To find my review candidate this week I used Yelp to search for jewelry stores in Dallas, Texas. The first 2 pages of Yelp results I saw were filled with either large chain stores or jewelry designers. Then the first two jewelry stores on page 3 had dead websites. In the #3 position on Page 3 was Sergio's Jewelry LLC, located at 9440 Garland Rd in Dallas, TX.
The Sergio's Jewelry listing has 3 Yelp reviews of 5, 4, and 5 out of 5. The reviews all mentions a knowledgeable staff and even mentioned Sergio by name. This sounded like a good review candidate...
Here's the website: http://www.sergiosjewelry.com, you might want to open it up to follow along as you read this review.
Incorrect SEO Issues:
* All of the page titles of the website were using the same words as the links in the left navigation of the website, followed by the store's name. So the "Watches" page on the left navigation brought me to a page with this title:
"Watches - Sergio's Jewelry .LLC"
The first problem I want to point out is the incorrect punctuation of the store name, that's a period before the LLC instead of a comma. What's worse is that it's in the wrong place.
Watches - Sergio's Jewelry .LLC
Watches - Sergio's Jewelry, LLC
In many previous Daily Golden Nuggets I've shown that you don't have to include your store name in the page title if it's also included somewhere else on that same page. The name Sergio's Jewelry LLC is actually included 2 times on every page. Additionally, the "LLC" part of the name really has no importance in the valuable page title tag.
The inclusion of the page name and store name seems to be automatic for the content management system they are using. They should override the defaults if possible and customize the title for every page, especially the home page which has "Home - Sergio's Jewelry .LLC." You should never include the word "Home" as the page title of your home page.
The Diamond Inventory page is badly formatted. They're using an iframe to pull in a diamond search from one of their vendors, but the diamond search is wider than the design of the website allows. On some computers this forces the user to scroll to the right just to see the full diamond search feature. This type of mistake shows that the designer didn't test the website on multiple size computer screens, or even different size browser windows.
What I Didn't Like About the Site:
* I didn't really like the design at all, but it works as a first time website. The navigation links on the left were wider than they needed to be. I also didn't like the small font size. The font size could have been increased and the navigation could have been thinner, making the site much more comfortable to look at.
* The "Selection" page mentions that they carry leading brands and renowned manufacturers in their store. I don't understand why the brands and manufacturer names were not specifically named.
Here the page: http://www.sergiosjewelry.com/selection/
* The sub pages under "Selection" are a complete tease to the user. The pages are called "Jewelry," "Wedding Rings," "Watches," and "Estate and Vintage jewelry." The first 3 pages have useless written copy which sounds a lot like random fluff. Those 3 pages also have a "Photo Gallery" feature that is a waste of a user's time. The Estate/Vintage page was never finished.
* Take a look at their Latest News page here:
Here's an excerpt from the page:
We are happy to welcome you to our new website. Have a look around and discover unique pieces of jewelry for every taste!
Sadly the website was created in early December 2012. Not only is this website now 5 months old as I review this, there are no unique pieces of jewelry anywhere to be found. Do yourself a favor and never say things like this on a website. Invariably you will forget to take these comments down, and those ambitious website plans tent to fall short. This like this always make you look like a fool.
* Speaking of foolish, the Contact Us page has a doozie! The contact page included their email address clearly written out with the "href:mailto" feature of hyperlinking. This promotes spamming to their email address. The more internet savvy website owner would include a contact form instead of including the email address as clear text. That savvy owner would also further protect themselves with a CAPTCHA to prevent hacking attempts and bulk spamming through the contact form.
Strangely enough the Sergio's Contact Us page included a form with a CAPTCHA. Having the clear text email along with the form CAPTCHA is like locking the barn after your horses have run out.
What I Liked About the Site:
* Honestly, the only think I liked about this site was the URL structure. The URLs were created in such a way that they matched the page title and the navigation link. They could create Google Sitelinks if they spent the time to match the H1 tags on each page to the titles and URLs.
I think Sergio's Jewelry has fallen prey to the horrible business model of 1&1, that's 1and1.com. They offer basic business websites with their own content management system ranging from $10 to $30 per month. Sadly 1&1 has a multi-million dollar business that is taking advantage of the small business owner that doesn't know any better.
That's it for this brief review, another will follow next weekend.
FTC Notice: I randomly choose this website and won't be telling the retailer jeweler that I'm doing a review. Unless someone else tells them, they will only find out about this review if they examine their Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. I'm not doing this to solicit business from them, but rather as an educational exercise for everyone. This review is completely impartial and all my comments are listed in the order that I discovered them.