Call it human nature to mislead in order to promote a product. Call it deceitful selling. Call it ignorance. Call it whatever you want to call it, but the concept that has been being spread around the automotive industry that you don’t need content on your homepage is absolutely incorrect. In fact, the homepage is the most important page on your website from an SEO perspective. Building a website with a homepage that has no HTML text or links is like making a hamburger without a beef patty (even though ground turkey is acceptable and ground bison is actually superior in my opinion, but I’ll save that discussion for my food blog).
More than the sitemap, more than your navigation bar, the homepage content is the true gateway through which you can highlight the most important pages on your website for the search engines. On most websites on the internet and nearly 100% of car dealer websites, the homepage is granted the highest level of authority by the search engines. The links within the content are given the most “juice”. Pages that are linked within the HTML of the homepage within context are considered to be the most important pages.
To have contextual internal linking within the context of your homepage content, you have to have homepage content. It’s that easy. Is it possible for a website to rank without content on the homepage? Of course. It’s also possible to eat a hamburger with buns, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and mustard. Just as must people who order a hamburger expect meat of some sort inside, the search engines expect their “hamburger”, the homepage of your website, to contain meat.
Does HTML content detract from lead generation? No. Your customers aren’t that naive. This isn’t the first website they’ve ever visited that has words on it. Many won’t even scroll down to see the content and will find what they really want to see (inventory, specials, or department pages) in a second or two.
It came to our attention at NADA that at least one website vendor is preaching the concept that the homepage content clutter factor of content is not beneficial for SEO. It may be more. If you hear that idea spoken, don’t buy it. Instead, ask them, “Where’s the beef?” Even a vegan burger has a soy patty. Your website needs homepage content just the same.