Every once in a while a random question or comment is yelled across the office. Earlier this week I yelled out "I need a random city and state!" The reply I got was "Newton, Iowa!"
So this week's Friday Jewelry Website Review candidate was found by searching for "jewelry stores newton iowa." The goal of this review is to help you learn more about your own website by looking at mistakes made by one of your peers.
The Google results for that search surprised me because it didn't include a list of stores or a map. In fact the search results were purely organic with a mix of Facebook, Yellow Pages, AOL, BizWiki, and Manta results. The 7th result was the website http://shop.silveradodesigns.com/ but when I clicked it, I got a website error message.
Since Silverado also has a Facebook Page I decided to click that in hopes to find their website. The website they had listed on their FB page was http://www.silveradojewelry.net/.
During my investigative process to write these Friday reviews, I look at several unusual things to find what really Nugget worthy so you can learn from it.
I was trying to figure out why Google would still show a valid website in the SERPs if it was dead. So I went back to http://shop.silveradodesigns.com and changed the "shop" to "www" and I was redirected to http://www.silveradojewelry.net.
It's a little disconcerting to see that they decided to go from a dotcom domain name to a dotNet domain name. That's a step down in top of mind awareness. I decided to see how this redirect would work in the Chrome browser; I opened http://shop.silveradodesigns.com and a second time, I saw an operational website.
So here's a huge rut-roh. These two websites are very similar:
http://shop.silveradodesigns.com (made with GoDaddy in Feb 2012)
http://www.silveradojewelry.net (made with Bigcommerce in June 2013)
Obviously the dotNet version is newer and the dotCom version should have been turned off and redirected. I cringe every time I see a jeweler abandon their dotCom domain name for something else. That's one of the worst internet business decisions you could ever make.
Incorrect SEO Issues:
Normally a website with duplicate content issues happens by accident, but in this case Silverado actually has 2 websites with identical photos, similar navigation, and identical product descriptions. Google will sometimes forgive duplicate content if it's on the same website, but not in this case.
In this case from Google's point of view, the duplicate content was copied from the silveradodesigns.com site and reused on the silveradojewelry.net. This might explain why silveradojewelry.net does not appear in the search results.
When browsing the product catalog I didn't like the say the product detail "page" poped up as a window instead of bringing me to the full page. The popup took between 2-3 seconds to load, but the main detail page also took 2-3 seconds to load.
Some of the information in the popup windows was too long to fit and it was cut off by the bottom of the window. They didn't test this enough.
On the other hand they do have a mobile website for their catalog and it seems to work nicely.
I also notice they have social icons for Facebook, Etsy, Pinterest, and Twitter on their home page, but they are not linked. That's a failure right there.
What I Liked About the Site:
I found the photography to be engaging. They chose to photograph most of their jewelry on stone backgrounds which are very pleasing to look at as you browse around. Even though I like this approach for the browse pages I always feel that there should be one pure white background image on the product details. This allows potential buyers to see the true color of the item and prevents disappointment when they open the box.
I also liked that they had a sorting choice to Shop By Price. This type of price clustering is very good for e-commerce website that sell items as gifts because usually the gift givers are buying according to set price ranges.
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.