A step by step guide to optimising your homepage for seo
A new website design is an ideal way to reinvent the way your brand interacts with your audience. However, rather than simply focusing on user experience, it is important to develop an SEO strategy in order to target and appeal to the right audience. This is specifically important for your homepage, as this is the first place Google will look in order to identify your business’ purpose. Using the information found in your title, description, and content, Google will then rank your business against competitors.
Improving your SEO not only makes it easier for your audience to find your business but appearing higher in the search ranks often means consumers are likely to trust you more. In fact, according to HostGator, users are more likely to click on one of the top five suggestions on a results page.
To move higher up the search engine rankings, we’ve come up with a step-by-step guide on how to optimise your homepage.
Web Hosting provider
Selecting the best web hosting provider is an important step in ensuring your webpage is optimised for SEO. This is important for optimising your loading speed which has a direct impact on your bounce rate. According to Reliable Soft, 40% of users will leave a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Choosing a fast and reliable server can increase your website performance, increase the number of time users spend on your website and move your business further up the search engine ranks.
Your domain name is the first point of identification which allows the search engines to understand what your company is. Therefore, it is important to choose a domain name that is relevant, easy to remember and includes a keyword if possible. The best combination is your business name and service so you can ensure that domain name is available and provides your users with key information about your business.
Optimise your title, meta description, H1 tag and content
Optimising these components of your website is crucial to appearing higher in search results. Keyword research forms the basis of this and it is vital to choose the keywords that are going to deliver the highest and most relevant traffic to your website.
Your title needs quickly summarise the key aspects of your business in 60 characters or less. Your business name should be at the start followed by your keyword.
Next, the meta description needs to provide a clearer and more specific insight into the fundamentals of your brand. Between 130 and 154 characters, this allows users to quickly assess whether they are interested in your product or service. A more accurate meta description means more clicks from the right audience.
The H1 tag is often the first text your user will see on your homepage. Again, make sure it includes your keywords in order to appear in relevant search engine results. It is worth checking that you have only one set of H1 in your HTML by viewing your page source.
Additionally, keywords should not only be used in your title, meta description, and H1 but throughout your content too. In order to not be penalised by Google, it is a good idea to use variations and synonyms throughout in order to not overkill your keywords.
Optimise your images
Optimising your images is another opportunity to indicate what your website is for. Your homepage should consist of images with both customised image titles and alt text which includes keywords. If you don’t have WordPress, your alt text can be updated in your website’s html. This should be carried out for your logo too which should include the name of your business as the title and your website name as the alt text.
Another handy tip is to separate your image from any text that goes with it. Search engines can’t read text embedded in jpg or png. Ideally, you should add the text using CSS or HTML to maximise your SEO potential.
This may be a more obvious point but linking to your other pages on your website is an important way to increase SEO. Google will initially visit your homepage and then use the links to explore your website and determine your ranking. Therefore, your homepage should include all the important links. This can be done with custom icons or an interactive menu system to improve user experience. Reliable Soft states that all pages should be accessible from your homepage in less than three clicks. This is worth keeping in mind when designing your website.
SEO is an important factor in web design and should be considered carefully during the initial planning. Phuket Island is a perfect example of consistent SEO within their homepage design, using their relevant keyword ‘Thai Massage’ throughout to indicate the purpose of their website.
A quality homepage that follows the above guide will soon deliver a higher volume of traffic to your website as you appear higher in the rankings.