We are now moving on to the next step in our SEO process, on page optimization. And in this article, you’re gonna learn how to SEO optimize your home page for the search results.
So you can really appear at the top of the search results when people search for your company name. So in order to do that we’re gonna start by looking at a couple of examples.
I’ve got three examples here, HubSpot, Udemy, and Backlinko, it’s an SEO blog. We’ll look at these three examples, understand the best practices, exactly what we’re trying to achieve, and then I’m gonna bring you into the back end of a website and show you how you update the key elements so you can really follow the steps for yourself.
We’ll do this for a website builder, it’ll probably be very similar for a lot of your sites, and if you have a WordPress site, I’ll show you the exact steps as well.
So we’re really covered no matter what type of website that you have. So, lets have a look then at these search results here. The key things that we want to optimize are the title, which is this part here, and the description,
these are the two key elements. So, starting with the title, what are we really trying to achieve here? Well we want to make sure that if someone types in our company name, like HubSpot, that we’re appearing at the top of the search results, so that people when they search for our company online, can actually find us here.
So the way that you do this, is make sure that your brand name is right at the front of your title of your homepage. So you can see HubSpot, HubSpot’s right here. And then what you want to do for the rest of the title, is include some key words that you want to appear in the search engines for, or what you want people to understand that your business is about.
So you’ve got HubSpot Inbound Marketing & Sales Software, if I even quickly open up another tab here, we can see inbound marketing, we’ll search this, you can see that this gets over 60,000 searches a month, so they’re trying to be known for this term and that’s why they’ve included it in the title tag here.
Now lets have a look at another example for the title tag Udemy, once again they wanna make sure that they’re appearing at the top of the search results when people type in Udemy.
So they start their title tag off with Udemy, then they’ve included Online Courses, which is another key word that gets a lot of searches, and they’ve included some of the benefits Learn Anything On Your Schedule. Now lets look at this final example, Backlinko, it’s the name of the blog, it’s appearing right at the front of the title tag, and again, some of the key words that he wants to be known for, SEO Training, Link Building Strategies, and both of these key words,SEO Training and Link Building Strategies get good search volume as well.
So that’s the key thing for your homepage, you wanna include the brand name and some relevant key words. Now you’ll see that the length of this title tag, you wanna keep it about 55 characters, any longer than that and it’s going to be cut off.
So, that’s really the best practices for the title tag. Now the thing underneath here is known as the description, or meta description, and once again what you want to do here is include the brand name right at the start if you can, so “HubSpot is a blah, blah blah…” and here you start to list out some of the description of what the company does, what are the outcomes that I could expect to achieve if I click through, so we can see here “HubSpot is an inbound marketing and sales platform” again these key words reused, “that helps companies “attract, convert, close customer” so these are the outcomes, and that’s an enticing description that makes me want
to really click through and learn more. Now, lets have a look at Udemy’s description. Again, starting with the brand name in the description, “Udemy is an online teaching marketplace”
and here they start to layer in some credibility indicators, so, 45,000 courses, 15 million students and that is something else that you can put in the description of your homepage so that when people see it in the search results, they can go, “Okay, these guys are serious, this is something that interests me to click through”. Lets have a look at Backlinko now, “It’s time to get “backlinks that make a difference” so this is really the outcome that they are saying that they can help you achieve, “it’s the place for next-level “SEO training” again those key words reused from the title in the description.
So that was really what you wanna achieve, in terms of the description length, you wanna keep it 155 characters or less, or else that is going to appear cut off in the search engines. You might see this a lot, it’s like a dot, dot, dot.
Okay, so now that you understand the best practices for the title tag and description for your home page, how do you actually edit this on your own website?
Well, what you need to do is go into the back end of your website, the admin area, and for a lot of website builders like Wix, Shopify, things like that, you’re probably going to see something like this, you just need to click around and find the buttons and they really have resources to walk you through this step by step.
But you can see here the page title, this is where you really want to put in the page title, so for example, I can just copy this is as an example, and paste that in there, that’s the page title done, brand name, plus a couple of key words.
Then you can come in here and take your description, you can even do this outside of the tool and just paste it in there, again you can put in some of the key words if that gives you that option there.
That’s not really that important. But that’s the key thing you have to do, it’s fairly straight forward, it’s fairly simple. Now if you have a WordPress website, there is a handy tool that you can use in your WordPress site.
What you wanna do is come down into Plugins, in the dashboard here, this might look slightly different for you, because I’ve got a team in my website, but you can come down into Plugins, that’s gonna be there for everybody, you can come into the search part, type in Yoast, and then download and install this Plugin,
I’ve already got it installed. Once you’ve got that installed, you can come down into the sidebar here, you’re gonna see something like this, Yoast SEO, you can click on Homepage here, and here you can determine the title and description for your front page if you have one, or just your blog page. So I can just click to edit that myself, and then once again, down here, you’re gonna see these fields that you can edit for yourself, title and description. So it’s a fairly straight forward process once you see it being done correctly.
What I would recommend is you follow the example of maybe HubSpot, if you just wanna pick one example to follow, but also have a look at some other competitors, other businesses like yourself to see their titles descriptions, see if they’ve done them well, is there any inspiration you can pick up from them and use them in your own examples.
So now that you understand how to optimize your homepage with the search engines, go ahead and do it following the steps you’ve learned in this lecture.