23 Jul Not on the Homepage

Website owners are usually concerned about getting their homepage to show up on the search engines like Google. However, your homepage is simply one of many pages making up your website. It would be far better to get ALL of your pages to show up on Google. This process is referred to as indexing. It should be your goal to get every page on your website indexed.

Why is this important? Well, think about an ecommerce site named “Bob’s Garden Center”. If someone does a search on “Bob’s Garden Center”, they will probably find the site they are looking for. But customers don’t typically search for “Bob’s Garden Center”; they search for “Flowers that attract butterflies”. Now if Bob had a page on his site that talked about flowers that attract butterflies, and that page could be found by Google, the customer would more likely end up on Bob’s website. It isn’t possible, or even desirable, to have all of your keywords stuffed into your homepage, so you want individual product pages that concentrate on specific keywords.

While this is indeed the correct way to market your site, there are two implications to this approach. The first is that customers may not enter your store through the front door, so you can’t pre-sell them with a flashy homepage. Instead, every page must be designed to make the sale. Which brings up the second point: your product pages must sell the customer. Your website cannot just be a catalog listing with little or no text on it. You must thoroughly describe every product and let the customer know why he or she needs it. I’ve said it multiple times: content is king, both for the search engines and for your customers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your customer already knows about the product and is just there to order it. Educate them on how the product works and what it can do for them.

Let’s say you are selling lawn mowers. If you simply show a photo of a mower, with the model number and price, why should someone buy from you? Tell them about the mower: how big is the cutting blade? What is the size of the gas tank? How much horsepower does it have? How easy is it to start? People come to the internet looking for information, so make sure you give it to them.

John Donne (1572-1631), has a famous quote, “No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main…” People often attribute this to all sorts of other things as well, but when it comes to an individual webpage, each page MUST be an island, capable of standing on its own. Every webpage must convey the complete message to your customers. Your search engine results and your sales depend on it.

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