SMX Sydney 2010: Site Clinic

And now for the most enjoyable session of SMX, at least to date. The legend-ary Site Clinic.siteclinic1

Team Motherwell is up first, consisting of @motherwell and @lucasng who are reviewing

Issues found:

– graphical text – all keywords embedded in image

– no H1 tags

– links lead to another site entirely

– there’s no custom 404 error page

– canonicalization issue – need to fix in GG Webmaster Tools. This will consolidate your links.

– need more links – try getting links from Aussie directories

– the online store needs some work done – price should be next to the image of the product. No call to action.

– use breadcrumb navigation to help searchers find the categories / pages they are actually looking for. Also helps people to know where they are in your site.siteclinic2

– weird title tags that need tidying up

Next up is Team Google with @gregable and Jim Sterne. They’ll be reviewing

– I want to buy a stroller, but can’t find them. Bye!

– On the product detail page, no price and no obvious way to purchase

– Maybe “Where to Buy” link will help. Ah…. no. HELP! (Jim hands over to @gregable)

– Greg will be viewing the site as googlebot.

– Greg is trying to find a specific type of child car seat but can’t.

– Very little information about the product. Really wants a detail page, not lots of the same data on similar pages.

– Home link is on the right hand side of the navigation. Why?

– Uses a grey-on-grey link nav at the bottom of the page which isn’t helping.siteclinic3

– Some non sequitir link titles e.g. *4 Reasons*

– Greg says the site has some nice GG friendly URLs

Team Boser is next, featuring @gregboser and @oilman. They’ll be reviewing

– Sell box sets of DVDs and similar products

– Todd and Greg spend some time trying to get the display right and during the tense silence, the site owner takes the opportunity to promote his DVD box sets “Avatar, available now for $44.95″. Gets a big laugh from the audience.

– There are too many links on many of the pages.

– There’s no need to keyword stuff every single internal link on your site. Google already knows you sell DVDs, you don’t need to hit them over the head with it, says @gregboser

– Trim down your categories and stop loading up your footer with irrelevant links about DVDs, especially in nearly black font on black background, says @oilman.siteclinic4

– Use your movie reviews for content. If you have to, produce clever mashups of pages that are algorithmically unique, but still made up of content elsewhere on your site, says @gregboser.

– Rotate through your content and create mashups that will give you better links in Google.

Next up is Team SEOmoz with @seomom and @dannydover to review

– Gillian starts by asking who in the room are SEOmoz PRO members and proceeds to give some of us a beer! Cute.

– Danny says the site looks good – clean and sharp.  Nice to see categories and images on the home page. Also the brands are front and center on the HP.

– The text nav at the bottom is a bit dodgy, but the payment options/logos at bottom are fantastic.

– No custom 404 error page – Why not? Boring. Gillian says she wants to see some options and some fun on the custom 404 page.

– Enormous home page – 1.6MB in size but should be 150-200 kb. A faster loading site is a better performing site in both engines and sales. Flash file is the major problem.

– Looking at the page as googlebot shows LOTS of links, but no text content. Give people who don’t have Flash an option, preferably text.

– Used to look at the site (SEOmoz plug)

– 301 issues galore due to switching domains.

– ridiculous number of links from small number of domains = BIG spam signal to Google. Clean it up says @seomom

– keyword analysis shows very good keyword density, esp long tail.

– Danny points out that if you do a search in and you can’t find any results, the 404 page will eventually redirect to a search in Bing for same query.

– Gillian points out that the Call to Action buttons are too passive. Use “Email Me If…” option with drop downs like “if my product is in stock”, “if refrigerators go on sale” etc.

– Use Buy Now rather than Add to Cart

– Use A/B Split testing to confirm findings.

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