Q and A: How do I get a landing page to out rank my homepage?



I am a former student and I have a good question: Suppose I have a landing page for ‘pick a keyword’? Obviously I want the customer to land on this page but this page does not have any pagerank yet. The homepage however does have pagerank and the search results in showing the homepage. How do I get the landing page to out rank the homepage for the specific term?

Respectfully, Cliff

Hi Cliff,

This question really comes back to the fundamentals of SEO, so provides a good opportunity to review some of the basics.

Often a websites Home Page will outrank it’s other, more targeted pages, even though they have more content relevant to the search query, but why is this the case? The answer is usually quite simple, and it mostly comes down to backlinks.  More often than not a websites home page has significantly more links to it from external sites, than other pages on the site.  Search engines treat backlinks as “votes of confidence” and use anchor text associated with those links as a strong signal about what the site is about.

So, to answer you question – How do I get a landing page to out rank my homepage? – get back to the basics :

  1. Ensure that the contents of the landing page is highly relevant to and includes plenty of mentions of your targeted keywords
  2. Optimise Page Title, description, H tags for your keyword
  3. Establish links to the landing page (not your sites home page), from related third party sites with you keyword phrases as anchor text.

Hope that helps…

Andy Henderson
WebConsulting SEO Consulting (Brisbane, Australia)

Q and A: Should I restrict access to my website?


Hi Kalena,

This is Pratik from India. I am working here as an SEO and dealing with a lot of overseas clients from SEO perspective. Here, I have got a query while working on a website. I have found that my website is receiving traffic from different countries which is not the actual target to get the leads converted; my main target is United States only, so the additional traffic will be of no use. Therefore, I am wondering of blocking other countries visitors to visit my website and redirect them on a simple page. The question is what disadvantages you see on blocking the traffic from other countries? Will this effect on SEO in anyway? Will I be able to rank well on Google as I am doing today? I am more concerned on SEO results because my website is ranking well for more than 500 keywords in top 10. Could you please let me know comments on the same? Looking forward to your feedback!


Hi Pratik,

Unless there is a VERY good reason, I would be very, very cautious about blocking any sort of access to your site.

Just because traffic may be coming from a source that is not your specific target market, does not necessarily mean that it will not result in a lead.  A US resident may be on holidays or working abroad (there may be a lot of potential leads in US Military personnel posted abroad for instance), or may have outsourced research to an overseas service (much like what you are apparently offering for SEO).

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you the importance of links…Although backlinks from websites local to your target market are likely to be of better value than those from other countries, it is probable that you could generate some very good, relevant links from other countries.  If they were unable to access the site, clearly you would be missing out on backlinks.

Perhaps the most important reason why you may not want to block other countries though is related to search crawlers. Search engines, won’t necessarily crawl your site from the country where your target market is located.  If you block access to other countries there is a very real chance that it will limit the ability of search engines to crawl (and therefore index and rank) your site.

Traffic, even if is not coming from your target market, is rarely a bad thing as you never know what might lead to sales, leads, enquiries or links, unless you have a specific need to keep your site hidden from specific users, you should not be limiting access.

Andy Henderson
WebConsulting (SEO Brisbane)

Q and A: How can I get my .EML (email) files crawled and indexed?


Hi Kalena,

The website I maintain is informational and features largely political news. Much material reaches me in the form of e-mails which I wish to upload and make available to visitors. Can you point me to a website search engine which will index the site’s contents, including the email (.eml) files. The Windows Search facility on my computer (Windows XP) does this quite competently but I have been unable to trace a similar web search engine with the appropriate filter which will index the eml files (some of which have attachments (mainly Word or PDF). I should be grateful for any guidance.

With thanks Ezra

Hi Ezra,

As you are probably aware (but for the sake of other readers) the .EML file extension is used for Mail Messages saved from Outlook Express. The main purpose of an EML file is to store e-mail messages (and as you have highlighted may include attachment data as well).  EML files can be used with most e-mail clients, but can not be viewed directly by web browsers.  However, since EML files are plain text and formatted much like MHT (MIME HTML) files, they can be opened directly in most popular browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Opera), by changing the file extension from .eml to .mht.

Although search engines do crawl and index a wide variety of filetypes (see the filetypes that Google can index) as far as I am aware no search engines crawl or index EML file types.

EML files typically include the e-mail addresses of the sender and the recipient so from a privacy/security perspective I would expect that you wouldn’t want these types of files to be indexed anyway (and if I were one of your information sources I’d probably be pretty annoyed if you published my email address).

I suggest that if you wish to publish (and have indexed) information that you receive by email, that you extract the relevant content and publish it in a format that is recognised by web browsers and search crawlers (e.g. HTML, PDF, DOC, or even TXT, etc..)

Andy Henderson
WebConsulting SEO (Brisbane)

Q and A: How can I improve my local rankings with minimal effort?



I have a client that offers a delivery service for their nursery products to approximately 90 towns within a 100 mile radius. We currently have a page on the website listing each town and the corresponding delivery charge in a tabular format.

We would like to begin targeting each town on an individual basis in order to attain better visibility in the SERPs for search queries including my clients’ products & specific town and/or county.

My initial thought, was to build a separate page for each town announcing delivery service to the particular area. However, this would entail a lengthy and time-consuming process, while raising duplicate content issues as well – unless a separate product & blurb was created for every page/town scenario… Can you suggest a more efficient approach to accomplish our goals?

Thank you for you time and input – it is appreciated!


Hi Dino,

Whenever you plan to make changes to a website you should ask yourself the question :

Am I doing this for my users – or am I doing it for the search engines?

If any planned change is exclusively for the benefits of the search engines, I would think long and hard before going ahead and doing it, as it could be considered ( by both your users and the search engines) to be spammy, and may have a negative impact on both rankings (search engine) and conversions (users).

In this instance, I would consider that a page dedicated to each specific town is probably a better user experience, than a single page with a list of 90 towns on it, so for me it passes the test.  However, as you have pointed out, simply having 90 pages of the same content – with just the location name changed, is not going to help your rankings (because of duplicate content issues) so if you go down this path, I’d recommend that you customise or rewrite the content for each page (“spinner” software may help with this).

You could also consider grouping the different towns into separate regions.  This could result in (say) 9 or 10 pages each covering a group of towns within a particular region.  This presents you with an easier task for providing unique, relevant  content.  It also has the potential benefit of being found on related searches for nearby towns (within the same region) which your client does not currently deliver to (and maybe could).

Writing content for lots of new pages is not a trivial task, so don’t kid yourself (or your client) that SEO is easy…. However, it can often be those little extra steps that you are prepared to take (that your competitors can’t be bothered doing) that makes all the difference between a #1 and a #11 ranking.

Andy Henderson
WebConsulting (SEO Brisbane)

Q and A: Why is my CMS based website only ranking for the Home Page?


Hi Kalena,

We have put our hotel website into Joomla CMS and I notice with our CMS based sites that the home page ranks well but most other pages say ‘Currently not ranked by Google.’ I know they have been indexed by Google, and have internal links pointing to them, yet they are not achieving any ranking despite having relevant succinct copy on them. Any ideas as to why there might be a problem? i don’t see any spam links pointing to them…

Many thanks


Hi Sarah,

The most popular Content Management Systems (such as Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress) are reasonably search engine friendly with their default settings – although all can be tweaked to improve their SEO capabilities.  There are a variety of plugins/modules available for each of these open source CMSs and it is usually worth talking to your SEO or Web Developer to see what can be done to make your site more search engine friendly.

As you say, many (if not all) of the pages on your site [URL Provided] are indexed by Google. When you say you get the message “Currently not ranked by Google”, presumably you are using rank checking software to see how your site ranks for a variety of keyword phrases.  This simply indicates that the pages you are checking are not ranking in the top “X” search results – for the keyword phrases you have identified.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not rankling for other keywords.   I suggest that you review your analytics data to see which pages are being found on search engines(and for which keyword phrases).

It is typical for a website’s home page to rank better than it’s sub pages – this is largely because the home page usually has significantly more links to it from external sites.  In order to improve the rankings of your sub-pages (assuming that the page structure and content has already been optimised for the target keywords)., you should work at building backlinks to these pages – ideally using your target keyword phrases as anchor text.

The Link profile for your site is fairly basic – with relatively few links from external sites – and most all of these appear to be going to the Home Page.  Undertaking a link building campaign is likely to improve your overall rankings – and also balance your rankings better between your home and sub-pages.

Andy Henderson
WebConsulting (SEO Brisbane)