Question: Our homepage is product images, look pretty and boss lady wants to keep it that way.
Question: If your homepage is a store with minimal verbiage (mostly images) how can you incorporate keywords without changing the look, layout of the homepage?
Answer: We will look at home pages in more depth in the class on ‘Website structure,’ but some basic points are in order. First and foremost, you are designing a website for two very different audiences: A) Google, and b) humans. Google STRONGLY prefers text-heavy web pages, and needs to see keywords placed in strategic places as we will learn – TITLE tags, META DESCRIPTION tags, H1 / H2, IMG ALT tags, etc., as well as a TIGHT relationship between the pages based on keyword levels. So Google loves text. That’s just how it is. Humans, in contrast, like the iPhone look – images, pictures. So you have to optimize for the two. One solution is generally to put images at the top of the pages, and text at the bottom, and to always use the ALT attribute for images.
Secondly, you want to use your home page as a gateway down to your main pages. Look at progressive.com and you’ll see that their home page is a ‘gateway’ down to keyword heavy linked landing pages. That is solely for Google. Finally, in HTML 5 you can ‘hide’ the content from humans, and that is a really good workaround where you get a lot of text for Google but don’t gunk up the website. It’s just a trade-off that has to be made.
Oh, and in terms of bosses, and management… I always try to work with everyone to get them to see that the No. 1 purpose of a website is SELLING STUFF. If it SELLS stuff it’s beautiful. If not, not. I don’t look at a website like a work of art. I look at it like a work horse. But that’s my cold and hard calculation.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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