Conducting a Home Page Audit for SEO: Powerful Home Pages

Your Home Page is the Queen Bee of your website for SEO, so you want to pay a lot of attention to how you deploy it.
In this video, we’ll first establish basic principles of Home Pages for SEO, next we’ll “reverse engineer” some powerful home pages, and finally we’ll end with some tips and todos for conducting an audit of your own Home Page. Let’s get started!

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Home Pages and SEO: Every Word Matters

A well-done home page for SEO has three interrelated purposes:

  1. META Tags. The TITLE tag of the Home Pages sends a very powerful signal to Google as to what the entire website is about. It prioritizes your keyword themes. Your META DESCRIPTION tag impacts how you are described on Google search results as well.
  2. Visible Content. Every single word on your Home Page is a really strong signal to Google vis-a-vis a target search query. So if you want to rank for “Dallas personal injury attorney” get those words on your Home Page. If you want to rank for FUE and FUT hair transplants, get those on your home page, etc. Don’t overdo your home page content, but definitely brainstorm your target keywords and don’t bury that content – get it onto your home page.
  3. Link Sculpting. Link “down” from your Home Page to your target landing pages. This “one click” access from the Home Page is yet another powerful signal about your priorities, and the “link juice” that flows FROM your Home Page TO your landing page assists your landing pages.
Home Page SEO

Photo credit: Brandon Blahnik via / CC BY

In sum, every word on your Home Page matters – a lot – for your rank on Google, and your overall SEO performance. Think of your Home Page as the Queen Bee of your website, the Football Captain, the President or Commander-in-chief, the Head Honcho, the Oracle at Delphi… you get the picture!

Powerful Home Pages: Examples

Imitation is the highest form of flattery, so let’s look at some example of Home Pages that are done right. These are Home Pages that use their META TAGS wisely to set the tone for their website, plus have strong visible content and use “link sculpting” down to target landing pages.

  • Pet Insurance from Nationwide and from ASPCA. Insurance companies do a great job of SEO, and it’s non-local, so that’s useful compared with Personal Injury Attorneys.
  • – notice the META tags, one click links to the target landing pages, visible content, and use of the footer.  Mercury Insurance is another good one.
  • Dan Rose Law – ditto, ditto, ditto!  And Hersh Law.

Steps to Audit Your Own Home Page

Once you know the game, then it’s time to audit your own Home Page.

  1. Begin with your keywords. You should have created a Keyword Worksheet, and know your priority keywords.
  2. Write an optimized TITLE Tag (< 59 characters, ideally; certainly less than 80 characters). Insert your most important “thematic” keywords into your TITLE. You have ONLY 59 characters, so be strategic – choose keywords that match your target SEO keyword themes, but not so difficult you do not have a prayer of ranking but not so easy that you can rank without using your Home Page Title Tag!
  3. Write an optimzied META Description Tag (< 155 characters). Insert your target keywords, and have some “sex appeal” or “pizzazz.” Make it exciting – the job is to “get the click.”  Remember: this will become the description to your Branded Search, for example, Dan Rose Law (check out his META DESCRIPTION on his home page: “We are personal injury attorneys who represent Bay Area victims in injury accident and wrongful death claims. Free consult with San Francisco accident lawyer.”).
  4. Audit the existing visible content. Try to write in bullet / blurb fashion but get your target keywords onto the page in subject / verb /object format.
  5. Link sculpting. Link down to your target landing pages, around the target phrase.

Stability matters! Don’t change your Home Page Title tag more than once every few months, as if you change it too frequently that can
actually hurt your rank on Google.

Photo credit: Brandon Blahnik via / CC BY

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About Jason McDonald

Jason McDonald is a top-rated San Francisco SEO Consultant. His consulting services include search engine optimization consulting, social media marketing consulting, and Google AdWords consulting. Jason's motto as a consultant is that he doesn't do SEO 'for you' but rather he does SEO 'with you.' That goes as well for his social media marketing consultant activities and Google AdWords consultant services. Besides serving clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jason consults with clients in Silicon Valley (San Jose), Oakland and other cities throughout the Bay Area. Beyond the Bay Area, Jason is available as an SEO consultant, Social Media Consultant, and as an expert witness in litigation involving social media marketing, search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.