Two weeks ago I was having an interesting debate with a guy on LinkedIn. It was supposed to be on the subject of social media and SEO, and instead it turned into a debate on SEO and what’s important.
He was saying in this group that it wasn’t important to optimize one’s home page anymore because we were all under an illusion if we thought that most of our visitors came in through the home page. In his opinion, optimizing all the other pages were more important to attracting visitors than anything you might think of doing on your home page.
I of course countered, saying that without optimizing and working on your home page that your other pages don’t really have all that much of a chance to get you anywhere. The bots sent out by search engines start off with your main page, “index” if you will, and if you haven’t taken care of that then the bots get confused as to what your site is all about and almost nothing else you do will overcome that lapse.
Strangely enough, I was talking to my wife about it, someone who knows nothing about computers or coding or SEO or anything related to technology, and she said “Don’t you need a foundation before you do anything else?”
Exactly! It’s like what many people write about when they’re talking to brand new bloggers who are getting into the game to make money. The recommendations are always the same, and they’re true; think about content and building up a community more than the money part initially. If the day you start your first blog post your site is already loaded with all sorts of banner and affiliate ads all over the place and your articles are geared towards the “make money” market, you’re going to look at little bit goofy. This isn’t saying you can’t have anything, but unless you’re someone like John Chow, who was already rich before he started blogging, you’re not going to come across as well.
Anyway, back to SEO and foundation. If you’re putting together a site, it works best if you decide what your site is going to be about and then try to figure out what you want to be found for before you even begin constructing your site. Doing that research helps you write your copy, and make it as natural as possible so the search engines have no problems reading your site and determining what it is you do. Sure, you could try to go the backdoor route, and you might possibly succeed in some fashion, but it’s not the best way to do it.
Optimize every page on your site as much as possible. But always start with your main page.