When designing your website, paying close attention to your homepage design is critical when it comes to high ranking on the search engine results page. If you are using a lot of flash, untagged media and /or images, a squeeze or splash page you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Search engines value these three things the most, and will index your pages and rank your site accordingly:
- High quality
- Relevant, keyword rich content
- Links, links, links
Search engines are sensitive to consistent tweaking, and it should be done not only on the home page but on every relevant page on your site. Be on the lookout for fresh keywords, replacing existing ones on a regular basis. Testing different headlines, keyword combinations, the text you’re using, bolding, italicizing, bolding and italicizing, and even the architecture of the page should be switched up from time to time. When you test the changes, make a note of whether your ranking has changed- it usually just takes one or two changes to effect a rank spike.
For many new visitors, especially visitors coming to your site via the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn, your Home page is often NOT the first page your visitors will come to. Therefore, your other pages, especially the big 4 listed below, should also serve as a home page, so don’t forget to have as much relevant content such as your contact info,
all your services, any specials you may be running, your menu (tip:across the top, rather than on the side, as the search engines tend to scan the top first) on all of these pages, not just on your Home page. They should be able to easily scroll between pages, and each one should look like a separate “landing page”. The top 4 most common landing, or “entrance” pages are:
- Blog posts
- About page
- Service pages, and
- FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)
FAQ’s can be an extremely important and effective SEO element in your website, but that’s a blog for another day.
As a site owner, you need to examine your site from a visitors perspective, coming to your site for the first time, and ask yourself:
- Are my services clearly defined?
- Is my site easily navigable?
- Are the links obvious, plentiful and not broken?
- Do I have a lot of internal hyperlinks, encouraging visitors to scroll through the entire site and not leave?
- Is the contact info easily found,
- Are all buttons, forms, opt-ins, and links working properly?
- Most importantly, if coming to my site through one of the top 4 pages, will visitors be able to view that page as a Home page? Bottom line: make sure wherever visitors go on your site they are getting all the information they are looking for, and then some.