An SEO-friendly foundation
A good position in the search engines is essential for any website. One of the first things you can do to ensure this is make sure your website is properly optimised.
Some website platforms do not help much with this and there is a lot of manual work you have to do to meet all the criteria of a well-optimised website. However, on the Drupal platform there are lots of modules designed to help you improve your SEO and give you a solid basis to work from.
- URL's When content is created, normally the url will have some unintelligible code, for example http://website.co.uk/node/135. In drupal these can be set to take on the title of the piece of content, so if you were typing an article about websites, that url might be turned into http://website.co.uk/websites. This is understandable to the visitor, and good for Google too, which picks up those words and relates them to the article helping to raise it in the rankings because of good relevance.
- Page Title Page Title refers to the title tag on a website, which describes the piece of content. It is well used by search engines like Google and Yahoo to understand what the content is about. As it is right at the top of the page it is a crucial element to SEO. There is a wonderful module that has been created to allow the website editor to add page titles to a piece of content. This means you can make it as relevant and keyword rich as possible to encourage the best rankings as possible
- Meta Tags These refer to the keywords and description of a piece of content. Drupal has a very easy to use module that allows keywords to be created for every piece of content, and descriptions to be written so the search engines have something meaningful to display when the site shows on their listings.
- Sitemap A sitemap is important for the seach engines to instantly crawl your website and see what is in it. Drupal has a module to enable you to produce a sitemap automatically without needing to go through the website manually.
- Analytics Once your website is up and running you will want to see how it performs. One of the best ways to do this is by referring to Google Analytics, which provides a lot of useful information to enable you to improve the website and see what is working and what is not so engaging to visitors. Drupal has a great module for Google Analytics which means you only have to use the tracking code from Google in one place and analytics will work its magic to give you the information you need on your website's performance.