This is the Friday Jewelry Website Review to help you learn more about your own website by looking at a review from another jeweler's real website. This is the second week that I've chosen a jeweler from the Las Vegas are in honor of the JCK Show: Summerlin Jewelers
I did a quick Google search for "site:summerlinjewelers.com" to see how many pages were indexed by Google and found 2,410 results. That's a fairly good start for a jewelry website with a product catalog... as long as their SEO is also set up well.
I was a little surprised to find Summerlin Jewelers in the search results because in my daily SEO work I rarely find any vendor created websites appear in the SERPs. In this case, Summerlin's website was built by Star Gems, Inc.
Vendor created websites are a good alternative for jewelers who do not have the finances to create and manage websites on their own. The vendor takes care of everything for them so they can concentrate on selling in-store. These are also cookie-cutter type websites.
Here's the website: http://www.summerlinjewelers.com, you might want to open it up to follow along as you read this review.
I found all of the product catalog pages to be very annoying to scroll through. The height of the header of the website combined with the heading and search fields for the product catalog pages forces you to scroll down with every page click.
I was initially a little confused by the left navigation that clearly showed links for Engagement Rings, Wedding Bands, Fashion Rings, etc. and the link that said "On Line Catalog." Clearly all these pages are part of an online catalog so that specific On Line Catalog link creates confusion.
Speaking of confusion, the catalog structure presents a main page, a sub-category page, a sub sub-category page and then finally the list of products to browse through. This setup would be fine if it were clearly labeled and used breadcrumb links, but I found myself navigating by clicking images instead of reading the fine print below the images. Initially I didn't understand why I clicked the same product image 3 times before I saw the full details.
What I Didn't Like About the Site:
I always like to see a "Meet Our Staff" page on a website. Theirs is prominently shown in the top menu but the photos on that page look very bad. You don't need professional photos of your staff on your website, but at least have some size and background uniformity in how they are taken. All of those photos look like they were provided by the staff. Both Melissa and Lori look like they were hanging out with their friends and the photos were cropped to fit. The most out of place photo is the center one on the bottom.
What I Liked About the Site:
I like that they have social sharing buttons on the product detail pages. This would allow for visitors to share with their friends. However, I do have to say that the Facebook Share button is the old outdated style that is annoying for people to use.
I also appreciate that they are attempting to tie in a mobile aspect with the product catalog by putting a QR Code on the detail pages. Sadly, that QR Code leads the user to the same page on their mobile phone, which has very little meaningful value.
Incorrect SEO Issues:
Page titles are very badly written for the entire site. They are obviously automated without much thought. Take a look at this page for Black and White Diamond Collection and you will see that the page title says "Black and White Diamond Collection in Las Vegas, NV." The city and state have good local value but it would be better to say "Black Diamond and White Diamond Jewelry in Las Vegas, NV."
I noticed that the website is reachable using the URL summerlinjewelers.com and www.summerlinjewelers.com. This shouldn't be allowed because it creates a duplicate content situation for the website as a whole. They should be forcing the www or non-www versions of the website, but not allow both versions to be reachable.
I'd like to point out that this website is a generic template that Summerlin Jewelers has minimal or no control over. Everything I've pointed out here isn't necessarily their fault. This is a good example of a vendor provided website with the explicit goal of selling the vendor's products. Sadly there are hundreds of retail jewelers with the same content on slightly different looking websites. Compare this Coco Collection on McNair's website to the same Coco Collection page on Summerlin's.
There is a time and a place for vendor provided websites, usually that's as a starter site, or for a retailer that simply doesn't have the time or the money to maintain a website of their own. Once someone learns the value of search engine optimization they should realize that low maintenance and low cost also means big trouble for visibility in the search engines.
That's it for this week's basic review.
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.