I have spoken with and have engaged in relationships with clients whose home pages aren’t highly ranked in the search engines.  The first thing I typically look at is the amount of or lack of content. Instead, they have of lots of images and links to products.  The truth is – having a content-rich site these days is good for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is better SEO rankings.  It’s a well known fact that it’s much easier to rank a site competitively when there is actual content on the page for Google to algorithmically score.

A couple of side notes:  Not only do excessive images impact site speed (which can decrease customer usability and lead to higher bounce rates), but they don’t look as attractive.

But the question remains – if content on your home page is a good thing - how much content is enough?  In our opinion, enough content is that which easily and effectively communicates your product and service offerings to your audience and the search engines.

Is this a quantifiable figure? Probably not. For some of you with shopping sites you may want to take the Zappos.com focus and provide less direct information but more linking text and contextual content around the breadth of features and products they offer.  However, for those of you with blogs or information-focused sites, you may want to emulate the sites of Dave Taylor and Jim Boykin.  Both provide a TON of content in the form of blog posts, industry links and customer testimonials that Google is clearly using to effectively place them at the top of the search engines for dozens of competitive queries.  Just “google” them and you’ll see what I mean.

What Does Google Say?

As for Google’s stance on this question, check out the below Google Webmaster Help video from Matt Cuts:

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In the video Matt addresses this exact question but doesn’t give a clear answer. He does say that you wouldn’t want to have a home page containing 20MB of data since that would clearly be too much. He then continues to relate the following:

“But in general, if you have more content on a home page, there’s more text for Googlebot to find, so rather than just pictures, for example, if you have pictures plus captions – a little bit of textual information can really go a long way”

In the end, only you can decide how much content is enough for your home page. In our opinion though, it’s always better to have too much content as opposed to not enough.