If your homepage is only appearing in Google when you search for your business name then you are missing out on lots of potential free traffic for your site.
Knowing how to SEO your homepage will help you rank for your main keywords and help you attract new clients to your business who are looking for exactly what you have on offer.
This article is for you if you already have a homepage and you want to improve its search engine ranking.
Homepage SEO is a little different compared to your other pages
When doing SEO for service pages or blogs, you focus on optimising your content for a ‘seed’ keyword and any long tail versions that are similar, or related to that seed keyword.
You don’t want to risk ‘keyword cannibalisation’ which is where you are optimising for the same keyword on another page. This confuses Google and can result in Google having to pick between which pages to show in the results (meaning less visibility for your content).
Also, the primary goal of your blog or ‘inner’ pages is to get the visitor to take one primary action. E.g. They read a blog, the primary goal could be to get them to subscribe to your email list. Or. They are on your service page, the primary goal could be to get them to contact you.
If some one is on your home page the goal of your page is different. To understand the goals of the home page you need to understand the purpose of the home page.
What is the purpose of the home page
Generally speaking the people who visit your home page are cold, i.e they don’t know much about you. Your home page is a place where people go to find out more about you and business as a whole.
If they like what they see they go a little deeper. Perhaps looking at your ‘about me’ page, perhaps they look at service page.
From that last statement it is clear that they need to ‘like what they see’.
That means your homepage needs to;
- Explain what you do in a way that resonates with your ideal customer.
- Build trust by showing social proof and answering important questions they may have.
Then, to help people ‘go a little deeper’ and move on from the homepage to a page that helps with their current problem it needs to;
- Have a clear and intuitive navigation system
- Include clear and strong calls to action
What keywords should you be optimising for on your homepage?
Since your home page offers a general introduction to your business you should first find the best keyword that described the overarching theme of your business.
For example if you are a hypnotherapist in Bristol then your first ‘seed’ keyword should be something like ‘hypnotherapist Bristol’.
If, like me you offer a wide range of services like website design, SEO and conversion rate optimisation then you could put yourself under the general term of ‘website optimisation Bristol’.
Please note – you must always research the search volume and competitive landscape for any keyword you optimise for. Guessing rarely leads to the results you desire.
Your seed keyword may be very competitive but it is still worth optimising for because of the ‘pyramid effect’.
The SEO pyramid effect with your service pages
The pyramid effect happens when you link really well between your website pages. In a nutshell, if you have 5 service pages linked to from your home page and those pages are ranking well, then this will help your home page to rank well for its optimised keyword.
So if your seed keyword is ‘hypnotherapy Bristol’ and you link to your service page ‘hypnotherapy for anxiety’ and ‘hypnotherapy for weight loss’ and ‘hypnotherapy for confidence’, then providing your service pages are optimised and ranking well, your homepage should start to rank well for ‘hypnotherapy Bristol’.
What other keywords should you include on your homepage?
You should research the seed keyword for each of your services and put them on your home page, using them to link to your service page. This also helps people move deeper into your website to look at your services.
You should include similar words to your keyword. So for hypnotherapy you could include hypnosis or hypnotherapist.
Google loves content that answers questions so use Answer the public to find questions related to your seed keyword. Try to include these questions on your homepage to help answer your visitors most pressing questions.
How to structure your page for SEO
Put your seed keyword in the H1 header with your branded term, e.g Weider Web Solutions, Digital Marketing and Website optimisation in Bristol and UK.
Only use 1 H1 tag.
Put your links to service pages or blog posts in H2 or H3 tags, what ever makes sense.
Don’t use H tags to style your headers. Use CSS classes (ask a developer if you don’t know how to do this).
Use H tags for hierarchy, as if you were reading a book.
How to optimise your images for SEO
I have written a great blog post about how to optimise your images to help them load fast, which is really important for SEO.
Once your image is uploaded you need to add a keyword rich description to the alt tag.
Mark up your data with schema markup so it appears in rich snippets
I will create a tutorial on rich snippets soon, but for now if you are using WordPress I advise using a plugin to help you create structured markup code for the following;
- Local Business
Put this data where it makes sense to. E.g, if you have a testimonial on your homepage, mark it up with ‘Review’ schema. This means Google has a further understanding of the content on your page and may highlight it if you get to page 1 in the results.
This means you stand a higher chance of being clicked on on the first page – no more fighting to be in the top stop, hurray!
If you want personalised help and support when it comes to getting your homepage visible then please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation where you can find out more about my ‘done with you’ or ‘done for you’ SEO services.