Homepage SEO Insights
Your homepage is the first thing that search engines crawl and is most often linked to—it’s the page that defines you as a brand. Join Wix’s Mordy Oberstein and Crystal Carter as they break down best practices to improve your homepage SEO in order to drive high-quality traffic to your site.
In this webinar we cover:
* Strategic ways to create an effective homepage
* How to create homepage content that is right for your brand
* Technical SEO tactics to enhance your entire site
Meet your hosts:
Mordy Oberstein, Head of SEO Branding, Wix
In addition to leading SEO Branding at Wix, Mordy also serves as a communications advisor for Semrush. Dedicated to SEO education, Mordy is one of the organizers of SEOchat and a popular industry author and speaker. He also hosts the SEO Rant Podcast and Edge of the Web’s news podcast.
Crystal Carter, Head of SEO Communications, Wix
Crystal is an SEO & Digital Marketing professional with over 15 years of experience. Her global business clients have included Disney, McDonalds and Tomy. An avid SEO Communicator, her work has been featured at Google Search Central, Brighton SEO, Moz, DeepCrawl, Semrush and more.
Transcript: Your Homepage SEO matters
Mordy Oberstein, Head of SEO Branding, Wix
Crystal Carter, Head of SEO communications, Wix
Mordy: So let’s get going, welcome to Your homepage SEO matters. Your homepage is the most important page on your website. It's literally the core of your website, it gives so much power to your domain, which is why I’m so excited that we’re going to be talking about what works, what doesn’t work when thinking about SEO for your homepage. We’re thinking about mindsets and concepts and practical, hands-on tips to get your homepage up in the rankings. More traffic, more conversions, more revenue—all the great stuff we want out of our homepage. My name is Mordy Oberstein, I’m the Head of SEO Branding here at Wix and I’m joined by homie, Crystal Carter—the head of SEO communications here at Wix. Hey, how’s it going Crystal?
Crystal: Hi there, I’m, I’m great, I’m great. Are you, are you at home today? I hope everyone’s feeling at home. Me internet casa, su internet casa. I don’t. I don’t know. But yeah um welcome to everyone and we're going to see if we can get that chat fired up, um but yeah thank you all for joining us, super excited to talk about this. This is something that I love implementing as an SEO. Mordy and I are both really passionate about this but in slightly different, in slightly different ways. Um so, Mordy is very passionate about it from one angle and I, there’s, there’s, I’ve got a few other things which I, I obviously support everything Mordy’s saying. Um but yeah, between the two of us, we’ve got a lot of good, good perspectives on making sure your homepage is awesome.
Mordy: You’ll get like a real 360 degree perspective of your homepage by the time we’re done. Which is amazing. So, it’s really nice that we have different ways of thinking about the homepage. Um before we dive in, I have a little bit of a tease. Crystal and I are soon to be launching Wix’s own SEO podcast—called SERPs Up. Which will be launching in the next week or two. Keep an eye out for it on the Wix SEO learning hub, which is Wix.com/seo/learn. Of course, check out all the other great resources from webinars like this one—to blog posts and guides all about how you can get started doing SEO. As well as some really deep dives into what’s happening in the SEO world. Now there’s a tonne of great content out there so check out, again, the Wix SEO learning hub.
Ok, now, quick note about the format. So I’m going to present, I have my take on the homepage and Crystal has her take on the homepage. So after I’m done presenting, Crystal will share her outlook on the homepage SEO. In the meantime, if you have questions, there’s a Q&A feature in your Zoom panel. Definitely throw in questions relevant to the, to your homepage and SEO and we’ll do our best, after we’re done presenting to go through as many questions as we possibly can. Just know that there are moderators as well, who will try to answer some questions along the way, so we will try to get through as many questions as possible. There’s no such thing as a stupid question, so please don’t feel shy about asking questions, we love questions. Throw them into the Q&A feature, inside of your Zoom panel. With that, I think we’re ready to go.
Crystal: I think so. I’m ready. Born ready
Mordy: So let’s do it.
Crystal: Born ready to talk about home pages
Mordy: Part one: Mindset matters most when it comes to your homepage. So your site is an entity, and as an entity, it needs identity. And this is the underlying concept of what I’m going to be talking about as it pertains to your homepage. And you’re all like “what!?”. I will do my best now to explain this to you, so by the time that you’re done, it will make sense that your site is an entity and you need to give it identity through the homepage. So let’s have at it.
There is one ginormous mistake people make when it comes to their homepage. In fact I once did a study, I went through a thousand homepages—the only goal that I had was, do I understand what this site does by looking at their homepage. I found that 70% of these sites, 700 out of these 1,000 sites—I had no clue what they did. Zero. None.
To give you a really far-out practical example of this—so I’m a big sports nut, and the Pittsburgh Steelers recently renamed their stadium from Heinz Field to Acrisure Stadium. One of the biggest sports podcasts in the US, the Rich Eisen Show, was talking about the renaming and he’s like “I don’t know what Acrisure is”. And he did exactly what this company wanted him to do, they spent millions upon millions of dollars to get the naming rights for an entire stadium, so a person like this could do this—he went to the homepage. Hey so, what do they do, this Acrisure? and he went to the homepage and he said “I have no idea”. So they spent million and millions and millions of dollars to rename the stadium in their name, and in the end, from this perspective, kinda pointless—I can’t invest, I can’t buy their product, I can’t do anything because I don’t know what they do. So you’re, this is the single most, you know, problematic thing that homepages face.
I’ll give you a really practical example of this, so this website has, as their H1 “Looking to scale your technology to power your growth? Ten Mile Square solves the toughest issues in technology and accelerates digital transformation to succeed in a customer-centric world.”—I have no idea what that means. I have absolutely no clue what they do. As opposed to my favorite Wix site, well, not my favorite, but one of my favorites—ahh they’re all my favorites. Renegade Blitz is a Steelers blog and their headline or their H1 is “All the latest news, all the latest commentary, all things Steelers”—I get it, they’re a site that talks about news and analysis about the Pittsburgh Steelers. Really simple, really easy, really well done. If you take what happened here with these two sites, and you zoom out a little bit, conceptually, the problem here is a lack of identity. In this case, I go backwards in my slides by the way, it’s a thing. Um there’s a lack of identity, the problem facing the first website that I showed you was this, I just, there’s, no-one has any idea what they do. Not just users but also bots, just no idea what that means which is obviously problematic from multiple points of view. In other words, identity, having an identity is what it means to be an entity, your site, think of your website as a thing, because that’s how Google is thinking of it. It’s a thing, and is this thing relevant to the searches that people are doing. Well which searches is it relevant for, when is it relevant, when is it not relevant. The way Google understands if your site is relevant or not relevant is through the identity—it’s understanding what your site is all about and therefore it understands this thing, this entity, also known as your website, is or isn’t relevant for certain topics and all sorts of things. This is fundamentally how Google is looking at things—trying to understand, when it comes to your website, if you wanna break it all down, what Google’s trying to do is very much what a user is trying to do. Trying to understand who you are, what you do and what your site is all about. In other words, this entity that is a site, what is this thing all about. So think of your site as an entity, as a living, breathing, distinct thing that needs identity. And that identity is born through the homepage. Your homepage is like the agent of your website. It’s the, it’s the representative of your website, it’s your website’s senator or congressperson—I don’t know how to put it better than that.
Everything you do, that identity that you create on your homepage, it’s creating identity for your entire domain. So when you think about creating your homepage, you have one job, and that’s to do what Acrisure didn’t do, that’s to create identity. It’s to create a very distinct and very clear and understandable identity for your entire website, that spills over to your entire website. And to that, when you create that identity, your homepage should be your guiding light for all the other pages on your website. So if your website sells widgets, well you shouldn’t have product pages about sprockets. The identity that you created on your homepage should spill over to your product pages. If you’re, if you create identity on the homepage, you set up who you are, what your site, what this domain is all about, and that’s X—don’t write about Y on your blog. And if you do, make sure to connect it back to X. Make sure you connect it back to the identity you created on your homepage—otherwise you’re going to create a schism between what you’ve established for the domain via the homepage, and all the other things that you’re doing on your pages. So let the homepage be your guiding light. Everything you do on your website should fit into the identity you establish on the homepage.
Practically speaking, what does this mean? So I have a 3 step framework, and some, most of the time this works, sometimes it doesn’t work and sometimes there’s give-and-take. Crys is gonna show you some websites later where this many not be entirely applicable but as a general framework for most websites out there, or at least conceptually speaking, the homepage should do three things; you want it to say who you are, what problems you solve, you know, addressing the pain points of the user, and then how you go about solving those problems. Let me give you some examples, so, great website from Wix, they, they talk about “we develop award-winning sound design and licensing across all platforms” I know in a single sentence, which, by the way, you should do this in a single sentence, you should be able to do this in a single sentence. I know from this one sentence, this website creates sound assets and that’s super important for users to know, obviously and it’s important for Google to know and it’s important it’s done really quickly, just like that.
Now, what problems do you solve, so Monday.com does an interesting job with this, and they could have done a little bit of a better job, which is why I pointed, why I wanted to use this example. So their, one of their H2s is “stay on track to reach your goals faster”. So where they did a good job was they realized the user has, what’s the pain point of the user? Someone who wants to buy our product, what is their problem? We have so many things to work on, I don’t know how to manage all this, and I’m getting off-task. I’m not being efficient with my work. So they said, on their homepage, here’s the problem we solve. We’re speaking right to your pain points—stay on track to reach your goals, faster. Where they might have done a little bit better in that H2 is the particular goals, at least for Google, you know; stay on track with your business goals, that sort of thing. To sort of refine that identity, but anyway, different conversation for a different time. They also, byt the way, this something you should consider doing for your homepage, they accent the H2, the header, with a couple of lines in the body text. What this does, obviously this speaks to users which is what you primarily should be doing on your homepage, and on your website in general—this contextualizes for Google the identity you’re establishing initially on the homepage as who you are. Okay, who you are. Great you give me one line, two lines about who you are, what you do. But talking about the problems you solve, gives Google more context to exactly what it is that the identity of this website isn’t what you do at the same time, speaks to users, so it’s like having your cake and eating it too.
The next thing, how do you solve these problems, ok. It’s one thing to tell me the problems that I’m going to solve, but how do I actually solve them. By the way, and this is what’s great about this framework is it speaks to users, it speaks to Google and it speaks to conversions. Because once you’re saying ok, here’s who I am, here’s the problems I solve and here’s how I solve them—I’m going to click. Which is really what you want, you want them to dive deep into your website. So you should really be thinking about your website from an SEO point of view, from a user point of view and from a conversion point of view—and those all kind of overlap into one thing in my mind. Now so, let’s take an example from Lyft. So by, right by mark number one, that’s the H2—”Set your own hours. Earn on your own terms”. Underneath that, they’re telling you how they solve this problem. So they’re saying to andriver, let’s say who’s working for a taxi cab company, who doesn’t have any flexibility–”Hey, you need flexibility, we understand your problem, come to us.” Ok, well how do you solve this problem? Oh, get paid instantly, cash out your earnings whenever you want, now I understand how you solve this problem. So again, it speaks to users, it helps with conversion, but all of this is giving Google context of who you are and what you do so they understand what your domain is all about and they’re able to rank you for relevant things.
So let’s go back to the idea of an entity having identity, because yes, who you are, the problems you solve and how you solve the problem is all great. But, there’s a certain, you have to frame it a certain way. Your identity, who you are, the problems you solve and what you do live sometimes in a larger context and you have to frame that identity a little bit and how you frame that identity, as all things in SEO, it depends. And if you don’t understand exactly what I’m talking about—I’m going to run through an example.
Let’s take a health site, so what this health site did is they did step two, they talked about the problems they solved before they talked about who they are, and that’s fine. You can go out of order, you can play around with the framework. So for example here they said “the right care when you need it most. Talk to a doctor, therapist, or medical expert anywhere you are by phone or video”. They talked to the pain point first and then back to better explain who they are, but it’s very clear. I understand exactly who they are and the pain point is very clear—I wake up in the middle of the night, I’ve got a thing on my side, it hurts. I wanna call the doctor, I can’t call doctor weinberg because it’s 12 o’clock at night, I can call these people. So they’re speaking to a pain point and clearly identifying exactly what they do, right away, top of the fold, on the homepage. So now they’re probably going to go right into telling me how their product works and how they solve my problems. Nope, what this website does is they talk about, they show things like testimonials, awards that they’re won, reviews, they go through their doctors and how they’re board certified and in the top 5% of medical specialists in the whole world, and so forth. In other words, they’re trying to build trust because if you’re a medical website—yes you need to tell people who you are, yes you need to tell me the problems that you solve, yes you need to solve those problems, but if I can’t trust you all of that is meaningless. So for a health site, you have to frame that identity. That identity exists within a larger framework, within a larger context—which is trustworthiness. So it’s one thing to create that identity, establish who you are and what you do. But you have to think about the larger context that your site lives in and how to frame that identity in the case of a health website, that’s trustworthiness. Which may not be important for a gossip website, do I really care how trustworthy they are? Or do I care how exciting and novel the information is—trustworthy, not my main concern. What I really care about is how the Kardahians are doing.
So how do you know how to frame that identity? I think it’s pretty easy to figure out how to say who you are and what you do and the problems that you solve, but framing that identity and giving it some context—how exactly do I do that for a health site. Or maybe I’m not a health site. If you’re not sure, you should go to the SERP, go to Google. Literally what I did here, I typed in online doctor, I took the first website that ranked and I, gonna go back in my slides like I always do, saw that they talk about their doctors and their awards and all this and I’m like “Oh, they’re framing their identity in terms of trustworthiness”—which is evidently working. It makes logical sense, it’s what Google would want, it’s what users would want, it’s what everybody wants.
So to sum it up very quickly, the homepage; it’s where you build identity for the entire domain, for people and for bots (meaning Google). Part of identity is how you frame it, so in the case of a health site for trustworthiness. It’s gonna be the same for anything like that, like a financial website, anything where trust is a major component, frame that identity and trust. But again if you’re not sure for your particular niche, look at what’s going on in the Google search, on the Google SERP, the results page. Type in a query that’s relevant to your niche, look at the top ranking sites, see how they’re framing their identity. Don’t just copy what they’re doing—think how you can do it differently and better. I don’t advocate for copying, I think you should be unique and different in all cases and again, your homepage is what guides the rest of your website. The identity you create on your homepage spills over onto the other pages and it should sort of reign you in, keep you focused on what you should be focused on, keep you on topic, keep that identity aligned across product pages, blog pages, whatever you’re doing. Let the homepage be your guide. And that’s all I got, so I’m gonna hand it over to you—Crystal Carter.
Crystal: Thank you so much Mordy, and I think that um that, that you know, a lot of the stuff you’re talking about there is, is applicable to, to most, most businesses and I’ve definitely been working with clients where I couldn’t figure out what they did. We’d have somebody come to us and they’re like “oh yeah we’d like help with your SEO?” and I look at them and I’m like “I don’t, I don’t understand. I don’t know what you do”. Um and that, that, the example of Acrisure, is that what you said?
Mordy: Um Acrisure, Acrisure yeah.
Crystal: Acrisure, yeah
Mordy: Yeah, it’s a tongue twister too. I don’t think, yeah
Crystal: It’s such a big amount of money to spend for people who don’t know, don’t know what you’re doing. Oh, somebody asked: what does SERP mean? Search engine results pages, thanks very much Adrianna. Lovely. Ok, so Mordy has been talking about some of the concepts behind, um, behind helping your homepage to perform. Um I’m gonna talk about some of the hands-on things you can do, on Wix and generally, um, to, to implement some of that stuff. Um so he’s talked about entities, he’s talked about lots of different stuff. I’m just going to share my screen, um. There we go, so people don’t have to see all my tabs, I’ve only got one tab open, I promise. Um, lovely.
Ok, so we’re going to get into part two, so in this section I’m gonna talk about um homepage examples and ehm some different types and some different tactics. So um Mordy went through, went through a few, a few. I’m gonna go through a few more. I’ve got five um homepage examples that are sort of standard homepage examples from some big, big brands. Then I’ve got a couple of brands that are from Wix examples um to, to see how and why people make the homepage decisions that they do. Then we’ll go into how we can implement those and I’ll give you some practical examples of the things you can do on Wix and that you can do generally for SEO.
Um so, first things first, the first one we’re gonna talk about, these are names that I’ve given them, so the first one is the funneler. And this is, this is, these are my, my names, so the funneler is essentially, this is a website that's, that’s, that’s not really, this is a homepage that’s designed to not really be the destination. This is a, this is a homepage that essentially brings people off to other places. Virgin is a great example of this because Virgin does so much stuff. Um so Virgin.com, their homepage essentially serves as a, as a vessel for sending, and a funneler for sending people to Virgin Galactic and Virgin Phones and Virgin Holidays and Virgin all of the various different things that they do. This one, so this one, this one is very interesting um so I’ve looked at a few different ones. What was really interesting about Virgin in-particular was this one had the highest percentage of backlinks, this one had the highest percentage of backlinks to the webpage, or going to the webpage overall. Which I thought was very interesting and the reason why, and I think is because when you take this approach of a funneler approach, which actually fits with their brand. To what, more to Mordy’s point, um is, is because Virgin is sort of an evergreen brand that applies itself to lots of things, people expect them to be doing lots of things. So when people go to Virgin.com, they’ll find whatever other Virgin thing that they’re doing. So it works well for them to have all of their backlinks go to that.
Um and when we think about smaller businesses, this is a bit, this is an example from a Wix site, which I say it’s a smaller business, to be fair it’s ranking for 2,000 keywords. Um and they are, they are, they are funneling, not to the different businesses within their business but they’re funneling people to their biggest products. So they know that they have a few, they have a few sort of rockstar products and they don’t want people to have to go through the website to find all of those things. They want people who have heard about their brand to be funneled directly to that, to that rock star product. So there’s a few different tactics that you can use for this. So for instance you can use, so, so you can do pointing people to high-value content using buttons, UX segmentation using big pictures or, or um different, different color schemes or that sort of thing. You can also think about content priority, so particularly in mobile you sort of, you tend to have one column and so you put the things that are most important on the top, then that, then that can help as well.
Um and the other, when you’re thinking about optimizing, when you’re funneling, when you’re creating these funnels, these are really good places to add keywords and the links for these things are always really good places to add keywords. And you can see that this is also playing out into, into the search. So Google is understanding that this is a very important page for this site and they’re adding it as an indexed page on the, on the search engine results page. The SERP. Additionally, you’re gonna want to take those funnels and add them into the, you know, your core funnels and add them into your page title and your meta description—so that when people are seeing on the server and they see your, and they see this bit um, this is your page title, you can see that they know that “planners” are really important for them so “planners” is here, “letters” is also here and then they’ve got the “planner” here. So you can funnel people before they get to the page and also when they’re on the page.
Another one, is the converter, again these are my terms, um. So a converter is essentially a do-thingsey-site, this is a site where you’re, you’re trying to make sure that people can do something. Um so that might be that they want to sign in to something, register or buy, or buy so a lot of ecommerce sites are focused on making sure people can buy whatever they need. Sometimes there are sites where they have like a percentage difference calculator that I use a lot. And that page, that homepage is like “we have a calculator” you don’t have to look for it, it’s right there. I’m just looking at sites—this one was interesting because this had the highest percentage of traffic going to the homepage. So this site had 21% of it’s traffic going to the homepage, and the reason why that works for them is so they can get their business goals achieved with this particular business. And it also aligns with their business cause they’re business is, it’s an app so people do things on the app. So if they can get to the homepage and they can do things and that also works for them. For other small, for other businesses, this works for lots of businesses. This is a Wix site that’s ranking, um, that’s ranking locally for 600 keywords and it is, it is a limousine service and as soon as you go to the homepage, you can book the limousine. You don’t have to find where the booking page is, the top of the page has the booking, the place where you can book the limousine and you can get your limousine booked in and straight and ready to go. So again, things like forms, things like a chatbot or a chat can also help with this if you have a site that’s, if you want to make more dynamic. That you want people to be able to be, have more function, to be able to do more things on the site, then maybe adding a chat might be a thing that might, might be an easy way to just, to do that. Um and also purchase points.
Um so, you’re gonna want to think about, with regards to optimizations the forms are great but if you don’t put a header for the form, then sometimes it won’t perform this well for SEO. So if you have, if you have um, this one for instance is going like “rental car” like “premium car rental in Hanoi” so that’s the header for that form um which is below. And also you’ve got like a little summary of what that form is about and also has some keywords in there. Um and so you’re gonna want to support all of these sort of elements with keywords like buy, shop, book—that sort of thing. And you’re gonna want to add that into your copy and your meta descriptions and that sort of thing. And then I also got a point in the sentence there where it says “use the conversion points to link to deeper content” and what I mean by that is that in the summary, if somebody isn’t quite ready to convert, add a little link that houses, that lets them know more. Um as well, this could be a good line link and this can also help to sort of give, give people like people who are still on the fence, a little more detail before they jump.
Next is the informer which is not the 90s song, but is the London Stock Exchange. Um so London Stock Exchange uh, the informer. Again, so this is one that, that serves to get people information lots. Lots of information very quickly. So um London Stock Exchange is a great example because they literally have a stock ticker that tells people exactly what’s going on. And this is something that I’ve seen on news websites uh for you know, for the latest stories this is something that you also see for a local news website. Or local websites where they may have the weather report or um ski resorts where they have the ski report or that, that sort of thing where people are known for their knowledge. They’re known, known for giving, giving up-to-date knowledge and they’re putting out a lot of content. Of the sites that I surveyed, this one was really interesting because this one had the most internal links. This site has 378 internal links on the homepage, that’s a lot of links. Um and this helps with a lot, this, this helps with um indexing, which I’ll get into, which I’ll get into later. But with regards to, to um smaller sites who don’t have big budgets like, like the London Stock Exchange. If you’re looking to, to surface more content which is essentially what all of these links are doing, then you can add in a few different elements.
So this is a site, um site called “All the food”, which is based in Dublin and it’s a food website which ranks for 2,700 keywords. Including “salad Dublin” which I think is quite impressive. Um so, they post about 4 new posts a day, on average and they, they’re helping to surface all of this new content using a few different methods. So for instance, they’re, they’re using blog feeds, um they’re adding strategic, strategic internal links to some of their best content on the homepage, and also content that lead, that leads to other content. Um they’re also, they’re also um using headers for their, for their information so you know “this week’s top stories”. That’s a header that helps tell Google that this is new content, this is the feed underneath it. And if you have a content, if you have a website that’s got lots of content, for instance, that, job websites are a good one for this. Or um new people who have lots of new products all the time, if you’re posting loads of blogs um and that sort of thing. Then you’re gonna want to think about making sure that you’re absolutely submitted with Google Search Console and also with bing. I’m a big fan of Bing—it only takes one click, if you’re already in Google Search Console it only takes one click so it’s really worth doing. Make sure you make use of your RSS and also thinking about your link, link hierarchy and, and priority. Priority is like, where it is on the page and when we talk about link hierarchy, think, make sure that you’re linking to pages that have good links within them. So that you’re linking to that page that has more links within it when you’re thinking about hierarchy.
So the next one is the billboard, I’m always fascinated, I’ve always been fascinated by Zara’s um Zara’s SEO. Um the, this looks like it’s just a website with a big picture on it but actually when I looked at this, this has 96 internal links on it. Um the other thing that’s interesting is, when I was looking through it, we, in our last webinar, last month, we talked with Marcus Tober all about keyword intent. And there’s lots of different types of keyword intent. Most of the websites I’ve looked at today, their intent for most of the people going to the website was informational—they wanted visitors to learn more about the brand. This website was navigational, that is because Zara is all around the world. They have lots and lots of different types of websites and they’re using their homepage to navigate, to help people navigate to Zara in French and you know in, in Trinidad and Tobago for instance. And so they’re, they’re essentially helping people to, to, to go to a certain place. This is something that I would, I would say is not, if this is your own, the only thing you have in homepage, do use this very carefully—unless you are a giant brand like Zara. You can do sort of a little bit of a mix and match for instance. But I would say this is the sort of domain of somebody who, who can, can afford to not have any words on their homepage.
You can do a little bit of a mix on this, so for instance this is the potter trail, which is a Wix site. They do Harry Potter, um tours in Edinburgh and I’d really love to go. Um and, and they do the billboard at the top of the page. So what they are doing is they’re using this to focus, so they have the “Book Here” button, they’re using it to focus there. Um they’ve got their, their menu is sort of blended in there but they’re looking for people to focus on the, on the “Book Here”.
Now if you are using the billboard, um, the billboard method, that you’ve got those images marked up. It’s also really important that you’ve got clean composition um and that you got, you know, any dropdown that you’re maybe making use of dropdown menus, so that you still have a menu. Maybe if you’re going for a minimalist design but, but that it’s still that the menu, the menu is dropped down. Um so again, think about structured data for your images, think about image uh attributes and think, you can think about well linked dropdown menus.
So the next one I want to think about is the feeder. Again, these are my names so um. This is fandom. Fandom is very interesting because fandom was actually the website with the least traffic leading to it, but that’s because fandom isn’t quite a homepage. They’ve been, for fandom, people create their own Wikis of different, of different things. So somebody‘s really into “Game of Thrones” and they’ll create a sort of “Game of Thrones” subpage, um within, within fandom. But essentially their homepage acts as a directory so they’re directing people to lots of different, lots of other wikis within this sort of fandom um, website um, hierarchy. And they’re and, and they’re surfacing lots of different content under lots of different, lots of different ways. We’ve got a big search, search bar there and that’s what they’re doing. Um “YouTube” is a really good example of this um “Apartment Therapy” is another good one um newspapers do a lot of this. And they’re making sure, they’re making sure that this, they’re sending people to lots of different um parts of the site using lots of different methods including feeds, including category stats and that sort of thing.
Um, for this sort of thing this is a brand called Evolve. They’re using, they’re using a mega menu to do, to do a very similar, similar thing. Again this is another Wix site. If you’re looking to, if you have a lot of content on your, on your website then thinking about how you can surface lots of that via the homepage is important. A mega menu actually can do a lot for you um, uh to this, to this point um, as long as it makes sense um. So make sure that you’re thinking about surfacing content as it’s created, um and that you’re thinking, um very consciously about your internal linking. Um speaking of our webinars, we have another webinar next month about, all about internal linking. So do tune in for that and make sure you’ve got good headers and keyword copy for um, for your feeds, your collections and all of that sort of stuff.
So to summarize, we think about the five, the five things. Mordy is smiling at my names. So we’ve got the funneler, the converter, the informer, the billboard and the feeder and they all kind of, they all kind of do different things. You can use a sort of combination of a few things um, eh eh, at a time, um but generally, these are the, this is the sort of top five of type, of the types of um homepage, homepages that I tend to, tend to be interested in. Um so, I’m gonna go through, if I can just pause, I know there’s a lot of information and we’re gonna go through when we should use, when we should use some of these elements.
So I built a little site all about women in space because I love women in space. Um I’m a big fan but I have this, this sits next to my desk, all the time. It’s Sally Ride and Mae Jemison. Anyway, um, you might notice it on the website later on. So this website is using a few, a combination of a few of those elements we were talking about. So, for instance the “women in space and astronomy learn and shop”. That’s sort of a billboard sort of style there. Um but I’ve also used, used a few other elements. So, for instance I’ve got a little bit of the feeder thing in and I’ve got lots and lots of different links to, to lots of it and I’ve got a few different dropdowns from the menu. This, this site that I built only has about 36 pages but there are 38 links on this page. Um so we’re basically making sure that everything is linked across the homepage. Um and then across the middle I’ve got a sort of a little bit of a funneler sort of, sort of activity. So for instance for my keyword research I know that a lot of people are searching for, searching for terms like “women in space”, “female astronomers in NASA” that sort of thing. So I’ve got content that’s dedicated to that and it’s filtered for that so if people arrive on my website and they want to know about those, those few things, they don’t need to look for it, it’s right there and it’s really simple.
Um and to what Mordy was talking about you know, with, with making sure that people know what they’re looking at when they get to your site. I’ve tried to make sure that that’s very clear as well. So you know, it’s women in space, you can learn things, you can buy stuff. You know, we’re really into women in space here. Um thanks.
So, think about your internal links, think about your menu, when you’re thinking, when you’re putting together your content. Um and for the backend of this, we talked about how your site is an entity. So Mordy talked a lot about your website being an entity and there’s a few different ways that you can help that, help people to understand that. So, within Wix we have lots of different tools and this, this deck will be shared. All of these things link to information about different things on Wix and how you can find these things on Wix. So um just hang in there with me. So this is your social share, so this allows you to, you can, that I replicated the what, the um banner looked like, the homepage and I added that into, to the, the OG from the OG, from the open graph. Um for the, for the home page you can also see that I’ve, I’ve got those funnel information, so learn and shop in the page title and I also got, you know, check out our biographies, learn more et cetera—in the meta description. And then, when and then when we have the page title then um we also have the site name, which I’ll get into that in a moment, that also helps to, to Google to understand what, what all of these things are and all of these things feed into, to the homepage.
Further down the homepage we get into like a little, a few other elements so this is more like this sort of informer element like making sure we got a feed there. So this particular part here, this biographies area this is a, this is a blog feed. So this is everytime I make a new content, everytime I make a new blog, it automatically goes on the homepage which means that it gets crawled very quickly. So as soon as I make it, not only is it on this blog page but it’s also on the homepage and we said that Google’s visiting the homepage once people are visiting the homepage and it helps that content to get indexed, it helps it to get ranked. And if you have set it up as a feed using you know, based on the different categories which are within Wix then that helps you to that helps you to, to make sure that that’s automated—you don’t even have to remember it. Um and then I’ve got an image here and the images you can also use images image tags, I talked about the big banner and needing to have structured data and needing to have information about it. You can add image attributes to also add some of those keywords and, and make sort of those things that people don’t know—who um Mae Jemison was, the first black woman in space um and she was on the space shuttle Endeavor. So I’m adding those, those, that information in there and Google will be able to understand that, that is on the homepage for my page about women in space and they can connect all of those, all of that information.
And then moving down to the sort of converter elements, um further down the page now because my, my shop there, my thing that I made—our shop isn’t the main thing that we do, it’s a little add-on, so I put that further down the page. If my, if the main thing that I was doing was having a shop, I’d have this much higher up the page. Um but because it’s, it’s not, it’s like, it’s a nice to have, not a, not a, not any sort of deal breaker if I put it further down the page. And then we’ve added in some of those elements where we have um “visitor shop” which is a CTA. “Buy books” that’s another active word, telling people that this is the section of the website where you can do things. Um so, so I’ve added those in and there’s other ways that you can add this in as well, you can add in uh, uh a gallery, you, and again you can do a similar thing with the feed—so for instance, if you have a lot of content or a lot of products that are changing over, you can make sure that those things are, that the new products are coming through first. Or seasonal products are coming through first and that sort of thing can help with, with you as well. And then getting down further, we can also see that we have, and then I’ve done the filter thing again, um to some of the other content that I think is, its important but maybe isn’t necessarily the like sort of the big, big picture stuff.
Um so I’ve got a, a review section, I’ve got the “find”, “find activities”. I also have this, this area “Name, Address, Phone Number”, um and the mega menu. Now the “Name, Address, Phone Number” is super important for, particularly for local businesses, because it allows you to get schema markup, for instance in our business info area within Wix, there’s a link to this. Once you fill this in, this gives you the opportunity to have a local business schema markup and Mordy was talking about being an entity, this is how you, this is one of the ways that you define yourself as an entity—schema markup helps Google to understand you as an entity and as a part of the knowledge graph and so, it’s not just a conceptual thing there is also a tangible way that you can, that you can add, add this to your site. And then when you add your “Name, Address, Phone Number” on the footer of your website, this also helps as well.
Now this all seems like a lot, don’t worry, because a lot of this stuff is covered in your Wix SEO checklist, um SEO Setup Checklist. And if you go through all of this, all of this um, there’s things that you’ll notice—the first section is all about the homepage. And one of the reasons why the first section is all about your homepage is because, when it says “connect to Google Search Console”—so Google and Wix have an integration and Wix will index your homepage on Google as soon as you connect to, to um, as soon as you connect um via the setup checklist. And I’ve done this, and I, I was like “this isn’t gonna”, “this isn’t gonna be that great”. But on my, on my personal site, I did, I did this and I set up my site and I, I, before I connected it, on the second, second of March, I was not, it was not, it was not on Google. Then within two days it was absolutely on Google. I’m sorry, this is blurry because this is my screenshot that I took in March and wasn’t expecting to use it for a website, or for a, for a, um presentation. But yeah, um because I did, because I did the internal linking all the way through, even though it was just indexing my web, my homepage, it also pulled through a few more, a few more of my pages as well and I mean four might not seem much but I only had twelve pages on the site overall so that’s pulling through, you know, a good chunk of the website um, going, going through. So I think that’s essentially my, my roundup.
I’ve gone a little bit over, I’m sorry Mordy, um but if you want to know more about this, I’ve got a sort of, this deck will be shared after so Mordy’s end. Um, as will the transcript and all the resources and the deck includes a few more resources for things like header tags, which we talked about, meta descriptions, search console, also a link to the SEO guide and yeah. That’s, that’s my, my, that’s me on homepages.
Mordy: So much there and there’s so many different types of homepages that you really can like, really have fun with it. I mean, stay, stay in the boundaries of what you’re trying to do and don’t loose focus. But you can really get creative with the homepage. Like don’t be, like if you listen to the first part of the presentation, please, I’m not saying you shouldn’t get creative with the homepage—get creative with it. 100% there’s some really cool stuff you can do there.
Crystal: Yeah, I think absolutely and I think, like, I think, really think about it fro your users perspective. I think that’s so important and think about, think about what are the questions that people always ask you and if somebody comes to your website and they go “I don’t understand what you do” listen to them. Listen to them. If they come to, if they come to your homepage and they, and they say “yeah” and they can’t, and they and they still don’t understand or they’re still asking you certain questions. You know, add an FAQ, um you know, if you, if you’re, if people, if people can’t find you know, a certain part of the website, but they always ask—add that to the website as well. That can help your customer service team, that can help, you know reduce calls, lots of, lots of different things so. So um, and I think was was interesting is I, I remember I saw your deck, um and when I was going through, through um, I was going through my page because I built this, I was like “oh yeah, I’m gonna make a little homepage, um for this, for this project” and then I saw your deck and I was like “ok, I can probably do better with that”.
Mordy: Um so, speaking of questions let’s, there’s a, an abundance of questions, uh really good questions. We’re gonna try to get to as many as we can in the next nineteen minutes. By the way, I apologize, I remiss, I should have mentioned this earlier—we are recording this. You will get the recording automatically through email so do not worry. You get the slides, you get the recording, you get the links for all the ancillary information that we spoke about, it’s coming right at you, directly through email. I apologize for not mentioning that at the beginning of the webinar. Um ok, allright, are we ready Crystal?
Mordy: Allright. Is there any ruler just a good SEO practice to add, and there’s a few questions around this, add menu items on the footer too—meaning add links to the footer of your homepage.
Crystal: Yeah absolutely you should add menu links to your footer. I absolutely think you should add menu links to the footer, um you should certainly have a T&Cs bar, that’s really good for users it’s also really good for Google. So I had a client before where they didn’t have like their shipping and returns and like, privacy and all that sort of stuff and didn’t have it on the footer and we added it to the footer and we saw a boost straight away um, it’s a trust signal.
Mordy: So when you added internal links, and there have been a bunch of questions around internal links. What we mean by internal links, by the way, is your linking to another page on your website. So you’re linking say on your homepage to your about page or your linking to a product page or a blog post, whatever it may be. So when you for example link in a blog post to your homepage, that link to the homepage, that you add, is called an internal link and they’re very important for SEO. One is, they help Google understand what’s on your website, also when Google crawls and comes to your website, they come to your homepage and you set it up through the SEO setup checklist in the, in the, in the Wix dashboard. And Google instantly indexes your homepage. Once they’re there, and they see the other links on your page, they go “Oh, there’s a bunch of other links on your page” and they find pages from links on a page. So most definitely, it’s just bouncing along. Definitely, I do it on all my sites. Include the links in the footer, absolutely do that. It also helps give the user a general sense of “Oh, here’s everything that’s on the website”—so it’s good for users and good for bots, is the philosophy of all things SEO. Good for users, good for bots.
Crystal: Yeah, absolutely. And I think um, it’s the footer, the footers are a really good place to put like un-sexy links. Like um links that are, that, that are, that everybodys going to, but like maybe they’re not like, maybe they’re not, they don’t fit in like in a lovely, lovely place in the menu. Um so that’s, but yeah
Mordy: Exactly yeah those, those you know, the on-demand out kind of thing—good for the footer. Um Nicole Holst asks: I am a copywriter and usually write 600/800 words for a homepage, for clients for SEO—which is what I have learned is recommend, which I often think is too long. How do you balance keyword optimization vs length—which is a great question.
Crystal: So, so, you’re more of the content bot but in my general experience, the length of the, the length of the, the, the copy on the homepage doesn’t necessarily matter Um the quality of the copy on the homepage does matter and I would also say that headers on the homepage are really, really important. So, you know H1s, H2s, H3s, H4s, you know, get in there and make sure you, make sure that you, that you’re breaking things down um, so that, so that Google can sort of skim-read what, what you do and so that you’re, you’re adding that value to it. Not just from a, a you know, a word count point of view but from a sort of information point of view.
Mordy: I couldn’t agree with you, possibly any more, a million percent. You know, my, my SEO advice, of all SEO advice is don’t worry about SEO. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but worry about your users. So, if you’re from a content perspective that we’re talking about. If you’re writing for SEO and there’s a bunch of questions about keywords like how many keywords, do I know where to put—don’t, don’t worry about it. Write naturally for the user, think about the user where their pain points are, really empathize with the user. Understand what they need, their life context and build a page for them. So if you’re thinking about your homepage, what information do, does your user need, how much of it do they need—to have on the homepage for them to be satisfied to understand. And keep in mind the purpose of the homepage is to understand who you are and what you do, how much do they need, and do that.
I’ll give you an exam, a way of thinking about Google, outside of the homepage but in general. My cousin used to be the head of SEO at Surveymonkey and he used to live in Palo Alto, and the, Google used to test, I wonder if they still do, their self driving cars. And he said, the car was able to detect, whether or not a person ran out or a squirrel. If, if Google can understand whether this thing that ran out in-front of their self-driving car is a person or a squirrel, they can understand what you’re writing on your page, assuming you’re writing in a comprehensive, natural way. In other words, don’t worry about keywords. Worry about writing naturally to your users, because what words are you going to use other than the words that really describe what you’re going to say.
Crystal: Absolutely. And I think, somebody asked what are H1s, H2s, H3s, H4s. So an H2 is a header tag, there’s a link in my deck about what header tags are. Um it’s on our Wix SEO hub so there’s a whole link all about it. Um, H1, H1 is like a headline so, so, so, so, like if you were to go “Food”, “fruit”, “oranges”, “clementines”, like “orange wedges”, like that sort of thing—sort of as you get further down, it sort of um, sort of narrowing into, to the, to the sort of subsections of what it, what is is. Um and, and if you have, let’s say you have a website that is selling fruit, um, so you’re gonna want to break those down. So you might say like “we have food”, “we have fruit”. “We have apples”, “we have oranges”, “we have bananas”, like and you wanna bring, and, and you know “we have it for delivery” and that sort of thing. So think about it that way, how you parse the information because that’s how Google is thinking of it. And somebody else asked about how to use it on Wix. And the thing, there’s a thing that says paragraph, you click on that and then there you see the dropdown for the thing.
Mordy: Yeah and the editor is right there, in the blog there’s a dropdown menu for headers. And the way I think about it, I think about it, a book report, I’m an old teacher, think about a book report you wrote when you were around eighth grade, ninth grade. Probably not, um. You have the, the title, you know, my summary of, you know, of Mice and Men by Mordy Oberstein right there, that’s your H1. Then you have, you know, plot, that’s your H2 and then you have character, that’s another H2, then you have a little header for each character you know, like the mouse, Lenny, right. That would be a H3, that exists within the larger paragraph of characters. I don’t know if that makes it any clearer or not.
Crystal: No it’s good, let’s keep on with more questions.
Mordy: Um ok. Eh David Hook asked—”How do I display my resume experience on my homepage or focus on what the customer wants to buy?”. So, and there have been a few questions about this, how do I, how do I include information about who I am, or doesn’t it sound like I’m at, I should be putting my about page on my homepage. So we can ask the question, what's the difference between a homepage and an about page. Those sort of questions, let’s answer it.
Crystal: Yeah, so I would say, so as I said in the thing, you can have a headline that’s like, you know “Mordy Oberstein, book reviewer”. Um and you can sort of have, you know, like “Mordy Oberstein”, like you know, like your elevator pitch. Like what would go on your business card for instance. Like “I reviewed all the books, I know so many books, books are great”. Um, you know and, and everybody, you know, “everybody thinks I know lots and lots of things about books” link. Like, so, so, so you have your headline for what that is, then you have your link to an about page, that goes into all of the details with all of the stuff about who you are. Unless you have a one-pager, in which case fine, just go for it. But if you have, if you have a wider site, then absolutely have a little summary, like a little taster, get people interested so they wanna know more, and then have a link out to the big stuff. Also have the so you know, it’s basically a TLDR homepage. Um it’s really good to have yourself on your homepage though, because with this dealer markup stuff, you can add this to your homepage, and get a markup about your homepage, on your homepage.
Mordy: So Laya asks, I love this question—how do you manage 83 different internal stakeholders, who all want their part of the business to be mentioned on the homepage ranked for their own terms. Such a great question.
Crystal: Yeah. Do you want to start with that one there Mordy?
Mordy: Ok, so, um, look obviously you’re dealing with a larger team and everybody has their own, I guess has their own claim on the website for a lack of a better word. So for you kinda wanna, from my general experience, you kinda wanna show how your agenda makes their agenda better. So for example, look, if you wanna have your part of the business on the homepage, or your part, obviously it’s too much. The homepage won’t rank, if the homepage won’t rank, pretty much nothing else on the homepage, is probably going to rank either so no one will see all of the things that you’re doing. So everything you are trying to do, which is get more visibility to show how awesome you are, which is by the way, let’s be team players, believe in every site. You’re not gonna get that visibility, because if you do, what you wanna do, what you’re advocating for on the homepage, we won’t rank and no one will see anything. What you should do is bring in someone who knows a little about CRO, conversion rate optimization—”oh your little aspect of the business, how can we work in a CTA or a link in the footer and get clicks to there, so once we get the homepage ranking, we’ll funnel them into your little section of the business, so you’ll get that visibility and everybody will love you”.
Crystal: Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s a great answer. It’s great.
Mordy: I feel I have to bring up this question—Saskia Jones asks “how do I solve low text to HTML ratio on homepage?”.
So I’ve seen a few people in the chat saying that they’re do, doing a lot of photography and stuff. And I think that, I think that with this, Schema Markup is your friend. Absolutely. Um, so, for instance, and, and you, all those, all those image attributes for your images and you know they’re, they’re your friends. If you can afford, oh and also a dropdown menu. So, so if you have a dropdown menu, you like make sure that you got, your dropdown menu has all of the sort of important links through it and that your homepage isn’t just uh the thing. So essentially when you’re saying a little text, to you’ll probably have, like you know, the billboard style menu that we were saying. And if you look at the, the Zara example, which seemed quite extreme, they, they had tons of links on there. They had tons and tons of links on that page but it was one big ol’ picture. Um so, so, I think, think about your menu and use all the image attributes that you, that you have. And with schema markup, you can do a lot for your homepage, so you can do, you can get into the, who the publisher is. So for instance, lets say your photographer Mordy Oberstein is both a book reviewer and a photographer, so, so he’s an amazing wedding photographer, very busy. And um, so let’s say you know, this is a website that was made by Mordy, um and he is the photographer and he studied here and he’s an alumni of this and he did this and he is this and he is that, blah, blah, blah. And you know, same as this social feed and that social feed you can add all of that schema markup into there, um and that’s totally fine on your homepage, and that will help Google to understand who you are. Um as well. The other thing that I would say is, particularly if you’re going for a billboard type site, where you don’t have a lot of, where you have a lot of image, but not a lot of text, is to make sure you’re supporting that site with links. So make sure that you’re supporting that with, with, and I don’t necessarily mean like “oh please can I have a backlink” kind of links. I mean like making sure that you’re supporting it with like, that you’ve, that you’ve got yourself onto like photography directories and um, and that you have um you know, you’ve claimed all of your social profiles and that you have those all going to your homepage. So that people can have lots of signals of lots of information that say that, that you know, what your homepage is about and, and what you do.
Mordy: So I’ll give you a little bit of, well, I have a question for you because I saw just pop up, just now—what is schema markup?
Crystal: Schema markup is my favorite thing, essentially it turns your website into a grid. Or like into a spreadsheet. It’s like the equivalent of like um, and when, when they do that Google can mix and match all the different parts of your website and serve it on the SERP. The search engine results page, however they want. So they do this a lot with recipe websites. So it’s essentially like if I said, like, um this is, this is a drink and it’s a long island iced tea, right and like let's say my website is the long island iced tea—um what schema markup does is that instead of saying that your website is a long island iced tea, your website is a little bit of bourbon, a little bit of vodka, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a little bit of that, so you can take the coca-cola and the vodka and make one thing, and you can take this and take that and make another thing, and it’s all still part of the same thing, but it breaks it up into little parts so that Google can, so that Google can configure it on the SERP, the way that they want. The way that works for their users.
Mordy: Yeah and so it’s basically giving Google some code, which, by the way is, if you’re using Wix, which you are. Um in the SEO panel, in the settings for a page, you’ll see a field for advanced SEO or a tab for advanced SEO, in there is a field where you can paste in structured data markup code, you’ll see a link to a generator where you just type in what you want and it’ll create the code for you, you just paste it in on many of your pages, we’re doing it for you automatically, your product pages, event pages, those sort of things are doing it for you there. Although you can edit and customize there as well. Basically you’re giving Google some code that makes it really, really easy for them to understand exactly what are the elements that are on this page, then Google can manipulate this information to do some pretty cool things with your website, with your page, on their results page. So I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Google and you’ve seen the little stars that show up, on, inside our in an organic result, how are those little you know, yellow stars get there, that was through structured data markup.
But to go back to the low text to code question, I’ll give you a little bit of an inside scoop here. So it’s one of the errors that many, many SEO tools will show up when you run a site audit, so they’ll say “oh, it’s bad that you have a lot of code but not a lot of text” I used to work for one such tool, and I will tell you, I’ve had many conversations with Google about this, where they ask “can you please stop showing that?”. Because it’s not a real thing. So, Google does that, that error, that warning that you see inside of your SEO tools sometimes saying “low code to text, HTML to text ratio”, I’m botching the name, um, because it’s so painful for me. Is, is not a real thing, please stop showing it. And you get, these conversations didn’t take place in private, they’re on Twitter, you can see them. And I advocated to said company “please, Google, they’re right, it’s not a real thing please, you can ignore that”.
Crystal: What I would say, those things are useful for cause I think like, screening does a, does a word count for you as well. Again, word count isn’t necessarily important. Thank you Mordy. I would say that they’re useful if you’re trying to do a big audit and you’re trying to figure out like, if you have some like empty pages, I’ve done some like audits on like eCommerce sites, where like, they just had like not like “green shoes” or something and you’re like “that’s not enough copy” like that sort of, those sorts of things can be useful for that sort of, sort of stuff.
Mordy: Yeah, but for us, fine we’ll leave it at that. It’s a sore subject. And then Honikaut asks us a great question—”so should the statement of who we are and what we do be at the top, mine’s at the bottom of my homepage”. So let’s generalize this question, what should be at the very top of the fold on your homepage, should that matter? The answer is Yes. It, think about it in terms of a user, if you have something above the fold way up on top, wouldn’t that tell you that hey, to the user, that’s really important, it sends a clear message. It does the same for bots, what you show at the top of the page, as a rule, kind of tells Google, this is the really most important thing that’s out there. So, who you are, what the site does, should go at the top of the page.
Crystal: Yeah, I also think also there’s a couple of things around, around like so Google doesn’t always use your meta description, sometimes they change it. And sometimes they will just use the first part of the, part of the website, for instance. Um also a lot of times, people, if you look at a heatmap, with tools like Hotjar, um for instance, or lucky orange for instance, that will let you see how users are, are seeing your website and a lot of times users won’t scroll to the bottom of your website, they’re only seeing what’s in the viewport for websites, for mobiles is what they call it. Which is the first thing you can see on your mobile screen, not necessarily in a page. So um the, the viewport, what’s on, above the fold which is the first thing that you see on desktop before you start scrolling, so a lot of times people don’t make it to the bottom. So if you, if you don’t mind being the serious, like maybe it’s not a commercially sensitive website, but if it is a commercially sensitive website and you are expecting to see lots of new users, then yeah, you should definitely say who you are further up the page. With Wix you can actually test it so um you can do a split site, so you can test your um, you can test, you can test it at the top, you can test it at the bottom and you can see how, how it works um, and um which one works better for you. Um and, and with all these things I think testing is great, but generally speaking, yeah, I think, I think, I um, you know, if I was just asked like yes or no, I would say yes at the top.