The Business Case For Not Ranking Your Home Page
Whenever an SEO discussion takes place, and the subject matter is about ranking a website, the automatic assumption is that it is the website’s homepage that should be ranked.
In a lot of cases that will be true, but there are many arguments that differ from that thinking. Instead, the theory is that whilst the homepage might be ideal for optimising for the company’s branding, SEO rankings should be focusing on other pages, especially with regards to products and services. This is why we recommend hiring an SEO agency.
Now, this might surprise many of you, but if you read on, we will explain the justification and the business case for not ranking your homepage.
Diversity Of Products And Locations
Now it is likely that your business has more than one product or service on offer, and it is also possible that your business operates in, or targets, more than one location. Even if it does not at the moment, assuming you plan to expand, it may well do so in the future.
Whilst multiple products and locations may all be under one roof in terms of your website, each of them should be promoted on their own individual web pages, or on pages more aligned with that range or location.
If you are solely focusing on ranking your homepage, none of those inner pages ever stand a chance of finding themselves rank number one on google.
The point here is that the kinds of keyword phrases that you would target for those pages, may not actually be difficult to get good ranking for due to poor or limited competition.
This is a huge open goal being missed, as some simple, but effective SEO, could see those pages rank highly and thus your products and services being seen by a much larger number of prospective buyers and clients.
Imagine you were a company that hired out large power equipment such as portable generators, portable air conditioning units, and portable lighting. Your business is based in Perth, but you want to specifically target suburbs such as Highgate, Ashfield, and Crawley, for example. You might want to rank for keywords such as these:
- Portable Air Conditioning Unit Highgate
- Portable Air Conditioning Unit Ashfield
- Portable Air Conditioning Unit Crawley
- Portable Generators Highgate
- Portable Generators Ashfield
- Portable Generators Crawley
- Portable Lighting Highgate
- Portable Lighting Ashfield
- Portable Lighting Crawley
The strategy here is not to throw everything at getting your homepage ranked for all possible combinations of keywords. In fact, the chances of Google ranking your homepage for all of them is zero, and even getting there for more than one of them is going to be a challenge.
For start, what page title would you use, and thereafter what metadata would be used in the description and H tags? It is simply not possible to optimise a home page for every keyword phrase that you want to rank for and to try is pointless.
Instead, if you were to try rank each individual page for individual types of equipment and also have individual location pages, then the task is more achievable. You can assign the specific page title and other metadata that apply to that product and the same can be done in location pages if you have them.
The content you might have on those pages is also going to be a lot more relevant when it applies to a specific product on the page, rather than the generic content you would have to use on the home page.
Avoiding Keyword Cannibalisation
The term keyword cannibalisation refers to a scenario where a website owner is trying to rank two pages within their website for the same keyword or keyword phrase.
A prime example of this is where you try to rank the homepage for a term, such as ‘portable lighting Perth’ and at the same time try to rank an inner product page for that same term.
The first problem this creates is that it confuses Google, as when it analyses or crawls your site, it sees that you are trying to rank two pages for the same term and does not know which one to rank. The result of their confusion could be that neither rank.
Alternatively, Google might decide to rank your homepage for that specific term, but that means the product page where all that product’s details and your excellent sales copy exist, is not ranked, and therefore unlikely to be seen by those searching for it.
Improved User Experience
The final point about not ranking your home page for every keyword is it can improve the users’ experience. User experience is Google’s big thing at the moment so if you can improve it, they are likely to reward you with better rankings.
Imagine someone searching for ‘air conditioning unit Perth’ and your home page shows up at the top of the results. When that person clicks through and lands on your home page, it might not be immediately obvious that they are on the right website. Even having to click through to another page is enough to make some visitors click away.
Rank the correct page for each individual product or service you offer, and users will stay longer as that is what they were searching for on Google.