We all talk about search engine optimization and often times repeat the same things. Make your keywords a certain density, etc.

What about methods to optimize your index page to lure visitors to explore it and stay, instead of just walking away after 30 seconds of reviewing it?

You can optimize your page for search engines all day long, but if the content structure is not good on the index page then no one will ever get past that first page.

What do you think are great tips for optimizing your index page to lure people to explore what your site has to offer?

I have read that many visitors are unsure of what will happen when they click on a site's various links. So, a good method to help your visitors know what they are getting is by having a link and underneath of it having a short description of what information will be found when clicking on the link.

For example:

About Us
Learn about how we got started and read our mission statement. You will learn everything you need to know about us and more!

This is just one example of a way to lure customers to explore your website instead of walking away. What can you think of?

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That's a great tip. Sometimes a simple navigation bar isn't enough. I also like to get my visitors to our site directory as soon as possible. I have used your method of descriptive linking to the site directory, and now I know our visitors will see everything we have to offer--especially since our site is so large.

i never realized how beneficial descriptive linking is. there are tons of sites without it and i never know where a link is going to lead!

First and foremost focus on your users, not the search engines. Search engines don't buy things, post on forums, or make conversions.

Make your homepage attractive and user friendly, while sprinkling your keywords in your title tags, header tags, directory names, and file names.

Optimize your page by keeping graphics to a minimum, so that load time is quick - even for those surfing at 56k.

Text should outweigh HTML code.

Try using the keywords in your anchor text. And as SE cannot read graphics, try to include brief keyword rich description of the image in Alt text.

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