Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on September 12th, 2018

How to Use Drupal 8 to Clean Up Your Content

Organizing Your Website Results in Higher Google Rankings

drupal 8 clean content soap

Creating great website content and presenting it well is the best way to improve Google rankings and engage more visitors. While you need to create the content, Drupal 8 is one of the elite Content Management Systems (CMS) available to organize and show it off well. Drupal’s ability to organize your marketing content is one of the reasons it has always been great for SEO.

A winning SEO strategy requires relevant, timely, and well-organized content. Website content provides the relevant substance for your keywords and includes links to related content. Fresh content takes precedence over older, stale content in Google search results. When your website content is well-organized, visitors and search engines will find it easier to navigate and Google will reward your site with even higher rankings.

6 strategies and actions for better content management with Drupal 8

With that in mind, here are a few tips to create great content and organize it well in Drupal 8.

1. Create great content

Write content that you would love to read. This holds your audience’s interest and gets them talking about--and linking to--your website. Remember to write for your audience not for the search engine. Search engine algorithms are smarter than ever and consider much broader concepts than just keywords. The search engine will evaluate your entire page for the best search match.

With Drupal, you can turn great ideas into organized text, graphics and videos that are valuable to your users. Drupal’s built in Taxonomy system allows you to categorize and tag content so that it is easy for your audience to find what matches their interest. Another building system, Views, gets your content out of Drupal and onto the page without needing a query. You create views and filters that meet specific needs.

natural seo keywords2. Use keywords naturally

While the latest Google search algorithms may lessen the need for exact key phrases, don’t give them up just yet. You should still optimize your content with keyphrases, just don’t overuse them or use them unnaturally. Repeating keywords without any valid reason will turn off visitors and search engines. Even so, make sure your keyword shows up once or twice in the document.

To find related words that will help your ranking, try typing your keyword into Google like this: ~yourkeyword. This is an approximate or synonym search. It finds terms that are related to the one you’re searching for. Pay attention to the bolded items in the search results and you’ll see keywords that Google considers approximate and relevant. Write additional content around those terms and Google will reward your efforts.

In Drupal 8, the Real Time SEO module can help you optimize your content around keyphrases. This module evaluates your text and compares it to SEO best practices.

When you create a new node, you’ll see a section called Real Time SEO for Drupal. Here you can identify the focus keyword. The module shows you what your listing will look like in Google and allows you to edit it. You can also edit the title tag, URL path and meta description. Then the module evaluates your content and makes recommendations on what to change to improve SEO. It will give you a list of items to fix as you create content. Having this module will keep your SEO strategy on track.

3. Use internal links

Properly formed and placed links are a powerful strategy for any SEO campaign. Quality links can improve navigation and increase website traffic. Links to other sites and link to pages within your own website are also useful in helping visitors to view more relevant content.

Ensuring that your internal links stay accurate is made easier using the Linkit module for Drupal 8. This module provides an autocomplete field in your content editor making it easy to create links and ensures that the links are well formed, up to date, and accurate. The Linkit module replaces the built in linking mechanism in your WYSIWYG editor. Once the module is installed, all you need to do is select the text that you wish to link and click the link button.

To get even more value from links, you can install the D8 Editor Advanced Link module. Now when you add a link in your text, there will be an “Advanced” dropdown box. Here, you can fill in the appropriate fields such as title, class, id, target and rel for each link in CKEditor. SEO is improved because there is more text information about each link on your page.

4. Organize your content

Organized content is useful content. Organize your content around categories, then create sections on subtopics that support the main idea. Drupal 8 has built-in modules to help you do this already, which is another reason that Drupal is the best CMS for SEO. By keeping similar ideas together, your website will be more useful to your visitors. It’s also easy to see where to focus your writing efforts to fill in content categories.

For the main content of your site, you should create a taxonomy category with a handful of keyword-rich terms that all of your content will fit under. If you have great categories and loads of content in those categories, it’s easy to add a few relevant keywords to the category pages. If your content is spread out over too many categories, or it’s not organized at all, it’s almost impossible to get all those ideas onto one page.

Organized paths and URLS matter too. No content should be more than three clicks from the home page. The closer the node is to the home page, the more important Google thinks it is and the higher that individual page will rank.

Using Drupal, it’s easy to create paths that give your site a nice, clean hierarchical structure, making it easier for visitors to find their way around. Using the Pathauto module you can automate SEO-friendly URLs. Putting good words in the URL is great for SEO so this module is essential. Drupal URL paths with Pathauto operate in patterns. Instead of creating a path to every single piece of content, it’s better to specify a pattern for groups of content. Drupal will follow the pattern so that you have consistency across your website.

cute kitten feet5. Make your website easy to navigate using hierarchy

The organization and labeling of your whole website is important. Taxonomy (for example, blog categories and tags) should be well-structured and hierarchical. Google loves hierarchy because it helps them understand your content. Visitors love hierarchy because it helps them figure out your site’s organization structure.

Another way to show your site’s hierarchy is through breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are top-of-page navigation elements that show visitors where they are on a website. Drupal 8 will create breadcrumbs automatically for you when you add the Easy Breadcrumb module. This module builds the breadcrumbs from the Drupal path. Each “/” becomes a part of the breadcrumb. The first breadcrumb comes from the Easy Breadcrumb configuration page while the title of the node becomes the last breadcrumb. Breadcrumbs help SEO by showing the hierarchy of your content to Google too.

Navigation is also improved when you provide an html sitemap. The Sitemap module for Drupal 8 provides an html sitemap which is a “cheat sheet” that makes it easier for visitors and search engines to navigate your website. Your visitors can use the sitemap to find the content they are looking for. This increases their time on site and reduces the bounce rate.

6. Keep your content compliant

Poorly written HTML might confuse the Googlebot or even your visitors’ browsers. When your HTML follows web standards such as the ones created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), you may find that better SEO follows. Thankfully, checking your website’s HTML is easy with the W3C Validator module. This Drupal 8 module checks the markup validity of your website. Once you run the module, you will receive a list of errors for each page which you can turn over to your web developer. While you don’t need to obsess over every error, fixing the big mistakes can make a difference for your SEO.

Improve your Drupal 8 content management

Using the tips above will go a long way toward improving your Drupal 8 website for more website traffic and quality leads. If you need step-by-step guidance to improving Drupal 8 content management and SEO, take a look at Drupal 8 SEO. This book is the definitive guide to optimizing your content and boosting your Google rankings and it covers all of these tips in step-by-step detail..

Volacci is the expert when it comes to specialized Drupal SEO. Our Drupal marketing services will help you gain better, faster results for your website marketing strategy. Whether you are migrating from another CMS, upgrading from older Drupal platforms, or optimizing your current Drupal 8 website, we can help.

Give us a call at 512.989.2945 or get in touch on-line.

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