Improve your PageRank: Basic SEO with Drupal


There are lots of articles out there about how to make your site more SEO-friendly, but few of these address Drupal sites specifically. Fortunately, there are a number of easy changes you can make to your existing Drupal site more appealing to search engines! Follow these six simple steps and you should see an increased number of visitors, using the same content you currently have published.

Enable Clean URLs

Visit /admin/settings/clean-urls and make sure that "Clean URLs" are "Enabled". This should be pretty simple and may already have been done when you installed Drupal. If you're unable to enable Clean URLs, check your .htaccess file.

Install Pathauto

Pathauto is a Drupal module that automatically creates paths for your pages, blog entries, and other content types based on their titles. So instead of manually thinking of a clever SEO-friendly URL and worrying about typos, you can let Pathauto worry about it for you.

Install Nodewords

Nodewords, also known as Meta Tags, is a project that allows you to specify META tags for individual pages in your site through the page editor interface. Although META tags are not nearly as useful to SEO as they were in the early days of the web (since they are so easy to manipulate) some search engines, such as Yahoo and MSN, still assign them some relevance.

Once Nodewords is installed, you'll see a "Meta Tags" section appear on your content edit screens, which gives you the ability to assign a Description and Keywords on a content-specific basis.

Install Tagadelic

This module lets you "tag" your content with keywords. Based on these tags, Tagadelic will:

  • Create a global tag cloud at /tagadelic
  • Create a global tag block
  • Create a block of "tags for this page"
  • Create a page for each tag, with a summary view of all tagged content

Once you get in the habit of tagging your content (easy, with Tagadelic's auto-complete tag field) the tag cloud makes it easy for search engines to filter your site's content. If you've already installed Nodewords, you can use the tags as additional META keywords, saving you the bother of re-typing your tags in the Meta Tags text field.

Choose your Blocks

Since blocks can appear all over your site, you can use them to easily cross-link your content. Some blocks that I currently use on my site:

  • Primary Links
  • Global Tags
  • Recent Comments
  • Recent Blog Posts
  • Tags Associated with This Post

Encourage Comments

Make sure that anonymous visitors can submit comments on your site without going through a registration process -- the easier you make it, the more comments you will get! At some point, you will probably start running into problems with comment spam, but there are modules such as Mollum and CAPTCHA to deal with automated comments.

Create a Forum

If your site is large enough that you're getting a few requests for information every month, consider adding a public forum for users to post and respond to each other's questions. If you're currently publishing your email address or using a contact form, consider directing users to the Forum instead: both their question and your answer will be public, and will help with SEO. (Be careful that you have enough user interest beforehand: an empty, unused forum can be embarassing!)

Did you enjoy this post? Please spread the word.