Speed is a crucial ranking factor! So what do you do when you're a Drupal website owner or a Drupal web developer facing the challenge of having to supercharge your site with “only” the bare essentials in terms on Drupal modules for SEO?
There are two possible scenarios here:
- you invest a huge amount of time reading all that has been written on each one of Drupal's SEO-oriented modules, you install each one of them and “take them for a spin” and eventually (after hundreds of cups of coffee and lots of more or less “zen” meetings with your developers and SEO “gurus” you manage to eliminate the “redundant” SEO modules from the “must-haves” list
- you scan through our list of 5 “bare essentials”, including the indispensable Drupal SEO modules, leveraging all the research work we've done and our own experience as web development company in Toronto.
If scenario no. 2 aligns with your goals of reducing time and boosting your SEO strategy's efficiency, then let's not wait any more time!
Here is out list of 5 essential Drupal Modules for SEO:
“Getting your website Google-friendly by describing its content for the search engines”. This is how we could sum up what this Drupal module does.
The search engine results related to your website get more relevant!
To detail a bit: Metatag allows you to add various meta tags to your web pages. The list includes tags ranging from title tag (a significant on-page ranking factor) to meta description, canonical URL etc.
The great thing about it (if you're short on team members who could add the proper metatags to each and every web page on your site) is that you get to set it up so that it automatically adds meta keywords and tittle tags for you.
Still, consider this automation as the very last solution on your list, since nothing can beat a copywriter/content writer/SEO specialist in person adding the best context-based keywords to your content.
And there's more! Metatag is a highly customizable module and where do you add that it's “equipped” with multilingual support, too!
2. Google Analytics
You do have a Google Analytics account, right?
Just teasing! Anyone operating in the digital landscape has at least one GA account!
Well, Drupal's ready to help you leverage the most-used website statics service through a dedicated module.
Install it, select precisely those downloads/links/content types on your website that you want to closely “monitor” and turn the insights you'll get into (more) traffic for your website.
Besides its quick and easy installation process and its feature allowing you to track precisely those sections on your website that you're most interested in, the Google Analytics module comes to simplify your whole data tracking workflow, too!
It means that won't be “forced” to add the GA tracking code to each and everyone of your “target” pages. It's enough for you to put the tracking ID in the configuration page (the module's configuration page) and Google Analytics will take it from there!
Find out where your visitors come from, at what time of day, what pages they go to more often, what are their preferences, what keywords they type in the search box etc. etc.
Say “hello!” to “powerful” data!
Be honest with yourself: you can't expect your website to be “search engine friendly” if it's (still) a bundle of “/node/4” type of URL aliases!
This is where Pathauto comes in handy! Install it and get your website a link aliases “makeover”!
What this modules does is that it aromatically generates search engine and (implicitly) user-friendly URL aliases for various types of content on your website.
Say “goodbye” to “/node/4” type of URL aliases and say “hello” to “far easier to digest” /category/title-of-article instead types of links.
And when we say “various types of content”, we do refer to terms, taxonomy, users, modes.
This is definitely one of those Drupal modules for SEO that you don't want to skip supercharging your website with. It will translate into a major boost in rankings!
4. Redirect, One of the Essential Drupal Modules for SEO
Website optimization means (among many other things) “dealing with duplicate content issues”.
Here is another one of Drupal's modules for SEO, Redirect, that lifts a heavy burden off your shoulders (or at least off your team's shoulders).
It cleans up and prevents duplicate content issues.
The checks that it runs include:
- tracking down trailing slashes
- tracking down the current URLs' alias and redirecting them if those aliases are not being used
- scanning access to private URLs, ensuring that your website's visitors can access them
5. XML Sitemap
XML sitemaps are probably the most efficient way of making your Drupal website more “inviting” for search engines. More “welcoming” for bots to crawl in and “inspect” your site's deep structure.
And you do want do make your website “search engine-welcoming” now don't you?
Drupal's XML Sitemap module, one of the must-have Drupal modules for SEO indeed, automatically puts together your website's sitemap, according to your own settings, and it “delivers” it to search engines.
Due to their dynamic nature, search engines always get the newly updated version of your website's system of URLs.
Now allow us to encourage you to adopt a good XML sitemap-related practice, as well: if you're dealing with a large website, it's always best to organize your multiple XML sitemaps into categories!
Other good practices linked to XML sitemaps and their “automatic” nature (the module gets automatically updated every time you delete or add a new web page to your site) would be:
- “freeing” your sitemap from PPC pages
- removing all the blocked pages
- avoiding to weight down your sitemap(s) with non-200 pages
… and the list of common sense (after all) “rules” could go on and on!
And these are the “bare essentials”, the key Drupal modules for SEO that you need (not “should”) to install on your website!
They do make the basic, yet powerful SEO “kit” that will supercharge your site with all the must-have SEO-oriented functionality. It's the perfect “kit” that will help you avoid the risk of using too many of your website's resources with unnecessary SEO modules and tools.
As you can see, we've left out the off-site SEO tools, the content optimization ones (that you'll find useful in case you have no dedicated SEO specialist or team in your company and you want to implement your SEO strategy in-house) and plenty of other Drupal modules for SEO which fall into the “optional” category.
Now your turn! What does your own “kit” of essential Drupal SEO modules include?