How To Make Your Homepage More Dynamic

One of the problems I encounter on large client websites–or with clients who constantly add or update existing content–is getting this content into the index as quickly as possible. One of the tactics I recommend is using the homepage.

When I talk about adding dynamic content I mean in the main content section …

I can think of only three or four websites I have ever worked on where the homepage wasn’t the most frequently crawled page on the entire website (the outlier cases were viral microsites, in case you were wondering). So your best strategy is to use this frequent crawling to spoon feed links to the new or updated content to the search engines.

But how do you put this into practice? Here are some examples:

  • Place links to your 10 most important products right on the homepage
  • Run a seasonal website, changing the links on your homepage every month
  • Publish new articles, putting the links on the homepage
  • Update content or living URLs and put the links on the homepage
  • Have a blog, making sure the links are here to your latest posts

At a time when Google places value on page speed, having excessive calls to the database on your most visited page doesn’t make a lot of sense. What I recommend is building static include files once a day, every few days, or once a week. This gives you the flexibility you need without the unnecessary overhead.

If you are looking for a way to include info from an rss feed (like a blog), here’s a nice and simple script you can use called rss lib. If you use it, be a nice guy and make a donation. Open source gpl stuff helps everyone.

Lastly, when I talk about adding dynamic content I mean in the main content section not the footer. Putting dynamic content in the footer has a purpose, but it is much more effective when it’s in the main body area.
photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video

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