Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Exactly how much does your homepage content effect your SEO ranking?

by Christine Mortesen 0 comments

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In a Client Name Removed Homepage Visual Design Concept review today natural concerns were raised about the use of graphical text and how that could have a great and negative impact on SEO their ranking. I'm currently doing my own quick research on this for my own benefit and filling out my basic knowledge but would love insights from those of you whom are greater SEO gurus than I would ever hope to be. The homepages were overall very well received but this is a very interesting question for which I'm not entirely equipped to answer.

I feel that a homepage has 2 main goals:
  1. Direct users down a specific path in the site while allowing them to easily reach other areas of the site
  2. Give the user an at-a-glance feeling of the company brand/personality/service experience

In most cases (blogs, newspapers, and the like being obvious exceptions) the homepage is not a place to display deep dive content. Instead you'd tease to that content and entice the user deeper into the rabbit hole your site.

To jump back to Client Name Removed, my gut reaction is that if they have highly relevant and well branded/keyword rich content in all the other areas of their site (using H1 tags instead of graphics for headings btw) then how much will it really effect their ranking if the homepage speaks to users on an emotional level through graphic and image rather than speaking to some bot crawling around the web? Shouldn't most traffic be driven to content relevant pages anyways (I mean, it is what you searched for in the first place)?

A co-worker of mine, Santiago, called out some great points during the meeting in regards to various treatments we could implement to work around graphics on the homepage (i.e., DIVs, Alt text, etc.)

What other fodder can we gather to further support our homepage concepts? I've taken another look at an article Trent linked to a while back from the Web Designer's Wall but it's not much help in this case. My search continues...

Thanks in advance!!!!

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Christine Mortensen
Visual Designer, UX Advocate, Social Medial Maven, Interactive Media Strategist, Blogger, and in my spare time I'm a Runner, Volleyball Player, and Bloody Mary Fan

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