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The Importance of Homepage Content and SEO

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The homepage of your website is the first thing Google sees when crawling your website, and in the large majority of the cases, it is the most important page of your site.

Many websites are engaged in active SEO and backlink building campaigns to increase their domain authority and website rankings for their homepage, but they are simply not getting the results they want. If you have a homepage that has a very small amount of content, you may be working uphill.

Lets take a look at just how important having solid homepage content can be for your rankings.

Why It Is Important

Google crawls websites and analyzes them regularly to see how relevant they are to certain keyword terms. Googlebot, Google’s website scraper and crawler, is responsible for inspecting your website and determine how relevant your pages are, and ranking you appropriately on Google search.

The problem that most people don’t realize is that Googlebot is largely a text-only crawler; Googlebot doesn’t count images or animations as content, and it is mainly looking for text content. This is a problem for websites with a high amount of links and images on their homepage, but very little actual content.

Why does Google consider text content so important? From a search engine’s point of view, it makes perfect sense; if a website does not have enough relevant content on its homepage for the keyword it is trying to ranking for, it will be very difficult for Google to determine that the website is absolutely relevant for its keyword, and ranking on Google will be an uphill battle. Google wants to try to avoid delivering websites that are of very little use to their visitors, and from a web crawlers point of view, a website with very little content might be considered too “thin” or not relevant enough to be ranked on the front page of Google.

Content has always been king to Google; those of you with thin homepages may want to reconsider your homepage architecture.

How to Build a Content-rich Homepage

It is possible to build a content-rich homepage that is both useful to your visitors and search engines a-like. It is ideal to have a minimum of 600-1000 words on your homepage. Here are a few different strategies that we have used on our websites, as well as by thousands of other website developers across the web.

1. A Frequently Asked Questions Area

homepage
Adding a FAQ area to your homepage presents a unique way to include a large amount of content on your homepage. This is useful to both users and search engines, and easily adds to the overall word count of your homepage. In the example above, you can see this author implemented a clever and completely legal way of fitting a ton of content into a small area using collapsible jQuery dropdowns, which is rich and useful to both search engines and users alike.

 

2. Pull in Recent Blog Posts


We know Google loves seeing a frequently updated homepage. What if our homepage doesn’t really need to be updated once a day? By pulling excerpts from your recent blog posts, you will both increase your overall homepage content, as well as keep it fresh and updated by simply keeping your blog updated.

 

3. A Testimonials Slider

Testimonial Slider
This is another clever way of fitting lots of useful content into a small and attractive looking area. Having a sliding testimonials section shows your visitors useful reviews about your company, and all slides are completely visible to Google and are counted as homepage text. Pure SEO goodness!

These are just three examples of ways to get easy content on your homepage without looking spammy or being intrusive. Remember, the goal is to be equally useful to both visitors and search engines. Keep your content useful, dabble in a few of your main keywords here and there, and you’ll be on your way to the top.

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James Parsons

I'm an avid blogger on SEO, social media, and design. When I'm not working with the awesome guys at AudienceBloom, I'm writing for my personal blog at JamesParsons.com or working on my next big project.

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  • Great ideas in the article, I was just counseling a client that he needed more content on his home page. I’ve seen several businesses that spend thousands on a website but hardly fill it with any content, home page or otherwise. I also use a great rotating testimonials plugin on my client sites and I wasn’t aware that Google sees that text as well.

  • PageRank may be an indication of authority, but it is not a factor in search engine results.

    The main page of a site is the closest page to the root of the site, and as such, Google gives it a higher weight.
    However, adding feeds that change the content will have a negative effect on static keyword properties.
    Sliding content *might* be accepted by Google as full content, but at any given time the majority of this text is not seen by human visitors, so I would think it is strongly discounted.

    When you consider the content of the main page, consider it’s default file name which is index.
    Look up the definition:
    in·dex (ndks)

    1. Something that serves to guide, point out, or otherwise facilitate reference, especially:
    a. An alphabetized list of names, places, and subjects treated in a printed work, giving the page or pages on which each item is mentioned.
    b. A thumb index.
    c. A table, file, or catalog.
    d. Computer Science A list of keywords associated with a record or document, used especially as an aid in searching for information.

    The main page of a site should point out what the site is about, with guides, (links and anchor text), to internal content which expands on the index snippets.
    This should be presented in the first screen and not require scrolling to access.

  • Nitesh Agrawal

    I’m often wondering this same thing, what the right amount of content
    is.. I’d hate to make a page too long for a visitor to find handy if it
    is multiple articles or just scrolls down long, but I guess, as long as
    it is text more content is good for search engines then??

    http://www.grouppfg.com

  • Jen

    Thanks so much for this article! I recently shared it with a web developer and her response was that this information is outdated and no longer the correct. Can you please share whether that’s accurate. I’m trying to decide if my homepage needs content or just images.

  • Thanks for sharing this information, I am going to suggest the importance of content on home page of a website to one of my friend. I totally agree with you that ample amount of fresh and unique content in very necessary on home page of a website. I also implement. Being an SEO expert and associated with http://www.cynoteck.com, This information in valuable for me as well.

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