Web Page Review: Lack of Information Causes Concerns

kelly-windsorOnce a month, I pull a web page out of a virtual pot of entries (from my Marketing Words Newsletter subscribers) and that page gets a complimentary review from my panel of web marketing experts. The advice given helps the site owners improve rankings, conversions and sales.

This month’s feature is the home page of a bedding manufacturer. Follow along and see if your site is making these same mistakes (and how to fix them).

From Kurt Scholle, WebsiteSuccessCourse.com

What I like about this site are the large pictures and the simplicity.  That may also contribute with what is wrong with the site.

First: I think you should make it more apparent what the site is about.  I thought you were selling Alpacas at first.

I would like to see the “Kelly & Windsor – Australia’s Premium Alpaca Bedding Company” positioning statement moved higher on the page.  That will help people better understand what the site is about.  Consider putting it tight under the header.

Second: I’m all for white space and less clutter on websites, but the gap between the header and the slider is way too tall.  It’s valuable real estate that is going unused, but it also pushes to much content down below the fold.  I might also try and tighten the gap between the top of the header and the top of the browser.

Third: The slider height is acceptable, but I might reduce it to bring more content up from below the fold.  I think the picture of the Alpacas needs some context.  You don’t sell them, but you should add some text to the slide that mentions the benefit of using them to make bedding.

The picture of the 3 products does nothing for the visitor. You might bunch them together with a bullet list of benefits or features of your products.

For the picture of the woman in bed, why not tell us what she is thinking about her bed linens?  Great opportunity to place a testimonial!

Your slider would accomplish 3 goals: tell people why Alpaca products are superior, why your product is better and deliver social proof from ‘the lady in bed.’

I think you should reduce the transition time between slides.  Currently, it’s about a 10 second hold.  Visitors will be exposed to more of those messages if you set the intervals to 5-6 seconds.  Visitors make a value judgment of a website in 6-8 seconds, so some of them will evaluate your site seeing only one slide.

Fourth: Using the 3 paths, Products, News and About helps get people to navigate your website, but you can make them more compelling with additional words that will appeal to your target customers on an emotional level.

For the Our Products page, I’d replace Shop Now (which is your goal) with something that references Luxury or Comfort. Something like “Feel the Luxury of Kelly & Windsor Bedding” or “Kelly & Windsor – Your Most Comfortable Night’s Sleep.”

The Featured Products are right-sized, but I think you should use more text to promote quality or comfort; For Alpaca Bamboo 600, something additional like “Luxuriously soft with a warm snuggle” will get more clicks.

For Alpaca OptiFill Pillows, add something like, “Warmth, Softness & Comfort.”

It will be interesting to see how you incorporate any of the recommendations you make as a result of this review.  I wish you nothing but the best!

From Justin Deville, Receptional.com

You already know that including keywords on your website is the first step towards ranking well in Google’s results.

That much is clear from the title of your page, which is:

<title>Home – Kelly and Windsor – Australia’s Premium Alpaca Quilts – Bedding</title>

The title contains relevant keywords, which is great. But my feeling is that we can improve on your keyword targeting.

For example, there’s no need to include Home in your title. It doesn’t tell Google anything useful about the content of the page. But, before we delve into the detail, let’s go back to basics.

You probably know that the title tag is one of the most important factors for ranking well in the search engines results: it tells Google what your page is about. You can see your page’s title tag in Google’s listings, it looks like this:


Your computer’s web browser may show the page title, too. Here, you can see how the page title appears on my computer:


Some Don’ts and Do’s

Let’s work through some do’s and don’ts for including a title on your webpage. First, think of it, not as a title, but a headline! The text will appear in the search results, so you should write a title that encourages readers to click through to your site. There’s little point in getting listed if you don’t get clicks.

Your prospects are scanning the results quickly – to find a match for their keyword. So make sure your offer is direct and straight to the point!

When creating your title, focus on a primary and a secondary keyword for your page.

Put your primary keyword at the beginning. And your secondary keyword at the end, but in a different way. Here is an example that would apply to one of my clients, the online gift retailer, Presents for Men.

Presents for Men | Gifts for Men

If your titles are longer than 8-10 words then scanning becomes more difficult and your page may be overlooked.

Google recently redesigned its pages listings. It used to be the case that it was possible to fit 69 characters into the title. That’s no longer the case.

Nowadays, Google cuts off the title when it runs out of space on the page, which is usually around 57 characters.

But, as some characters take up more space than others, it’s best to check to see how the listing appears once its published. If you’re using lots of CAPITALS, or wide letters, it’s worth cutting back on the number of characters you include.

As a rule of thumb aim for 6-8 words and no more than 57 characters. Any longer and it’s possible Google will simply chop off the end – as we see in this listing for NCS Cleaning Supplies. Google has replaced some of the keywords with …


Rewriting your Title

So, how can we improve on your existing title tag? We’ll start by using a keyword research tool, such as Google’s Keyword Planner (you must have an AdWords account to use this), or Wordtracker’s free keywords tool, to look for keyword ideas. Let’s have a look at alpaca-related terms.

We’ve researched the keywords you mention in your headline. Google tells us that there aren’t many searches each month: 30 for Alpaca bedding and 10 for Alpaca quilts. If you were to rank in first position for both of those terms your site might attract 20 visits per month (ie, half of the available traffic):


There’s no doubt that those keywords are important, but it’s important to target high traffic keywords on your home page. You may be targeting a niche that’s too narrow.

It might be worth mixing up your keywords, so that you also target a more popular term such as ‘designer bedding’ (4,400 searches/month); or ‘luxury bedding’ (14,400 searches/month). Your title tag might then read:

Alpaca quilts and bedding | Luxury bedding | Kelly and Windsor

Next steps

I hope that’s helpful. I’m aware that there’s lots more you can do to improve the page, but I thought it would be useful to look at the title in detail, as it’s so important to your site’s SEO efforts.

Justin Deaville is Managing Director at UK-based digital marketing agency Receptional and was previously chief executive officer (CEO) at Wordtracker.com.

From Karon Thackston (Me!) www.MarketingWords.com

I like the clean design and the easy-to-find navigation. But after visiting your home page, I’m left with more questions than answers. The “Shopping Bag” box in the upper right corner leads me to believe this is an ecommerce site, but the home page isn’t set up like a typical ecommerce site would be.

With news, about us and other information closer to the top and featured products way at the bottom, I wondered what the primary purpose of your home page was. There is very little to go on based on this page and a clearer roadmap would be beneficial to your visitors.

Here are a few things I would recommend testing.

1. Remove the rotating banner. These are notorious for causing declines in conversions. They take up a huge chunk of your most valuable above-the-fold real estate and offer no usable information. Yours has no banner text, no visible controls and isn’t clickable. This space could be used for bigger gains by having pointers to whatever your primary goal is (selling products, lining up distributors/wholesalers, etc.).

2. Create a more descriptive tagline. While I did see a tagline under your logo, it could be more defined. As it is, I’m only able to tell that you have something to do with Alpaca bedding and you’re in Australia.

 Kelly & Windsor – Australia’s Premium Alpaca Bedding Company

I’d rather see a tag line that speaks TO your customers instead of ABOUT your company. Some popular ones include:

 Melts in your mouth, not in your hands. M&Ms Candies 

When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. Federal Express Corporation

 The Nighttime, Sniffling, Sneezing, Coughing, Aching, Stuffy Head, Fever, So-You-Can-Rest Medicine.  Nyquil Cold Medicine

You might choose something like:

 For a Night to Remember

 Warmth without Weight (from your alpaca fleece page)

MicroCombed for Ultra-Softness (from your alpaca fleece page)

 Weightless Warmth, Luxurious Softness

 3. Focus on your most-important goals. Are you strictly an ecommerce site? Are you looking to private label products for other retailers? Who you’re selling to and what you hope to accomplish will determine what goes on your home page.

4. Add copy. As it is, there is virtually no copy on the home page. Words (whether written or spoken via a video) are how we communicate with site visitors. Words bring clarity, provide information and persuade customers to take action. In addition, copy plays a large role in gaining good search engine positioning.

5. Clean up the white space. While a little space is needed to prevent the page from seeming too crowded, there is far too much white space between the top navigation and the rotating banner.

I think you have a good start, but need focus, clarity and direction so that your home page can perform at its best for you.

Karon Thackston is a Certified Landing Page Specialist. Looking for website pages that rank well and convert even better? Contact Karon today for business landing page copywriting or copywriting consulting and start getting results.

Send to Kindle

Please share this post with your friends.

  • Email

3 Rookie Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes When Tweeting

How many times have you said one of the following about social media? “It’s a waste of time.” “I’ve never gotten a good response from Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/Google+/etc.” “I tweet and nobody responds.” You’re not alone. Countless businesspeople struggle with posting on social media, especially when it comes to writing something compelling and meaningful in 140 characters. That frustration comes largely because there has been little (or no) training on how to communicate effectively in short bursts. Do You Make These Mistakes? I frequently see the same three mistakes being … [Read More...]

Should You Have Copy on Your Demo/Download Pages?

I recently saw a post on the Which Test Won blog that caught my attention. The email announcing the test results had a subject line that read: How Much Content Does Your Page Need to Convert The content of the email said this: Finding the perfect balance of content is hard; sometimes too much content is overwhelming and too little content leaves the prospect confused. This week we have a radical clean vs. clutter test, where one variation stripped out all of the content except the form. Can you guess which version won? When you click to the blog, you’re presented with two … [Read More...]

Creating a Book Marketing Funnel Could Kill Your Sales

If you’ve been involved with publishing very long, you know that (even if you have a physical book printed by one of the prominent, mainstream publishers) you are responsible for promoting it if you want to see any real sales. Likewise, if you’ve been in marketing very long, you’re familiar with the term “marketing funnel.” It’s a long-standing phrase that explains the progression a lead takes to becoming a customer. The funnel has a beginning and an end… and therein lies the (major) problem. A traditional funnel looks something like this: People enter the funnel (in this case via a … [Read More...]

What’s Your Google Gibberish Score?

Did you know Google has a “gibberish score?” It’s true! And they rank each of your web pages and blog posts to see if you are using low-quality, mechanically-produced copy and content. Some common practices are now on Google’s watch list and can get your pages demoted in the rankings. Even pages with high-value keywords and phrases are in danger of losing rank if Google deems them as gibberish. I’ve got all the details for you in this quick explanation. Got five minutes? … [Read More...]

Build Curiosity When Writing Tweets, Headlines & More Using These 2 Savvy Techniques

You would think that writing short copy like tweets, headlines, bullet points and more would be easy. I mean, it’s just a tiny bit of text so what could be so hard? That IS why it’s so hard :) The ultra-limited space means much more thought has to go into these tidbits than with copy that has no restrictions. There is no room for error… either the copy works or it doesn’t. One of the biggest reasons short copy fails is because it doesn’t generate curiosity. After reading the tweet, headline, etc., nobody is compelled to read more. Tired of struggling to write captivating … [Read More...]

Web Page Review: Emergency Survival Kits

Subscribers to my Marketing Words Newsletter get the added bonus of submitting one web page for possible review.  Then my collection of web experts and I point out trouble spots the site owner can correct in order to get better rankings and conversions. This month's feature is a category page of an emergency survival kit ecommerce site. The reviewers have not seen each other’s comments so pay special attention to comments that are repeated. If two or three people reference the same issues, they should take priority on your “fix-it” list. From Kurt Scholle, … [Read More...]

5 Tips for Typing Tantalizing Tweets & Other Tiny Tidbits

Does it seem like copy is shrinking? Everywhere you look you find Facebook ads, tweets and bullet points, the longest of which is a total of 140 characters. I’ve had lots of questions lately about writing short and compelling copy so I thought I’d reveal a few tricks I use that might help you out. 1. Remember Your Goal – The purpose of short copy is not – I repeat NOT – to close the sale. The purpose is to drive traffic to someplace that will close the sale. Take for instance, Facebook posts or ads. You include a URL with your post so that you can drive traffic to a web page that provides … [Read More...]

The Psychology of Pricing Products & Services

One of the most frequently asked questions I get about marketing revolves around price. Setting prices for products and services takes a combination of science, psychology and intuition. Let’s walk through some of the most effective ways to determine price and create a checklist of what to test to find the best one. Your Cost Plus Profit Of course, business 101 tells us to cover our costs and earn a profit (or go out of business fast!). But once the basics have been covered, where do you go from there? Check the Competition Are there other products or services like yours? There … [Read More...]

Web Page Review: Orlando Vacation Store

Subscribers to my Marketing Words Newsletter get the added bonus of submitting one web page for possible review.  Then my collection of web experts and I point out trouble spots the site owner can correct in order to get better rankings and conversions. This month's feature is a category page from Orlando Vacation Store. From Justin Deville, Receptional.com It’s worth starting by recapping on what’s likely to be working well on the page. There’s a lot of good stuff going on. I’m new to your business but I quickly understood what you sell and how to get it. Great. It was also good … [Read More...]

My New Year’s Revolution: Intentional Marketing

No, it’s not a typo.  I am not resolving to do anything during the New Year.  You see, a resolution is a promise or a pledge.  That’s for wimps.  We all know what happens to resolutions.  After about a month those good intentions go straight down the toilet. I don’t have good intentions.  Instead, I’m starting a New Year’s revolution – a transformation, a reform, a change.  Like so many others, I fall into the traps of (A) being a control freak over my business and (B) marketing sporadically as it comes to mind.  However, during the last 12 months, I began to change my marketing focus and … [Read More...]