With the vast marketplace of Drupal 8 modules, choosing which ones to use to improve your website performance can be a daunting task.
To help ease that burden, we have selected the 10 Best Drupal 8 Modules that will take your website to the next level:
- XML Sitemap
- SEO Checklist
- HTML Purifier
- Easy Breadcrumbs
- Google Analytics
- Search 404
- Content Optimizer
If you’ve used one of the many popular content management systems before, you most likely speak the language of plugins and tools for SEO.
But if you’re a Drupal user, you have access to an extensive library of SEO “modules.” Luckily, SEO is often platform-agnostic, which means that you have a variety of options to choose from.
Drupal 8 is particularly robust, and with the marketing landscape changing vastly since 2011’s Drupal 7, your website needs reliable SEO modules more than ever before.
As Google search enters a new decade of user search intent, Drupal 8 websites are better positioned than ever before to take advantage of organic SEO methods. Drupal 8’s functionality builds these ranking factors right into the open-source technology to help enhance the SEO modules you’ll use and install.
But before we look at the best SEO modules for Drupal 8, let’s briefly cover what Drupal 8 is.
What is Drupal 8?
Even though Drupal accounts for 2.8% of websites, you have to consider the size and types of sites that use drupal. That’s probably because CMS and e-commerce-friendly sites rely on technologies like Shopify.
However, Drupal 8’s power lies in its complexity and depth of functionality. It offers far more flexibility to large-scale websites, more privacy, role-based accessibility. Websites like big business, non-profits, and political news sites need to manage multiple stakeholders, so it’s Drupal 8 to the rescue.
So, what exactly is Drupal?
As far as content management systems are concerned, you’ve got plenty of options. Drupal, like Squarespace, and Joomla, to name a few, is a website builder and CMS platform. You often need a developer to tinker with its backend and install essential things like SEO modules.
However, the result is far more robust than anything else out there, and it’s definitely a worthy platform to build your website on.
And with the 10 SEO modules we’re about to show you, you’ll be well on your way to Google’s front page.
10 SEO Modules for Drupal 8
In the new era of customer search intent, marketing drives everything from website design to technical installations for conversion and traffic tracking (think, Google Analytics).
As Drupal 8 increasingly populates the digital world, users will find that this open-source technology is uniquely designed for search and user experience. With this in mind, Drupal 8 includes three specific improvements:
- Responsive design
- Increased page speed (relying on partially loading some assets from the caches rather than reloading fresh)
- Powerful SEO modules
When using Drupal 8, you also have quite a few options for SEO tools. These are just 10 modules you can use to optimize your site.
Let’s start with the big one: Pathauto. It essentially automates all the processes around URL optimization. This eliminates the need to create URLs for a new page manually.
When you use this module, you’ll be able to customize specific patterns that the module will follow to generate URLs. These rules make it easier for your user and Google’s search engine to find and define your ranking, crawl, and index it.
Metadata plays a key role in a user’s experience with your site as they find it via a search engine. In the backend of WP, Yoast is the plugin that works all the kinks out and makes your page and post metadata sing.
But for Drupal, the Metatag module allows you to place even more metadata, such as tags, page titles, and descriptions — once again thanks to automation. Set metadata for granular aspects to your Drupal website, such as users, taxonomy, nodes, and more.
3) XML Sitemap
Sitemap should be pretty familiar to anybody used to building websites. The XML Sitemap module automatically creates a sitemap. This helps with the crawling and indexing of a site’s subpages by search engine bots.
It’s best practice to offer redirects when a site’s URL significantly changes. However, so many site owners are notorious for dropping the ball on this one, creating dead ends that hurt their user experience and SEO.
First off, it’s easy for one or two URL changes lost in the sea of other tasks you have to do.
And, secondly, if you’ve been piling up redirects, it becomes rather tedious to change them up manually. Enter, Drupal’s Redirect module — a module that simplifies the task of redirecting, and helps you eliminate dead links on your site.
5) SEO Checklist
You’re probably already thinking about the sheer number of SEO modules available to you — with more coming up.
SEO Checklist is designed to cut the overwhelm and keep things manageable. It runs your site through a check that tracks and reports back on whether a crucial SEO task or action is done or still needs to be completed. Be sure to use SEO tools for measurement so you can see your results before and after optimizations.
6) HTML Purifier
You can attack SEO from all different sides. HTML Purifier for Drupal 8 is a module that allows you to do just that. This time, your angle is code.
Since search engines analyze your HTML code, the module checks the code to make it compliant to standards. It also helps to parse any malicious code installed by potential hacks.
7) Easy Breadcrumbs
What’s a site visitor to do when they’re roaming a website and can’t find their way back home?
Take a page out of the story of Hansel and Gretel.
Remember that SEO is not just about your site’s technical compliance. It’s also about how easy users find your site to be, and how simple it is to navigate your site. Value comes from more than a mobile-friendly design or authoritative blog content. It’s also about the total user experience.
So Easy Breadcrumbs is designed to help a site visitor quickly jump to a higher level page and see where they are along with the site’s architecture. This usually looks like a block placed right below your main navigation menu.
8) Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of those tools designed for way more than SEO. One of the first places you’ll see trackable and tangible changes to your site ranking and traffic is on your Google Analytics dashboard.
Don’t neglect the power of Google Analytics to check on the rest of your SEO modules’ success.
9) Search 404
Redirects are for intentional URL changes. But what happens when your visitors get 404 errors? Managing 404 errors can be a task in itself, so the Search 404 module helps you actively find errors and redirect traffic.
Usually, with 404 pages, you need to set up your own page as a “contingency” to guide visitors that accidentally arrive at an unknown destination. The job of the Search 404 module is to eliminate the need for your manual 404-page design. Instead, the module searches for keywords related to the address.
This greatly reduces your site’s bounce rate. It also helps users find comparable pages — perhaps even their original search intent.
10) Content Optimizer
On-page content also deserves optimization for your Drupal website to unlock its full performance potential.
Content Optimizer is a neat SEO module that performs a thorough check on your site’s content for you and provides direction on how to address rankings and visibility for your site’s search results. If you’re not a content guru, then it’s a must-have for Drupal users.
There are plenty of other SEO modules you could use on your site that weren’t listed here, but the ten listed above will help you unlock more of Drupal 8’s functionality and SEO potential.
But now we want to hear from you. What Drupal modules do you use to help manage your site’s SEO? If you have a gem or feel we missed something, we’d love to hear from you!