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Site Review For The Purr Company
Posted 21 June 2007 - 12:56 PM
Nice site, I know, exercising patience is not easy when it comes to your own hardwork. Switching domains is a tricky maneuver, and the results can be unpredictable. But, that was a while ago, so let's focus on where you are now.
A few things I noticed, and some may be disputable but I like to cover all my bases:
(1) Your domain is new, and has no history. The age of your domain is a factor in SER. Sometimes it just takes time to increase your rankings, especially on a new domain (which is why many times it is better to buy an established domain than a "fresh" one)
(2) Your domain is only registed for one year (until 2008) - while this argument is disputable, it has been suggested that in an attempt to weed out "spammy" sites, Google has preference for long-term registered domains - proving you're here to stay. Domain registration is cheap, I'd up it to at least 5 years out.
(3) You could benefit from a link building campaign. You have a unique product and I'm sure you could find some markets to target (social media) but you've already mentioned you're working on it.
(4) Again, arguable but your site is hosted on the same IP address as 592 others, who knows what else is on that server (Spam sites, etc.), I'd suggest at the minimum getting a dedicated IP address which would help resolve any issues that could arise to being associated with other "bad" sites by being on the same IP address.
(5) I'd look at getting included in more directories, looks like you're already in DMOZ which is great, but if you can afford Yahoo, JoeAnt, Gimpsy, and others (there's a thread on here somewhere with a list of directories) as well as some industry specific ones.
(6) At least on the homepage, header tags are not being properly used, in line 147 you have an end H1 tag </h1> but no opening tag. Instead of styling headers with the font tag - use header tags.
(7) While the argument for the code/content ratio is false, there's still something to be said about improving the usability of a site by using more CSS and moving away from table based design. I realize this typically requires a developer (not sure if you design yourself or pay someone) but besides from an SEO standpoint it is something I'd take a look at.
Again, nothing monumental here, just give it time, build some quality links, adhere to best practices and you should be on the right path!
Posted 21 June 2007 - 01:15 PM
Also, I noticed your homepage does not have a description meta tag. I'd add it!
Posted 26 June 2007 - 07:07 AM
Posted 29 June 2007 - 05:27 PM
OOOoo, make the site more "sticky" and add cute kitty videos, from youtube / digg / where ever... I don't like cats but goshhh do they look cute in some videos.
Posted 25 July 2007 - 09:16 AM
Posted 25 July 2007 - 10:05 AM
SARBRO: what a brilliant idea!! I wish I'd thought of it, and it seems so obvious now you've suggested it!! Consider it added to my 'must do' list :-)
Jeccles: I'll take a look at the category loading speeds, but I suspect this was an isolated incident as all categories use the same code with different variables to pull the right products from the database, so in principle they should all take more or less the same time to load (factoring in that some categories have more products than others).
Re: The gallery; It's so cute when cats decide to be friends with other animals, ours used to be friends with a dog who is sadly no longer with us. It always amuses me to think that the dog was 3 times the size of the largest cat but the cats were well and truly in charge and the dog was definitely bottom of the pack (she seemed not to mind too much though).
Would be good if you wanted to send us some pics of your cat and rabbit for the gallery - you could win a bottle of Purr for your trouble too :-D
Posted 25 July 2007 - 10:41 AM
Not sure if you know this (didn't read everyones post) but apart from the obvious no JS , no website!
The shopping cart doesn't seem to work in FireFox, after adding something to the basket when selecting the postage destination from the drop down, the item vanishes from the basket and it says the basket is empty and so you cannot click the checkout button.
Seems ok in IE6/IE7, Opera & Safari, only happens in FireFox, you could be loosing potential sales so thought I'd give you the heads up.
Posted 26 July 2007 - 05:25 AM
So now I'm going to play devils advocate.... !
From a marketing point of view (not SEO) is there too much content - given the purpose of the site is to sell your products. Or rather, too much content divorced from your product offerings.
If you like cats you could spend half a day browsing the site without (apart from the home page) ever coming across a product for sale.
Might it be more effective to use all this good content to introduce products ? For example, on your article page about cat beds surely it makes sense to put in your cat bed products with a shopping cart link.
In articles about cat behaviour it might be appropriate to introduce your cat toys. And so on.
I don't mean overdo it but an ad' or two per page shouldn't turn people off, especially if they are directly related to the content of the page.
Posted 26 July 2007 - 06:26 AM
1dmf: Thanks for the compliments. Nothing is ever entirely finished and there's always improvements to be made but overall I'm very pleased with it.
There is some JS in the site but it seems to mostly work for me without it. The only bits that don't work for me are the dropdown menus and adding a destination/changing quantities in the shopping cart, which of course I would prefer not to be the case but it seemed like a small compromise in exchange for the functionality at the time of programming it - are you finding more that doesn't work without JS? Could you suggest a better way to add the functionality without JS? The site is due for a general service/overhaul when I've finished my big summer project so I'll be thinking about ways around this problem, but I'm open to suggestions.
I can't replicate this problem at all, every version I've used has worked fine - what version of FF are you using? Can you think of anything else that might be affecting it, like web developer addons you've got installed or anything like that? It's a bit weird as I've been using FF as my main browser since before this version of the site was built and it's been tested more on different versions of FF than anything else.
Iggy: Again thanks for the compliment, I agree the feedback here has been, and continues to be, invaluable :-)
Good suggestions, where would we be without the devils advocate turning up from time to time?
Thanks again to both of you
Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:02 AM
I found in FF with JS switched OFF I add something to the basket, click continue shopping, then add something else and the basket seems to have lost the previous item.
I then clicked continue shopping , but didn't add anything, used the left hand menu 'my basket' and the basket is empty. even when only 1 item is in basket, it won't let me click 'checkout'.
with JS switched ON ... problem as described, but then I checked my settings and realised the problem - I don't allow cookies!!!!!!!
If you want it to work not using JS / cookies, you have to do everything server side and use either QS vars or hidden form fields to store stuff and process it server side.
I know it's a right pain, and I'm not suggesting re-writing everything to accomodate non-JS browsers or dropping cookies, allthough i had this debate on another forum and there are some that insist they turn JS off as a matter of course, and I turn off cookies as a matter of course, so you are not going to be able to please everyone.
At least a notice or even the use of the <noscript> tag would help.
Posted 26 July 2007 - 10:21 AM
I checked our stats and less than 1% of our visitors are disallowing JS so it's not a major concern, but I agree, this would be a sensible place for a bit of <noscript> action!
With regard to cookies, I don't have any info available to say what the percentages are like, but I suspect your approach is not rare (I'm quite selective about cookies too, although I don't have them turned off) so it''s worth a bit of effort in this area.
I'll add a cookie detection script/notice and log every time it's used for a while and see what comes back.
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