According to the almighty Google, there are about 100 billion searches conducted through their service each and every month. When internet users are looking for something specific that your business offers, you’ll want them to end up on your homepage (at least, eventually). Your homepage should instantly tell a potential customer what they need to know about your organization, why they should work with you, and make them want to learn more. But if you make these search engine optimization blunders on your homepage, you’ll likely scare off visitors — or make it so they can never find you in the first place. Here are just a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid when designing and optimizing your homepage.
- Keyword stuffing: SEO specialists will tell you this is a bad practice for any of your site pages, but it can be especially detrimental on your main landing page. You shouldn’t try to fit in as many instances of a certain keyword as you can, nor should you try to group together as many of your target keywords as possible. It comes off as unnatural and even spammy to visitors and crawl bots alike, which will definitely result in a higher bounce rate and maybe even a Google penalization. Most SEO specialists will agree that it’s better to rank for your brand name on your homepage. It’s fine to include relevant terms and header tags, but don’t overdo it.
- Not focusing on other pages: In the same vein as the point above, your homepage should actually NOT be your main focus for SEO services. There are certain features your homepage should have (the right amount of text, optimized images, and headers, to name a few), but you should think of the rest of your site as your homepage’s SEO. All of your other pages should support it and drive traffic there, not the other way around. An SEO company can help determine which of your pages need more optimization and whether your homepage is doing enough (or alternatively, too much). By focusing too heavily on that main landing page, you won’t be able to provide enough relevant and interesting information on your other pages to satisfy Google and site visitors.
- Using sliders: Sliders (also known as carousels) are still found on all kinds of websites, but they have zero SEO value. In fact, they can really take away from the overall user experience, which is definitely bad for SEO. Statistics show that only 1% of users actually click on a slide, and most users are either confused by this feature or ignore it completely. They can also slow down your site and generally won’t work on mobile, both of which can totally tank your search rankings. It may look fancy, but it’s usually much more effective to have just one great image on your home page than to use a slider.
While your homepage is an extremely important component of your website, it really shouldn’t be your go-to for SEO efforts. If any of these mistakes ring true for your homepage, an SEO specialist can help you overhaul your site to remove any of these offenses.