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Now that your site is up, you want people to find it. Advertising takes you part of the way, as does participation in relevant communities, but a big part of online traffic is from what they call organic search. That is, through search engines like Google, and Yahoo!. The techniques I will teach you in this video will help you get higher on their listings. But let's be honest, the world of search engine optimization, or SEO as it's usually called, started out in pretty bad company. People used all kinds of dirty tricks to knock others out of the top places.
But standards have emerged in the last few years that the search engine companies actually encourage. They improve your site's appearance, not just its ranking, so you can feel good about using everything you see in this video. First, there are a few modules that are must haves. The first module is called Token, and you can get it at drupal.org/project/token. What this does is let you put into your site information from the site itself. For example, you could put in a token that says name the current user, or name the current page.
This is useful for SEO purposes. You would download and install this in the usual way by going down here, copying the link, and pasting it in through your modules page. The next one is called Path Auto. Like Token, it's at drupal.org /project, but then pathauto. What this does is it changes the path that shows up as the URL alias up here. If we go back to our site, you might remember that when we create something in our site, it gives it this path of node/21. That doesn't actually say anything about what's on the node.
You can change it manually by going to the node, clicking Edit, and scrolling down to URL path settings, and setting it by hand. What Path Auto does is it automatically creates those paths for you based on the content of the node. Very useful, and it shows off your site a lot better to search engines. I am actually going to install this one. I will go down, copy the link, go back to the site, and as usual, it's just Modules, and Install new module. Then we enable it.
To find it quickly, I will simply search on my page for pathauto. Ah, you remember that Token module? It's actually required by pathauto, so I will go back, and I will install that as well. Again, drupal.org/project/token. Now we can enable Path Auto, and when we do, by the way -- this is a nice feature of Drupal -- it automatically says, oh you also need to have Token enabled.
So yes, go ahead and do that. You only have to enable the last one in the chain, so to speak. You can see how those URL aliases work by going up to Configuration, and then down to URL aliases. We now have this tab up here, Patterns, and this is how you define what that automatic path is going to be. You can define it by taxonomy, by user; all sorts of options in here. There's also some settings, a bulk update option, and so forth. If we go back to our node, we can see what that does for us.
We go in and we Edit it. Scroll down to our URL path alias, and make it an automatic alias. Now, instead of being simply node 21, it gives us bath-salts-8-cubes. Very good for search engines. That's an important first step; possibly the most important thing you can do quickly, because that URL is so important to search engines. But now let's move on to some suggestions from the Drupal community. I've found a large list that I really like at groups.drupal.org/node/141519.
There's a lot here, and this is a wiki page, which means people are always adding more to it. The good news is that an SEO expert named Ben Finklea created a Drupal module that takes this big confusing wiki page, and helps you apply its recommendations to your site. It's in a module called SEO Checklist. You go to drupal.org/project/seo_checklist. We will download and enable that.
Then we can see what it does by going to Configuration, and down to SEO Checklist. I won't go into all of the details here, but as you can see, it gives you a lot of different choices of what you can check off. But the funny thing about this module is that checking these things doesn't actually do anything on your site. It really is just a simple checklist, as if it's on a piece of paper. But Ben Finklea and his folks at Volacci are always updating this, so it's a very useful thing for keeping up on all of your best search engine optimization practices.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to improve SEO for your Drupal store. But the truth is, even if you do none of these things, your site is going to be in pretty good shape already, because Drupal has several built-in SEO features. SEO is a competitive field, though, and every little bit counts. Earlier in the video I mentioned a few resources that will take you further within Drupal, but if you want to learn more about SEO in general, I recommend searching lynda.com for the phrase SEO to find several courses on the subject.
Two of the biggest ones are SEO: Search Engine Optimization Getting Started, and Analyzing Your Web Site to Improve SEO.
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