With over 1.5 billion websites on the web today, getting your website out there for others to see can seem next to impossible, especially if you’re just starting out. More specifically, ranking at the top of various search results on sites like Google can seem like a pipe dream, especially if your website is based around a competitive niche.
Well, that’s where SEO comes into play.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of turning your website into a more search engine-friendly one. Mastering the art of SEO can seem complex at first, at least until you figure out what SEO is at its core.
If you look a little deeper and figure out what it is exactly the search engines want, you’ll realize that SEO is a lot about user experience. Sure, there are little things like putting your keywords in the right places that are extremely important but making your website’s user experience a positive one is the overall goal of SEO.
The good news? Doing all of that for your homepage isn’t all that difficult and can even be done today!
So if you’re looking for SEO tips for your website, specifically your homepage, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll tell you about a few different homepage SEO boxes that you can check to ensure that your website can more easily rank for certain keywords.
Also, we’ll show you a few example websites, so you can have an idea of what these tips actually look like when properly utilized. Now then, let’s get started!
The Homepage Title
A lot of websites just use their name, or their domain name, as their homepage title. This makes a ton of sense on paper, as that homepage is what you see when you type in that domain name, but it’s actually not smart SEO.
In order to practice strong SEO, you’re going to want to get a bit more creative than that with your homepage title.
Put a few extra words that can help Google figure out what exactly it is your website is about. Keep it simple, but try to add a few keywords to that page title that you’re looking to rank for.
The Meta Description
A meta description is that little brief synopsis about a website that you see below a link on a Google search result. If you don’t have something filled out for your homepage’s meta description, Google will just grab something random off of your site, which can look bad and hurt your rankings.
This is yet another great opportunity for you to tell Google exactly what it is your website is about. Write a sentence containing two or three keywords that describe your site, so Google can help users searching those keywords more easily find you online.
A Homepage Image
When it comes to SEO, images do a lot for your website. Specifically related to the homepage, they tell search engines once again what it is your website is all about.
Now you may be asking how it is an image can tell Google what your website is about, and that’s a good question.
The short answer? It doesn’t, you do. Adding ALT text to all of your images, and naming them properly, can help you rank higher on Google. Simply name your image the name of your site, and put the name of your site in the ALT text of that image as well.
That way when people search your site name, Google sees that image on your site and puts you at the top of the results.
Check Your Website Speed
Website speed is extremely important, for obvious reasons. But how fast is fast enough? Well, most users aren’t willing to wait more than three seconds before closing out a window and finding a different site, which is obviously not what you want.
Because of this, search engines like Google put a priority on websites that are faster because it offers users a good user experience. Again, SEO is simply trying to make your website appealing to search engines. And search engines simply want to recommend sites that work well to their users.
A lot goes into making your website faster. Better servers, optimized images, and a few other things, just to name a few. If your website tests poorly on a website speed checker, consider contacting a professional to get your site up to par.
Confirm Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
Did you know that over 50% of all web traffic in 2018 came from mobile devices? Because of this, search engines have put a priority on websites that are mobile-friendly. Often times, non-mobile websites can’t rank highly at all, regardless of how many other SEO boxes they check.
Not sure if your site is mobile-friendly or not? Google offers a neat mobile-friendly checker that is easy to use and will give you an answer in seconds.
Not getting help from an SEO expert when you need it is one of the biggest SEO mistakes you can make. So if you need help making your site mobile-friendly, feel free to reach out to us today, so we can help you get on the front page of those search results!
Simplify Your Navigation
If users click on your site in a search result and then close out quickly, Google takes notice of that. And if it happens too many times, Google thinks there’s an issue with your site, and actually bumps you down the list in the search results because of it
One of the most common reasons why users close out of a website quickly, besides loading speed, is bad navigation. If they can’t quickly find what it is they’re looking for, they’re going to simply close out and pick the next site in the search results.
That’s why it’s important that you simplify your navigation, making it easy to find anything on your site in three clicks or less. Again, this is a user-experience kind of thing that will make your site better to use, and helps it rank higher on search engines, too.
Install an SSL Certificate
Have you ever noticed how some websites have “not secure” next to the domain name on your browser? Or how certain websites have an “HTTPS” domain name while others have an “HTTP” domain name?
Well, sites that have an SSL certificate are secure and have an “https” domain as a result. Search engines want to keep their users safe, so they don’t like to recommend sites that don’t have an SSL certificate.
So if you’re site says not secure, or your domain name doesn’t start with an “https,” you need to install an SSL certificate. The good news is, it’s super easy to do. In fact, your hosting provider’s tech support team should be able to do it for you.
Formatting Your Content
Search engines like all content on a website to be formatted in certain ways. That particular formatting is found to be easier to read by users, which of course is why search engines want it formatted that way.
So it’s important to make sure that all of the content on your site is written with this in mind. Learning to write SEO friendly content is simple, and can be explained in a few brief sentences.
First, break up space with paragraphs, pictures, and other forms of media. Include a few of your keywords in your content in a natural way. Again, keep this natural and don’t overdo it. Search engines hate keyword stuffing, so it’s not a good idea. Search engines will pick up on what you’re doing and flag your site as a result.
Close with a Call-to-Action
Regardless of what your website is about, you should have an end goal in mind when users land on your homepage. Whether it’s selling a product or trying to refer them to articles, you want to close out your homepage with a call-to-action to get users to act right then and there.
Something as simple as a feed of articles, or a clickable graphic that shows off what it is you’re selling is all you really need. Just be sure to keep it, and everything else on your homepage, simple. You don’t want to slow down your site and overwhelm users, as well as make navigation more difficult.
Now, with that said, here are a few solid examples of websites with SEO-friendly homepages that we’ve created for various companies and brands.
Example Number 1: Better Off Med Spa
Better Off Med Spa’s website checks meet all of the SEO requirements that we’ve covered in this article. Firstly, you’ll notice that the website title has Better Off, the company name, as well as what it is (med spa in San Diego), making it easier to find on search engines. See a case study on their website SEO performance here.
Also, the content on the site itself is formatted properly with spacing, paragraphs, and graphics to break up the words and make things easier to read.
After the first scroll of the mouse, you’ll see a “book an appointment” button, which is their call to action. The site is also secure (it has an SSL certificate), loads fast, and is extremely easy to navigate.
Example Number 2: Abbey Party Rentals
The second website, Abbey Party Rentals, is just as strong as the first. The homepage title has the name, as well as the city and a few different keywords, making it easy for people who are looking for party supplies to find them online.
And once again, the content is formatted properly, making it easier for users to read. The use of white space on this particular website makes this especially appealing to the eye, which is worth noting.
They have an SSL certificate, a solid navigation layout, and a site that loads quickly. Finally, they close things out with a “shop for your occasion button,” which sends users directly to their online party supplies store.
Example Number 3: ICT
ICT, or Intercontinental Coffee Trading, has an aesthetically-pleasing website design that also functions well and meets all basic SEO standards.
Firstly, the homepage title has their name and the words “coffee beans,” which is obviously their primary product. That helps them more easily rank for not only their company name but the words “coffee beans,” too.
Their navigation is think-less and smooth to operate, the content is easy to read and formatted correctly, and they’ve included tons of media to break up the text.
The site is secured and has a “this month’s inventory” button that takes users directly to their shop right after the first paragraph. That makes it much easier for the user to find their shop, and in return, much easier for them to make a sale.
Homepage SEO Tips and Examples
Well, there you have it! Those are a few homepage SEO tips, as well as some example websites that have successfully implemented these SEO practices.
Remember, above all else, search engines are simply trying to send users to credible websites that meet their search query. By thinking more about the user and less about the search engines, you can more easily make your website SEO-friendly.
Sure, you still have to know where to put the keywords, but for the most part, the rest is all about making your site function properly and appeal to users.
Still not getting the results you’re looking for? Interested in getting some help from an SEO professional? Contact us today, we’ll be glad to assist you!