Working with search marketing clients, I have sometimes encountered a belief that all traffic should be driven to the home page of the web site. Years ago, I would find online business owners who held the belief that users would want to go to the home page and then navigate the site through the menu. While this is not as common as in past years, it is still a dangerous misconception.
I once worked with an education services website that placed almost every product offering on the home page. The result was an unfocused mess on the home page that suffered a low conversion rate and a high bounce rate. Whether your site is a blog or a business website, don’t throw everything on the home page. You can also make this mistake in search optimization for your web site.
Search engine users are very specific in their queries. They are often searching for specific information to answer a question or a very specific product that will meet an immediate need. Each one of your web pages should be the answer to a different customer need or question. Mistakenly trying to answer all web visitor needs on one page, like the home page, is guaranteed to frustrate your web visitors or blog visitors. The result will be confused visitors, who will immediately bounce back to the search engine and click on another web page result.
A similar SEO mistake is to optimize only the home page and a trifling few web pages. Optimization should be applied consistently across the entire web site or blog. The SEO battle is won or lost at the page level, but since only 25-50% of your pages will eventually rank in the first page of search results, optimize many pages to increase the natural search traffic performance of the entire web site.
Start your optimization of the entire web site with the title tag and meta-tags. The title tag is most influential to search engines, whether on the home page or other pages.
The title tag and meta-tags should meet these requirements:
1) Must accurately describe the web page content with a keyword that is sought by a larger number of people each month.
2) The title tag keyword should also appear in the on-page headline to reduce the visitor bounce rate.
3) The title tag must have the same meaning as similar page content words that express the page theme. Since most search engines use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). Search queries that use LSI against the indexed web pages will return web page results that are similar in meaning even if the results don’t share a specific keyword.
4) The meta-description tag may use the keyword and should also convey a benefit to the reader. When a reader sees your web page title listed in Google search results, Google often places the description tag text underneath the listing. Here’s your chance to lure in more readers with a compelling description tag.
5) Meta-description tags should be unique for every page.
6) The keyword meta-tag is useless.
7) The meta tag is not discussed much, but tells search engines that among any pages with similar text, that the tagged page is the unique and original page. This is useful because it prevents the dreaded search engine duplicate content penalty.
Use these fundamental steps across 30-100 of your most important web pages, and you will build a powerful foundation for attracting web traffic through natural search results.