By improving your homepage ranking on Google search, you increase your chances of getting more eyeballs to your site. This way, you can show your brand’s purpose and make a more lasting impression on people.
To achieve this, you want to build a homepage for search engines and your target audience. You can break down the tasks into three components:
- Homepage UI/UX optimization
- Web copy optimization
- Other on-page SEO factors
We have written a three-part guide to help guide you in successfully optimizing your homepage following the steps above.
In this part, we’ll discuss how to improve your homepage’s interface and usability to give visitors a much better user experience.
Start With Homepage UX
Bounce rate, page visits, and time on site are critical ranking factors. Since they reflect human behavior, Google uses them to determine the quality of a site and whether it is worthy to rank at the top. To meet the demands of searchers and rank well in SERP, businesses must focus on improving these SEO basics.
Here are the areas to prioritize your efforts and improve your homepage performance.
Part of an optimized website design is its loading time. Google keeps putting more weight on how your site loads with the new Page experience update where Core Web Vitals is a factor in deciding whether Google will rank your site or not. Years ago, it was site speed that Google turned into a ranking factor.
Therefore, a slow-loading SaaS homepage can cause a drop in your traffic and increase your bounce rate.
So before you focus on content and other marketing activities, prioritize optimizing homepage performance. Here are the tricks you can use to avoid losing visitors because of a slow homepage:
- Optimize your homepage images
- Eliminate unnecessary plugins
- Reduce redirects
- Enable browser caching
Don’t forget to use tools like GTmetrics to get insights into your homepage’s performance to find out where to make improvements.
Apart from reducing page load times, your SaaS homepage also needs to be mobile-friendly. 63% of website visitors today access the internet through their mobile phones. Google is also giving mobile versions of content the first priority in ranking and indexing. So if your homepage is not mobile-friendly, you will see a drop in user engagement and site visits.
You can optimize your homepage to be mobile-friendly by redesigning it for mobile devices, creating a mobile map, enabling AMP, and testing mobile responsiveness on Google’s mobile-friendly tool. These methods should help you improve the time spent on your homepage, user experience, and conversion.
Remove Dead Links
Another factor to address is removing dead links from your homepage. If a page has been removed or updated, create a 301 redirect to send visitors to the alternative version of the page. Don’t let your visitors be hit with a “Page not found” error. It is a big blow to your user experience, and such users may never return to your page.
Additionally, consider deleting old URLs to internal pages and the main navigation. Also, use the right plugin and theme to prevent being affected by a URL blacklist.
Optimize Your Images and Videos
Images and videos are very important for your homepage. They make texts easier to consume, improve the quality of your homepage, and increase user engagement.
Even though search engines are capable of reading non-text objects, SEOs still need to optimize these media types. You can optimize your videos and product demos by incorporating relevant keyword tags, captions, and sitemaps. Consider also using the right format that search engines can read.
For images, add alt tags, captions, structured data, filenames, and even sitemaps. These strategies help search engines read your videos and images and rank them in image search results.
When videos and images are optimized, they also improve customer engagement and retention, all of which will positively affect your position in SERPs.
Last but not least, consider your website navigation and security. Google is already considering HTTPS as a ranking signal. So switching to HTTPS has a tremendous advantage for your homepage SEO. Besides, you don’t want to drive away visitors when your site is flagged by search engines for not being secure.
Also, make sure your visitors can easily locate the pages on your site. You can achieve this with fewer pages and a simpler website architecture that meets your user’s needs and avoiding complicated website navigation since it disrupts UX.
Another tactic is redesigning your navigation bar and buttons so that visitors can locate their direction quickly, as in the example below from Kisi.
This simple design reduces cognitive overload, making it easier for any user to understand the next course of action.
Prioritizing user experience should help reduce bounce rate, increase page visits, and the time users spend on your site.