Good article. Regarding item #3, it's important to note that you should keep your keyword subjects broad on your homepage. Then as you drill down into your site you can be very specific. Don't be afraid to list your company name on your homepage. This is what will show up when people bookmark your site so you want it to be something they understand when referring to it later. Honestly, the easiest way to rank is for very specifically written pages with targeted titles and keywords. Most of the time that will not be your homepage. If you can do that for your homepage I think that's great. Chances are though you're homepage should say something like this "Jody's Kool Muzik Paks - musical instruments for children" and then your sub-pages should be specific to the instruments and products that you sell. Those are the pages that will rank first and be your long tail.
A Web Content Writing Checklist, Part 1: Your Homepage
The most basic business website is the "brochure" website that helps potential clients decide if you and they would be the right fit. Here's a quick checklist to help you write or polish the homepage for your site.
1. The homepage prominently displays the name of your business, a clear phrase that describes your products or services, and either your phone number or your contact email. (Some of the best commercial websites contain only those three elements.)
2. If your business has a physical storefront, the homepage shows that address, a helpful description ("just two blocks east of Benaroya Hall"), and a map link.
3. You describe your services or products using searchable keywords. Use the same words a new customer would use to search for those services and products on the web. (For example, instead of "Jody's Kool Muzik Paks for kids," say "musical instruments for children" or "drums, flutes, and keyboards for children.")
4. You're using the words "you" or "our clients" as frequently as possible. Potential clients need to know how they interact with you and what benefits your clients enjoy. (Example: "You'll be able to choose from six lines of cabinetry" instead of "We carry six lines of cabinetry.")
5. The homepage has a left-hand or right-hand column with links to all the "small stuff" on your site. Don't be afraid to link to a dozen or more products or services or categories.
6. Paragraphs on your homepage have no more than three sentences each. People don't read large blocks of copy online.
7. Your homepage has a maximum of 12 sentences. People are more likely to read short headers or links. They skim.
8. Your homepage links lead only to other pages on your site, not to external sites. The only exceptions should be for business sites that pay you for referrals or otherwise directly benefit your business. Don't give potential customers reasons to click away from your site.
9. Your content is fresh. If possible, set up your homepage to display a feed with the first paragraph from your blog. Or commit yourself to refreshing the content every week with a news announcement ("We just received a shipment of Chihuly glass," "We're offering 15% off on massage sessions the first week of January," etc.) Regular injections of fresh content will boost your search engine rank.
10. Your homepage content has been reviewed by at least one person with writing or editing credentials.
Learn more about the author, Karen Anderson.
Comment on this article
Posted by Chris Auman, North Canton, Ohio |
Dec 20, 2007
Posted by Vena Jensen Blitsch, Ridgefield, Washington |
Dec 20, 2012
This is very helpful both for myself (I'm redoing my website...again!) and as a comparison for the checklist I use with my clients. Most appreciated! I'd be interested in how long blog posts should be in your opinion. Thanks!
- web content
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