There is Homepage Optimization and then there is Homepage Optimization. Let’s talk about the latter, and it’s more intuitive than you might think.
Ready, Fire, Aim!
We get it, you googled what is SEO and then spent the rest of the weekend reading an SEO blog or an SEO Tutorial on how to improve your website ranking. Whether you call it homepage optimization, site optimization, or landing page optimization, most people forget to actually aim before they shoot when it comes to diy SEO. So how do you aim before you shoot? First, make sure you go read the Kissmetrics blog and this blogpost by Stream Creative for a great starting point on making sure your homepage has the right SEO content.
Second, measure your SEO improvement and we don’t mean watching your traffic on Google Analytics. We mean actively testing multiple variations of a web page to see which one performs best. For those of you that haven’t heard this before it is commonly called conversion optimization. It’s one of the basic optimization methods an SEO company uses that you don’t need to pay for. Typically conversion optimization is done as part of an effort to improve the conversion rate of your site and it relies on basic tools within Google Analytics such as Visual Website Optimizer, Optimizely, or Content Experiments. So let’s cover two common conversion optimization tests so you can get started on improving your homepage.
The easiest and most straightforward conversion test is called an A/B test and it is the bare minimum test we recommend conducting on your homepage. A homepage A/B Test is basically a test that involves testing two different versions of your homepage and then measuring the visitor behavior to see which one completes more conversions on your site. Simply create two versions of your homepage and then select a version at random to show to new visitors (old visitors get to see the same version they saw the first time they visited). Once you have enough statistically different data you will be able to pick the winner. Quick tip, don’t forget to periodically run this SEO test to make sure you always have a fully optimized homepage.
Multivariate Testing is a more complex method of a conversion test because it involves multiple variations in the test. For example, you may want to test a few different feature images, a couple logo designs, or maybe several different calls to action. The idea is to come up with a good mix of elements on your homepage to see how they drive conversion results. Any combination of your webpage could be shown to your visitors with Multivariate Testing so make sure you get plenty of visits in order to draw a conclusion. As a result, your winning variation will rise to the top.
Ready, Aim, Fire!
Homepage optimization isn’t just about putting the right structure on your page. Homepage optimization is about testing multiple right structures in order to find the best possible structure for converting your visitors. This straightforward approach of aiming before you fire will help determine which keywords, keyword locations, or even logo designs that provide the best results. This type of data will provide invaluable insight to homepage optimization and its ability to convert your websites visitors. Ready, aim, fire seems like an intuitive approach, but take it from an engineer who turned marketer, it is not intuitive to most people. Ready, aim, and then fire will set your homepage apart from the crowd without ever having to spend a dollar on an SEO company.