We all know how important the homepage of a website is, for most websites it is also the highest page rank. It also tells the search engines what are the most important topics on your website and affects the sectors the search engine thinks your site belongs to.
One of the tasks I was assigned to do when i joined my current employer was to replace their current website. The website had not been touched for years and desperately needed changing.
Being an IT company, we built our own CMS website and included lots of SEO features to help with rankings. After many months of work and lots of new content, we launched the new website. We told Google and Bing to re-index our website and follow the links. Then we sat back and waited to see the results of our labours.
After a while, we noticed that we were ranking fifth for ‘Training’ in local searches, for a training company this would be a great start but we don’t provide training. We knew that this would produce a high bounce rate.
So what had we done wrong?
To help with our credibility we had placed a list of recent case studies on our homepage, with good intent. Each of the listing contained h3 title, links, short description, a logo and a link to the full description. One of the case studies was about a project we had completed for a training company and used training or similar words several times, throughout the listing. Opps!
Well you would think that this was an easy error to fix, just remove the case studies from the homepage and replace with more relevant content. Then wait for Google to re-index the homepage. But No!
Despite removing the case studies from the homepage over six months ago, we are still ranked eighth. It’s also the second largest search term we get impressions for. So it turns out that some accidental taints are harder to remove than other.
The homepage of a website is a very important page, be very carefully what you link to from it. So it turns out that some time best practice, is not correctly naming images, pages and links. You have been warned!
Being burnt once, we now check for any accidental taints on client’s homepages and other key pages. Are they introducing terms or links which would make search engines think they are in a different field or industry.
Look forwards to hearing your experiences and views.