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Drupal SEO checklist: key steps to improve your Drupal site’s SEO

home / Drupal SEO checklist: key steps to improve your Drupal site’s SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is vital to ensure your Drupal site is ranked highly on search engines. The more you optimise, the more click-throughs and traffic you’ll be likely to gain.

In this blog, we provide a checklist of SEO tasks you can schedule in your diary. These are more or less guaranteed to boost your search engine performance and organic traffic levels!

1. Check Drupal SEO health

We highly recommend giving your Drupal site a regular SEO health check. There are lots of free online tools which offer this, but we particularly like Ubersuggest’s SEO analyser.

On Ubersuggest, simply type in your URL, select your language/country and click ‘Search’. This will generate a report showing your organic traffic levels, domain score and keyword count – it’s worth making a note of this information and trying to improve your SEO stats over time.

Next, go to the ‘Site Audit’ section in the left-hand menu, where you’ll find a list of SEO issues needing attention, ordered in terms of priority and impact. These should be fixed to improve your website’s search engine performance.

2. Keep track of SEO improvements

We recommend installing the Drupal SEO Checklist module to keep track of your SEO ‘to do’ list.

Whilst the module doesn’t perform any SEO tasks itself, it provides a useful list of suggestions and best practices to enhance your Drupal site’s search engine rankings.

A date and time stamp is recorded as each item is completed so you can stay on top of what has and hasn’t been done. You can even download a report showing the completed SEO tasks.

We’ve got lots more great suggestions for Drupal SEO modules worth installing on our blog.

3. Use Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a great set of tools and reports provided by Google to help you measure and increase your website’s organic performance. And it’s completely free!

You can use Google Search Console to find out information such as:

  • the keywords people are using to find your website
  • how many search impressions you’re getting
  • how often people click-through to your site from the search results
  • the most popular website pages for organic traffic
  • any errors which may be impacting SEO

If you’re not already registered with Google Search Console, you’ll need to add and verify your site before you can see any data. Once set-up, we recommend checking Google Search Console regularly to benchmark and improve your Drupal site’s SEO.

4. Add new content

By adding new, high-quality content to your website on a regular basis, you signal to search engines that your site is active and worth indexing. In fact, SEO experts often say that producing and publishing content is the most important SEO tactic of all – “content is king”.

We recommend creating a content plan and scheduling relevant blogs, articles and other content to publish in advance. For best results, make sure your content includes priority keywords, is displayed appealingly, and is relevant and interesting to your target audience.

5. Boost site speed

With speed an SEO ranking factor, it’s important to ensure your site loads as rapidly as possible to maximise search engine performance.

You can check your Drupal site speed with a wide range of online tools – we recommend GTmetrix. This gives two speed scores and also includes recommendations for speed improvements.

For more information on how to implement any recommendations and boost your website speed, read our Drupal speed optimisation blog.

6. Optimise images

Images are often the heaviest elements on websites, and therefore are commonly responsible for increasing site loading times. With speed used in search engine algorithms as mentioned above, it’s well-worth optimising images to improve organic performance.

If your website uses Drupal 6 or Drupal 7, you’ll need to manually edit and compress images. Alternatively, you can install an image optimisation module – we recommend Image Optimize.

Happily, for Drupal 8 and Drupal 9, images are resized and scaled automatically by the Drupal core for optimal – and rapid – loading.

Regardless of your Drupal software version, it’s also vital to add keyword-rich alt text to images. These are text descriptions explaining what’s in each picture – and they’re used by search engines to understand and index your content.

7. Ensure mobile responsivity

Mobile responsivity/compatibility is yet another SEO ranking factor, so it’s essential to optimise your website for mobile and tablet browsing. In fact, Google generally uses the mobile version of sites for indexing.

We recommend performing the Responsive Test and Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check how your site is appearing and functioning across different devices.

If you have a Drupal 8 or 9 site, then you don’t need to do much more to ensure mobile compatibility. Your Drupal core has more than 100 features as standard to ensure content is displayed effectively across devices.

For Drupal 7 and earlier versions, make sure to use a responsive website theme. You can check your whether your current theme is mobile-friendly in this Drupal.org list. It’s also worth installing specific modules to add the most relevant mobile-friendly features to your site.

8. Fix broken links

Search engines find content via links. When these are broken, they come up as a 404 error message rather than the correct page – causing significant SEO problems.

You can check for broken links on your site with various online tools, such as Dr Link Check. If you have any broken links, you should manually update these to ensure they’re correct.

It’s also worth installing the Drupal Redirect module so you can add redirections as soon as any website URLs are removed or changed.

9. Seek backlinks

Finally, gaining backlinks is a great way to demonstrate to search engines that your site is valuable and worth ranking highly.

These are links to your site from other websites; they act like personal recommendations. The best backlinks are from websites that are relevant to your site and with high domain authority.

The best way to attract backlinks is by creating high-quality content and sharing this as widely as possible – hopefully other sites will then want to link to it. You can also ask other websites for backlinks directly and/or write guest blogs that include links back to your site.


For more expert Drupal tips and a full Drupal website maintenance checklist, read our ultimate Drupal optimisation guide. Or, for on-demand Drupal support from an award-winning agency with more than two decades of experience, please get in touch.