In the field of search engine optimization (SEO), writing a strong homepage that will rank high in the engines and will read well with your site visitors can sometimes present a challenge, even to some seasoned SEO professionals. Once you have clearly identified your exact keywords and key phrases, the exact location on your homepage where you will place those carefully researched keywords will have a drastic impact on the end results of your homepage optimization.
One thing we keep most people say is that they don’t want to change the looks or more especially the wording on their homepage. Understandably, some of them went to great lengths and invested either a lot of time and/or money to make it the best it can be. Being the best it can be for your site visitors is one thing. But is it the best it can be for the search engines, in terms of how your site will rank?If you need powerful rankings in the major search engines and at the same time you want to successfully convert your visitors and prospects into real buyers, it’s important to effectively write your homepage the proper way the first time!
You should always remember that a powerfully optimized homepage pleases both the search engines and your prospects. In randomly inserting keywords and key phrases into your old homepage, you might run the risk of getting good rankings, but at the same time, it might jeopardize your marketing flow. That is a mistake nobody would ever want to do with their homepage.
Even today, there are still some people that will say you can edit your homepage for key phrases, without re-writing the whole page. There are important reasons why that strategy might not work.
If you concentrate your most important keywords and key phrases in your homepage many times, the search engines will surely notice and index it accordingly. But will it still read easily and will the sentences flow freely to your real human visitors? There are some good chances that it might not. As a primer, having just 40 or 50 words on your homepage will not deliver the message effectively. To be powerful and effective, a homepage needs at least 300 to 400 words for maximum search engine throughput and effectiveness.
One way to do that is to increase your word count with more value-added content. This often means rewriting your whole homepage all over again. The main reason to this is you will probably never have enough room to skillfully work your important keywords and key phrases into the body text of your homepage. This may not please your boss or marketing department, but a full re-write is often necessary and highly advisable to achieve high rankings in the engines, while at the same time having a homepage that will please your site visitors and convert a good proportion of them into real buyers.
Here is the acid test that will prove what we just said is right: Carefully examine the body text of your existing homepage. Then, attempt to insert three to five different keywords and key phrases three to four times each, somewhere within the actual body of your existing page. In doing that, chances are you will end up with a homepage that is next to impossible to understand and read.
One mistake some people do is to force their prospects to wade through endless key phrase lists or paragraphs, in an attempt to describe their features and benefits. The other reason they do that is in trying to please the search engines at the same time. Writing a powerful and effective homepage around carefully defined keywords and key phrases is a sure way you can drive targeted traffic to your web site and keep them there once you do.
If some people still say re-writing a homepage takes too much time and costs too much money, think of the cost of losing prospective clients and the real cost of lost sales and lost opportunities. In the end, writing a strong homepage that will achieve all your desired goals will largely justify your time invested and the efforts you will have placed in the re¬writing of your homepage.
Let’s suppose the primary focus of your site is about online education. You also have secondary content that is there as alternative content for that not interested online education. There is also other content that you would like to share with your visitors. For example, this might include book reviews, humor, and links.
The top of your homepage, as discussed earlier is the most important. This is where you set the keywords and theme for the most important part of your site, the thing you really want to be found for. So you might start off the top of your index page something like this:
(After your logo or header graphic)
1) A heading tag that includes a keyword(s) or keyword phrases. A heading tag is bigger and bolder text than normal body text, so a search engine places more importance on it because you emphasize it.
Heading sizes range from hi – h6 with hi being the largest text. If you learn to use just a little Cascading Style Sheet code you can control the size of your headings. You could set an hi sized heading to be only slightly larger than your normal text if you choose, and the search engine will still see it as an important heading.
2) Next would be an introduction that describes your main theme. This would include several of your top keywords and keyword phrases. Repeat your top 1 or 2 keywords several times, include other keyword search terms too, but make it read in sentences that makes sense to your visitors.
A second paragraph could be added that got more specific using other words related to online education.
3) Next you could put smaller heading.
Then you’d list the links to your pages, and ideally, have a brief decision of each link using keywords and keyword phrases in the text. You also want to have several pages of quality content to link to. Repeat that procedure for all your links that relate to your theme.
4) Next, you might include a closing, keyword-laden paragraph. More is not necessarily better when it comes to keywords, at least after a certain point. Writing “online education” fifty times across your page would probably result in you being caught for trying to cheat. Ideally, somewhere from 3% – 20% of your page text would be keywords. The percentage changes often and is different from each search engine. The 3-20 rule is a general guideline, and you can go higher if it makes sense and isn’t redundant.
5) Finally, you can list your secondary content of book reviews, humor, and links. Skip the descriptions if they aren’t necessary, or they may water down your theme too much. If you must include descriptions for these non-theme related links, keep them short and sweet. You also might include all the other site sections as simply a link to another index that lists them all. You could call it Entertainment, Miscellaneous, or whatever. These can be sub-indexes that can be optimized toward their own theme, which is the ideal way to go.
Now you’ve set the all-important top of your page up with a strong theme. So far so good, but this isn’t the only way you can create a strong theme so don’t be compelled into following this exact formula. This was just an example to show you one way to set up a strong site theme. Use your imagination, you may come up with an even better way.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t try to optimize your home page for more than one theme. They just end up weakening each other’s strength when you do that. By using simple links to your alternative content, a link to your humor page can get folks where they want to go, and then you can write your humor page as a secondary index optimized toward a humor theme. In the end, each page should be optimized for search engines for the main topic of that page or site section.
Search engine optimization is made up of many simple techniques that work together to create a comprehensive overall strategy. This combination of techniques is greater as a whole than the sum of the parts. While you can skip any small technique that is a part of the overall strategy, it will subtract from the edge you’d gain by employing all the tactics.