Let me paint a scenario for you that most SEO agencies run into on a regular basis: a new client is onboarded, and they have a sleep, modern website. Their goal is to increase their organic traffic, and improve the quality of their traffic so it will lead to conversions. But they don’t want to add any text to their homepage. This means the all important H1 and H2 tags are likely disastrous, and there is no content for Google’s search engine to crawl.
The homepage is the most important part of the website as far as SEO potential is concerned. Think of a website’s homepage as the heart: the SEO strategy and all the additional content (like blogs, product pages, etc) with internal linking creates a circulatory system that oxygenates the website with SEO juice, and the homepage is the heart that feeds off this SEO value and pumps it back to crucial parts of the website much like a heart receiving and redistributing blood through a human body to keep it healthy and strong. But if you demand clean aesthetics in place of a “healthy SEO site”, then the best SEO agencies for business growth have to find alternative and creative solutions to honor their client’s request and still increase organic traffic volume and quality.
This article is intended to help CEOs, executive management, and internal marketing teams learn how award-winning growth marketing forward SEO agencies like WEBITMD create alternative marketing strategies that harness organic search traffic to help hit sales goals, and improve their client’s bottom line.
Growth-Driven SEO Agencies Start with a Proposed Compromise
The first thing savvy SEO agencies will do is get a firm understanding as to why the client doesn’t want any content on their homepage. The reasons can range from branding guidelines, to the fact they simply places aesthetics as their top priority. Brand guidelines can be more challenging to get around, but if your reason is simply rooted in the desire to have clean aesthetics (this is the most common reason) then there are some things you should consider:
- How valuable is a clean, modern website if few people find it?
- Is your goal to look pretty, or attract new clients and increase sales?
- Are you willing to compromise with SEO agencies to achieve your growth goals?
Experienced SEO agencies can still run a successful strategy with month-over-month growth for a website with slim homepage content. But there needs to be some text to serve as an anchor. By simply changing the H1 to contain your main broad keyword, and have a few H2s that use that keyword or variations of it in a specific context that lets both Google and your customers know how your products and services provide the best solution to your buyer’s needs, you are creating a textual anchor that adorns all the other pages of the website with relevance. And this content can be slim, and broken up into a few sections so as not to clutter the homepage’s design.
As your SEO agency if they can create a mockup homepage so you can see exactly what the final product will look like. Just stay goal-focused; in order for all of your product pages and blogs to have maximum value, the homepage needs to let the search engine and buyer’s know what is being offered, why, and to whom–something that can be done with few words and still be successful, if indeed your SEO team is skilled and exceptionally experienced.
Pillar Pages and Blog Clusters Compensate for Thin Homepages
Another way that creative SEO agencies are able to rank their clients for highly desired keywords, draw more organic traffic, and increase conversions is to create pillar pages to compensate for a thin homepage. Of course this strategy works even better when the homepage has some content on it, but even a homepage that looks like a blank slate can run a successful SEO strategy with a robust pillar page and cluster approach.
So what are pillar pages? These can be pre-existing pages (like main product or service pages) or be newly created. These pages will have long form content of 1000 to 1500 words that speaks to a single group of buyers (or multiple buyer personas) about how a specific product or service provides the best solution to their needs. It is highly informative and educational, but goes less into product specs and more into the buyer and their needs. Each pillar page will link to the homepage.
Then a blog cluster strategy is created. This could include 10 blogs or 100 blogs, it simply depends on budget and capabilities for content production. Each blog will be directly related to its assigned pillar page, but will have a unique title, and it will cover a unique topic while speaking directly to the buyer. These blogs will then link to their assigned pillar pages, and each blog will link to another internal blog of a similar topic.
Here’s how a pillar page and cluster strategy works: because you aren’t keen on having a significant amount of textual content on your homepage, this content will instead live off the homepage, but link to it. And because pillar pages are educational and informative, Google will crawl them and associate the linking to the homepage as being a clear sign that the homepage supports the talking points. All the multiple blogs linking to one another, and ultimately to each pillar page, Google will continue to crawl these, note their relevance, discover they are associated with the pillar pages, and the “SEO juice” will circulate through the arteries of links that connect the blogs, pillar pages, and homepage together.
When SEO Alone Isn’t Enough
Many of our clients who want to increase traffic use SEO with some added strategies to get a better ROI and hit their high revenue goals. Adding a paid media strategy or PPC to SEO can help businesses see sharp upturns in traffic and conversions. If your sales cycle is longer and your products or services have higher sticker prices, then using an SEO strategy with pillar pages within a custom growth marketing stack would be the best investment you can make. A growth stack comprises of multiple strategies and tech tools that use SEO along with an inbound strategy and marketing automation to attract, nurture and convert leads to customers. A growth stack is not necessarily an ideal fit for every business; reach out to SEO agencies that design custom growth stacks as their primary offering, and see if you are a good fit. If not, then a modern SEO strategy (with or without PPC) will likely be the investment that will garner the highest possible profit.
Download our FREE Guide on WEBITMD’s Modern Approach to SEO
There is much more to a modern SEO strategy than pillar pages and blog clusters. Other SEO agencies have even downloaded our guide on WEBITMD’s modern approach to organic growth. Explore the guide, imagine how the approach can help you hit your growth goals, and give us a call for a free consultation; we would love to learn about your brand, customers, and sales process. Then we can present you with a custom strategy designed specifically for your needs.