Is it best to use the color black in creating the home page. . or is it alright to use gold or purple for the search engines?
Is it better to make a lot of uppercase words?
When making a site ‘sticky’ does that apply for the most part to the Home Page?
Let me answer your second question first about using all UPPERCASE words.
If you are going to use all uppercase words, do it in extreme moderation. All uppercase words looks like shouting to most people, and in my opinion the search algorithms tend to categorize all uppercase words as shouting too. What I am saying, is the engineers at Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft Search are always tweaking the algorithms to get the best search results possible. They don’t want search results pages that look like they are shouting at people either. Now, that doesn’t mean that the search results pages are not going to pick up any (all uppercase) pages in the search results, it is just a guideline to think about when you are designing your website and performing SEO Best Practices.
Try to use good writing techniques in all your published writing on the Web. I am of a strong opinion, that the search algorithms are actually being engineered to analyze writing styles, proper writing syntax, and text semantics. If you write and publish on your website using good sentence structures, then the search algorithms will tend to give your website higher marks. It’s just like a writing rubric grading system at school, but this grading system is truly color blind to unjust prejudice.
Don’t fret if you are not a literary genius, or have a tendency to misspell words, or have other dyslexic writing tendencies. Use web browsers that have automatic spell checkers, like Firefox, or write using Microsoft Word or equivalent word processors, and have these programs do automatic spell checks and syntax checks for you. If you want additional writing help, there are automatic programs such as WhiteSmoke that will help analyze, proofread, spell check, and edit your text to make it much more palatable to your visitors and the search engines too. The WhiteSmoke writing program has various writing modules available for help with general, business, creative, Hi-Tech, Bio-Tech, and executive writing styles. In addition, it is wise to have others check your published works. Don’t take constructive criticism personally, and continue learning from mistakes. The best way to improve your writing skills is with practice; there is no other way.
What color should I make the home page for the search engines?
I’m convinced that color schemes in the website pages are not so much as an important factor for the search engines, as it is for your readers, and people that are likely to link to your website in the future. It you have body text, that is not hidden in the page, the search engines can read it regardless of what color your page is. An important point here is, don’t make your body text hidden by doing some form of Blackhat SEO tactics. The search engine algorithms are getting much more sophisticated, and will likely give your website a search ranking penalty if you use Blackhat SEO tactics. You however do need to make the page easy to read for your online readers. Typically white on black is harder to read than dark on light colors. Once again this is just a guideline. I have used both at various times. If I have a lot to say, and I expect my readers to be able to spend a lot of time on the website, then I would make the pages as easy to read as possible. If I have a little bit to say, and I want to use a little bit more creative license in my web designs, then experiment with other color schemes.
For example: My Backflag site that I use for Internet shorts, is light on dark backgrounds which in my opinion is harder to read. On the other hand, my According to Jim site is mostly dark on light backgrounds, for easier in-depth reading. See Marketing-101 for an overview.
Now, if you look closely, you will see that I actually use both, dark on light, and light on dark backgrounds, at www.jimwarholic.com. The header area is a dark background and the body is a light background.
Does making a site “sticky” apply, for the most part, to the Home Page?
The term “sticky” generally refers to the ability of a website to capture the attention of a reader in order to draw that reader back to your website, and the ability to empower your reader to interact with the site by having them explore the website pages and read more content. How well you do this through out the website will determine how sticky your website is. Different types of websites have different degrees of stickiness. As far as how sticky your Home Page should be is concerned, it all depends on what you intend to do with the site in the first place. In my opinion, the Home Page should be an overview guide about your website. If someone comes to your website the first time through the Home Page, and you have very little information, they will have no idea what it really is about.
The example you gave, about the “Company of Winners” books is an example of an overview Home Page. This one is a graphic, which generally speaking, an all graphic home page is not the best from a search engine optimization perspective to be search engine friendly, but it does however show the point I am trying to make about the home page being an overview guide.
Hope that helps you.