You know that old adage in real estate that says everything is based on “location, location, location”? Well, these days everything is based on your homepage. The same saying could really be when dealing with online businesses your “homepage, homepage, homepage”.
Your homepage is the center of your business. You try to get visitors to your homepage and then you try to get your e-mail address by giving them a call to action. This can be in the form of downloading your free report, signing up for a newsletter, or even having a free consultation with an expert. If your visitor goes to your homepage and doesn’t click on anything then you’ve lost a potential customer forever.
Everyone loves to have hundreds of visitors all clicking on their call to action. But your homepage could actually be sabotaging your effort. If your statistics say visitors are coming but not staying, then your home page is probably making one or more of the following website mistakes.
A Bad Title
No, it’s not the title of your article, (even though that’s important too,) it’s actually the title of your home page. Many people make the mistake of calling it ‘home page’ or just having their company’s name in it when what you really need to have are the words themselves. For example if you’re selling pet supplies make sure the word “pet supplies” is somewhere in the title.
No Keywords In Your Article’s Title
Yes, we’re back to titles again. Titles of articles are listed with the ‘H’ code. H1 is your biggest headline, H2 is your second biggest and so on. Whatever your keyword is, you need to make sure that it’s in these H codes. Just being bolded and bigger is not enough.
No Positioning Statement
A positioning statement is what tells your visitor what it is you do. It’s a little different from the meta-tags, because meta-tags are shorter words and positioning statements can be slightly longer since they’re written for people not for search engines. You need to tell your customer what you do, because if he doesn’t know he will leave quickly.
Putting Too Much Below The Fold
The fold goes back to the days of print newspapers. They always put the most important story above the fold. That means the section you can read without opening the paper. When talking about websites, ‘the fold’ is the section they can read without scrolling down. You need your most important information above the fold.
Some people feel they can put up a bunch of articles, and then just leave the website alone. Well there’s nothing wrong with having a bunch of articles to start but articles need to be updated on a semi-regular basis. Search engines give preference to newer content, and if people like to feel like you’re ignoring your own site they’ll feel like you’ll ignore them too.
No Inbound Links
Internet links are links that come to your website from another site. Search engines look at how many inbound links you have, and rate you accordingly.
No Content Management System
Also known as CMS, this enables you to make changes without being a programmer. Of course, this will inspire you to make changes more often and this comes back to fresh content always being a good thing.
Using Too Many Gimmicks; Flash, Java, Flipbooks, etc.
These are cool features; they’re fun to look at and more fun to play with. There’s only one problem, search engines don’t read images. They can see you have images, if they read the description they can even see what they’re of, but they’re looking for keywords, and lots of them. If they don’t find the words they’re looking for on your site they’ll move on to the next site with fewer images and more words.
No Call To Action
So what are you doing with that homepage? You’re trying to use it to get business or assemble a list. In order to get a mailing list you have to have a call to action. What is it you want the people to do? Do you want them to download a free report, sign up for a periodic newsletter, or maybe you want them to call and get a free consultation or quote? Whatever you want them to do, don’t keep it a secret. Tell them what you want them to do and make sure you have a way to catch they’re e-mail address when you do.
So now you know 10 mistakes most often made when creating a website, you don’t have to be among the thousands of people who make them everyday. That will give your website a better chance to be seen than the many people are still making these mistakes. Every mistake you don’t make and they do make gets you one step closer to the front page of Google.