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Arabic Drupal SEO


This detailed guide explains the most crucial aspects anyone needs to know for effective Arabic Drupal SEO. Pay attention to these steps and you will ensure your brand reaches online success throughout the Arab world.


What Are The Benefits of Using Drupal?

As there continues to be more and more options available for Content Management Systems, there has been a race to constantly innovate to keep up with growing user needs and demands. Drupal, an open-source software invented in 2000, has been ahead of the curve. The operating cost of Drupal has stayed low due to the plethora of cost-free community codes made available to users thanks to the collaborative nature of the open-source.


Drupal is the third most used content management system (CMS) in the world behind WordPress and Joomla. 3.5% of international websites are built on Drupal. Content management systems do exactly what their name implies – providing a self-hosted solution to create and manage the entire content on your website. Drupal was created for programmers with deep knowledge of how traditional site development works. As a result, you can use Drupal to set your site apart from the crowd, but only if you know how to use it. Due to these detailed and intricate options, Drupal is generally best suited for large-scale businesses with an experienced development team. Consequently, there are several notable, high-traffic pages built on Drupal: Pinterest, Stanford University, Harvard University, State of Colorado, The Economist, the Emmy Awards sites have all been built using this CMS. These sites collectively receive millions of visitors each year, supported by the high functioning features of Drupal.


CMS Market Share


What Exactly Are These Advanced Features? How Can I Use Them In My Business?

One of the features users love about Drupal is its in-depth ability to personalize. There are multiple content personalization modules (called plug-ins on other leading CMSes). According to the site’s directory of what is offered, Drupal has more than 39,000 available modules that are compatible with the intricate desires you have for your site. Drupal also allows you to add as many or as few pages to your site with the same operating cost. This scalability is why many sites from small personal blogs, to government websites, to multi-billion dollar corporate websites can utilize Drupal and its features.


Additionally, Drupal also is highly compatible with leading marketing software, heightening customer interaction channels. This ease of communicating with what customers want has led popular platforms of companies like Tesla, IBM WebSphere Commerce, Magento, Puma, and Motorola to use Drupal in their commerce spaces.


People also choose to favor Drupal due to its security. Believe it or not, page security is actually a factor that impacts SEO. Google can recognize which sites are secure or not, and their algorithm automatically ranks these safe sites higher. The open-source nature of Drupal has allowed hundreds of eyes to examine the freely available code to ensure there are no security holes in the software. The following graphic demonstrates how Drupal has received fewer security breaches than other leading CMS platforms. This is why certain sites with sensitive information such as NASA and the Australian Government have chosen Drupal as their CMS of choice. These security factors and low risk of breach have an impact on the SEO of your site.

Infected Websites Platform Distribution


Arabic Drupal Themes and Layout

As previously mentioned, Drupal has a steep learning curve for users, so is not ideal for beginners. One place this lack of experience becomes especially detrimental is selecting a theme. Unlike WordPress and other out-of-the-box services, Drupal’s main options for site layout require back-end work even with a theme listed as available and out-of-the-box. Particularly for developing an Arabic site, you need to select a suitable option that allows letters of Arabic script and right to left (RTL) text formatting. Unless you are an experienced programmer, you will likely need to hire one with experience designing RTL Arabic language sites.


Drupal’s Major Advantage for Arabic SEO

In Drupal 9, the most recent version of the CMS, multilingual capability and support are directly integrated into the core services. Whereas many popular platforms require you to download additional plug-ins to effectively manage and present non-English languages, Drupal offers this support integrated into their platform.


Additionally, Drupal has a highly effective taxonomy rapport, related to easier to locate what you are searching via browsing, searching, and asking. This major feature means you can easily organize and tag Arabic content under robust keywords that will make sure your content is more easily found. This is particularly helpful in Arabic, because not many of your competitors will have the in-depth Arabic SEO knowledge that you have.



Many university websites in the Middle East have been built with Drupal. Here is an example of King Saud University, the first university in the Saudi Arabia


The prominent American University of Cairo’s website was also created on Drupal


Post Engaging Content the Arab World Cares About

In trying to establish a trusted new presence in the Arab world, you first need to figure out what people are interested in reading about. This is where SEO keyword analysis comes in, as you must analyze top trending Arabic phrases popular in your target audience. After knowing these popular terms, creating unique content is crucial to gain a competitive advantage in your market. This means taking the main keywords, building them into the framework of your site in individual pages, and producing content on each page that is detailed and compelling, not merely fluff.


Manual Translation vs Machine Translation

Within this immense push to create content, you should consider how you most effectively can create Arabic language content that will appeal to your page viewers. If speaking or writing Arabic is not one of your talents, we strongly urge you to find a quality translator to manually create this content for you. Online translation services are rather ineffectual with regard to quality Arabic translation, particularly given the 30+ dialects that exist throughout the Arab world. A fluent Arabic speaker with a background in writing can create engaging text that both captivates readers and leads them to be converted customers.


Translated Content vs SEO Optimized Arabic Content

As just mentioned, human translation is much better than machine translation. However, we recommend you take this even one step further, finding someone fluent in Arabic and knowledgeable about Islamic customs who also has a background in SEO terms and keyword optimization. Similar to English content businesses seek out expert content marketers, as few English speakers have the in-depth knowledge necessary to create SEO content, Arabic is the same. It is encouraged to hire an Arabic speaker with a background in SEO to produce content that will undoubtedly pay off in the long run.


Optimized Arabic Titles, Meta Descriptions, and Images

To optimize the SEO of your website, the most critical places to engage your Arabic keywords are in the titles, meta descriptions, and images. These elements of your pages are the most prominently displayed in search results. Considering the DNA of the page, these are the first elements that will appear in a Google search and will be the determiners of whether a visitor visits your page or not. Luckily, Drupal presents a page title module that works to generate page titles for you constructed on trends that are enticing for the search engine.


Arabic URLs

One of the most popular ways to shape your website to be more search engine friendly is to adjust the URLs to be a title of the content on the page they are leading to. Most URLs are your site name followed by a bunch of random letters and numbers… not very friendly for SEO. With Drupal, you can manually create these specific URLs and links, an important capability if you are trying to reach the broader Arab world. For designating the file path, we recommend you follow this formula:

example.com/post-name/ or example.com/category/post-name/


Other Things to Optimize For

You should also be aware of the loading speed of your site. Having an exceedingly slow load time is a glaring red flag to page visitors, and their impatience will quickly push them to another site instead. Additionally, if two sites have similar information and keywords, search engines actually reward the faster loading site in SEO. In terms of Arabic SEO, a large part of this has to deal with your site’s hosting and its proximity to the customer base. Understanding website hosting in the Arab world is critical. Check out our guide regarding this topic.


So, is Drupal the Best Option For My Arab World Website?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for advice about which platform to build your site in. You must think critically about your organizational wants and needs. There are questions you must ask when deciding whether Drupal is suitable for your brand, business, or organization to penetrate the Arab world’s market. First, how much programming experience do you have? If you have none, we do not recommend Drupal for your Arabic site. Second, are you building a site with detailed data that needs to be customized and flexible? If yes, we recommend Drupal for your Arabic site, particularly if you believe you will scale your site bigger in the future. If you need help to ascertain which one is right for you, reach out to us!


If you need help getting your Arabic Drupal site ranking highly in the Arab world, contact us to find out more about how we can help you increase your Drupal SEO ranking.

Jordan Boshers

Jordan Boshers is the Chief Digital Strategist at IstiZada, a digital agency that helps companies market to Arabs. He has 10+ years of experience running successful digital marketing campaigns in the Arab world. His insights into Arabic SEO helped him grow previously unknown websites to dominate Arabic niches on Google including growing one site from 0 to more than 1 million users monthly. Jordan has consulted for hundreds of companies including helping corporations like Amazon, Berlitz, and Exxon Mobil with their Arabic digital marketing. Learn more here or on LinkedIn.