Drupal Magic To Boost Your Search Engine Rankings

Strong SEO is easy if you build your website with Drupal.  Unlike most other content management systems, Drupal is designed from the ground up for search engine optimization.

Given that Drupal is the preferred platform of web developers for building search-friendly websites, and because of Drupal’s large community of developers, there are many high-quality plug-ins available that make strong SEO simple.

Of course, the fundamentals of SEO for Drupal are the same as for any other CMS: make sure to use descriptive titles, include your top search keywords in your page URLs, and keep your content fresh and focused. Read on for a few Drupal SEO tips to boost your search engine rankings and bring traffic to your website.

Three top Drupal modules for SEO

Pathauto module

The pathauto module is very useful for SEO. Pathauto automatically creates custom URLs based on title, taxonomy, content type, and username. You must enable the path module for pathauto to function.

It can take a little experience to get the settings for the URL paths that you want for optimum SEO. You can use the path module to create custom URLs for every webpage, but that is time-consuming and can lead to inconsistencies.

All you have to do is enable the path module and install the pathauto module. You can then automatically create nice-looking URLs with minimal configuration.

The discussion above relates to new Drupal sites. With existing Drupal sites you need to be  careful to not rename your already existing URLs with the pathauto module.

It is important to avoid changing existing URLs because that means search engines have to start from scratch in locating and ranking your page.

Global redirect module

The global redirect module performs three tasks that improve SEO:

  • Global redirect performs a 301 redirect to the URL alias if a requested URL has a URL alias. Let’s say you’re using URL alias for node 25 called page-style, then the global redirect module will undertake a 301 redirect from http://example.com/node/25 to http://example.com/page-style.
  • Global redirect  also deletes trailing slashes from URLs. The Global Redirect Module will redirect a request for http://example.com/page-style/ to http://example.com/page-style. This enables strong SEO by preventing search engines from seeing two different URLs with duplicate content (duplicate content hurts SEO).
  • Global redirect will 301 redirect to the actual front page if a requested URL is being used as Drupal’s front page. Let’s say you have assigned the path toppage to your site’s front page, then a request for http://example.com/toppage will 301 redirect to http://example.com/.

Drupal experts recommend the global redirect module for sites with non-Drupal content because  it only removes trailing slashes from URLs that are handled by Drupal.

Metatags module

Metatags are essential for strong SEO, and the metatags module makes it easy.

Don’t try to stuff your metatags with too many keywords. Just include one or two key words that fit in the natural flow of the metatag text. The meta description is probably the most important metatag, and it needs to be easy to read and informative.

Every webpage should have its own meta description for optimum results. The meta description should briefly summarize the page.

Keep in mind that when a search engine lists your site in the results pages, it uses your page’s HTML title for the title, and your meta description provides the text snippet for potential visitors to read. Ideally it is both informative and serves as a “hook” to encourage visitors to come to the webpage to learn more.

Pixeldust provides full Drupal support and maintenance including engine engine readiness evaluation and optimization.