You've likely heard of the movie, Jerry Maguire, with its famous line, "You had me at hello." Jerry Maguire was luckier than websites we find in search engines. Many websites don't attract user devotion at the first word, let alone after scanning the homepage.
How many times has this scenario happened to you? You've performed a search in a search engine or directory, reviewed the results and found a page description that fits your needs. When you click on the page that looks the most promising, you often arrive at the website's homepage, where one or more things might happen:
If a keyword search brings back an inside page, more common frustrations occur to drive people away from the website. They include:
We often forget that search engines index more than our homepage. People often stumble into our websites while searching for other things, linking from another website, or receiving an email link from a friend. The starting place isn't always home base.
So, how do you make a website page approachable in a crowded room of search engine results? First, make sure your title tag is accurate. Every page requires a title tag unique to the content it represents. The homepage is an overview page, so focus on the main goal, which is often also your primary keyword(s).
Next, write a genuine, honest description that isn't all hype and glorified self-worship about your great website. If the site is going to sell something, what does it sell? Does it specialize? Avoid words like unique, amazing, and special because, frankly, everybody makes these claims.
It's important that you don't stuff keywords in your title and description tags because these are displayed in search engines as your site or page description. When read by humans, they don't make sense. People are getting wiser. They know that you're trying to get a higher rank but it doesn't mean your website is any better in quality that those lower in search results.
Regardless of where the page is in your site, there are lots of ways to attract attention or generate curiosity so that your visitor becomes a potential customer, or at least finds the content interesting enough to keep browsing around. My favorite part of discount shops are the displays where they toss clearance items, or the impulse "Oh yes, I forgot I needed that"-type items. You can do the same thing with your website. Simply place the toenail clippers, scotch tape and calling cards out front where they're easily seen. In other words, remind your visitors you carry the items they didn't know they needed.
Here are some other ideas to try:
Search engines can only bring a visitor to your doorstep. It's your job to grab them by the hand, invite them inside and show it off.