The home page is the first impression of your website that a user receives. As the name suggests, the homepage is like a home with its internal pages, acting like interiors. If you come across any home, it could either hook you in with perfect aesthetics, or you let it pass because it’s boring or not useful enough for you.
Similarly, the users visit your website, and that’s where they get familiar with your product/service. Every business experiment with homepage optimization to rank in top SERPs for the relevant keywords. The important question is- does SEO even exist for the homepage?
One of the articles from Yoast says Home page SEO doesn’t exist. User experience is what outruns other factors and plays a significant role. However, there are certain parameters that could be work upon SEO-wise to rank your website homepage.
A home page acts as a guide to your users where they move to the other pages on your site that further explain your product/service in detail.
In this article, we will be covering up what strategies you should focus on when it comes to homepage optimization.
User experience, a key to better customer engagement
Before we begin, a sure thing to mark that all the key parameters that could boost your homepage ranking should have one thing in common- “user experience.” A good user experience leads to better engagement with potential prospects and at the same time builds your brand reputation in one go.
Look at it this way, any content, design, image, video, brand color, etc., that take your users away from your website acts as a detractor to your brand’s growth. Believe it or not! It took multiple rounds of coming up with different home pages, where we finally understood that a perfect homepage is not essential. But, what’s important is its simplicity and message that captures your user’s attention.
Let’s go one-by-one and explore these parameters that you should use to optimize your homepage in simple terms.
1. Seamless Navigation
Nobody wants their users to get stuck on a page without knowing where to go next.
A homepage with easy navigation guides visitors to the right page providing the right information, thus serving its whole purpose.
Too many links, features, and detailed information can be overwhelming for your visitor to grab.
Make your menu categories as simple and differentiating as possible.
For example, a marketing automation solution, Pardot, uses a simple format for the menu and provides all the categories one would need to know about.
Internal page linking
Include internal links to the homepage and provide more detailed information on the backlinked page. This gives your homepage viewers the option to chose if they want to know about a specific feature or service in detail or not.
Personally, I like to skim through the homepage first and then dig into the details if required. This emphasizes how right and brief content plays an important role in quick decisioning and conversions.
Page linking gives an idea of what your homepage is all about. Here’s how G2 includes its most important links at its homepage footer.
2. Explaining your company’s purpose
There could be many aspects that a business would want to cover on their website homepage.
However, it’s important that you communicate your user’s requirements and the solutions you offer.
3. Including keywords
Homepage requires brief yet accurate content that conveys the message to your users. Include keywords, but not overdo it.
Use tools like Ahrefs keywords explorer to search for keywords that rank on top SERPs and build content that includes top-ranking keywords.
Try to focus on some keywords that resonate with your brand’s image and purpose. According to Business 2 Community, including rich content of a minimum of 400 words would help you improve your web ranking.
4. Optimizing Header Section
This is the foremost element of your home page that visitors will see. The website’s header section contains the following elements:
The headline is what conveys to your users about your brand. It’s recommended to use the H1 tag for your headline with a few keywords that your brand focuses on. The following headlines can be used with H2, H3, H4, and so on keeping in mind the presentation of the page.
Note: To build more trust in your users, you can always add your awards and recognitions, given that it does not dominate the headline and other illustrations if used any.
5. Focusing on visuals
Everybody loves visuals, your search engine too!
Include visuals on your homepage that communicate a message or tells a story your users could relate to.
Including visuals in your homepage takes user experience altogether to the next level.
Check out this amazing video on Sendinblue’s homepage, a leading marketing software.
Another great example of Hubspot using the visual on the homepage.
6.Social proof converts more
Make your homepage visitors believe in your brand through social proofing. Show them where you are present and that you have an audience across multiple platforms.
“Your users would always want to get assured that the product or service they use is trusted by others too. Community building has come a long way when it comes to building trust and credibility among the targeted audience.”
Include social media platforms, review platforms, show your awards and achievements that add value to your user’s understanding of the product. Don’t sit back and show the world what amazing brand are your customers.
For example, Outbrain shows its visitors how leading brands are their customers.
7. CTA converts
Every page on the website has different types of call-to-action buttons. The context of these buttons differs based on the page context.
A CTA button in the header section could consist of a “Sign-up” or “Demo” button most of the time. A blog page can have a “Subscribe” button. A CTA on the features page could direct users towards the specific feature page and so on.
The homepage CTA should differentiate itself from all other CTAs present on your page. Its also recommended to following brand colors while choosing the CTA button that resonates with the theme.
Check out how brands adopt CTA based on the content.
8. Page load time impacts user experience
Marketers rely on various tools for customer engagement marketing such as web pop-ups, push notifications, email marketing tools, and more. The adoption of these tools on websites means saving time and resources for marketing efforts.
However, the inclusion of these tools on your website can indirectly impact your user experience. The tools that are integrated into the website impact the page load time. And, page load time in-turn affects your users’ experience.
This is what Google states how bounce rates depend on your page load time:
Adding to this, there are more options available to measure parameters like referral traffic, etc through external tool integrations or embedding videos on the homepage for better customer engagement.
However, doing all these can cause your page load time to increase.
Make sure the tools that you want to use, loads their “async” code only after all the elements of the website loads completely.
For example, websites use push notifications as an important marketing tool to re-engage with their users. Integrating a push notification tool to your website can sometimes increase the overall page load time. Free Push notifications tools like Truepush loads the async code after your web page has loaded all the elements. This makes it easier for websites to integrate the tool without affecting their user experience.
Home Page Optimization: To sum it up
A website needs to do homepage A/B testing in order to understand which design and approach engage the users more.
Focus on providing an “easy-to-grasp” user experience and avoiding “Information overload” in one go.
Include images and videos that tell your brand story with rich content.
Keeping the content that’s SEO optimized (Headers, Keywords, etc) helps search engines understand your brand better and improve SERPs ranks for a longer run. Avoid keyword stuffing.
If you are integrating with tools on your website, consider tools that load their async code only
after your website loads itself completely. This will not hinder the user experience, the best key for homepage optimization and conversion.
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