Improving your homepage can move your website up SEO rankings.
If your website is going to rank at the top of search engines, it first must be fully optimized. You want your site to bring you more conversions, email sign-ups and user engagement, but those goals are pretty difficult to reach if your homepage isn't user-friendly.
The first step to achieving your analytical goals is to evaluate your website and make the changes necessary so it’s at top performance. Whether you run a blog or e-commerce store, you want users fully engaged with your content and comfortable with navigating it so it's easy to explore. Visitors typically spend 15 seconds on a webpage, so it's your job to give them the best UX you possibly can.
If you want to optimize your homepage, here's how to get started.
1. Increase site speed.
We've all encountered websites we're excited to check out, only to be met with a webpage that doesn't load. It's frustrating, which is why these sites end up with higher bounce rates and lower engagement.
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According to Google, after five seconds, the probability of users bouncing increases by 90%. Users don't want to deal with sites that lag and take forever to load, so it's easier for them to exit out and visit another website that doesn't give them any problems.
You want to optimize your images so the files aren't huge, which causes lags. You can do this with image optimization tools like TinyJPG or Kraken. You should also regularly test your site's speed using Google’s Test My Site so you're always aware of how it's performing.
2. Capture email addresses.
You need to take advantage of all the ways you can boost traffic and engagement through your website, and the best way is by collecting email addresses. Building your email list is one of the best things you can do for your business, because you're growing a list of subscribers who are loyal to your brand and want to know more.
Always include an opt-in form on your homepage that captures users' emails. You can use a tool like OptinMonster to create forms even if you're not experienced with coding or HTML.
3. Optimize for mobile.
There are nearly 200 million mobile shoppers in the U.S. alone. If your site isn't mobile-friendly, you aren't catering to one of the biggest groups powering web traffic out there. It makes it simple to conduct transactions online and maintain a positive shopping experience for those who don't want to physically go to the store. Since it provides an easier way to shop, it's become more and more popular over the years.
Imagine someone on mobile or another device tries using your website but has a difficult time navigating it. You can bet that user's never going to come back.
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile users no matter what. Use Google's mobile-friendly test regularly to ensure that your website is responsive across all devices so you don't miss out on new leads.
4. Have an internal linking structure.
If you don't yet have an internal linking structure for your site's content, it's time to set that up. You're missing out on opportunities for prolonged engagement and increased traffic when you don't lead your visitors to similar content they'd enjoy. One reason bounce rates go up is that users have no further content to explore, so they exit out. Your goal is to keep them entertained by providing links to more content on your website, also known as internal linking.
When you read a blog post and see hyperlinks to webpages on the same site, that's internal linking. It's important to use specific keywords on your homepage that are popular and relevant to your content so you rank higher in search. You can use Google Keyword Planner to perform keyword research that will drive organic traffic and boost engagement.
Over to you
Optimizing your homepage is essential if you want your website to have a chance at ranking higher in search engines and improving users' level of engagement. You need to provide a positive UX that will leave visitors impressed and wanting to come back for more. This means you have to increase your site speed, grow your email list, optimize for mobile and create an internal linking structure.