It is a rare website where the homepage is also not the most visited page. Usually it is the most important page for a variety of reasons.
1. It represents your brand more than any other page 2. It usually gets the most visitors 3. It is the most likely to be bookmarked, saved or shared by visitors 4. It sets the tone for the rest of the website design 5. It is the gateway to the rest of your website
Due to its obvious importance, ensuring your homepage design and SEO is perfect is critical to your website’s success. See some tips below to get you there.
Where should your money keyword go?
For businesses this usually means the keyword phrase that best defines the business. If you are a discount shoes store selling shoes online, then your main keyword ‘Discount Shoes Store’ has to be on the home page. Your homepage has the two strongest credentials for SEO success – The most visits and the most backlinks!
Show them what you got with visual content
If you are a business whose product or service has a visual element, ensure it is present on your home page. But as the next point stresses, strike a balance between visual and text.
Make sure there is text
Now search is still very much a textual activity (Yes, even with SIRI and Google Talk for Android) and your page needs text.
There is a strong temptation to make the home page into a grand entrance for your website with all the shiny stuff. Flash, Sliders, the works. If plain old text content is missing you are missing a strong opportunity. For that grand entrance you need visitors. For visitors you need to work all the online marketing channels. This means besides PPC, Banner ads, etc. you also need to do SEO. And for SEO you need textual content.
The quickest call to action
If your business has any brand value, there are going to be customers or leads who type your name in Google, come over and call or fill the form. They usually know what you do already and know what they want. There is no need to increase steps to conversion by letting them find and go to the specific service page first. Ensure your home page has clear call to actions.
Be social upfront
This is so often missed even though we are in the era of social media. Very often it is tucked away as an afterthought. Ensure that is not the case till someone confirms Facebook is really dead, no one tweets anymore and Google+ was Google Buzz all over again.
Show your Offers but …
What better place to highlight your offer than where most of your visitors are going to be. On your website, this means your homepage.
Flash is still good for certain things though you should stay alert and ready to switch to HTML5 if needed. But don’t go over the top with it. Use it where it makes sense in your design. At this point online videos, animations, dynamic presentations are still Flash dominated territory and if that’s what you need, that’s what you got to use.
I believe this should help you get a perfectly happy homepage, the starting point for a successful website.
Dharne & Company, based in Irvine offers Website Design and SEO services for businesses in the Los Angeles area, California and across the US. Contact us to know more.