Learn
Learn
Close

They Ask, You Answer

A revolutionary approach to inbound sales, content marketing, and today’s digital consumer.

Learn MoreLearn More

Free Courses in IMPACT+

Dozens of sales, marketing, and content courses inside IMPACT+. Start learning now.

See all coursesSee all courses
Events
Events
Close
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership
Close
Coaching & Implementation Services
Coaching & Implementation Services
Close

Services Overview

See how you can dramatically increase your inbound leads and sales.

Services Overview

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Fast track your team’s success with IMPACT's most popular service.

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Web Design

Launch a beautiful website that consistently generates leads and revenue.

Web Design

Virtual Sales Training

Equip your sales team with comprehensive training designed to help them close more deals in today's virtual-first world.

Virtual Sales Training

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Train your company to take ownership of HubSpot and get the most out of your investment.

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Case Studies

See dozens of examples of companies succeeding with Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery and They Ask, You Answer.

Case Studies
Become a Coach
Become a Coach
Close

How to Get Internal Pages to Rank Higher than a Homepage

How to Get Internal Pages to Rank Higher than a Homepage Blog Feature

April 8th, 2019 min read

Digital marketers spend countless hours making sure each page of a website is SEO-friendly and keyword-optimized for their industries.

But, what happens if your homepage ranks over other, more relevant web pages your site has to offer?

Say you sell medical software and have specific products catered to each particular medical practice. If a pain management doctor is looking for a new electronic health records system, you’ll want to bring them to their industry-specific page so you can show how your product caters to their unique needs.

The trouble is, sometimes your homepage can rank before your industry page, due to it having a higher overall page authority (due to more click-throughs on search engines, more direct traffic, and more referral links, just by default) than your other website pages.  

In this scenario, a visit is still great, but you risk that visitor not finding their practice-specific page fast enough, which could cause them to leave the website.

So, what do you do to prevent this?

Well, Google’s John Mueller shed some light on why this happens, and what you can do to help in a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout session.

Mueller’s Take on Ranking Inner Pages

The topic was brought up when a user asked the following question:


“You said Google’s algorithm doesn’t automatically favor the homepage ranking above other pages. What should we do to let Google know that a blog post, for example, should be ranking for a certain page term rather than the homepage.

If we have a small website, how do we present clear signals to show Google that this blog post is the better page for certain search terms even though the home page probably has most internal links pointing to it?”

First, Mueller offered the following advice:

“The best thing that you can do in a case like this is to make sure that you really have that content covered well on those blog posts and maybe have it a little bit clearer on the homepage that this page is not about that content.”

For example, if you were the medical software company in the previous example, your homepage shouldn't be optimized for a niche keyword such as “how much does a pain management EHR software cost” -- your blog posts should be long-form and relevant enough to rank for those terms on their own.

This also ties into ensuring your site’s content is strong and purpose-built for search engines. Having strong pillar content pieces covering a bigger topic and breaking it down into smaller, more specific subtopics is a great way to execute this.

Additionally, Mueller also talked about the importance of strategically adding internal links throughout your website to help Google understand how these pages relate to one other. Specifically, he spoke on the importance of anchor texts, which are the hyperlinked words that link out to another page.

“You mentioned internal linking, that’s really important. The context we pick up from internal linking is really important to us… with that kind of the anchor text, that text around the links that you’re giving to those blog posts within your content. That’s really important to us.”

Essentially, Google is looking at more than just the presence of the links, but what the anchor text is telling you about the next page that’s linked up. So, when you’re linking to other pages, don’t just say “click here to learn more,” but something that provides more context about what’s on the next page, like “learn more about our inbound marketing consulting services.”

This not only helps Google make more sense of what will be on the next page, but it also provides significant value to your users.

While this isn’t always easy on your homepage, this strategy is important to use in your inner pages and most importantly your blogs and pillar content so it’s easy to navigate from one page to the next.

Finally, Mueller talked about general SEO best practices to evaluate your own website against. This can seem like somewhat basic advice for seasoned digital marketers, but while SEO practices are evolving rapidly, it’s important to be aware that these basic elements still matter to Google as a core tenant of ranking:

“Additionally, of course, the content, like I mentioned, is really important. So, [make] sure you have clear titles on those pages, you use clear headings, you could structure content in a way that’s easily readable, that’s in a way that is really clear that this is about this topic without… resorting to keyword stuffing.…

Be reasonable about… putting keywords on your pages. Write your pages in a way that they would work well for users rather than in a way that you think search engines might pick that up.”

In other words, Muller is reiterating something we’ve been strongly advocating in this publication for quite some time: Don’t write your content for the algorithm. Write it to help your users.

As we’ve said time and time again, SEO is becoming more human. So, write your content to help the humans who are going to be reading your blog, and the results will follow.

Tactics like keyword stuffing and over-using keyword variations in an attempt to please the search engine simply won’t work because it won’t be providing the same value.

Final Thoughts

To view Mueller’s full response, you can watch the Webmaster hangout here.

While SEO best practice is vital to getting found, at the end of the day, you have to take a step back and see what is really providing the most value to your users.

By asking yourself, “What is the goal of this page? What are users going to want to see here, and what’s their next step?” on each webpage, you’ll uncover some clear answers that will help improve your results.

In short, the goal shouldn’t be to beat Google’s algorithm, it should be to think like Google. That way, you’re always staying one step ahead, while also providing a great experience to your users. In other words, your homepage should not necessarily be ranking for these long-tail, highly specific keywords you’d expect to see covered more in-depth in a blog post.

Want to learn more about digital sales and marketing?

Master digital sales and marketing when you join IMPACT+ for FREE. Gain instant access to exclusive courses and keynotes taught by Marcus Sheridan, Brian Halligan, Liz Moorehead, Ann Handley, David Cancel, Carina Duffy, Zach Basner, and more.

Sign up for free
Take a peek

Access hundreds of FREE courses and keynotes

Free Course
Digital Sales & Marketing Framework for Today’s Buyers
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
A New Way to Compete & Win
By: Brian Halligan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
How To Genuinely Feel Confident, Be Likable, And Build Trust On Camera
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Future of Marketing is Conversational​
By: David Cancel
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
HubSpot On a Budget: Getting Started with HubSpot Starter Hubs
By: Courtney Caldwell
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Assignment Selling: Content is Your Greatest Sales Tool
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Big, Bold, Brave New World of Marketing​
By: Ann Handley
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Investing in Incredible Digital Sales and Marketing Results
By: Chris Duprey
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
How To Show Your Content Makes Money With HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hubs
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
The Visual Sale
By: Marcus Sheridan & Tyler Lessard
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Marketing Tech: What’s Now, What’s Near and What’s Not Anytime Soon?​
By: Dharmesh Shah
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Inbound Lead Generation & Conversion Optimization
By: Carina Duffy
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
Fundamentals of Videography: You Can Be a Great Videographer Too
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
The Ultimate Customer Service Toolkit for Any Budget
By: Andriti Gulati
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
6 Topics Subject Matter Experts Need to Address
By: Kevin Phillips
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Fanocracy: The Power of Making Business Personal​
By: David Meerman Scott
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Power of Pillar Content
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
SEO for the Future
By: Franco Valentino
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing
By: Stephanie Baiocchi
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
A Practical Guide To Video Graphics
By: Colton Trcic
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Session
How To Get Your Community To Know, Like, And Trust You With Video
By: Marki Lemons Rhyal
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Video Sales and Marketing Strategy
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Here Are Some Related Articles You May Find Interesting

Want to Contribute Content to impactplus.com? Click Here.

IMPACT+ Sign Up
A FREE online learning community with on-demand courses, hundreds of expert-led sessions, thousands of your peers ready to support you, and much more.
Check it out
Hundreds of courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE
Check it out
Access hundreds of digital sales and marketing courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE