Your homepage is at the forefront of your SEO strategy—which means it needs a regular seo health check. One of the biggest issues is a homepage’s tendency to redirect. You may not even notice it, but when someone goes to www.your-site.com, they might be redirected to a messy URL like www.yoursite.com/wp/home/index.php. This might be because of your web designer, system administrator or the ISP, but is it really that big a deal? Yes it is from an SEO perspective, depending on how it’s done. If redirecting is a non-negotiable, make sure it’s only done one time via a 301 server status code (otherwise, your entire SEO strategy might take a hit from the get-go).
Next, take a look at the title tag on your homepage. Is there a business category, geo-location, and business name in that? Do you even know how to check? If the answer is no to either of these questions, it’s time to take charge. Your title is arguably the most important SEO attribute on your homepage, and it needs to complement what your audience is searching for. Generally, it’s best to pick a single keyword that summarizes what you do (such as “salon” instead of “nails, skin, lashes, waxing”).
Checking it Twice…
Santa isn’t the only one who needs to check things twice this time of year. Make sure you take a look at all visible homepage text. Text can be hidden in image graphics and animations, but algorithms can see that text easily. If you want to easily see all homepage text, a shortcut you can use is CTRL+A for a PC and ⌘ for a Mac and voila! All visible text is highlighted—make sure you have proper business names, categories, city/district names, phone numbers, and addresses at the bare minimum on the homepage.
While you’re double checking, don’t forget about your meta description tag. While it doesn’t implicitly impact your SEO rankings, it’s used to lure the right customers to your site when they’re Googling keywords. It’s not on display for local-pack results, however it’s definitely on display for organic results. Use this text to describe and remember to cap it at 155 characters.
Focus on Quality
Take a look at your structured local data and ensure it’s marked up with correct local business schema. Markups are easily checked via Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. If you notice an “Error: This information will not appear as a rich snippet in search results, because it seems to describe an organization,” that’s one red flag you can ignore. While Google doesn’t actually use business-based rich snippets for display, they do use that information for SEO.
Finally, re-visit your logo and make sure it’s optimized for responsive design and mobile readiness (bonus points for checking your website on multiple mobile devices). “Logo optimization” is a stealth move that many organizations overlook. It needs to feature solid ALT text. Likewise, your phone number should feature simple formatting in visible text with common punctuation—this lets search engines interpret them properly. Try E.164 standard format (your web developer will know what this means) for optimal ease.
Your home(page), sweet home can be all the sweeter with a few tweaks and updates right in time for the New Year. If this all sounds like a foreign language you don’t know and don’t want to know, a reputable internet marketing company like Be Locally SEO is ready to help you out!