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Change home page length even though getting top 10 rankings?


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#1 Renee

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 10:09 PM

I did some necessary site surgery (thanks to advice from Garrick, Tamsin and Paul) and was about to do some more work, especially on the home page as I felt it was still too long.

I happened to check SE positions for some of my keywords, not using quotes. All of my pages are based on different keyword phrases and I found a couple showing up either in the top 10 in various SEs (including Yahoo) or the top 20-50, but nothing in Google. I checked some of the SEs, and in many cases, the description was picked up from text on the home page and not from the meta tag or text from the KW page, and the URL was for the home page.

As "wedding anniversary gift ideas" is highly competitive, it's not likely my home page will show up in the top 10 for that keyword any time soon, or ever.

Should I still attempt to shorten this page for readers or just accept my good luck however I get it with the SEs at this point? The site has been up for two months.

Renee

#2 Black_Knight

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 05:01 AM

If you believe that adjusting the text will gain you better conversions, then do it. Always make the conversion the main goal, and the SE traffic (getting the people to convert) the second, because if your conversion rate is high enough, you'll be able to spend more than others because your conversion rate supports it.

So if you are shortening the page for visitors, because you have good reason to believe this will increase selling effectiveness then do so.

The caveat is that often text length isn't as important as you'd think. What is important is clarity. A page can have huge amounts of text and still suit those who only want a dozen or so words if you make it so that the first dozen words gives you the headline, then a summary, and the text goes on into finer detail. This means that the ones who want brevity are easily able to read just the first part and act without reading the rest, while those who want the finer details are also served.

#3 fisicx

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 08:23 AM

KW page? Is this a keyword page? Sounds a bit like a doorway/cloaked page and although not an expert in this I do know that SE's don't like 'em.

#4 DianeV

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 09:00 AM

No, JoyUnltd is speaking about the home page. And there's nothing wrong with using keywords on pages.

How does it sound like a doorway or cloaked page?

#5 James

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 09:12 AM

I checked some of the SEs, and in many cases, the description was picked up from text on the home page and not from the meta tag or text from the KW page, and the URL was for the home page.


To clarify what I think this meant. JoyUnLtd has optimised certain pages within his/her site for specific keywords. However, when searching for those keywords, rather than the optimised page ranking highly, the home page does.

As Diane says, optimising webpages for particular topics (of which there may be related keywords) is standard practice as long as the optimisation is of benefit to both human visitor and search engine.

It is likely that the home page is fairly well optimised for a number of keywords/phrases and as it is more likely to have a greater number of inbound links (from external sites) than the interior pages, it may well rank higher.

#6 Renee

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 09:59 AM

Ammon,
Thanks! Your advice to focus on conversion and what to consider about text length is exactly what I needed to understand.

I extracted topics from 2nd tier pages and made up shorter 3rd tier pages for those SEs that prefer less text (you wrote about this here regarding separate product pages, and I adapted the info for my situation). The traffic logs show that these pages are being found by keyword searches as well as a couple of more competitive keyword pages, so I am beginning to understand the impact of SEO and different SE requirements.

However, conversion is what counts, so as I'm beginning to place Adsense and affiliates, this will be my goal.

Fiscix, keyword-based pages are not doorway or cloaked pages. There's no deceptive practices, hidden text, keyword stuffed alt tags or comments, etc. They're written to focus on one or two keyword phrases. The biggest challenge is that until you get the hang of writing this way, you can come up with some pretty klutzy phrasing that will make your readers gag and click off the page. If you only write for SEO, yes, this is deceptive, not to the SEs but to your readers.

#7 Renee

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 10:14 AM

James,

Thanks for providing the missing piece in my understanding about why the home page was showing up: inbound links and higher page ranking.

Renee (she)

#8 Black_Knight

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 02:45 PM

Happy to be of help, ma'am. :)



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