If you are aiming to rank your website near the top of Google’s organic search listings then you will know all about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the need to optimise important landing pages on your website.
However, your homepage is the page on any website that is most likely to attract natural backlinks so should you be applying the same optimization process as to all other pages on your website? Especially as the home page often tries to show a little bit of everything about your business rather than just focus on one product or service.
Homepage SEO Best Practices
One important factor to consider is whether or not to put your most valuable keyword on the homepage. That page is usually changing regularly so may not be the best SEO target page for non-branded search terms. But, one thing most expert SEO consultants agree on is that, in reality, rather than theory it will often rank well anyway for search terms that are highly relevant for your business.
So it makes sense to get the home page right in terms of optimization, such as:
- Ensure the home page loads fast, has plenty of long-form text with good formatting and schema markup
- Use clear internal linking structures to direct visitors to the pages where they can take an action: call/email you, but a product, download a report etc.
- Feature your most valuable products or services on the home page to improve user engagement and get visitors to click on internal links to the product or services pages.
- Showcase deals, offers or any other unique offering ensuring the user experience for those deals/offers is a good one so engagement metrics will boost SEO for the whole site.
- Consider A/B testing with the free tool Google Optimize to ensure engagements and conversions are as good as they can be
Some big brands will optimize their homepages for certain keywords so if it’s good enough for them then it’s good enough for small business websites. However, not all brands will do this – some of the major brands are showing a tendency simply to display large images with very little text at all. A strategy that will never get a small business website to rank well.
Those brands are clearly large enough to have a well-established brand that people will enter into their search. Most small businesses are not in that fortunate position so optimizing the home page is important. But don’t forget that you still need a specific landing page for each keyword or search term group.
Digital marketers in large companies have time and resources to test advanced SEO theories that small companies will never have. While it is worth looking at what these big companies do – it is also worth noting that the rules may not apply to smaller companies even in the same industry or business sector; especially if the larger companies have major brand names when. Brands can afford to employ quite different SEO strategies to the rest of us mere mortals.
In conclusion, then, take a look at what your major competitors are doing – one good way to do this is to use SEO consultancy services if your budget stretches that far. Another is simply to run an SEO audit with one of the free software packages available
In reality digital marketing and SEO is a constantly changing world and each keyword group may well need its own strategy. So keep pace with Google algorithm changes, provide a great user experience and a fast website and you will be one step closer to organic ranking success.
You can’t choose which page appears in the SERPs. You need to look at what pages are actually ranking well to understand what Google likes abut those particular pages and improve them to increase rankings.