SEO – 10 Tips for a Homepage That Ranks

My Post (11).pngYour homepage is the most important page on your website. It’s where visitors get introduced to your business and its the door to all your other content. For this reason, it’s the page that you want to rank highest on Google. To achieve that, you’ll need to optimise your homepage and here are ten  SEO tips to help you get started.

The purpose of a homepage

Homepage SEO starts with understanding what the purpose of your homepage is. Essentially, it is to offer introductory content that lets visitors and search engines know what type of business you are and the kinds of product or services you are offering. It also acts as a gateway to the more specific and detailed information found elsewhere on your site.

With this in mind, here are the ten things homepage SEO should set out to do.

1. Navigation

Navigation, including menus and links, is necessary for two purposes. Primarily, it’s there to help visitors quickly and easily access the information they are looking for. For SEO, its important because it enables search engines to discover and index all the content on your site. As it does so, not only will that content be findable on the internet, it will give the search engines a more complete picture of your company and brand. This helps it better decide if your site is relevant to someone’s search query.

2. A company overview

Including a company overview on your homepage is vital for SEO. This doesn’t need to be highly detailed or very lengthy. Instead, keep the description concise, explain what you do clearly and provide your unique selling point (USP).

You can also include short overviews of some of the key services you provide or product types and provide links to them.

As this information is provided on your homepage, search engines will take note of it for ranking purposes.

3. Keywords

Ideally, you should only focus on a limited range of keywords on your homepage. Your other pages will focus on keywords of their own and you don’t want the homepage to compete with these for search engine favour. Your brand should be one of the keywords you focus on, as well as your main areas of business. If it is important, you should consider focussing on location, too.

Remember that when including keywords in your text, they should sound natural, not forced and certainly not overused, as this can be off-putting to readers and affect ranking.

4. Headings and subheadings

Headings and subheadings play a key part in SEO but are only of any value if they are marked up as headings using HTML H tags. Without these tags, search engines cannot recognise them as headings. You should include headings and subheadings for titles and to divide up sections of text on your homepage. To make the best use of them, include some of your keywords. Only one heading, the title, should use the H1 tag, the rest should be H2s, H3s and H4s, used hierarchically.

5. Images and videos

Visual content has an immediate and striking impact on visitors and should be an important component of your homepage. Using images together with blocks of text is a good way to break up the page into meaningful sections for the reader and provides opportunities to add SEO worthy content that can help search engines better understand the site.

For SEO purposes, all images on the homepage should have an alt tag and these can contain the various keywords your page is aiming to rank for. Try to limit keywords to one per alt tag.

While videos don’t add SEO advantages in themselves, if they are liked enough by visitors, they can result in backlinks which are highly important for helping you rank better.

6. Social proof

Both visitors and search engines come with built-in scepticism. While they like trustworthy websites, they like it even more if there is some kind of independent proof. There are numerous ways you can include this on your website, such as testimonials, reviews, links to ratings on third-party sites like Trustpilot and Google and logos of your clients, sponsors and relevant trade organisations. This also gives opportunities to add additional SEO-friendly text.

7. Internal and outbound links

Internal linking is crucial for good SEO as it helps with site indexing. However, aside from menus and footer links, the main homepage content should restrict links to the main pages you want visitors to move onto. Minimising the choice not only streamlines navigation; it forces the search engines and visitors to take the path you want through the site.

A footer menu can be beneficial, however, as it can contain both internal links to important parts of the site that aren’t essential on the homepage itself (blogs, knowledgebases, FAQs, etc.) and link to external sites. External links can include the logos of organisations you are members of or have affiliations with and which provide kudos and social proof.

8. Calls to Action

The text used in your calls to action (CTAs) is not only essential for improving clickthrough rates, as a link, it is also taken note of by search engines. Although only short, CTAs do need some thought to make sure they clearly state the action you want visitors to take. Indeed, many websites use split testing to see which CTA texts attract the most clicks. To be most effective the CTA needs to be highly visible, direct and clear.

9. Meta description

Although the meta description doesn’t feature on the page itself, it is often displayed in the search results and has a key role to play both for SEO and for clickthroughs. For the homepage, the meta description should include the company name and a short but clear description of your business. If this can include your focus keywords and be written to attract clicks, even better. Done effectively, it enables search engines to understand the site’s topic and helps potential visitors decide if it’s the right link to click on. – Read more

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SEO – 10 Tips for a Homepage That Ranks

My Post (10)Your homepage is the most important page on your website. It’s where visitors get introduced to your business and its the door to all your other content. For this reason, it’s the page that you want to rank highest on Google. To achieve that, you’ll need to optimise your homepage and here are ten  SEO tips to help you get started.

The purpose of a homepage

Homepage SEO starts with understanding what the purpose of your homepage is. Essentially, it is to offer introductory content that lets visitors and search engines know what type of business you are and the kinds of product or services you are offering. It also acts as a gateway to the more specific and detailed information found elsewhere on your site.

With this in mind, here are the ten things homepage SEO should set out to do.

1. Navigation

Navigation, including menus and links, is necessary for two purposes. Primarily, it’s there to help visitors quickly and easily access the information they are looking for. For SEO, its important because it enables search engines to discover and index all the content on your site. As it does so, not only will that content be findable on the internet, it will give the search engines a more complete picture of your company and brand. This helps it better decide if your site is relevant to someone’s search query.

2. A company overview

Including a company overview on your homepage is vital for SEO. This doesn’t need to be highly detailed or very lengthy. Instead, keep the description concise, explain what you do clearly and provide your unique selling point (USP).

You can also include short overviews of some of the key services you provide or product types and provide links to them.

As this information is provided on your homepage, search engines will take note of it for ranking purposes.

3. Keywords

Ideally, you should only focus on a limited range of keywords on your homepage. Your other pages will focus on keywords of their own and you don’t want the homepage to compete with these for search engine favour. Your brand should be one of the keywords you focus on, as well as your main areas of business. If it is important, you should consider focussing on location, too.

Remember that when including keywords in your text, they should sound natural, not forced and certainly not overused, as this can be off-putting to readers and affect ranking.

4. Headings and subheadings

Headings and subheadings play a key part in SEO but are only of any value if they are marked up as headings using HTML H tags. Without these tags, search engines cannot recognise them as headings. You should include headings and subheadings for titles and to divide up sections of text on your homepage. To make the best use of them, include some of your keywords. Only one heading, the title, should use the H1 tag, the rest should be H2s, H3s and H4s, used hierarchically.

5. Images and videos

Visual content has an immediate and striking impact on visitors and should be an important component of your homepage. Using images together with blocks of text is a good way to break up the page into meaningful sections for the reader and provides opportunities to add SEO worthy content that can help search engines better understand the site.

For SEO purposes, all images on the homepage should have an alt tag and these can contain the various keywords your page is aiming to rank for. Try to limit keywords to one per alt tag.

While videos don’t add SEO advantages in themselves, if they are liked enough by visitors, they can result in backlinks which are highly important for helping you rank better.

6. Social proof

Both visitors and search engines come with built-in scepticism. While they like trustworthy websites, they like it even more if there is some kind of independent proof. There are numerous ways you can include this on your website, such as testimonials, reviews, links to ratings on third-party sites like Trustpilot and Google and logos of your clients, sponsors and relevant trade organisations. This also gives opportunities to add additional SEO-friendly text.

7. Internal and outbound links

Internal linking is crucial for good SEO as it helps with site indexing. However, aside from menus and footer links, the main homepage content should restrict links to the main pages you want visitors to move onto. Minimising the choice not only streamlines navigation; it forces the search engines and visitors to take the path you want through the site.

A footer menu can be beneficial, however, as it can contain both internal links to important parts of the site that aren’t essential on the homepage itself (blogs, knowledgebases, FAQs, etc.) and link to external sites. External links can include the logos of organisations you are members of or have affiliations with and which provide kudos and social proof.

8. Calls to Action

The text used in your calls to action (CTAs) is not only essential for improving clickthrough rates, as a link, it is also taken note of by search engines. Although only short, CTAs do need some thought to make sure they clearly state the action you want visitors to take. Indeed, many websites use split testing to see which CTA texts attract the most clicks. To be most effective the CTA needs to be highly visible, direct and clear.

9. Meta description

Although the meta description doesn’t feature on the page itself, it is often displayed in the search results and has a key role to play both for SEO and for clickthroughs. For the homepage, the meta description should include the company name and a short but clear description of your business. If this can include your focus keywords and be written to attract clicks, even better. Done effectively, it enables search engines to understand the site’s topic and helps potential visitors decide if it’s the right link to click on. – Read more

Learn More About Webhosting UK

Unlocking the Cloud – It’s Not Just For Big Business

My PostIf you think the cloud is an expensive tool just for big businesses, it’s time to think again. There are many ways that it can benefit small companies, even providing them with the same technologies enjoyed by their bigger competitors. And with packages starting at less than £40 a month (incl. VAT), it certainly isn’t expensive. So, here’s how the cloud can help SMBs.

Remote working

Applications that you host in the cloud can be accessed by you, or any employees you authorise, from any device connected to the internet. This can be anything from Microsoft 365 to software which has been specially created for your company. With these apps hosted in the cloud, your employees can work from home or stay connected while working in the field.

The cloud also enables you to offer more flexible working hours, helping you recruit and retain better staff; you can reduce office space, as fewer people need to be on-site; you can ensure field employees, like the sales team, always have the most up-to-date information about product availability; and you can monitor the progress of employees carrying out jobs like deliveries or home repairs, ensuring that customers are informed of pending arrivals or delays.

Better teams

Cloud-based software means your company isn’t restricted to employing team members who live within travelling distance of your premises. For many roles, cloud access means you can cast a much wider net and easily take on freelance workers to undertake short term projects.

What’s more, the teams you put together can collaborate much more effectively. You can store all your data in a centralised cloud repository, making it accessible to those who need it. Those individuals can then video conference, share synced files and work on projects using the latest team working apps.

The cheaper way to compute

Server technology is expensive and companies that need to invest in servers to run their operations are faced with capital expenditure on hardware, power costs, IT staffing costs and, for larger data centres, overheads associated with the actual premises.

By migrating computing workloads to the cloud, companies can eradicate many of those expenses. The hardware and power are provided by the hosting provider, as is much of the IT management, and there is no need for an in-house data centre. Indeed, even proprietary software licences can be less expensive when provided by your cloud host.

What’s more, the cloud also makes it far easier, quicker and much less expensive to scale up. Using in-house technology, a business would need to purchase a new server, configure it and then install the software before it could be used. This would be an expensive option that would take several days to become operational – not ideal if your company urgently needs more IT resources.

With the cloud, scaling up can be done at the press of a button. Quite simply, you can have all the additional resources you need, instantaneously, without the need for new hardware or configuration. Software installation would only be required if you wanted to use a new app. What’s more, any additional resources you needed above those included in your cloud package are only charged for on a pay as you go basis. So when you no longer need them, you stop paying for them; something you can’t do with a brand new server that you only need for occasional spikes in demand.

Advanced technology at your fingertips

It’s not just additional computing resources that you can have at the click of the button, with the cloud you can also have access to the latest technologies. The demand for cloud apps is such that there are applications of all kinds available, many of them open-source and free to use. What’s more, as they are designed especially for cloud environments, they can be installed in a single click.

This means digital transformation technologies, like artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, communications platforms and chatbots, once the reserve of bigger competitors, can be affordably deployed by all companies, putting smaller businesses on an equal footing. – Read more