DRUPAL 8 SEO TOOLS

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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PORTFOLIO

Spam is the bane of the web world. If your website is getting cluttered with spam it will turn your visitors off. If the spam is full of links to low grade websites, you may lose SEO rankings. Honeypot is our preferred solution for blocking automated spam on a website.

In order for your website to use services like Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics you need to verify your site with Google – i.e. prove that you have admin access to it. This makes sure that you can’t track a competitor’s website. The easy way to do this is through the Site Verification module which allows you to either add a verification metatag or upload a verification file.

We are not aware of ever meeting a client who doesn’t want to rank high on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), but it’s easier to request this than to implement it. Reason being, as we tell clients, we don’t own Google; it sets its own algorithms for ranking and indexing content, and these can change on Google’s whims. The solution: we do our very best with what is in our control.

To help Google, Bing and other search engines index your content, you can submit a sitemap to them which will list all of the pages on your website. With the XML Sitemap module, the sitemap is automatically created in an XML format, submitted to search engines, and then re-submitted anytime there is a change in your content. You can also use it to rank certain site sections higher than others – you might want your e-commerce product pages to have more weight/rank higher than your privacy policy pages.

This is the big gun for SEO in Drupal. Metatag module, created by Dave “he’s created a module for that” Reid, allows site editors to set “global” metatags which will automatically set things like page title and description and/or custom metatags on a per page basis. Sub modules of this allow you to set metadata for things like Twitter Cards, Facebook Open Graph, Google Authorship and all the Dublin Core attributes. It’s a huge module and deserves it’s status as number one on our list.

6) Google Analytics.

To analyse how many visitors your site is getting, where they are coming from, what they do on your website, you probably use Google Analytics. The Google Analytics module for Drupal allows you to set what pages/content types, file downloads, links and whole host of other options are tracked by your GA account.

We thought we’d chuck in one more for good measure. The SEO Checklist module is a simple list within your CMS of all the things you should do to help your SEO – such as enable the modules listed above. It’s a handy way of keeping check on what’s been done, what needs to be done, and what you haven’t even considered just yet.

Since Google says “Content is King” you want to make sure your content is optimsed for SERPs. The Content Optimizer module will scan your content and give you feedback on how optimized it is for search rankings and suggestions for improvement.

“We want to rank number one on Google” – every client ever.

Pathauto is the fourth most popular Drupal module. It allows you to use “tokens” to dynamically set human readable URLs for your pages. This means instead of a default Drupal path such as www.annertech.com/node/1 you can have a path such as www.annertech.com/blog/drupal-top-10-seo-modules.

What’s in our control? The design and development of the website, including the CMS (Content Management System) that we use and the extensions to this system. We use Drupal almost exclusively for our web development work, whose default settings are quite well optimised for SEO. We then supplement this with a fleet of contributed extensions (modules) to enhance the SEO of the websites. Here’s our Top 10 Drupal modules for helping SEO.

The page title is hugely important for SEO – this is not necessarily the title that users see such as ” Top Ten Drupal Modules for SEO “, but the machine title that search engines read, such as ” Annertech | Web Design Agency Dublin | Top Ten Drupal Modules for SEO “. Page Title module lets you set these titles with your own set formulas per content type (e.g. all news posts, all events posts) or on a page-by-page basis.

If your website contains broken links (i.e. a link that does not work) your SEO ranking is going to go down. The Link Checker module will scan your website for you and let you know if there are any broken links so you can fix them.

The redirect module (another Dave Reid creation) lets you redirect one page to another. For example, your last website may have had an “About Us” page at www.annertech.com/about-us and your present website might have an “About Us” page at www.annertech.com/about. If people visit the former then they’ll get a 404 error (“Page not found”). Using the redirect module you can stipulate that anyone landing on the former gets redirected to the latter. Since Drupal gives every page a “node id” – www.annertech.com/node/1 – you can remove the duplicate URL so the node id version of each URL will redirect to the pathauto version instead.

7) Site Verification.

So, that’s our short 10 Drupal Modules to help increase SEO. What have we left out? Let us know in the comments.

1) Metatag.

Analyze your content in real-time and discover possibilities for content optimization. Real-time SEO for Drupal is a module that helps you optimize your content around keywords that you’re targeting. For example, it checks whether you have included the required keywords in your metadata and subheaders.

In this article, we have gathered the most popular modules for Drupal SEO. Here’s the list for your quick review:

The Menu Attributes module enables you to specify additional attributes for menu items like id, name, class, style, and rel. The one that is relevant in this context is rel – you might want to set some of the menu item links as “nofollow” to change how PageRank is distributed between your site pages.

Similar By Terms.

While setting up proper redirects for deleted/moved pages is better, this can be a great failsafe.

If you’re new to SEO, don’t worry – we’ll explain how each is relevant so that you can pick the ones you need.

Linkit provides a convenient interface for creating internal and external links. It makes building and managing internal links a breeze and is a good addition to any tool belt.

Search 404 offers the possibility to send users that get a 404 page on a search that uses the keywords mentioned in the requested page’s URL. For example, if the user goes to https://myblog.com/drupal/seo/modules, the module will perform a search for “drupal seo modules”.

A sitemap is a collection of all pages on your site meant for crawlers, which enables Google to rank your pages much more efficiently. To get a quick win for your SEO, you can automatically generate one with Simple XML Sitemap.

With these Drupal modules, you will be able to make sure your website is tightly optimized.

Start with SEO Checklist. This module doesn’t add any specific functionality, but it is a great assistant that makes sure your website is properly SEO-optimized. It will check your website according to SEO best practices and provide a list of to-dos to accomplish and modules to install.

General tools.

To see GA data in the Drupal dashboard, you can pair the module with Google Analytics Reports, which provides graphical reports based on your website’s tracking data.

While Drupal provides a lot of built-in SEO features, sometimes you need the extra oomph of custom modules. By setting up a few of them, you will be able to boost your search engine rankings fast and start getting new visitors and leads.

Pathauto is a tool that automates the process of setting user-friendly and SEO-optimized URLs for Drupal nodes. It’s a wonderful module that relieves the drudgery of setting up URLs manually. It can, for example, automatically assign your blog posts URLs that contain the post’s category and title.

Proper use of meta tags and descriptions helps Google understand your content better. With the Metatag module, you can set meta tags, page titles, descriptions, etc., which influence how your website will look on search engines and social media.

Easy Breadcrumb is a module that uses the current URL and the current page title to automatically generate a breadcrumb block that shows the path that points to the current page.

Menu Attributes.

The PowerTagging module analyzes content and can automatically tag it, enabling you to build a semantic index of your articles that you can use for curation or search.

To serve the correct language or regional website in search results, search engines use the hreflang tag. Hreflang is a simple module that can automatically add this tag to your pages.

When you put an article in your CMS, there are some fields that you want to fill in only when you publish the article. This module enables you to mark these fields as “Required on Publish”, keeping them obligatory but not requiring them while the article stays unpublished.

Breadcrumbs benefit both your users and your search engine ranking, and this plug-and-play module is a great way to add them to your site.

If you want to see the impact of your SEO, you need to measure it. While Google Analytics is not purely an SEO module, it’s an essential tool for SEO marketers. It will help you integrate your website with Google Analytics and set up all the necessary tracking.

This particular module also works well with multilingual content and images because it enables you to provide hreflang and image sitemaps.

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