SEO Site Review:

OK, it’s been a while since my last SEO Web site review. I had almost given up on these reviews until, out of the blue, the folks at asked for one. We’ll look at some issues on their Web site that some of you could also benefit from.

Web site:

The Basics

First, checking DomainTools, we see the domain was created November 29, 2007 and expires November 29, 2010.

The domain isn’t old, but it’s not exactly new either. Why do we care? Because the search engines always look for things that aren’t easily manipulated.

Search engines want to rank Web sites that have shown a commitment to being in business for a while, and not just a fly-by-night. They want to rank trusted, authoritative Web sites. Renewing this domain for 10 years would show commitment.

Next, let’s check their robots.txt file. Looks good! They are excluding these items for the search engines (“Disallow: /administrator).

A note to everyone: Be careful with robots.txt! It makes sense to disallow the search engines from accessing the administrative portion of your Web site. However, some Web sites have inadvertently disallowed their entire Web site by just having “Disallow: /”. I’ve seen this many times (usually by companies who wonder why their Web site isn’t ranking, at all).

Authority Items

Now we’ll look at their pages indexed in Yahoo:

  • 42 pages indexed for
  • 96 pages indexed for

What’s going on here? There are several copies of the home page:


Different URLs all with the same content. Each of these would be considered duplicate content, which is a no-no. Redirect all of these (301 redirect) to

Canonical Issues

The Web site should only exist at either or, not both. This needs cleaning up.

Because there are six links to the “www” version, use this. You should 301 redirect any instances of to the “www” equivalent. This goes for all pages of the Web site, not just the home page.

Title Tag

Without question, the title tag is the most important piece of text that exists on each page of your Web site for SEO. The home page is the most authoritative page on your Web site, because that is where you have the vast majority of your backlinks pointing to, in most instances, and where each of your other internal pages are linking (“home”).

So, the home page is where you’ll want to focus on the “head” keywords of your efforts. In other words, this is where you can optimize for the keywords that are most competitive, have the highest volume of searches performed each month, and/or meet the criteria of having high volume and a good conversion history.

The title tag of the home page is: “ONLINE BEADS STORE:pandora beads | jewelry supplies | pendants | batik arts”.

click to enlarge

Every SEO will have his/her own philosophy on a properly written title tag. I believe in placing the most competitive keywords at the beginning of the title tag and limiting the total character count for the title tag to around 68 characters (including spaces).

Checking the keywords on Google’s Keyword Research Tool, “online beads” has an approximated global search volume of 720 searches per month. “Pandora beads” has an estimated global search volume of 246,000.

Now, you must keep the competitive set in mind before you decide to target “Pandora beads” as your “top/head” keyword, but — so long as you can establish a Web site that can compete against these keywords — it seems logical that you might want to put more of your focus on “Pandora beads” rather than “online beads.” So, to the owners of, I’m not recommending that you completely change focus here until you’ve completed a thorough competitive analysis.

Remember, each page of your Web site is unique, so you should have unique title tags (which are descriptive of the content of each page) for every page of your Web site.

On-Page Content and Links

Once again, I’m referring to the home page. When you see the home page, the first text that jumps out at you is “WELCOME TO OUR ONLINE BEADS STORE.” Problem is, this is a graphic.

There’s no reason for this to be a graphic. Change this to text and make this your H1/Header tag.

Below this, there’s virtually no content on the page. There are many products listed on the home page, with descriptions of each, but how about some content that describes the company and/or its offerings? Make sure it’s text that you don’t expect to change every month.

Even within the listed products, this site links to the product pages through a hyperlink contained within the image. It’s much better for SEO to link to these product pages using the text which actually describes the content of the page (i.e., Natural Gem Stone Beads). When the search engines see a hyperlink using the words “Natural Gem Stone Beads” linking to a page that is actually about “Natural Gem Stone Beads” and has the content to support that (content in the title/URL/header and body copy), this is what I call synergy in search, which can be a beautiful thing.

We don’t have enough space to get more detail of more SEO practices (e.g., blogging, social media marketing, etc.). Sometimes, you just need to get the basics down, first. And one last tip: look into link building (six links to your Web site won’t cut it).

Meet Mark Jackson at SES Chicago on December 7-11. Now in its 11th year, the only major Search Marketing Conference and Expo in the Midwest will be packed with 70+ sessions covering PPC management, keyword research, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media, local, mobile, link building, duplicate content, video optimization and usability, while offering high-level strategy, keynotes, an exhibit floor, networking events and more.

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