This is the Friday edition of the Daily Golden Nugget where I randomly choose a jewelry store's website to review.
This week I found my review candidate by searching for "jewelers in hood river Oregon" and choosing the top listing shown here:
This is a case where a jeweler named after the town they are in has a really good chance of winning out on organic placement no matter how horrible the SEO of their website is.
Hood River Jewelers matches my search query almost exactly, and the SERP screen shot shown above shows them first in the Google+ Local listings. Their website is: http://hoodriverjewelers.com/
The first thing I noticed about this site is the Page Title of their home page. It says "Zen Cart!, The Art of E-commerce." Here's a screen shot of it:
(click to view larger and look at the top of the image)
You can see the page title at the top of that screen shot. I've seen some sloppy SEO set-ups, but never one that bad. The title "Zen Cart!, The Art of E-commerce" appears on every page of their site. I have to assume that someone set up the website but never bothered to look at the SEO settings included in the Zen Cart CMS.
As a quick test, I decided to Google the phrase "Zen Cart!, The Art of E-commerce" to see how many other sites also had that in their page titles. I was really shocked by the number of sites, including these:
Apparently this is a common problem with Zen Cart users who slap together a website without considering all the factors. A quick search on the Zen Cart website yielded a support forum thread with these instructions for fixing the problem:
Those directions are not simple at all. The website owner would need to download a file, edit it, then reupload it.
Let me move on to the next issue I found...
The website address in the Google+ Listing says "hoodriverjewelers.com," but once you get to the website it turns into "hood-river-jewelers.com." What's worse is that the website will also work with the "www" versions as well, like this:
Surely these 4 domain names would look like duplicate content to Google. Between the page title issue above and these 4 domain names, this is why I said a jewelry store with a town name will even rank highly even when your SEO is horrible.
I found a lot of other issues with this site, but the last one I'll point out today was easy to see on their "Special" page. Here's a screen shot to look at:
(click to view larger)
Websites with black backgrounds are always tricky to work with. White background product photography always looks sloppy if the images are not uniform shape and size.
All the photos on the page shown above were too thin and different heights. This looks really sloppy and although customers won't say "oh yuck!" when they see this page, they certainly won't have a feeling of satisfaction. This page probably has a high bounce rate
That's it for this week's review. If I could pass along one recommendation to Hood River Jewelers, it would be for them to migrate away from Zen Cart and the black website design.
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.