Home Page SEO Isn't Enough
I can't tell you how many people seem to expect that if they do SEO on their home page they're home free. But really, that's just the beginning. Doing SEO on your home page means that one page on your Web site may get better traffic from search engines. And let's do the math, if you have 100 pages on your site, that means that 1% of your site will get more views. So, if you keep your site to less than 10 pages, then optimizing your home page could become a lucrative venture.
Home Page SEO is Hard
Unless you're very very limited in what your Web site does (or you only have 10 pages), it can be very difficult to optimize a home page for all the target phrases that you might want to use on your site as a whole. Take this Web site for example. If you want to completely generalize my site, I have three (or four) primary topics that I cover:
- Web Design
- XHTML or HTML
- CSS (some people lump that in with design)
While these all have things in common with one another, it is very difficult to optimize for all four. And then when you add in the fact that my home page is a blog, that makes it even more difficult, as the information stored on the home page changes regularly.
My solution was to focus on just one of my primary topics (Web Design) when optimizing my home page. And get other sub-pages optimized for the other topics that I cover. It seems to be working, because when I checked today I was on the first page of Google for the search phrase "web design" (I was in the number 1 spot, in fact).
Do SEO on Every Page Separately
But if your site is paid for through advertising, then you'll want to make sure that you get page views from wherever you can - and that means optimizing every page you design. But you don't want to do SEO on a sub-page for the same target words as your home page. You should optimize these pages for the target words that fit for that page.
For example, as I mentioned above, my home page is optimized for the search phrase "web design", but actually very few of my internal pages are optimized for that phrase. Instead, I optimize the pages for the phrase that best fits that page. My Meta Refresh Tag article isn't optimized for "web design", instead, I've optimized it for "meta refresh" and "html refresh". If you search google for either of those phrases, my meta refresh page is what comes up in the top slot. I don't care that it doesn't come up when someone is searching for "web design" because this page wouldn't help them. But if you want to know how to refresh a web page - my article is perfect for you.
Your Customers Don't Care About Your Home Page
Okay, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but really, when someone is searching for something, they want the answer to that question. Web home pages are marketing vehicles to get people who don't really know what they're looking for interested in your products or services. This is just as true of my home page as it is of yours.
I optimize my home page for "web design" because that is a fairly generic term. My site is about Web design, so if you're not looking for the answer to a specific question about it, you'll find my home page. And there you'll see the diversity of my site in the blog posts and categories.
But if you're looking for the answer to a specific question about building Web pages, you want the pages you click on to actually contain that answer, not force you to search more. By doing SEO on every page of your Web site, you help your customers find what they're looking for.
Every Page is an Entry Page
When you think of every page on your Web site as a possible entry page into your site, you'll start viewing your entire site differently. For one thing, you'll want to make sure that every Web page has usable navigation on it as well as branding to tell your readers where they are.
You'll also look at your stats in a different way. After all, if before you were primarily concerned with optimizing your home page, that would be the only page you would care about the page views on. But by doing SEO on every page in your Web site, you'll be watching the growth of your site as a whole.
And the More Pages You Have, the Better
When you think of every page as an entry page, you'll start wanting more pages. After all, if I have 5,000 pages and every page gets hit once a day, that's 35,000 page views a week. If you optimize a page on a search term that only gets 100 hits a day, you can still get a percentage of those hits every day if your page ranks well for those terms. And moving from 1 pageview per day to 2 pageviews per day on any individual page really isn't that much. But with 5,000 pages that turns into 70,000 pageviews in a week. And so on...
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