You have made, are currently making and will continue to make various Drupal SEO mistakes. From those easy to overlook gaffes to (truly) dumb neglects, to critical mistakes severely impacting your site's ranking...
Just face it and... fix it!
And what better way of becoming aware of their impact on your site than by... getting them exposed, right? By bringing them into the spotlight...
Therefore, here are the 10 SEO mistakes you really don't want to make on your website: the “culprits” for your site's poor ranking.
Take note of them, assess their occurrence/risks for your Drupal site's SEO and strive to avoid them:
1. Overlooking or Misusing Header Tags
Do it for the crawlers or do it for your site visitors.
For whichever reason you decide to structure the content on your web pages using H1, H2, H3 tags, Google will take note of your efforts...
And it all comes down to setting up an SEO-valuable hierarchy on each page on your Drupal site. One that:
- crawlers will painlessly scan through, which translates your website getting indexed more quickly
- users will find conveniently “readable”, which bubbles up to the overall user experience
Note: one of the worst SEO gaffes that you could make — one that would confuse the crawlers and intrigue the site users — would be to use multiple H1 tags on the very same page.
It's one of those silly, yet harmful rookie Drupal SEO mistakes that you don't want to make!
2. Duplicate Content: It's Literally Killing Your SEO
Now, speaking of running the risk to confuse the crawlers in your Drupal site, duplicate content makes the "ultimate source of confusion” for search engines.
And how does this show on your site's SEO?
Basically, since the crawler can't identify the right page to show for a specific query, it either:
- "refuses" to rank any of them
- or applies specific algorithms to recognize the "suitable" page for that search query
Needless to add that the second decision is discouragingly time-consuming, while the first is simply... disastrous for your site's ranking.
"But how did I end up with duplicate content on my website in the first place?" you might ask yourself.
Here are 3 of the most common causes:
- HTTP vs HTTPS
- URL variants
- WWW and non-www pages
Now, since an identified and acknowledged mistake is already a half-solved one, here's how you can get it fixed:
- just set up a 301 redirect from that web page's primary URL to the new one
- set up a rel=canonical attribute on the old URL, one that would let search engines know that they should handle the new URL as a duplicate of the original one
Note: It goes without saying that all metric records and all the links that search engines will have monitored on these two duplicate pages will then be automatically attributed to the original URL.
3. Optimizing for the Wrong Keywords
And this sure is one of the most frequent Drupal SEO mistakes, that goes back to:
Not investing enough resources (of time mostly) in a proper keyword research strategy.
And no, trying to rank for the prime keywords isn't a foolproof action plan!
- you end up targeting all the wrong keywords
- you optimize your site's content for all the wrong terms, that your target audience isn't actually searching for
Wasted efforts for putting together non-targeted (or not properly targeted) content...
Instead, invest time in identifying and then ranking for the right search terms.
For yes, it will take longer to carry out a proper keyword process and for your site to start ranking for those keywords. But it won't be wasted time...
4. Having Pages with Duplicate Title Tags on Your Drupal Site
Here's another way of confusing crawlers even more:
Faced with two separate web pages having the same <title> tags, search engines won't know which one of them stands for a specific search query.
And their confusion only risks to lead to your Drupal site's getting banned...
Moreover, it's not just search engines that will get discouraged by the duplicate titles, but site visitors, too. They won't know which is the “right” page to access.
“OK, but how can I get it fixed?”
- you install and turn the Metatag module on
- you craft and give each page on your Drupal site a unique title
5. Ignoring Robots.txt: One of the Common Drupal SEO Mistakes
Now, before answering your otherwise valid question:
“Why do I even need Robots.txt file on my Drupal website?”
… we'd better see what this protocol brings, right?
Take it as a standard that websites use to communicate with crawlers and web robots “in charge” with indexing their content. It's this file that points out what web pages should be crawled and indexed and which ones should be skipped.
Now, if it's a blog that you own, ignoring this protocol isn't one of the biggest Drupal SEO mistakes that you could do. But if it's a larger Drupal site, with a heavy infrastructure of web pages, that you're trying to optimize, then having Robots.txt file makes all the difference...
Tip: do consider installing the Robots.txt module for streamlining the efforts of making your site “crawling-friendly”.
END of Part 1! Stay tuned for I'll be back with 5 more Drupal SEO mistakes — ranking from seemingly harmless to critical — that you definitely don't want to make on your website.