Drupal 8 is the latest version of Drupal that is receiving a lot of attention among the Drupal community. Its minor release, Drupal 8.3.0 has already come out. Each of its feature is interesting and is described in our collection of Drupal 8 articles. In today’s blog post Drupal 8 will also be the focus, but from the angle of SEO. We’ll consider which modules and which other features of D8 are designed to optimize your web resource for search engines.
Tips for your Drupal 8 SEO:
Use the benefits of Drupal 8 modules for SEO
One of our previous articles have offered you the most important SEO modules for Drupal 7, almost all of which have released their Drupal 8 versions, so now you can use them for your Drupal 8 website.
As long as metatags influence ranking, the Metatag module will remain important, as it automatically generates a relevant and unique browser title, meta description and meta keywords for your each page.
If you want search engines to crawl your site more intelligently and keep their search results up to date, than XML sitemap will help you to obtain desired indexation.
RobotsTxt creates robots.txt file, so you can disallow access for search engines to certain of your site pages. For example, you should prohibit the indexing of pages with non-unique content (plagiarism or machine translation), personal user accounts, shopping carts at online stores, order forms, feedback forms or any other form with fields for filling, etc.
In cases of pagination — that is the same images, excerpts of texts (descriptions in the sections of goods on e-commerce sites), meta tags etc. repeated on similar pages, numbered in order — there is often unwanted duplicate content. This phenomenon can lead to decreasing of your site's position among search results and, accordingly, to loss of organic traffic.
We want you to pay particular attention to one special Drupal 8 module, which while being the most powerful, actually does nothing, as Robert Shea from IBM said. This is your smart adviser — the SEO Checklist module, which advise you what modules to download and enable, what settings to configure and other useful tips. It provides you with a list of categorized tasks and checks them off when you complete them. If you possess some basic knowledge and skills in search engine optimization, than the SEO Checklist module will help you optimize your own site for search engines.
Make sure your URLs are clean
Clean URL-addresses are valued highly by search engines. Make sure that your URLs are understandable and don’t contain words irrelevant to the webpage they belong to.
You won’t need to create URLs manually if you are using the Pathauto module. It automatically generates self-explanatory, SEO-friendly URLs on your Drupal 8 website based on patterns which you specify and which you can change.
If you have recently moved your content within your site, use the Redirect module. It helps creating 301 “Moved Permanently” to redirect your site visitors from your obsolete and irrelevant URLs to new and up-to-date.
Mind the hreflang for your international SEO
If you are running an international business on the web, then you shouldn’t ignore international SEO. Facilitate search engines to determine which countries you want to target and which languages to use.
In order to display the right language or regional URL for the right audience in search engine result pages, Google uses hreflang attributes, namely rel="alternate", hreflang="x". If you want to insert these attributes to your website code, use the Alternate hreflang. This Drupal 8 module adds hreflang tags to every page automatically.
In addition to the XML sitemap module, mentioned above, we also want to note the Simple XML sitemap module, which will be useful if you have a multilingual audience and keep equivalent versions of your pages in a few languages or a few country-based language variations (e.g. BrEng/AmEng). Simple XML sitemap helps you to meet the latest Google standard by generating hreflang sitemap.
By the way, one of Drupal 8 improvements is that modules responsible for language and translation support are already built in D8 core, unlike in D7. Furthermore, according to Drupal 8 Multilingual Initiative (D8MI), Drupal 8 can be natively installed in 94 languages. As you know, a wider range of languages means a wider range of clients that can be reached. So, if you have a multilingual audience, D8 gives you great opportunities to manage with it.
Integrate with Google Analytics with ease in Drupal 8
Who better than Google — a company that owns the most powerful and popular self-titled search engine — knows about search engine optimization? Who else but Google can profoundly analyze your traffic and give you a report, basing on which you can make your site or app more Google-friendly and SEO-friendly?
We are sure you have heard about Google’s most widely used web analytics service. You have probably even been using Google Analytics before to track, analyse and get reports. So what we want to tell you now is the easy way to use GA with D8.
The Google Analytics tool offers you a snippet of tracking code, which should be pasted into your every page’s code. Doing this manually is time-consuming and tedious. Drupal 8 gives you a module to simplify this process. In one of our previous articles we have showed you how to integrate Google Analytics with Drupal 8 in a few easy steps with the help of Google Analytics module.
If you have any questions regarding Drupal or your website’s SEO, feel free to ask our specialists.