Need a tutorial on how to find keywords for your homepage? Here’s one that will help your website homepage rank higher, faster.
At the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how to find the keywords you need for your homepage. This strategy works for any brand or entrepreneur that wants to optimize their homepage like a content strategist.
PS: If you don’t know what keywords are, check this post out first.
Web pages, not websites, rank for specific keywords.
That’s why your homepage can be the trickiest web page to rank.
Even though it usually gets the most backlinks, it doesn’t follow the same cut and dried rules as your category pages.
Not to worry! I’m here to point you in the right direction.
Here’s how to find keywords for your website’s homepage.
Just like every good business has a target niche, every good website has a keyword theme. This is used in keyword mapping, when a strategist wants to assign specific keywords to a page.
Your homepage is like the table of contents of your website.
As a top level page, you need to consider that your keywords will be different here, than on other website pages.
Pro Tip! Keep your website keyword map in one centralized location.
While your category pages will focus on specific product or service keywords to rank, your homepage needs to focus on your overall brand theme.
So, don’t use your highest value keywords on your homepage, expecting to rank for them.
It’s hard ranking generic homepage keywords, with so much competition out there.
Instead, focus on finding keywords that will help you rank for what you do for your customer.
Your website’s keyword theme will consist of one target keyword, and a set of semantically related keywords that describe your products or services.
The goal with these keywords, is to establish a keyword theme for your website, which will clearly communicate to your customer who you are, and why you exist.
Here are 2 incredibly powerful strategies you can use:
With the Fox Strategy, you keep it simple and focus on a brand-centric target keyword. Large brands with big budgets typically opt for this strategy.
Many SEO’s and content strategists believe this is the most logical of all homepage target keyword strategies.
Experts like Michiel Heijmans of Yoast.com, preach that homepage SEO doesn’t require a focus keyword, and that setting one is pretty futile.
Your brand name becomes your main page keyword.
You can see in this example, how Nike isn’t using any product keywords at all.
They’re simply using the Fox Target Keyword Strategy, which focuses on their brand name, and direct navigational search intent.
People search for Nike, and that’s what they get.
This is an effective strategy, sure.
But I believe – for the smaller company, for start-ups, growing companies and businesses trying to make their mark in the organic space, it’s a missed opportunity.
Your visitors don’t know who you are. They don’t know what you do. And let’s be honest, you won’t be sinking several million into content creation for a while yet.
Why ignore a perfectly good page that could help you rank for your USP?
All great keywords are driven by search intent.
If you, as a start-up, default to just brand-centric target keywords – you’re eliminating the possibility of having your homepage rank for a search term.
You’ll have to pour a small fortune into paid advertising and organic content before your homepage produces traffic from direct navigational search.
You’re not Nike.
It doesn’t hurt to have smart keywords in the race!
With the Hedgehog Strategy, you focus your lead keywords on what you do best for your customers. I’m talking about the ‘one big thing’ that makes you special.
This can either be a short, snappy mission statement or a highly descriptive tagline that syncs with your key customer’s search intent.
This one little homepage target keyword technique is POWERFUL.
It focuses your website keyword theme underneath a compelling USP AND it brings in traffic from informational search.
It’s a proven organic traffic accelerator, and it helps smaller brands grow faster, quicker. Instantly you’re telling visitors what you do, right from the SERPS.
Here are two brands I love that have used the Hedgehog Target Keyword Strategy as a clever way to rank their homepage, stand out from their competitors, and attract additional organic traffic through related keywords.
They didn’t have a hope in hell of ever competing with established sports shoe brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma and ASICS.
Heck, their shoes are more expensive than popular sports brands.
Plus, the keywords in the shoe space are expensive. Paid advertising would be a nightmare!
Yet these awesome brands sell thousands of pairs of shoes, to customers all over the world.
They did it, using smart keyword strategy on their homepage.
At first glance, Allbirds and Kuru could be everyday shoe brands – but they’re not.
In both search examples, for both shoe companies – these brands chose to focus on a common reason why people look for shoes. Comfort.
Comfort is an incredibly commanding unique sales proposition, because it promises the end of discomfort.
If you’re a fan of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, then you know physiological needs like food, water, warmth and rest – are all tied to our comfort levels.
The human race is big on wellbeing.
Both shoe companies recognized this, and chose to focus their target keywords on the concept of comfort.
Both companies have the very same tagline ‘world’s most comfortable shoes’ and both come up on Google page 1 when you search for comfortable shoes.
This is genius for a couple of reasons.
As small companies, they tap a niche focused on solving a pressing problem. Online shoppers directly searching for comfortable shoes are going to find these brands, first. Probably because their feet hurt!
By 2020, 50% of all online searches will be done through voice commands.
The companies, like Allbirds and Kuru, that have focused their homepages on a strong organic term will have a slight edge with organic voice search.
“Google, who has the most comfortable shoes in the world?”
So you see!
A homepage can rank in the organic search results for informational queries.
In fact, if you use The Hedgehog Target Keyword Strategy to shape your target keyword – chances are you will carve out a niche for yourself online.
To create your target keyword tagline, and your keyword clusters – you need to conduct some good old fashioned keyword research.
This can be complex, so I’ve simplified it for you.
These two tools combined create a rudimentary system for suggesting keyword combinations, and matching them to search volume, cpc and competition data.
Plug your rough list into these tools and take note of the metrics.
You’ll want to focus on keywords with a fair sized volume, that are worth more than a dollar – and have a low-medium competition rate.
Organic specialists like me use keyword algorithms to predict ranking probability and speed. You can ignore that for now – that’s a whole different article.
Google’s testing new ad structures to put ads above and below organic results in SERPS, so you really want to be targeting the top 5 spots to be relevant.
The next two tools take you a little deeper into what your customers are asking, and which keywords your competitors are using in their content.
The difference between free and paid tools is simple – paid tools have accurate, current data – while most free tools do not.
Plus paid tools come with a lot of extra features and info, and do a lot of heavy lifting for you as an organic content creator.
I personally love paid tools. If you can afford them, have them.
Run your list through one or more of these to find the best homepage keywords for your homepage strategy.
Your competitors have an organic strategy, and you’re going to use it to make yours better. Focus on their homepages, and analyse the keywords there to see what they’re targeting.
You can use the Wordtracker or SEMRush tools to do this, or the free toolsets above.
Go ahead and pick out some keywords that your competitors find important, and run them through your tools to see how they match up to the metrics.
Using these tools group together strong 2+ word target keywords, and keywords that are semantically related that describe your products and services.
Now that you have a strong idea on which keywords are worth targeting on your homepage, you need to refine your theme. Think big picture!
You want to focus on informational intent ONLY.
People that search to find answers for a problem will find your brand. Your theme must describe what you do, using your target keywords.
Allbirds and Kuru for example, integrated the search term ‘comfortable shoes’ into their tagline.
This target keyword tagline describes what they do (they make the best comfy shoes) so that people in organic search will immediately understand what they’re clicking to.
To find yours ask:
Once you’ve applied your keyword research to either the Fox or the Hedgehog Target Keyword Strategies, you’ll be ready to shape your website’s homepage content around strong organic terms – ones that will actually attract traffic!
So you see – you can rank your homepage.
It just takes a bit of strategy to get right. Knowing how to find keywords for your homepage content is as easy as having a plan. Now you have one!
Have any questions about homepage keywords?
I’m a content strategist, creator and director. I’m a bit obsessed with SEO, conversion optimization and the internet. One day, I’ll master the electric ukulele, get my pilot’s license and won’t eat so much chocolate. Maybe not the last one.
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