Considering it’s a complex system built for extensive websites, it’s often assumed that Drupal SEO is hard.
Given the popularity of Wordpress as a CMS and the easy DIY approach, Wordpress is considered the best CMS for SEO. Even Matt Cutts, Google’s SEO God mentioned during Wordcamp 2009 that Wordpress is good for SEO, which led to interpretation that other content management systems may not be good enough.
It’s certainly not the case for Drupal, at least.
Wordpress Vs Drupal SEO
In this post, I intend to cite the differences & similarities between wordpress and drupal SEO.
Wordpress offers a great choice of SEO plugins, sure. But drupal has in-built SEO friendly features, that wordpress wouldn’t have, if not for the plugins.
For example, caching is a native feature in Drupal but Wordpress requires additional caching plugins, their installation & maintenance being a chore considering that they often cause conflict with other plugins and may make the site malfunction if due attention isn’t paid.
The code of Drupal allows automatic optimization of websites, making SEO tasks much easier and automated.
Also Read: How Amp affects SEO?
2. In-built SEO Capabilities in Drupal
The following SEO capabilities are in-built in Drupal whereas in wordpress, you need specific plugins to achieve the same level of optimization.
- Customizable meta tags are an automatic feature in Drupal, whereas in wordpress you require an SEO plugin like SEO for Yoast or All-in-One SEO for that.
- Drupal can also create title based URL nodes automatically.
- Drupal supports RDF (resource description framework that makes the foundation for the semantic web), and can integrate with Google Analytics very easily. To attain the latter capability on Wordpress, you’ll require either paid plugins or more than one free plugins that could do full google analytics integration including goal tracking, search query tracking and e-commerce tracking.
- Drupal considers a responsive web design as its default methodology. So, chances of your design going rogue and getting you hit by search engines are few whereas with several wordpress themes, official and non official, you can never be 100% sure that your design is fully responsive unless you run tests on a timely basis.
3. Top 11 Drupal SEO Modules
Just like wordpress has several plugins, there are modules that help with Drupal SEO. Following are the very popular drupal modules for search engine optimization.
- Redirect Module - Used to create 301 redirects from old URLs to new URLs. The module can automate the biggest nightmare of an SEO - fixing the broken links. It’s a 'set up and forget' option to maintain working links with zero errors. It’s also possible to create manual redirects using redirect module.
- Pathauto Module - It can be used to automatically generate SEO-friendly URLs for any piece of content you publish on a Drupal website.
- Metatag Module - It can be used to setup title tags and structured metadata for each page, automatically. The module places both the HTML title & meta tag in the header section of a webpage, leading to faster page loading speed - another good feature for better SEO.
- Alternate Hreflang Module - It’s very useful for multilingual websites, and adds hreflang tags to all the pages of the website automatically.
- XML Sitemap Module - The module can be used to add an XML sitemap to the website, that’s used by search engines to understand and navigate through the website structure.
- Cron - It’s a drupal system that maintains and cleans the website in an automated manner.
- Google Analytics Module - The module is used to setup google analytics tracking on a website but with greater precision as it allows to skip count of admin views, unlike usual analytics plugins used on wordpress.
- RDF UI Module - Yes, drupal includes RDF in its core but you can use the RDF UI module to further enhance your SEO. It helps to integrate schema.org with the website.
- Linkit Module - The module ensures all the links that are created on your website are automatically well-formed, well-structured and up to date.
- D8 Editor Advanced Link Module - It’s used to add additional text information about each website page.
- Google AMP Module - It’s used to speed up a website, a crucial factor in search engine rankings nowadays.
4. Easy To Customize
The most misinformation on the web is about the customizability of Drupal from an SEO perspective. The truth is Drupal actually offers slightly higher rate of customization as compared to Wordpress, but the level of skill required for such customization is much higher than as of Wordpress, that can be handled even by a newbie.
Do note that the need for higher skill is a feature that’s true for Drupal in general. Basically, if you want your website to do anything other than what usual websites do, you’ll be better off with Drupal and Drupal SEO will be there to support your visibility in search engines with no drawbacks in comparison with Wordpress SEO. Drupal provides scalability options that Wordpress doesn’t, making the former the top choice of enterprises and small businesses.
5. Is Drupal SEO-friendly?
It’s probably the most frequently asked question, and considering you read the entire post, you already know the answer.
The borderline is Drupal does have some in-built core features that may help with SEO - faster loading speed, clean code, clean website structure… and it can be improved with several other modules making it as good as wordpress is perceived to be for SEO as a CMS.
Also read: Digital Marketing & Drupal - do they make a good pair?
The most of the SEO actually depends on content and several off page and on page activities that good SEO providers are able to recognize and work on. At Hurekatek, we have helped several brands improve their search engine rankings in just a few months. It’s a long-term process but starting even today in the right direction can give you an edge over your competition and bring you the eyeballs you need.
If you’re considering outsourcing for digital marketing & SEO services in NJ or NYC, get in touch with us.