Top Drupal SEO Modules, Tips and Tricks to increase traffic

Drupal is one of the most SEO friendly CMS. In fact I attribute the success of Drupal CMS to its search engine friendliness. I was surprised when my first Drupal site was quickly indexed by google without much effort from my side. Today I have 90%+ traffic from search engines.   Hence I attribute my website’s success to Drupal’s SE friendliness.   Chances are that you have landed on this page via search engine too :)

Let’s see how you can quickly harness the power of Drupal to get your site indexed and get top rankings in Search Engines.

1.       Enable Clean URLs (Administrator > Site Configuration > Clean URLs) With Drupal's "clean URLs" feature www.mydrupal.com/?q=/seo-tips becomes www.mydrupal.com/seo-tips

2.    Use Path  Module : The path module lets you create URL aliases for your Drupal pages. By default, Drupal automatically creates web addresses like www.mydrupal.com/?q=node/52, which many people feel are not user-friendly. Also search engines will give better rankings to pages that have more human-friendly URLs, especially if they include relevant keywords - for instance, http://www.mydrupal.com/?q=drupal_showcase_some_top_drupal_sites

3.       PathAuto Module: The Pathauto module automatically generates path aliases for various kinds of content (nodes, categories, users) without requiring the user to manually specify the path alias. This allows you to get aliases like /category/my-node-title.html instead of /node/123. The aliases are based upon a "pattern" system which the administrator can control

4.       Use XML Sitemap module : XML Sitemap automatically creates a site map that conforms to the sitemaps.org specification. This helps search engines keep their search results up to date.

5.    Configure Meta Tag module : Giving more attention to the important keywords and/or description on some of your nodes allows you to get better search engine positioning. This module allows you to set some meta tags for each node, view or panels page.

6.    Add Custom Breadcrumbs module : If you have a blog site and node called "Drupal SEO Tips" To create this, I use the Views module to create a page at /blog that displays all the node types "blog post." Whenever a user views a blog post I want the breadcrumb to show Home > Drupal SEO Tips instead of simply Home. To do this I would simply type "Drupal SEO Tips" in the titles field and and "blog" in the paths field and save my breadcrumb. Then, the first item in the breadcrumb would say " Drupal SEO Tips" and link to the path "blog" (the location of views page that lists blog posts).

7.    Add related links module : Linking articles of your own site is one of the great SEO Tricks. It gives importance to your site articles. To achieve this automatically you can use this module. Displays links related to content. The related links module enables nodes to display related URLs to the user via blocks. Related links can be defined in 3 ways:

* Parsed links: links that are retrieved from the body of a node.
* Manual links: links that are added manually.
* Discovered links: links that are discovered by the module using various
criteria, including the category terms of a node and suggestions provided by
the search module (when enabled).

8.    Alinks Module:  Same principle as above. Linking your site’s article for better SEO. This module will create automatic links. Allows users to associates defined text to links.
This module is based on the wordpress module “alinks”. Very easy to use, just enter your normal content and setup the terms/links you want on your site through the administration interface. Main features: - Replace terms in the content body with alink.
- Does not change the node body as it is executed on display only.
- Can set the amount of occurrence to change.
- Can set on which content type it will be affected

9.    Search 404 module: Redirecting the 404 page or Page not found to appropriate page on your site will ensure that you do not lose traffic. Instead of showing a standard "404 Page not found", this module performs a search on the keywords in the URL, e.g. if a user goes to  http://mydrupal.com/does/not/exist, this module will do a search for "does not exist". It includes beta stage search engine keywords detections. 
 
10. Url List Module:
Creates a list of node URLs at /q=urllist.txt or (/urllist.txt for clean URLs) for submitting to search engines like Yahoo! Site Explorer. urllist.txt is listed as a valid feed for submitting all your site's URLs through your collection of "My Sites" at Yahoo!. Yahoo has some history of buggy anonymous submission, so you often have to be logged in to your Yahoo! account to submit your site to their Site Explorer service. As of version 5.x-2.0, URL list supports automatic update submission through the Yahoo Update Notification service. 
 
11.   Design XHTML layout to make it fast loading and SEO friendly
 
12.   Add Google Analytics to your site. This way you can see the top keywords for your site, your top entry and exit points, who is driving traffic to your site. In a nutshell what is working and what’s not. 
 
13.   Reduce size of your CSS code by rewriting css. Use this free online tool
 

 14.   Avoid Duplicate URLs - Global redirects module . Here is a detailed article on how to remove duplicate URLs in Drupal site http://blamcast.net/articles/drupal-seo

 15. The Content Optimizer module helps to increase your site’s search engine (e.g. Google) rankings by improving on-page optimization factors and insuring your content conforms to Drupal SEO best practices. It enables a quick SEO analyzer that provides instant analysis of any site content as a quick and easy guide to assure SEO best practices are consistently followed. The analysis displays vital content statistics and recommendations for improving search engine rankings.Watch the Content Optimizer screencast demo

16. The SEO Compliance Checker checks node content on search engine optimization upon its creation or modification. Whenever a publisher saves or previews a node, the module performs a set of checks and gives the user a feedback on the compliance of the rules. This mainly checks for on page SEO.

17. SEO Checklist  module provides a checklist of recommended Drupal modules and good Drupal SEO (Search Engine Optimization) best practices. Maximize the presence of your Drupal website in the major search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. This module will:

  • provide a checklist that helps you keep track of what needs to be done
  • look to see what modules you already have installed and check them off for you automatically
  • provide a list of things that you haven't done so that you can do them.
  • time/date stamp each item as you complete it so that you have a report that you can give your boss/client to show them how awesome you are that you've done all the SEO stuff
  • make you look like an SEO genius!

18. The Link checker module extracts links from your content when saved and periodically tries to detect broken hypertext links by checking the remote sites and evaluating the HTTP response codes. Broken links impact SEO. It shows all broken links in the reports/logs section and on the content edit page, if a link check has been failed. An author specific broken links report is also available in "My Account".Features:

  • Selectively scan node types and comments
  • Selectively scan custom blocks
  • Scans CCK text and link fields in selected nodes
  • Checks internal and by default external links
  • Configurable link check intervals
  • Updates permanently moved (301) links after specified link check fail count
  • Unpublishes nodes after specified file not found (404) fail count

19. A good HTML code is very search engine friendly. HTML Purifier is a standards-compliant HTML filter library. HTML Purifier will not only remove all malicious code (better known as XSS) with a thoroughly audited, secure yet permissive whitelist, it will also make sure your documents are standards compliant, something only achievable with a comprehensive knowledge of W3C's specifications.

 More SEO Tools can be found here

Comments

I do agree with you 100% drupal does come with an SEO functionalities that makes it stand out from other CMS. I started a site and is in the process of using drupal as a trusted tool. Let me know if I'm making the right choice.

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Many famous websites using drupal as CMS system. For SEO, I think drupal is OK, at least, there are many drupal modules to help. I think the best way to know if drupal fit you is to try.

TOP 10 SEO modules for Drupal

After going through the tips i got an idea about it and i am glad that i visited this forum which is far better than other forums i visited.

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As we all know Drupal plays a big role in open source development and it is very important that drupal site development should be search engine friendly. To make this we need to focus lots in on-page optimization for search engine readiness.

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Website Design

Good post.Google Analytics is the best in my option but like other programs of its type has one major flaw. It can only be used in htm pages on the site but a lot of people hot link directly to jpg & other none htm pages.
SEO

Hi,
Search Engine Optimization is the art & technology of making a website "optimized" for consumption & indexing by search engines, thus resulting in better findability, increased & higher quality organic search traffic....
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Learn Drupal SEO tips for getting higher search engine rankings with the Drupal content ... I generally configure the Drupal Nodewords module to output the meta .... You have great articles and guides. The SEO trick is excellent. ...
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It must be said that none of these modules is a magic bullet. They won't make up for junk content, lousy products, or poor customer service. However, if those other 'little details' are taken care of, these Drupal modules will help with content structure, presentation and notification so that search engines have a higher likelihood of being able to find, process, and evaluate your content.

Maintainers of Drupal modules can decline to follow contemporary security recommendations. For example, the Views module maintainer declines to adopt security by design, instead allowing the module's default configuration to expose content the site maintainer might otherwise want hidden from the public.

SEO Updates

Very good point about the related links, I think they are arguably one of the most important ways of improving your onsite SEO and something any drupal site builder with a decent amount of content should make use of, I am going to adapt my drupal sites to make use of this.
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The acronym "SEO" can also refer to "search engine optimizers," a term adopted by an industry of consultants who carry out optimization projects on behalf of clients, and by employees who perform SEO services in-house. Search engine optimizers may offer SEO as a stand-alone service or as a part of a broader marketing campaign. Because effective SEO may require changes to the HTML source code of a site, SEO tactics may be incorporated into web site development and design. The term "search engine friendly" may be used to describe web site designs, menus, content management systems, images, videos, shopping carts, and other elements that have been optimized for the purpose of search engine exposure.
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The Drupal SEO Friend module is meant to be used along side existing Drupal SEO modules to make them more effective. This module does not replace functionality available in the SEO Checklist and SEO Compliance Checker modules.


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The service links module enables admins to add links to a number of social bookmarking sites, blog search sites etc. Includes sites are del.icio.us, Digg, Reddit, ma.gnolia.com, Newsvine, Furl, Google, Yahoo, Technorati and IceRocket.

The site owner can decide:
- To show the links as text, image or both.
- What node types to display links for.
- If the links should be displays in teaser view or full page view or both.
- If the links should be added after the body text or in the links section or in a block.
- If aggregator2 nodes should use link to original article aggregated by aggregator2 module.
- Decide what roles get to see/use the service links.

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It is good to see that Drupal has great SEO features. Content is the major factor with unique information that the search spiders will like but the little tricks like Clean URL's and related links do help slightly as proven with permalinks in Wordpress.

Gigabit Switch

It has occurred to us that the one of the first things people do when they install Drupal is start creating content. Unfortunately, the content types that Drupal provides on initial install are quite limited. We are thinking that it might be useful to create a number of content types in advance, and allow users to activate them as part of the installation process. Of course new content types can be added at any time after installation, and the content types provided can always be modified or added, but it seems like providing more options on initial installation would be helpful to many users.

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