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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.