Basic SEO Top 10

I updated this website so I can explain some basic SEO (search engine optimization) techniques, particularly how you setup Drupal SEO. There are lots of websites that explain SEO, so I won't go into too much detail here... simply the very basics. Once I get into configuring Drupal for search engine optimization, more details will be filled in.

  1. Topic - Pick something useful to write about that people will actually want to read. Since there is so much info on the web, try to figure out how you can spin your story so it's not the same old stuff. For example, there are lots of websites about SEO and about Drupal but not that many about Drupal SEO, so I have decided to pursue that topic on this site.

  2. Keywords - Decide what keywords are relevant and important. This web page is about basic SEO, so relevant keywords for this page are "basic SEO", "basic search engine optimization", "SEO Top 10", etc. But, don't get carried away. Pick one or two keyword phrases that support your text. Remember to choose keywords you think people will actually type into a search engine.

  3. Competition - Be careful not to choose a topic or keywords that are highly competitive. Unfortunately, I did that here since the topic of this page is very popular. To see if something is too competitive, you can use a tool like wordtracker or simply type in the phrase into google in quotes and see how many results come up. If there are millions of pages with that exact phrase, you're going to have a hard time competing unless your site is already highly ranked. My title phrase, "basic seo", comes up with about 100K search results which is better than millions, but still will have lots of tough competition. Of course if you pick keywords with virtually zero competition, no one is probably typing those phrases into the search engines.

  4. Title - Choose a title for your web page that includes your most important keyword phrase. This is essential. Notice the title of this page.

  5. Content - When you are writing your text, make sure to use your phrases here and there, but don't go over board. You don't want to spam or it will backfire. The exact word count of your page and the word density (e.g. phrase shows up 5 times out of 50 words = 10% keyword density) isn't crucial, but based on what I've read you can shoot for 200 to 1000 words and 2-7% keyword density and be okay.

  6. Internal Links - Make sure to link to your own web page as much as possible (where it makes sense). Ideally, you'd link to it at least one time on every page on your entire site. Whenever possible, use the title of the page as the link text since that has your key phrase in it.

  7. External Links - This is the hard one, but is extremely important. Get links to your web page from other websites. If you control several websites, this won't be so hard, but you can also ask friends and colleagues to help out as well. The best links are ones from pages with the same topic. Don't spam other sites with your link though. Sometimes people will post comments on other sites and put there link in there... that is spam and is usually discounted by Google or blocked by the external site using the nofollow tag.

  8. Page/Browser Title - Make sure to use the title of your page, or some simpler variation that includes your key phrase, in the page/browser <title> tag. This is extremely important.

  9. Meta Description - Write a short (human-readable) description that includes your keywords for the meta description tag since this will sometimes be shown in your search result. Think of this as your marketing blurb. Check out how to install/configure Drupal Meta Tags (nodewords) module.

  10. Monitor & Adjust - You can use Google Analytics or other statistics software to monitor your web page and see what keywords are bringing traffic to your page. Based on that information, you can adjust your title, keywords and content however it makes sense to you.

Good luck using this Basic SEO Top 10 list on your site. Please feel free to leave comments/questions.

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Comments

Great Tips for SEO

There tips are definitely something worth bookmarking if you can't remember the basics. Always refer back to the basics in anything you do. Although I don't know if your SEO keyword optimization should be over 4%. Just saying, even the pros stay within 2-4%.

Keyword variations is not too much of an importance, just have content that's as natural as possible. Content is best brewed when made for the user first then the search engine too. Overall thanks for the good short concise read on SEO basics.

Meta Tags

Hi,

I'd read some stuff that would seem to say that meta tags aren't important anymore. Maybe I'm confusing something as where I learned this was using raw HTML. Anyway, some further elaboration on this would be appreciated. When you say keywords, do you mean just words you repeat a lot or is there something n Drupal where you can put in actual keywords?

Meta tags

For meta tags, the only really important one these days is the meta description tag because some search engines will show this text in the search result. This is your "advertisement" to the user so write something to entice them to click on your result.

Other meta tags aren't important unless you want to use something like "nofollow" or "noindex" or other information to tell the search engine that you want it to treat the page in a special way.

As for "keywords", I am using the phrase in a general sense. Just the words you would choose to use on the page that you are hoping to get search engines to associated with your page.

The nodewords (meta tags) module does let you specify meta keywords. I personally still do these but it's more for "keeping notes" so you remember what keywords you are focusing on for your page. Some small search engines may still use these as well.

For Drupal, you can use vocabulary terms to help add keywords to your page, but I think it's best to just add the keywords you want to focus on to:

  • browser/page title
  • node title
  • body text - or other text fields

Hope that helps.
Kristen

Drop in Rankings

I just checked this page again after it was pretty high in the rankings. It is no longer ranking highly and I know why. Previously this page was linked to on *every* page on the site because it was a new blog post. Now that it is older, it has fallen off the "recent blog posts" block.

So, this is a good example of how important your own internal links are (see step #6!). If you are linking to a particular page on every page of your website, you are telling the search engines that the page is important. If it's only linked to a couple times, then you are saying the opposite.

How do I try to get back on track? I can add a link to this page in my menu so that it shows up on every page.

SEO

I arrive at this site because I was looking for Drupal Meta Tagging tips

What a great list of tips for

What a great list of tips for Meta tags. Although, I think that the title of a site is a little more important than you put it. Thanks for the article.

Search Results Followup

I just googled:

"Basic SEO Top 10"

and this page is number one, but I don't suppose anyone actually types in that exact phrase. This page is currently in the top 50 results for "basic seo" and the top 30 results for "seo top 10". Since I've posted it, I've had 372 people go to this page. That's not a huge amount but I'm actually surprised it's that high based on the rankings. Top 50 and top 30 isn't great, but it's not bad considering I didn't really spend much time on the page and it could be optimized further. Perhaps I should do that right now and see what happens.

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