For almost all commercial websites, traffic is the lifeblood of business.
To get a steady flow of visitors, being ranked high in Google’s search results is a big bonus.
As we all know, one of the key elements of SEO is the process of presenting your website to Google just the way it wants it.
Despite ever changing algorithms, there are certain key pages that Google likes to see.
So, what are the essential pages?
I know what you’re thinking… “Of course I’ve got a home page, you doughnut!”
But not everyone has.
There are many blogs out there that just use their latest posts as the ‘home page’.
The first page many visitors land on is your shop window.
In the online world people have an attention span measured in seconds – if they don’t like what they see, they’ll be gone in a flash.
A good home page allows you to tailor what people see when they first arrive, hopefully drawing them in for a longer visit.
Good clear headlines, a nice image, maybe some well written content featuring your target keywords can all help get your message across. In addition, you can make sure this fixed page has all the SEO essentials that Google likes.
Just create a new page and call it ‘home’ (Some people use ‘Index’ or ‘default’)
Go to your WordPress settings menu and click on ‘Reading’.
Choose ‘Front page displays a static page’ then choose your new home page.
Not only is this important for Google, but it’s one of the first places your potential customers will visit to find out who you are and what you’re all about.
I’m sure that if you visit someone else’s site and are interested in subscribing, you’ll take a look at the ‘about us/me’ page to find out who you’re dealing with.
Try and tell people who you are and what you stand for. Let them know what your site’s about and how it could help them. Adding an opt-in form to your ‘about us’ page is a great idea.
Google likes its customers to find legitimate sites in their area of interest.
They know that people will have more trust in doing business with a company or person that is actually contactable.
They like to see more than just an email or contact form. After all, who trusts a company that only offers a free gmail or hotmail address as their sole means of communication.
Google really likes a physical address, particularly when ranking local businesses.
A contact form looks professional and can be easily added using the ‘Contact form 7’ plugin. Just search from the ‘add new plugins’ section on your WordPress site. Phone numbers are great but optional, depending what business you’re in.
If you’re actually selling physical products people want to know that, if they have a problem, they can get hold of you. If you work from home and you’re just offering advice, you may not want every Tom, Dick and Harry ringing you in the middle of the night!
You have to decide where you stand.
Now that we all live in the nanny state, Google likes to see we’re not going round upsetting everyone.
Not explaining how you’re going to keep their personal information private might infringe on their human rights.
- You should be clear about what information you collect on your site. For example: name, email, demographic information like age, location, interests, shopping habits.
- Your policy on collecting cookies.
- What you do with information you collect and whether you share it.
- How you protect any data you store
- How customers can opt out.
If you’re using your website to generate income (or trying to!) you should have an Earnings Disclosure page.
This is required by The Federal Trade Commission in the US – even if your site is based outside the United States but viewable from within it.
Whatever results you may get from your online offer, it’s important to let your readers know that they might not do as well as you have.
These pages should be clearly accessible from the home page of your site.
If you have any views on essential pages for Google rankings, please let me know in the comment section below.