It can be really hard to optimize your homepage for all the keywords that you want to rank for.
But, so many websites try to do it anyway.
When you do this, your homepage can become over-optimized and crammed with keywords.
And this can have negative effects on your SEO.
Which, of course, will cause your rankings and traffic to drop! So today, I'll tell you the 3 largest risks of over-optimizing your homepage.
Then, I'll tell you what you can do instead of trying to rank your homepage for all of your target keywords.
After learning these tips, you'll be able to intentionally rank your website.
Which will bring you the targeted, organic traffic that can really grow your business.
Over-optimizing your homepage for keywords can interfere with other pages ranking for the same terms.
This is the first risk of trying to rank your homepage.
We call this “keyword cannibalization”.
When you have two pages optimized for the same keyword, Google won't know which one of them to rank.
Check out this example, which shows the historic rankings of a website's pages using ahrefs.
You can see that Google is trying to figure out which page to rank in the SERPs.
Since each page is optimized for the same term, pages are continually kicked out of the rankings.
At a minimum, it will mean that some of your pages will be missing out on organic search traffic.
Especially if your homepage is ranking higher.
If your homepage ranks above the product or service page that matches the query, it can cost you a lead, sale or a client.
This brings me to our next reason for not ranking your homepage.
Getting your user to the right page on your website from the beginning.
Let's say you're in the shoe industry.
Now, imagine a person searches for “running shoes”.
You have a product page that lists your running shoes, as you should.
But, your homepage is also optimized for the keyword, “running shoes”.
If your homepage is ranked higher, the user will go there instead of to the product page.
Then, the user has to navigate your website to find the appropriate page on running shoes.
That user might get confused or even lazy during this process.
And when they do, they'll go back and select a different website from the results page.
Which means they'll probably go to your competitor.
If your running shoes page was the only page that ranked, the user would've been able to go straight there.
And when this is the case, they are much more likely to follow through with a purchase.
Next up is reason number three.
Ranking your homepage can limit your business and SEO in the future.
We'll use the running shoe example again.
Let's say you specialize in running shoes.
So, you optimize your homepage for the related keywords: Running shoes, athletic shoes and so on.
But, after a few months of growth, you decide to expand.
So, you begin selling sandals.
The problem is, your homepage is optimized for the previous product.
To continue ranking for your previous terms, as well as new terms, you'll have to continue to re-optimize your webpage.
But, once you start selling high heels, cleats and other footwear, you'll have to re-optimize for those keywords, too.
This can get spammy FAST.
And, Google may not be able to determine which keywords are most representative of your business.
So what can you do instead? First, build a separate page for each term you want to rank for.
Then, you can optimize each of these pages entirely for the keyword that you want to rank for.
This means a unique page for every product, service and location that your business wants to rank for.
By doing this, there will be no confusion, and Google will be able to rank your pages accordingly.
Plus, your audience will land on the exact page that they need when they find your webpage in the SERPs.
This is made even easier when you take advantage of the link power on your homepage.
The homepage often carries the most backlinks out of any page on your site.
So, try linking to other pages on your website from your homepage.
This will share the backlink power and authority of your homepage, with your other pages.
This is often referred to as “link juice”, and this should help your other pages rank better.
If you do this correctly, you won't even need your homepage to rank.
Of course, that's not to say you should avoid ranking your homepage.
Instead, just optimize your homepage for your brand.
You shouldn't count on it to rank for your individual products and services, because that's what your other pages are for.
You want your homepage to come up when people search for you by name.
To do this, you'll want to include the name of your brand throughout your homepage.
We also recommend building backlinks to your homepage with branded anchor text.
By following these tips, you can rank your homepage where it counts.
And more importantly, allow your other pages to rank for targeted keywords.
When you strategically rank your pages, you'll be able to maximize your reach and your organic traffic.
If you'd like to read more about the tips we went over today, check out our blog post by clicking the link in the description.
And, if you'd like to see more SEO content like this, subscribe to our channel! There are plenty more videos coming your way.