This is a continuation of a series of website marketing checklists. Check out all Web Marketing Checklists in this series.

What this is about: This list covers just a couple of points relevant specifically to a website's home page to assure that specific and necessary functions of the page are met.

Why this is important: The home page is often the single largest entry-point. It is the page that gives the visitor the sense of who you are and what they can expect. Go wrong here and it can be all over before it begins.

What to look for:

  • No splash page: Just get to the content, don't bore your visitors with a "clever" splash page that just wastes their time.
  • Instant page identification: Make sure the visitor knows they've landed on your home page. This should be obvious.
  • Provides overview of site: It is the job of the home page to provide a quick overview of who you are, what you do and what the visitor will find... and then lead them to it.
  • Site purpose is clear: Make sure you clearly outline the purpose of the site and why the visitor needs to be there.
  • Robot meta: NOODP,NOYDIR: Add this robots meta tag to the home page to prevent the engines from using whatever title and description are found in your Yahoo and DMOZ directory listings.

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Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.





Comments(9)

Can you explayn why NOODP,NOYDIR?

dude, i've been loving this series of posts. thanks for freely sharing.

Hi there, I am going to have my own website soon. Thank you for your notes, simple yet enough to protect from mistakes.

I disagree on the splash page exclusion. The splash page can be light graphics with quick links to the website sections and text descriptions of each section. I did this on net3000.ca. It should load faster and faster for the search engines to load. I'm still reading and exploring this. Thanks for the other pointers though.

@ Gabriel Sure. If your site is listed in either Yahoo! Directory or the DMOZ (ODP) Directory then Yahoo and Google will grab the titles used in those directories and us if in the search results for your home page. So if you've gone through the trouble of creating a unique title tag, that is overwritten by the company name that the directories use.

@ Bryan. Glad they are helpful! :)

@ Femi, Thanks for your additional comments. I don't really do site reviews except for clients. But you might want to check out any of Jacki Baker's posts and perhaps contact her. She's great at doing site reviews! :)

@ Wael You can disagree but the bottom line on the splash page is that its generally a barrier to the content. In your case it's not completely useless since you did provide various links but why not just do that same thing on a home page that has broader appeal?

One thing I'd add, Stoney, is to make sure you use your main keyword phrases. For example, if you're selling "investment property in Guanacaste, Costa Rica," your headline should say so, and so should your body copy and title tags.

@ Susan, yep, absolutely important. I didn't get into actual keyword optimization much in these lists, but its so very important throughout.

There are lots of differences between the main and the pages so in order not to confuse our visitors we really need to make our homepage obvious, it's always on my mind whenever I'm creating a website..

by the way I followed reading this checklist and I just want to say thanks you for filling me with rich information.

Another thing I hate is Flash on a website, especially if the site is for selling a product.

Rex

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