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Homepage Designs That are SEO Friendly

Homepage designs that are SEO friendly

Building a website for yourself or having it built for you requires thought and planning. Homepage designs that are SEO friendly will guide you through the process.

(revised April 2, 2019)
This article covers what you should know to make Homepage designs that are SEO friendly and help convert lookers into potential clients.

You’ve probably read these terms before on-page optimization, keywords, and SEO. The basics of SEO is the use of keywords and copy. Search engines look for this information so they can refer users to websites with the most relevant content.

On-page SEO is what you need to do to optimize your page in order to rank high and earn more traffic.

Keywords are just that, keywords that you use to explain your product or services.

While this post emphasizes the use of SEO on your web pages it’s important to keep in mind the user’s experience. Having great page optimization (SEO) but poor navigation, redundant text, and or poor image placement won’t help to keep viewers on your pages. 

What Google search engines are looking for:

  • Copy: Or sometimes referred to as content, tells the search engines what your page is about— this includes text on the page, header tags, graphics, and images.
  • User Experience: Overall does your website look clean, is it easy to navigate, and will viewers understand the main purpose of the content?
  • Speed: How fast your website loads, is a big factor when considering placing imagery, graphics and especially video on your home page. Site speed is an important ranking factor when considering if your page is ranking high or low on the Google search page.
  • Authority: Can mean the age of your URL, sometimes called (domain authority) but it also refers to your content on your website being good enough to be used as a resource or reference by other sites. This helps you get backlinks. To simplify, backlinks are when one website mentions another by linking to it.

Harmonious Hounds has been optimized both for good user experience and conversions. The graphics, header tags, and content explain to the user and search engines what the overall mission of the website is.

The design on this site was chosen to capture eyeballs early, and encourage conversions. The subscribe button, prominent placement of the phone number and graphic on the dog training button are all part of the equation.

The main call to actions, 1,  2  and 3 appear above the fold.

This website was built on the Slocum Baton Theme.

Homepage designs that are SEO friendly

Main points

  • The URL or domain name Harmonious Hounds speaks to a pet site.
  • The image of the dog tells the story, this website has something to do with pets. Pets that are being trained. Matching imagery to the main theme of a website is important.
  • The number 1  points to the Subscribe button. This is important to the owners as they want to increase their email base.
  • The number 2 is the Dog Training CTA button (call to action). This click leads to a sign-up form.
  • Number 3 is the phone number they encourage people to call. This allows them to better explain their services to a potential client.
  • All this information appears above the fold of the page. Above the fold means content showing on your screen that is not cut off due to your screen size.

Just below this graphic on their homepage, there are 3 graphics that speak to what this company does, then there’s a testimonial and text area explaining their area they service.


The process of designing home pages that are seo friendly

First, you should start by drawing out your homepage on paper or in a digital program prior to coding or working with a theme in WordPress.


It doesn’t matter if you’re doing the web design yourself or hiring a designer/agency, you will need to share your vision with someone. Having your homepage mapped out is a critical first step.

A good resource that you might want to check out is Whiteboard Friday on Moz that explains what a well thought out homepage looks like.

What is it that your company does?

Homepage designs that are SEO friendly

A site visitor should quickly discover the unique selling proposition or {USP}  that this company offers, professional dog walkers and pet sitting services are the two main ones.

The owners choose to have the ABOUT US graphic placed alongside the other two because people like to know who is caring for their pets. These graphics fall just below the main graphic (the dog with the leash in its mouth), on the home page.

It comes down to a balancing act on the home page, having enough rich content, yet remaining clean and crisp in the eyes of the viewer. Content is important when it comes to SEO and being found organically in a web search.

Time on page

Crazy Egg recent article points to the fact that visitors stay on the page for about 15 seconds. That’s how long you have to capture someone’s attention on your website. So, if your website doesn’t have compelling content or does but it’s not what your viewer is looking for then they bounce!

High bounce rate usually points to a poorly constructed page. You’ll need to open up your Google Analytics Dashboard and check on your bounce rate.

Once you find out where your visitors are actually going then you can have insightful data. Google Analytics lets you check the individual bounce rates by going to the Behaviors section of your dashboard.

In analytics, you can get information on how each page is performing. This is especially helpful when you’re determining whether or not your visitors are getting what they want out of your site.

According to Yoast, bounce rate can be the result for these three reasons.

1. The page quality is low. There’s nothing inviting to keep your viewer engaged.
2. Your viewer doesn’t match the purpose of the page.  Simply meaning that they have ended up on a page that isn’t of interest to them.
3. Visitors have found the information that they were looking for on some other website.

And keep in mind that the average time on site depends on the type of site, too i.e. B2B, B2C or a hybrid. According to a survey conducted by Brafton, the average session duration was 2 minutes, 17 seconds again it depends on the type of site. In the case of healthcare websites, the average time spent was over three minutes. Makes sense since the information on medical websites is technical and requires attention. And the chance is pretty good that someone on that website is there searching for information, doing their research.

Call to action — cta

In the paragraph above we talked about the unique selling proposition or USP’s. There’s a dual purpose here— the graphics shown above are link buttons that link to pages explaining those services. And on those pages are contact us information.

CTA buttons need to be conspicuous, as in easily found. And they need to be clear in their message. Don’t be afraid to switch them out if you don’t see satisfactory page statistics.

Customer Reviews — Social Proof

On the example website, just under the three graphics from up above there’s a section showing testimonials, reviews on Harmonious’ services.

Homepage designs that are SEO friendly

Social proof will have a positive impact on your site and are a good component of a homepage. If your really bold think of a creative video where one of your clients might talk about your services, that video could lead to some pretty good backlinks!

A couple of points about keywords

In this example of the pet company, the keywords are probably a no brainer to figure out. They train, walk dogs and pet sit.

Having ideas on your own keywords is important, a tool that could help you with a few more is GOOGLE’S keyword planner, you can search for keyword ideas and see how a list of keywords might perform.

Then you can place them on a homepage, content page or in a header tag.

Homepage designs that are SEO friendly

Once again, even if you’re not planning on building your own website, knowing what keywords to use is important.

Any designer/agency PM (Project Manager) worth their salt is going to ask if you have and an idea of keywords you would like to use on your website.

Like what your reading? Download our free Homepage Design Pro-Tips book.

8 PRO TIPS on Front Page Design

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Keywords — and not just one

Often referred to as subsets, these are keywords that work along with your main keyword. For example: “pet”, “pet care”, “pet training”, “pet walking” and so on. Some can be longer, often referred to as long tail keywords.

Example: Learn how to train your pet to halt, learn how to train your pet to stop jumping or learn how to train your pet come to you, etc. Once again Google’s Keyword Planner can help.

Header tags

Header tags are important for on-page SEO because they communicate with search engines explaining what the page is about, so you will need them on your homepage, product, service and blog pages.

Research suggests that your header tags need not be keyword optimized, in order to interpret a page’s subject matter. Other words your header tags do not have to exactly match your page title.

As far as header sizes go H1, H2, etc, it’s probably best to use the larger sizes like H1, toward the top of your webpage to better emphasize your main topics.

While H1 tags may not directly impact SEO, it’s still important to spend time optimizing your header tags.

Imagery

Homepage Designs That are SEO Friendly

Great imagery sets the tone of the Homepage and it creates the overall feel and expression of the website.

Alt Tags

Homepage designs that are SEO friendly

Alternative Text should show what the image is about. You can also use the page title or URL for the alt text but don’t overdo it. If your using the YOAST plugin, (I recommend you do) you will be alerted should you have more than three images using the same alt tags i.e. in the case of the page URL.

Compressed Imagery

compress your images with Tiny PNG

Any images used on your pages or posts should be compressed. This is very important when it comes to page loads. Uncompressed jpeg or png images will significantly slow down your page load time. Imagery sizes should be in the low kilobytes not in megabytes! TinyPNG is one site that’s easy to use and very effective for this use.

For landing pages, I recommend professional photography it really does make a difference. We’ll be explaining how to size images in an upcoming post.

Website Speed Test

Web page speed comparison

It’s pretty remarkable when you compare these two-page speed tests, the first one (number 1) was with the featured image at the top of this blog post titled MOCK-UP at an image size of 728 kilobytes and the Southcoast Almanac image (a few paragraphs down) was 570.8 kilobytes. After compression, the feature image sized down to 210 kilobytes and the Southcoast Almanac image sized down to 135.1 kilobytes.

Notice that the page speed after the compression was reduced to 1.4 seconds from 2.69 seconds. A 92% reduction in load times! This page loads in a little more than one second.

Wrapping up

You might want to incorporate a nice little footer menu at the bottom of your home page. Unless needed avoid having a massive amount of links at the bottom of the home page, but having a few main title pages down below is probably a good thing.

Homepage designs that are SEO friendly

On a final note, you should pay attention to Meta descriptions on your pages.

A meta description is a 160 character snippet, a tag in HTML, the explains a page’s content. Google’s search engines show meta descriptions in search results based on the searched for phrase a user types into their browser. Optimizing this description is a very important part of on-page SEO.

You can learn more about meta descriptions in this article from yoast.

Overall your page should be clean, simple and easy to navigate. Look for great imagery and ample rich content. Take the time to explain what the site is and what the USP is. The more time you plan it out the more it will pay off.

Want to deeper? Check out our recent post BLOGGING AND SEO THE NUTS AND BOLTS. You’ll pick up a bunch of cool SEO tips!

HAVE ANY STORIES TO SHARE?

How about you? Do you have any app creation nightmares or successes to share with us? How about other WordPress plugins to help build apps? Let us know in the comments below!

Oh, before I forget, check out our CONDUCTOR Plugin if your pulling content over to a page you’ll want to consider it.

If your project is more involved or is too much to handle, contact us so that we can help build your WordPress app and realize your dreams and goals.

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