Your home page isn’t the (only) problem


Nope. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

My father was fond of saying, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”

The meaning? You can only work with what you’ve got. If you’ve got nothing, dressing it up and make it look pretty won’t help.

I’m reminded of this every time a prospect asks if I’ll just rewrite their home page – and not touch the rest of their site copy.

Sometimes, the prospect is convinced that a few home page keyphrase tweaks will help their entire site’s SEO. Or, they know their home page is dull and ineffective – and they hope that adding some “conversion punch” will drive more leads (or make more sales.)

Sadly, this is rarely – if ever – the case.

It’s true that your home page is an important page. It’s like your virtual storefront, showing your prospects who you are, what you do and how you can help.

But the goal of your home page isn’t to immediately make a sale. It’s to guide people your product or service pages.

And that’s where the real conversion (and positioning) magic lives.

There are three major holes in the “rewriting our home page is the magic bullet” theory:

– It’s often more important to focus on your “money pages.” What product or service pages generate the most income?  Rewrite those first. When I set an SEO content strategy, I outline the top pages that will help “move the needle” the fastest. That way, you’re seeing immediate improvement in the areas that make you the most money.

(Note that I said “money pageS.” Rewriting a subcategory page by itself probably won’t work. Rewriting an entire section can definitely help.)

– In a perfect world, prospects land on your inner pages – not your home page. If people are searching for a certain product or service, you want them to find the landing page specific to their query. Not your home page (where they would have to search again for what they want.)

– Rewriting the home page – without touching any of the inner pages – typically doesn’t work. Have you ever seen a poorly-done house addition? The new addition tends to stand out like a sore thumb and doesn’t flow with the rest of the design. Web copy is the same way. One really good page won’t make the rest of your site read better by default. This kind of user experience can be jarring and actually decrease conversion rates.

Does this mean that you have to rewrite every page at once? No. The first step would be setting a strategy, determining the pages that need “fixing” and setting up a sustainable rewrite plan. If that means you rewrite a few pages a month – fine.  At least there’s an ongoing progress.

Will it take work? Sure. Is it worth it? Yes. If you’re on the fence, I challenge you to set up your own SEO content rewrite strategy (or hire someone who can help.)

You’ll be amazed at the difference. Really.

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3 replies
  1. Katherine Andes says:

    Heather, you make some good points. I often point out to clients the importance of interior pages. I would only add that sometimes re-doing the home page alone will indeed help the client when they are a smaller business that sells basically one item. That’s the case with most of my clients.


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