No matter what sort of website you have, if the homepage SEO is not done properly, it may not deliver the best results as you might have expected. Whether you have an e-commerce store, a corporate website, or a blog, the homepage must be SEO friendly so that it can rank as per your expectations.
Just like other pages of your website, SEO is vital for the homepage too. In this post, I am going to share everything about how to SEO optimize your homepage. So, without wasting any minute, let’s start with it!
Why Homepage SEO is Important?
Your homepage is probably the most or one of the most important pages of your website. There are numerous reasons why you must pay special attention to it and optimize it as per SEO rules.
In most of the cases, the homepage is the first page users see, particularly for corporate sites. Also, it is the page that users do visit at least once before they finalize any transaction on the website. So, even if they land on any other page of your website, they will surely check your website’s homepage.
Mostly, they visit the homepage to find out more about your business and blog.
The homepage is vital for SEO as it brings a perfect chance for Google to know about your business. The content, description, and title on the homepage give Google a concise idea about what the website is all about.
Moreover, Google uses this detail to create an entry for your website in the SERPs when people search for the relevant domain name. But make sure the search snippets are appealing, professional, and accurate.
In some stances, the homepage will be competing for various keywords to rank in the top. It is because the homepage is highly powerful and ranks well in comparison to the remaining pages.
The Homepage SEO Process:
There are numerous steps involved in the process of optimizing the homepage. Not only you have to work on the technical SEO aspect, but you have to consider other elements in order to fully optimize the homepage.
Remember, SEO is not only about search engines but it is also meant for usability and users.
From the SEO perspective, homepage optimization is almost similar to optimizing other pages of the website.
Here, check some great SEO tips to optimize the homepage.
1. Optimizing Title of Homepage:
The usability of your homepage title must not be limit to the website or business name. Think more creatively, and create it in a way that it gives search engines more details about the core focus of your website.
Use the 60 characters to the fullest to blend business details and keywords in a single sentence. In order to create an SEO optimized title for your homepage, keep the following aspects into consideration:
- The title must not be more than 60 characters.
- It is best to include target keywords in the beginning.
- Try including keywords that best represent your website or business.
- Avoid keyword stuffing.
- Begin the title using your business or domain name.
2. SEO Content for Homepage:
Avoid only trying to rank for the important keywords on the homepage. Equally, focus on creating good content on the homepage. Though there is no minimum limit, keep it concise.
Make sure your homepage content sends a message across, about your business. It must deliver an incredible user experience. The best way is to use keywords in the header tags. Also, if you wish to target particular cities, include the name of those cities as well. However, if you want to build a reputed brand on the homepage then you can keep the content length short.
3. Explain Well About Your Company:
Explain concisely and clearly about your company and products. It must be clear for visitors what all you are offering. You must establish a unique selling point and mention the same in your homepage.
Also, include rich content that will let you expand your business’s USP and help you gain more visitors. It will also help Google understand the basic theme of your business and website.
4. Optimize the Headers:
Headers are extremely important in SEO. Consider the headers used by HubSpot. Following them, use only H1 tag at the top, which must be relevant to your business and brand. You can then use H2, H3, and H4 based on your requirements to create an effective and logical flow.
5. Write SEO Optimized Meta Description:
The description of your homepage is very important. The description is seen by the users in the SERPs. However, Google may not be able to showcase the description, if it is too short or too long or if it includes multiple keywords.
6. Incorporate Keywords Properly:
Avoid trying for one branded keyword. It is better to focus on a small subset of keywords. Target only a handful of keywords that you wish to rank and use. Most importantly, they must be according to the theme of your brand and site.
Try to incorporate keywords naturally. The keywords must focus on building your brand. At the same time, you must avoid keyword stuffing.
In order to come up with numerous and relevant subset of keywords, you can use the Keyword Planner from Google. Here, you have to enter the main keyword and some results will appear. Simply browse through the results and select keywords that are relevant to the homepage. Here you will also find long-tail keywords.
This technique is simple, straightforward, and effective. Moreover, it lets you come up with a possible subset of keywords in an easy way.
7. Optimize Images:
As a known fact, most of the humans respond better to content, which includes visuals or images. Hence, it is great to include a few images on the homepage.
But make sure you include the images along with small chunks of text. Consider the images used in Dollar Shave Club or Quick Sprout.
Using textual content with images will provide the visitors with some details about the product or company. Moreover, it gives you extra space to create rich content.
8. Optimize the Logo:
It is of utmost importance for your website to have a unique logo. You can optimize the logo by making sure that the image filename incorporates your website’s name. Moreover, the ALT text must include the name of your website.
9. Focus on Bringing Quality Links:
Your homepage will be considered optimized only when you have quality site links in Google Search. Such links are usually shown for searches of the domain name.
The best way to influence what all appear as the sitelink is through your website’s navigation and structure. Just consider what the users wish to see when they are searching for your business name or brand and make adequate adjustments in the homepage accordingly.
10. Optimize Meta Description:
The Meta description of the homepage is an important element from an SEO perspective. You must include the name of your company at least once in the explanation of the company as well as your offerings.
Also, you must include some keywords, which lets your customers have a brief idea of how they can benefit by making a purchase. The Meta descriptions of Crazy Egg and Quick Sprout are great examples to consider. The Meta descriptions of both these examples give an overview of what the website is all about. This way, search engines are able to understand the theme of the website. Also, it gives visitors a glimpse of what they will get by visiting the website.
11. Optimize the Homepage for Its Speed:
Another known fact is that users leave the page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Even if you have an awesome homepage, it takes too much time to load; you will lose customers and visits.
Hence, it is vital to create a fast loading homepage. For this, you must use a fast server from a trustworthy host. If you are still using shared hosting, you must shift to a VPS. With your own server, you can have a rich website speed.
In addition to this, you must optimize the size of the image file. Before you upload the image to your site, edit the images using a photo editing tool. You can also use an image optimizer that compresses and optimize the files for SEO.
12. Dofollow vs Nofollow:
Further, it is vital to know that nofollow links can work great for SEO. Google expects to see nofollow links and you can include them as a part of your advertisement. Big brands are advertising. You can get a few nofollow links from there to your homepage.
Having a few nofollow links lets Google know precisely about your website.
13. Design Smooth Navigation:
The navigation of your website is an important usability element. Make sure all vital pages of the site are accessed from the menu in 3 clicks. Make sure you have no nested elements in the menu. Always make sure that the menu is on top of the website.
With a clear menu, you can expect reduced bounce rate and encourage the users to visit more pages of your site.
14. Create a Flawless Site Structure:
Next, your website must have a clear, hierarchical structure. The focus must be on the homepage and then everything must be grouped into different categories. The hierarchy must not be more than 3 levels. It must be simple and must be accessible from the homepage in 2 or 3 clicks.
Remember, even search engines first visit a website’s homepage and then follow other links to discover the remaining pages. Hence, the homepage must be linked to all vital pages, including blog posts and sales pages.
15. Include Call to Action:
Call-to-Action is a simple yet vital element of the homepage. But you must put in lots of efforts into it.
Your CTA must be direct, clear, and conspicuous. You must perform A/B testing to identify the best positioning, color scheme, and other aspects of the CTA. I suggest including words in the CTA, which clearly describe the overall theme of your website.
16. Provide Social Proofs:
Over a few years, social proofs have become a vital element for the homepage. Reviews from satisfied customers, testimonials, or icons of brands you have worked with, social proof can be in any form. It creates a rich positive impact on those who visit your website.
Sprout Social is an excellent example of the way to incorporate social proof on the home page. They mention the icons of companies that they have worked with along with the client’s testimonials.
17. Add Structured Data Markup:
The structured data markup describes your website’s data to search engines. There is a common structure that most of the search engines agree. This includes products, companies, events, articles, organizations, and more.
Google uses structured data markup in the SERPs as knowledge graph entries or rich snippets. Such entries make data more appealing to the users, which can bring you higher click-through rates.
The structured data markup of the homepage must define your business and organization.
18. Include an SSL:
Your homepage, as well as the website, must be https. It is even more important if you have an e-commerce store or a platform that collects the user’s information.
It is vital to have SSL enabled as it gives your website an advantage over other websites that don’t have it. When you shift to https from HTTP, you must make 301 redirections, utilize 2048-bit key certificates, and keep active all versions of your site in webmaster tools.
19. Keep it Mobile-Friendly:
With the introduction of the mobile-first index, mobile-friendly websites rank different than desktop websites. Hence, make sure your homepage is friendly to the desktop as well as mobile users.
20. Win Google’s Trust:
Finally, try winning Google’s trust by offering visitors almost every detail right at the homepage. From testimonials, partnerships, to achievements, case studies, and social proofs, all elements must focus towards one direction.
SEO for the homepage is vital for all websites. So, keep all the above-mentioned points into consideration and create a properly SEO optimized homepage that lets you gain huge success online.