This is the Friday Jewelry Website Review. The goal of this review is to show a retail jeweler how they should objectively look at their own website to find needed improvements. Instead of random SEO and design theory, you can see it directly in a live example.
Here's the website being reviewed today: http://www.dunayjewelers.net,
you might want to open it up to follow along as you read this review.
Dunay Jewelers is located in Wilkes Barre, PA. The website only has 8 pages of basic information, which is perfect for a starter website. Let's dig in...
* When I initially landed on their home page, I found myself looking at the couple in the top left of the header graphic. It immediately portrayed the customer experience of a jewelry purchase. There's a jumbled mess of rings, pendants, and watches on the top right that's confusing to look at. I was hoping that this was only the header image for their home page, but it's on all the pages. The entire header area is 480px tall, which is a complete waste of space on a website. This forces everyone to scroll on every single page before they can even see the real content of that page.
* The Jewelry page and the Watches page are both loaded with too many images. The Jewelry page as 78 product images and the Watches page has 127 product images. These pages take too long to load and they are surly working against them. Google uses the page load time as a ranking factor, so pages like this are not only slow for users, they hurt your chances of ranking.
What I Didn't Like About the Site:
* While I like that they are trying to keep their site up to date, they are lagging. At the time of this writing they still had their July 2, 2013 - July 9, 2013 vacation notice on their home page. I've included that image to the right so you could see it yourself. This website review was posted on August 2, 2013, so that means they don't pay attention to their website at all.
* The Jewelry page has 4 offsite links to stuller.com, grandeurcreations.com, benchmarkrings.com, and uniquesettings.com. From an SEO point of view there's nothing wrong with these offsite links, but from a business point of view you should never send your customers to a vendor's main website. Some vendors provide micro-sites that can be customized with your name, and those are okay. But if you send a customer to benchmarkrings.com you might lose them to another jeweler because Benchmark has a "Locate Retailer" feature.
* The home page has a hit counter. This is the second week in a row that the website I'm reviewing has a hit counter. Hit counters should never be visible on a website; actually, hit counters are useless. You should use Google Analytics instead.
* The website uses older HTML code and techniques. This website was launched on February 27, 2012 and it should have used more modern programming techniques than they did. This site will not age very well, and it's already showing its age.
What I Liked About the Site:
* It is simple and easy to navigate. The top menu clearly shows all 8 pages of the site. Websites this size are usually easy to manage with a simple top menu. Websites with about 15 pages are a little tricky to manage because they have more pages than a top menu can support, but too few to create secondary navigation without wasting space.
* Considering the simplicity of the site, I'm very pleased that they have a CAPTCHA on their Contact Us form. This protects their website from attempted denial of service hacking through their form and it also protects them from massive spam in their email.
Normally I have a long list of incorrect SEO issues, but there is definitely something to be said about small websites: Not much room to make a mistake. So here's a general overview of what they did.
* The headlines of every page are within the H1 html tag. This is good because most sites I look at ignore this simple SEO technique.
* The page titles are all unique, which is also good. They could improve their pages a little more if they closely matched the headlines in the H1 tag with the page titles. A little improvement could happen here.
* They are using Meta Keywords in their code. This is a waste of time, but it doesn't hurt them. My recommendation is always to just save your time and skip this.
* They spent some time thinking about their URL page structure. This is a relief to see simplistic URLs rather than those with long strings of random characters. Google prefers these, and they say so in their guidelines.
This website is serving its purpose for now as a slightly larger "business card" type website, but nothing more. They spend more time posting to Facebook than updating their website. Their FB account is actually a "personal" account rather than a page. It's a little awkward to have to friend request a retail store, especially since there's an approval process. I'd like to see Dunay Jewelers revamp their site with a full product catalog and more internet involvement.
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.