Websites can attribute about 64 percent of their traffic to organic keyword searches. So, if your Drupal website design isn't nailing it with SEO, you're missing a huge chunk of visitors and potential customers. What are the essential elements for getting it right with Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and other various and sundry search engines? Read on to find out.
> Master the Art of Keywords & Key Phrases
Keywords are good. Keyphrases are better. Keyword stuffing is a huge no-no.
It's not enough to pick out a handful of keywords, splatter them across your web pages, and call it SEO. You need to research and develop both long- and short-tailed keywords that are relative to what search terns visitors use to find your page. Long-tailed keywords are sometimes called keyphrases, but you need to know what users search for to find businesses like yours, as well as keywords and keyphrases that bring users specifically to your site. Make sure you have pages that represent all of the relative keywords and keyphrases. Blogs, news articles, and landing pages are excellent ways to tack on content targeted to specific keywords and phrases. However, use keywords sparingly. One for every 100-200 words is sufficient. Search engines penalize keyword-stuffed content.
> Write More, Write Longer, Write Better
Don't write differently for a search engine than you would for a human reader. They like the same things -- lengthy content full of useful, relevant information; good writing that captures and holds attention and utilizes excellent spelling and grammar skills; and lots of compelling images that load quickly and deliver information, emotion, or both. Break up the content with subtitles, bullet lists, images and other "eye breaks." Nobody wants to read a long, unbroken block of text that looks like a textbook for a fourth-year med student.
> Eliminate Duplicate Content
Search engines hate duplicate content, and that goes for duplicated content on your website, as well as content on your site that is a duplicate of what's on other websites. Quote sparingly, but always attribute what you've borrowed from other sources. Checking out the competition is an excellent idea for gleaning ideas, but a horrible idea if you're ripping them off. Fresh, unique content makes for great SEO.
> Pay Attention to Internal & External Linking
Make sure you've included title tags, meta descriptions, and other items that search engine crawlers seek.
Search engines rank sites based on the site's authority. You build authority generally with good SEO and, specifically, with a good link-building initiative. Content should always be linked to other relevant content within your site. Link to authoritative external sites, such as those with URLs ending in .edu, .gov, and .org. Work towards having other reputable, authoritative sites link to your content.
> Get (and Use) the Right Analytical Tools
There are a few essential tools of the trade for gathering and tracking the metrics relative to SEO success, including:
• Drupal website design analytical tools
• Google Analytics
• Google Search Console
• Bing Webmaster Tools
> Optimize Your Pages for Search Engine Crawling
There are a few things that search engines look for when crawling sites in order to rank them within a search. Pay close attention to:
• Page titles (should be 65 characters or fewer)
• Meta descriptions (should be 155 characters or fewer)
• 404 and 500 errors
• Broken links
• Good website maintenance (most Drupal website design firms can help with this)
Want to learn more about how to incorporate smart SEO practices into your Drupal website design? Download our 10 Step SEO & Digital Marketing Guide now.