Optimizing your home page is one of the most important things you can do, but doing it RIGHT is imperative. As they say, anything worth doing is worth doing right.
There are plenty of websites out there that are really quite pathetic in terms of optimization and content – aggrgate sites with no quality control like helium are the worst. It doesn’t take an SEO expert to tell when someone has slapped together a homepage for their website without a clue as to what they were doing. It just becomes a pile of crud that takes up space. You end up with off topic content, lousy graphics, crazy color schemes and font sizes, absurd “expert garbage” and the whole thing gives no clue as to what the website is for or what you should do next.
When an entire homepage is filled with blocks of graphics and images and a heavy Flash header that takes over 60 seconds to download, people get bored and skip away. When a site features pictures of some weird French woman or employee no one cares about rather than actual content, people leave. When a site promotes content that turns out to be little more than page filler, people leave. They want to know fast if your site has the goods, and a bunch of pretty pictures is not going to do it for them. You need strong text that immediately captures their attention and lets the know they have come to the right place – not a stupid kitschy headline and half a sentence text bite that tells a visitor nothing.
The best way to avoid pitfalls like this is to engage a reputable SEO company from the initial stages of website development, to develop an SEO friendly website and to ensure that decent content is present on your homepage that will help your search engine rankings to rise. Don’t take the word of a guy within the company that “thinks” he understands SEO or someone that “read an article” about SEO and knows a term or two. Get an actual professional – your company deserves it!
Your homepage is the gateway for the search engine spiders as well as human visitors. It needs to very clearly convey what your site is about. You need keyword rich content on the homepage, starting with a minimum of 200 words that describes your purpose and services/products and includes all major services/products as keywords. This helps your website to become more relevant to the searches made by your potential customers.
Some companies may have good copywriting on their homepage, but it may not be SEO friendly. They use copywriters who do not have any SEO knowledge to fill their pages with lovely content that is perfectly pertinent to their services and only after the completion of the development of the entire website do they approach an SEO company to find out why their rankings are low. The answer is obvious – print journalists are dinosaurs that need top re-learn writing or perish. They have no business billing them self as SEO experts until they learn what SEO is.
An SEO Firm should review the website and suggest changes to the content to incorporate keywords. Going the rout of just ‘plugging’ these in can cause the text to lose its natural flow and become awkward. To avoid that, start from scratch and seriously consider hiring an experienced SEO copywriter.
If your site is lacking relevant, optimized content on your home page, there is no reason for the search engines to present your website for relevant searches. Optimize now for better rankings and more traffic! Don’t go the way of the dinosaur – don’t rely on some print journalist with an idea – the Internet is different and requires people that understand how it works and how to make it work for you!