First thing of SEO is to have an insights into how your site is going to be perceived by your audience and what keyword they will type into search engine to find your site. The same is true for a Drupal site. And as a powerful content management system and web application framework, Drupal offer a list of features to help on SEO. In below, we will discuss about these one by one.
Enable Clean URLs option and Install Pathauto module
First of all is to enable Clean URLs for your site, with which Search engine will see a meaningful URL instead of something like ‘node/1’, etc. To do this, you could go to “admin/config/search/clean-urls” and check “Enable clean URL”. After this, you could set URL path for each node you have created in Drupal. But setting URL path for each node could be a boring task and you might miss it some times. Pathauto module is there to help you out. It will automatically make nice customized URLs based on the value like title, taxonomy, content type, and username etc. When installing Pathauto modules, you might be required to install some other modules like Token etc as Pathauto module have dependency on them.
Install Meta Tags Module and Page Title Module
Meta tags Module will allow you to configure the meta data(such as Keywords, Description, etc) and PageTitle could set custom page titles on every page. Both of them will help providing critical information to search engine to get a better understanding on the content of your site and rank it well. If you have concerns to install too many modules, you could just hook set_headers() in template.php file of your theme, and code there. But this method should be used only when you are familiar with how Drupal theme and hook work.
Redirect to the www version of the site or non ‘www’ one
When people access your web site, you can force the url to be redirected to the one with ‘www’ or without ‘www’. For example:
- example.com to www. example.com, or
- www. example.com to example.com
From SEO side, please make sure you do choose one from above. And in the other hand, this will help improving the performance of your site as well as Drupal cache page based on url, “www. example.com” and “example.com” are treated as two page which means it will generate 2 cache records for one single page. You can setup this redirect in your .htaccess file. Please refer to How to 301 Redirect to be with WWW or without WWW.
Find a Good Web Hosting
As search engine does take the speed of a web site into consideration when ranking it, it’s important to find a fast and reliable Drupal hosting for your site.
Modifying the Theme to Follow General SEO practice
This part is not Drupal specific, you will need to modify your theme to follow the general SEO practice, such as there is one for each page, display meta data and title correctly, etc.