines. A list of relevant keywords lets search engines know what makes the content of your site relevant to, respectively. The content is recognized and ranked based on its relevant respective keyword list by the search engines. So, using Google Keyword Planner, or Google Trends, Moz, WordTracker, etc will be quite helpful.
Moreover, creating one page for each target keyword, thereby reducing false-positive keywords and increasing the likelihood of your keyword list’s power and effectiveness.
A well-optimized website will always have the speed comparable to its rivals if not more. Since Search Engines rank your website based on the responsiveness of your web server, it is always helpful to have a speedy responsive website.
This step might therefore demand more costly hosting services or servers but, before that, you can test the responsiveness of your website using several web tools like Google Lighthouse, GTmetrix, YellowLabTools, etc. There are many ways to improve the speed of your website and some of them are:
- Enabling browser caching (enabled by default for Drupal 8/9)
- Switching to a better hosting provider or selecting a rapid hosting plan
- compressing images both still and animated, and using the lazy-loading module
- background management, off-time backups, and implementing Background process module
4. Mobile Device compatibility
Another key SEO ranking factor is the responsibility of your website to different screen sizes, and display devices, especially now since google switched to indexing with the mobile version. Drupal 7 and prior will require using a responsive website whereas Drupal 8/9+ will automatically ensure your content is responsive and compatible across all devices. This will more than likely boost your SEO ranking considerably.
5. Fixing broken links, cleaning URLs, the sweep
As all Drupal (7 and prior) URLs get unique IDs instead of meaningful names by default, it is usually a good idea to deep clean all your website URLs, which in-turn improves crawling by search engine bots and also overall user experience to navigate organically to specific web pages in your website. There are several popular SEO modules for Drupal developed for cleaning URLs, like Pathauto, Redirect, and finally creating an automatic XML sitemap for the search engine bots to know your website as a properly mapped website.
Pathauto is popular for cleaning “node/x” types of obscure URLs in your website into content-specific URLs that will cater to your SEO performance a lot. Your URLs will also have properly packed page titles along with all the keywords that were defined for each webpage
Redirect created 301 redirects from old obsolete or moved URLs to new ones automatically. This guarantees that any changes you apply to your Drupal website and its content preserves their value and doesn’t throw a 404 error for something it’s not supposed to in the first place. This will save a lot of your time by shifting the burden from manually updating broken links to a smart automated process.
XML Sitemap generates a multilingual sitemap for the entities, views, and custom links of your website. These sitemaps will be submitted to search engines through their respective bots automatically.
6. Seek backlinks, share, advertise, the checkmate move
It is generally a good practice to spread the spores of your website on the internet wherever relevant and where you are certain your content will make contact with a lot of potential customers back to your website. Try to have as many links to your site as possible and mix using URLs of several web pages or plain URLs. It is helpful to let the spread look natural and backlink to different pages of your website to enhance the overall quality of your backlinks.
For more insight, you have a smartphone news website. The different websites on the internet are pointing to your website for a specific keyword: mobiles in Nepal, then whenever a user hits that keyword in the search engine, it points to your webpage. The more backlinks the more will be the trust flow of that website for search engines. Hence, will drive you more traffic
Finally, the last step is a circular one. After all these procedures, you probably will start seeing growth in your SEO performance. However, as with everything on the internet, nothing stays stagnant for so long. Every software evolves towards how the market, the economy, or the general trend of its user base grows. This is why SEO is always volatile. It will always require regular interventions, regular updates, and checks for its health. Otherwise, you might risk losing all your effort for nothing. So, repeat the above steps, add more relevant content, evolve your content format to the trend of the market and stay afloat.
The base of any SEO is quality content and links that you build. Keep patience with the right modules and the right guidance in your hand. Drupal is one of the best platforms when it comes to content management systems (CMS).
Every now and then, new trends come and go and change the way information appears on the internet. If you follow those trends, your website will experience a boom in traffic with a better ranking. Along with that make sure the above checklist is met.