Think of your homepage as the front door to your online business. If you want to attract more customers and keep them coming back for more, you need to make sure it’s optimised for success.
That’s not the only role of your homepage, though, as it can also get search engines to better understand and crawl your website, which can result in better rankings.
And how to achieve that, you ask?
Simple: you have to nail your homepage SEO! (We know. It’s not that simple, which is why we’ve created this guide, so keep reading!).
#1 – SEO for home page tips: Make sure your website’s purpose is clear
Think of your homepage as a welcoming committee for your site, and just like a real committee, you gotta introduce yourself!
Don’t leave your visitors guessing about what you do. Let them know your company purpose, stat! Are you a plumber, a dog grooming service, or a high-tech gadget manufacturer? Whatever it is, make sure your visitors know from the get-go.
What makes your business special? Why should people choose you over your competitors? Flaunt those unique features on your homepage! Use fun graphics and clever copywriting to highlight what sets you apart.
Of course, you shouldn’t just fill the page with content and expect your visitors to stick around. Remember, people have short attention spans, so keep your company explanation brief. You don’t want to bore your visitors to tears, so make sure your copy is clear and concise. You can always offer more detailed information on other pages of your site.
Alternatively, you can use a video to explain everything without boring your visitors with text that they may or may not read. After all, not only can videos make complex products and services easier to grasp and understand, but they’re also a great way to entertain your website’s visitors and keep them engaged.
Finally, don’t make your visitors work to find what they need. Make it easy for them to navigate your site by linking to other pages when it’s relevant. The easier it is for them to find what they need, the less likely they are to bounce.
Check how we implement all of that within the first section of our own homepage:
#2 – Choose the right keywords to target
If you’re trying to spruce up your homepage’s SEO, targeting the right keywords is a must. Here, it’s essential to understand that although it may work for other pages, targeting a single keyword simply won’t cut it when it comes to homepage SEO.
Spread your reach with multiple theme-based keywords. So if you’re a flowerpot company, don’t just focus on “flowerpots” – go for “wholesale flower planters,” “gardening accessories,” “online flowerpot shop,” and “flowerpots near [your city].”
Ranking for non-branded keywords gives you a greater chance of creating an SEO-friendly homepage and generating interest from unique angles. Plus, search engines can learn more about your site’s subject matter and recognise the well-rounded condition of your site, raising the quality level.
That said, remember to keep it manageable! Don’t go overboard with too many keywords, or you’ll risk confusing both search engines and visitors. Just like trying to juggle too many flowerpots at once – it’s a recipe for disaster!
#3 – SEO for home page tips: Use a strategic title tag
Your homepage title tag is the prime real estate where you can showcase your brand and services to grab the attention of potential customers. It’s the ultimate marketing tool because it appears in the SERPs and at the top of the browser tabs, following users throughout their journey.
To create a winning title tag, include your brand name and relevant keywords related to your services and benefits. This way, you can create brand awareness and promote whatever you have to offer right off the bat.
Note that you shouldn’t go overboard with the character count. Keep it concise and under 60 characters so that Google can feature the full name without cutting off any crucial information. By limiting your descriptors to a few select words, you can ensure that search engine users get the full effect of your strategic homepage title tag.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of winning homepage title tags.
Notice how MOZ include one of their main keywords, SEO software, right after their business name.
Here’s another example from our own website, where we’ve placed one of the main keywords we’re targeting, “digital marketing agency in Birmingham”, right after our brand name.
#4 – Craft the perfect meta description
Your meta description acts as a teaser for your website, giving a sneak peek of what’s to come once users click through. So, you better make it count!
Crafting a meta description that sells your brand should be a piece of cake. After all, you know your business inside and out. Simply summarise what makes you awesome and unique, and don’t forget to mention your brand name.
Pro tip: sprinkle some relevant keywords in there, too, but don’t go overboard with the keyword stuffing, as that’s so yesterday.
Clear and concise sentences that describe your company and entice visitors to click through are the way to go. Keep it under 155 characters, and you’ll be golden.
Here’s an example of a winning meta description from Neutrogena:
Here’s another example from our own website:
For more information on title tags and meta descriptions, check this guide we put out some time ago.
#5 – SEO for home page tips: Include some testimonials
We all know how much we rely on reviews these days, right?
I mean, come on, who doesn’t Google a product or company before trying them out?
Well, lucky for you, you can use your homepage to showcase your happy customers’ testimonials!
That’s right, with their permission, you can create a highlight reel of their kind words that shows off your company’s reliability and makes your visitors trust you like you’re their favourite cousin.
And hey, it’s not just customers who can vouch for you! Experts in your industry can also give your site some much-needed street cred. So if you’ve got any certifications or have made it on a “top-10” list, flaunt it, baby!
But here’s the kicker: people aren’t just looking for any old reviews. They want the nitty-gritty, juicy details about your products and services. So make sure your testimonials talk about specific actions and results that your customers experienced. That kind of “social proof” can turn browsers into buyers in no time!
#6 – SEO for home page tips: Optimise your logo
Your logo is the face of your website. It’s what people will remember long after they’ve left, and, believe it or not (you better do), it can play a role in your homepage SEO.
Here’s how to nail your logo’s SEO:
- When you’re uploading your logo, don’t just name it “logo.png” or “image.jpg.” Be smart about it and include your website’s name in the file name. For example, if your website is called “SuperCoolPlumber.com,” name your logo file “SuperCoolPlumber-logo.png”. This not only helps with branding but also helps with SEO
- When it comes to ALT text, don’t be shy. Include your website name in there too! This will not only help visually impaired users understand what your logo is, but it also reinforces your branding. So, if your logo is for “SuperCoolPlumber.com,” make your ALT text say “SuperCoolPlumber.com Logo.” It’s simple, but it works
#7 – Add and optimise other types of media
Not only do graphics support your copy, but they also add some pizzazz to your page. Plus, they’re perfect for users who want to quickly run through your site without reading too much. After all, scrolling through a homepage that has nothing but text is like trying to climb Mt. Everest in flip flops; dreading!
Not only does media help with website functionality, but it can also boost your homepage SEO (if you follow our tips when it comes to images and videos, of course).
- Make sure to name your picture files something original and keyword-based so they stand out in the search rankings
- And please, for the love of all things Internet, make sure your photos are high-quality and not pixelated messes. No one wants to see that!
- Of course, don’t forget to set an ALT text that describes the image while including some of the keywords you’re targeting
Videos are the new black, and if you’re not using them on your website, you’re missing out. Internet users are obsessed with videos, watching them in their spare time like it’s their job (well, it kind of is, right?). They’re a great way to showcase your company’s benefits in a fun and visual way, so don’t shy away from using them on your homepage, the way Rockstar Marketing does it:
PS: although you don’t need to add an alt text to a video, you should provide a transcript (just like we’ve done) to improve your video’s accessibility.
#8 – SEO for home page tips: use the right CTAs
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that CTAs only belong on landing pages. Oh no, my friend. Your homepage should be a hub for achieving high conversion rates too.
While CTAs don’t guarantee better homepage SEO, they do help you retain users and increase your chances of gaining customers. And let’s be real, isn’t that what we all want?
So, what kind of CTAs can you include on your homepage?
The possibilities are endless! You can beckon users to contact you, call you on the phone, submit their email, subscribe to a newsletter, view pricing, or fill out an application. There are numerous things you can ask your visitors to do throughout your main page.
Here’s the thing, though; your homepage CTAs should instil a sense of urgency in viewers. You want to persuade people to make a quick decision and enter their information. So, make sure your CTAs stand out from the surrounding content while keeping a firm hold on trust.
As for the design, to really make your CTAs pop, you need to accentuate them on the homepage. Make them eye-catching and tie them together with your homepage theme.
#9 – SEO for home page tips: Make sure your homepage is mobile-friendly
Did you know that over 63% of searches on Google are now conducted on mobile devices?
Yes, people love their smartphones, and they’re not afraid to use them!
So, if you want to make sure your website is accessible to as many people as possible, you need to make sure it’s mobile-friendly.
Here’s the thing: Google knows this too, which is why they introduced the mobile-first index. This means they’re using a different algorithm to rank mobile websites compared to desktop ones. However, the basic SEO configurations like titles, descriptions, and H1 tags are still the same for both.
When it comes to homepage SEO, you need to take extra care with your mobile site. Start by running the mobile-friendly test to identify and fix any errors using a tool like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. You don’t want to be that website that looks like a hot mess on mobile devices.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your mobile homepage should have the same content as your desktop version. You don’t want to confuse Google by sending mixed signals.
Just like any other page on your website, your homepage needs backlinks (or external links) to compete effectively for non-branded keywords in search engines. In other words, you need other websites to link to your homepage to show Google that you’re legit. The more backlinks you have, the higher the chances of ranking in the top 10.
But is it only a numbers game?
Short answer? No.
After all, the competition for some keywords is tough, like “plumber”, for example. So, you need to make sure your backlinks are up to par because not all backlinks are created equal. You need to focus on getting high-quality backlinks if you want to succeed.
- Relevance: You should aim to get backlinks from websites related to your niche. Don’t be that guy who gets a backlink from a cat blog when you’re providing plumbing services
- Authority: Backlinks from strong web pages usually transfer more “authority” than those from weak ones. Look for websites with high domain authority and a good reputation
- Traffic: There’s a small but clear correlation between rankings and backlinks from pages with organic search traffic. In other words, links from popular websites can give you a better boost
- Anchor: The text around the link is important too. Google reads the surrounding content of a link as a signal for the context of the page
- Follow links vs Nofollow links: Nofollow backlinks usually don’t influence the linked page’s rankings. Look for followed links if you want to see some results. Here’s the difference between the two
Now, here’s the bad news: high-quality links are hard to get. You need to build a strong case to convince other websites to mention your brand or product. But don’t worry; it’s not impossible. You just need to be persistent and creative.
So, where can you find these high-quality backlinks?
Here are some ideas:
- Guest posting: Write an article for another website and include a link to your homepage
- Broken link building: Find broken links on other websites and offer to replace them with a link to your homepage
- Resource page linking: Find resource pages in your niche and ask to be included
- Brand mentions: Monitor your brand name and ask websites that mention you to link to your homepage
- HARO link building: which we explored in the HARO guide
For more details on those link building strategies as well as other ideas to get backlinks for your homepage, check our guide on link building strategies.
Why don’t you let us optimise your website’s homepage?
If you’ve never done SEO before, optimising your website’s homepage can be a daunting task, even with all of our tips. Fret not, though, as we can help. Just book a discovery call with us today, and we’ll show you how we can make Google lust over your homepage.