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Site Review For The Purr Company
Posted 25 January 2007 - 09:58 AM
Is this site completed or under construction?
Completed - as much as these things ever are!
How long has the site been up?
The shopping section has had a major upgrade which was completed this week. Excluding other modifications and additions this version has been up since March last year.
Do you have incoming links?
Some, but getting more is definitely high on the priorities list
What keywords are you targeting?
Pretty much every page has at least one keyphrase, but there's too many to mention them all here.
A sample of the ones I have targetted directly from research are purr, cat beds, cat gifts, cat nip, catnip, cat products, cat supplies, cat supply, cat toys, cat treats, catnip, catnip toys, cats funny pics, cats funny pictures, cute cat pictures, cute kitten pictures, feline. (these were all done before the new products were added to the shopping section)
The keyword research I have done has thrown up a number of seemingly good suggestions, but I've found the most effective (i.e. ranking/traffic generating) keywords/phrases have been the longtail ones that happened by accident, for instance 'what is catnip' brings in some good traffic, as does 'why do cats purr' and 'funny cats'.
Although I totally accept the value of good keyword research, my own research (or maybe my implementation of it) doesn't seem to have benefitted us anywhere near as much as the accidental phrases, so I recently been trying the approach of (where applicable) using the most effective phrases from our stats as a guide for what phrases to target, and that seems to work pretty well.
For new pages where the content doesn't fit with the stats we already have (e.g. some articles and some of the new shopping/product pages) I'm trying the approach of using the phrases I think describe/fit the content of the page and wait to see what comes back before targeting any specific phrases. I was pleased to find that, on doing a little research after making the new product pages, some of the phrases I've used would have been good contenders had I researched the keywords in the way I previously had, so I'm hopefull that we'll get some good results - although there's nothing that cannot be improved!
Do you want your code reviewed for errors or improvements?
certainly. I don't think there's much wrong with it, but if you spot anything amiss I'd be grateful of the info.
Who is your target audience? Think about:
I can make some generalisations that would apply to maybe 50% of our current customers. I'm of the opinion that we can increase that percentage by targetting those generalisations and create a virtuous circle, but so far it hasn't seemed to have a measurable effect.
It's difficult to be too specific about some of this stuff because there seems to be a huge range - all sorts of people own cats, as they are independent enough not to need too much looking after but affectionate enough that you can spend a lot of time with them if you can spare it.
The generalisations are: -
Women (just to contradict myself, this is actually more like 75%)
Caring people who have an interest in humanist subjects, such as animal welfare and the environment
Family people who have either already got commitments to family members, such as kids or older people, or would like those type of relationships.
Eccentrics - a lot of our customers and certainly everyone that works here is a bit eccentric - especially when it comes to their cats!
Morally concious people who would rather pay a little more for something that is exploitation free and/or of a higher quality.
Also, 90% of our custoemrs are in the UK. We are happy to sell outside the UK but for many reasons we are concentrating our efforts on the UK for now.
Why is your site different from sites selling/offering similar info/goods/services? Why will someone want to do business you?
We have a unique product (Purr) and are building our brand to reflect integrity, high quality and good customer care
How important is usability?
Quite important in general terms, but I think most of our customers are quite comfortable with the web.
What is the purpose of the site? (inform, sell, online community, support B&M business, contact info only, etc)
Primarily to sell, but that is largely a practicallity that allows us to continue what we do. Our secondary objective is to engage and inform people, to help them become better cat carers.
Do you want design suggestions?
Posted 25 January 2007 - 10:10 AM
I like your graphics and colourscheme! Nice cat graphics...
Sorry I cant fault it, others might! Maybe I will send some pics of my cats in to try for a sample
Posted 25 January 2007 - 10:52 AM
Posted 25 January 2007 - 12:29 PM
Catnip, and it's relatives are all a part of the mint family -- Lose the comma, and "it's" should be "its".
Since "Catnip" isn't a brand name, there's no reason to capitalize it when it's not the first word in a sentence.
The reaction to Catnip usually lasts about 5 minutes or less, with a 'cool off' period of about 2 hours, before they return and have the same reaction again -- The quotation marks around "cool off" don't match each other.
Posted 25 January 2007 - 02:00 PM
Linux_lover - we'd love to have your cat pictures for the gallery so please do send them
Maka - funnily enough I was doing some usability testing the other day and one of the testers was a little confused by the menu expander, so we've been discussing that feature and trying to decide if there is a better way. Your comment is very helpful.
Feel free to re-use my code, and if you need any help getting it to work just PM me and I'll do what I can. It was a bit of a pain to get it working on some of the sub-pages in different folders but I found a good php work around which may be of some use if you encounter problems.
Qwerty - I can't disagree. I've done my best with proof reading but sometimes you get too close to spot these things. Can I ask, is it possible that some of the spellings/grammar are an English/American thing? I'm fairly sure I've spell checked every page before putting them up, but I certainly could have missed a few, and you're definitely right about the unnecessary comma and capitalisation. Can you (or anyone) reccomend an English proof reader?
Regarding the its/it's situation, (and kinda going off topic) do you know of a difinitive source for these sort of rules? I've discussed this with a Swedish friend who has learned a lot of her English from formal teaching and actually has better spelling and grammar than most English people I know. She says the same as you, as do a number of other people I have asked, so I'm sure what you're saying is not incorrect, but I was taught that in this situation "it's" is an abbreviation from the old English "it his" to demonstrate a posessive property of the "it" in question, making "it's" perfectly acceptable, if not definitive.
I know I'm dissapearing up where the sun doesn't shine with this level of concern, but I would like to know nonetheless
Anyways, back on topic, thanks for taking the time to review the site, any more critiques are welcome
Posted 25 January 2007 - 02:17 PM
Posted 25 January 2007 - 06:16 PM
One thing that I notice is that i immediately think your site home page is a product page for a bottle of Purr. Not the main shop front.
I think that the bottle of elixir would have been better as one of your 'superior products' in a side box, and the copy on the main page (that's not there at the moment), describing what you are about and what you can offer your customers.
Although Purr is your main product, i still think that your home page should say something more comprehensive (but i am not qualified to say what, sorry)
At the moment, I think the search engines will think your site is about catnip, which may be what you want (but i don't think so), as you have the word in your meta title tag and 3 times in your copy.
I always click the logo to go home (pure laziness :-) but can't with yours.
I personally like the menu system, but i was a coward when i was thinking of using it as i wasn't sure whether people would understand what to do, and i'm not sure how the bots will follow the links.
I clicked on the cat bed page and had a look to see what where you have the keyphrase 'cat bed' and was surprised to see -
'The Purr Company Shop - Cat toys, treats and other cat fun!!' in the title tag.
Looking at other pages, you have the same wording in your title tags. Not good! ( i know that for sure :-)
You need to have individual wording in every title tag, reflecting the keyphrase you want to rank for and obviously describing the page it's on.
I would list all your shopping pages on your sitemap
I am sorry it's all negative, i know how depressing this is, having been through a site review myself and got quite a few critiques (all helpful stuff and a lot of work ahead of me :-)
I think you have a good thing going especially as you seem to have a unique product.
Edited by horsetags, 25 January 2007 - 06:29 PM.
Posted 25 January 2007 - 10:16 PM
Your home page could use some more copy. How about testimonials from happy cats? Give me an overview of the mewsletter, the cat stories and the photo galleries to entice me to look around the site some more and not run off.
I see your price is in pounds... a small disclaimer underneath stating your delivery area would be nice. (UK only? International? EU? )
I'd separate the free Mewsletter and free Ebooks headings... free Mewsletter with the Mewsletter paragraph and *Bonus Free Ebooks with the Ebooks paragraph. I'd also probably make the headings for those stand out a little with a brighter color to attract the eye. [More info] is nice, but get them to give you an email address NOW by adding a signup box right there with a call to action instead of making them read more about it on another page first.
Echo horsetags on the logo not being linked.
Love the graphics! Very cute.
OK... I was about to click away from the site when I realized... you sell more than one product!! I had no idea. If I hadn't clicked the shopping link out of curiosity, I would have left the site thinking you carried only one item. I realize Purr may be the best thing you have, but integrate some thumbnails and links to other categories on the home page as well to lead customers to related items.
Get rid of the expandable menu... it's hiding your merchandise. If you only do one thing, get rid of the expander and let people see what you have to sell. That is a huge issue.
Consider adding breadcrumb links to help shoppers navigate back up a level and to help with SEO- more internal links help.
There's no shipping policies page anywhere- I have to put something in my cart and choose my country before I can confirm that you ship to my country and how much I might expect to pay.
If you plan to sell much internationally, you may want to integrate a currency converter or at least an estimator.
Overall, an adorable site. Good work!
Posted 26 January 2007 - 07:00 AM
Seriously though, good site, I'm fascinated by this sort of thing and was stuck there for quite a while. I'll definitely pass the address on to my Swedish friend.
Linux_lover - Thanks, found some interesting articles on the suckerfish menus, I'll be looking at their code in more detail later.
Horsetags & Scottie - thanks for the feedback, you've both made some very valid points.
Thanks again to everyone, work has already begun on some of the changes!
Posted 05 March 2007 - 10:35 PM
Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:58 AM
That is a major selling point in my eyes and I would like to see that in the star product description on the main page, rather than at the bottom of a subpage.
I would also like to know about the odor, is it odorless, if not what is the odor?
Edited by 1fast72nova, 08 March 2007 - 01:07 AM.
Posted 08 March 2007 - 06:43 AM
For those who contributed to this thread before, thanks for the suggestions, many of them have been implemented. If you'd like to take another look and see if you think I've done a good job (or otherwise) I'd appreciate your opinions :-)
John H - I'm not totally sure what you mean by template - could you expand on this a little? maybe also give some specifics, like which elements/characteristics are boring and what is boring about them? (Maybe even what you think would improve things?)
1fast72nova - good suggestion about the natural ingredients bit, I'll have a look at that. I'm not sure what I can say about the odour that would have any meaning to a reader - it's fairly unique (to me, anyway), it's pretty pungent, and as with Marmite some people love it, some people hate it (although obviously most cats love it ) - does that tell you anything useful?
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