SEO optimization: Optimizing your homepage in 5 steps

SEO

Many companies and organizations do not even know how easy an SEO check works and what potential lies dormant in their website with SEO optimization. Here are 5 simple but effective tips on how to optimize your homepage .

For many companies, Google is the most important source of sustainable reach and sales. With a market share of 98 percent in mobile search, almost everyone can be reached via search engines at the moment they are looking for information, products or entertainment. SEO helps you to be present exactly when you have the right solution. To do this, you have to continuously optimize your pages in order to prevail against the competition for visibility and clicks.

1. Technical SEO optimization

Check whether your homepage is technically optimized.
Is the homepage up to date and can it be “read” and correctly interpreted by search engines and users? Often fundamental errors can already be found in the presentation of the page content, because programmers and web designers are usually not specialists in search engine optimization (SEO) . If the homepage is not built in accordance with search engines, even the best content is of no use: Google cannot find it.

Checklist technical SEO optimization:

  • Page title: What is the page about?
  • Meta Description: Why Should Someone Click on Google?
  • Internal links: Are important articles linked frequently and on the homepage?
  • robots.txt file: Can search engines crawl the website?
  • https: Has an SSL certificate been installed?
  • Is the website only accessible either with or without www?
  • Canonical tags: Are canonicals necessary and available?
  • Redirects: are changed URLs properly redirected?
  • Directories: Is the website well structured and with few directories?
  • Loading times: Are the loading times within reasonable limits?

It is worthwhile to regularly do a site audit with an experienced SEO consultant, because he knows the typical problems of a website and can prioritize the urgency.

2. Keyword research

If the technology works well so far, the content follows. Because without first-class content there is no chance of being found on Google today. This SEO optimization is entirely up to you.

Which search terms are actually used to search for your products or services? This task sounds simple at first, but it is very complex. But there are also helpful tools for this, which provide helpful services when optimizing the homepage.

Task:
1. Make a note of important search terms with which you would like to be found.
2. Compare which pages appear in search results for these terms. Is their content better?
3. Weigh your chances against these sites realistically and refine the search terms if necessary. 

The strategies of your customers are very different: While some use exact terms, others may use a very rough umbrella term and still others search – for lack of specialist knowledge – even with wrong terms or with complete sentences.

Create and maintain a list of all possible search terms that could be used to search for your services. Also, think of all possible word combinations and variations.

Enter your keywords in the Google search mask and let Google Suggest show you which other variants of your keywords are frequently searched for.

Add these to your keyword list if they appear relevant in terms of content. Try to integrate these terms sensibly into your texts. Each post should be written for a focus keyword and be long enough to cover all aspects of the topic.

The Google Keyword Planner for AdWords is a great help in finding suitable keywords. Originally intended for Google ads, the planner helps just as well (and for free) in researching frequently used search terms. If you rank on the first search results page with these keywords, more and more people will find their way to your page.

By the way: There are hardly any clicks on page 2 on Google! So only optimize for keywords for which you have a realistic chance of getting the top 10 search hits. The more precisely the keyword describes your topic, the better.

3. Content optimization

Assign a keyword to every planned post and every page of the homepage, which must then also appear in the headline, title and text!

A homepage is much more than just a digital business card. The right content is what makes it attractive and brings potential customers to the site. You should therefore create content on relevant topics for your business and maintain it regularly. Ideally, there is already content that covers many of the keywords researched in step 2. If not: make yourself visible for all relevant search queries for your services and topics. And always remember: only the best articles on a topic have a long-term chance of top positions on Google. The search engine results are nothing more than charts. Only the top hits have the corresponding success.

A doctor’s office can set itself apart from the competition with useful health tips, a shop with extensive, trustworthy tests and reviews of its products. Advice and information are of course part of the service for every service, this is even more true in the digital world, where the competition is just a click away and no employee can be contacted personally.

Google rewards well-prepared and particularly useful content that solves user problems with good positions in the relevant search terms.

On average, content ranks first on Google with 2000 words. The optimal text length for SEO depends on the topic and the competition. However, it is often worthwhile to publish more detailed texts, because these have the chance to rank for many different keyword combinations. Particularly well-optimized pages rank for hundreds of search terms!

Content optimization checklist

  • Does the text answer all of the target group’s questions on the topic?
    Lots of people search in question form. Therefore, go through all possible questions on your topic.
  • Do the most important keywords appear several times in the text?
    This ensures that users and search engines know what the text is about, even when quickly skimming them.
  • Are the sentences short and easy to read ?
    Many people just skim online texts, which is why it is particularly important to be brief and clear. Explain each technical term and always think about the level of knowledge of your target group.
  • Are there no filler words and unimportant statements?
    Cross out any word that is unnecessary for understanding. No sentence without meaning.
  • Is the article structured so well that there is no screen-filling wasteland on mobile devices?
    Is there a paragraph after four or five lines of text at the latest?
  • Are meaningful sub-headings available?
    At best, the content can only be grasped by reading the subheadings.
  • Are enumerations and lists included instead of long, verbose descriptions?
    Particularly complex relationships should be presented as compactly as possible.
  • Are pictures and possibly videos included that make it easier to understand?
    Not everyone likes a lot of text, some people prefer to watch videos or need pictures to grasp a topic.
  • Does the article contain a “ call to action ” at the end ? What should the user do next?
    B: “Buy”, “Order newsletter”, click on another article, contact us, … Formulate in one sentence what exactly the users should do and what benefit they will get from it.
  • Is the amount of text sufficient compared to the articles that are already top ranking?
    If other pages explain a topic in more detail and in depth, there is hardly any chance of ranking better. Ask: Why should Google rank your article of all places?
  • Is the text current and has no built-in expiration date ?
    Will the topic still be relevant tomorrow? If years are used, they should be updated annually. Links to old articles should be updated if necessary.
  • Is the text useful and informative for the target audience?
    Do your research carefully and don’t leave out any important details.
  • Does the text manage without advertising statements ?
    Put your users at the center, not yourself. Self-promotion can be formulated in call-to-action.

In short: make sure that there is only first-class, informative content. And that this content can then also be found on Google. Everything that is not interesting for search queries will in most cases not receive any clicks and can be deleted. Check the performance of the content regularly in the Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

4. Seeding

Spread your content planned and on all channels.
Without active marketing, only a few customers you already know will randomly get lost on your optimized website. Your content only becomes publicly visible through so-called “seeding”. Principle: Treat your content like products. You don’t produce a product and then hide it in the closet, but place it nicely lit in the shop window.

You should also do the same with content on the Internet and place it where the potential customers are actually on the go. They should offer real added value for customers and users and be of such good quality, surprising or special that people like to share, like or link them online.
The channels for successful content seeding:

Free of charge:
1. Start page: Important topics should always remain on the start page
2. Newsletter: Distribute your topics via a newsletter mailing list
3. Social media: Identify the relevant channels and get in touch with the target group
4. Blogs: Publish You specialist articles in which you can link to your products and services
5. PR: Use all means of press work to get users to your site
6. Forums: Be active in specialist forums and build a name for yourself as a reliable source
7. SEO: Without ongoing SEO, your content will not be found.

Chargeable:
1. Advertorials / Sponsored Posts
2. Social Media Advertising
3. Google Ads

If you just put something online and hope that it will be found by chance, you make it too easy for yourself. That worked maybe ten years ago. Today you have to optimize your homepage regularly in order to be noticed in the flood of information on the net.

Only when content is frequently accessed and shared by the right multipliers can the search engine be given a signal that it is relevant content. All of this can be planned within a certain framework. The more informative the content, the more likely it is to be shared.

5. Success control 

There is no point looking away.
Measure your progress weekly and stay on the ball.
Many CEOs or marketing directors expect very quick results, but this is rarely the case in search engine optimization. Often weeks or even months pass before the efforts to work your way forward organically on the relevant search terms pay off. First of all, the visibility increases and this is also clearly noticeable in traffic and conversion.

However, successes in search engine optimization are particularly sustainable, provided you continue to work and optimize consistently.

With a few pages and keywords you can simply google yourself where your article will be placed for a search query. But there are also numerous tools with which you can measure the success of your own page on a larger scale, locate elementary errors and display the placements for various search terms.

  1. Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools (mandatory!)
  2. Google Analytics or Matomo (mandatory!)
  3. SEO tools: Sistrix, Xing, Searchmetrics, Seobility, Screaming Frog, SEM Rush or Pagerangers
    With these tools you can monitor the performance of your website and keep an eye on the rankings.

I would be happy to set up your individual monthly reporting and support you in optimizing your own homepage sustainably and making the right decisions in order to achieve your goals safely and in a predictable manner.

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