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 HeavyTShirts.com.
From Justin Deville, Receptional.com
With any page, there’s lots to discuss, but I’m going to focus on site structure – because it is so important. Your site’s structure is one of the most important factors in determining how successful your site is at attracting traffic from Google.
Your site’s structure should help search engines find your best and most profitable content and help your site’s visitors have a great experience.
CashGenerator’s site structure
Let’s look at a real example of a well-structured site, so we can see what we should be aiming for. We’ll look at CashGenerator.com, because they’re a leading online retailer in the UK, and there’s loads we can learn from looking at their site.
When you link to pages from your home page or your main navigation, you’re making a statement that they’re important. See how CashGenerator.co.uk links to the pages that users want to find. Its most important pages are just one click away from the home page.
Your navigation should always include keywords. And, you’ll usually want to link to your site’s most profitable pages. In this case, a link from the home page to the “pre owned xbox 360” helps Google know that the page is important and gives an indication of the likely content.
Your site has a clear site structure. It links from the home page to the Aloha shirts page. That’s great. But, it misses a trick when it comes to including relevant keywords. There are no keywords in the site’s URLs.
It’s important to include keywords in your web address, so that Google knows what the page is about. So, for example, the URL of the page we’re reviewing is: http://www.heavytshirt.com/PLST.html
The URL gives Google no sense of what the content of the page might be. It would be much better to write the URL as something like:
Write clear, simple URLs
When you’re creating webpages you should aim to write clear, simple and descriptive URLs. Here is the URL for the wine voucher page at www.winesdirect.co.uk:
As you can see, it’s clear what the content of the page is likely to be.
Here is a complicated URL (from an ecommerce site):
Yuck! It’s unclear and not at all user friendly.
Keep these four pointers in mind
There are a few things to keep in mind when creating URLs.
1. The structure of your URLs should match the structure of your site.
At the moment, the category pages at heavytshirt.com use the keyword ‘category’.
Clearly, this doesn’t tell Google anything about the content of the page. We should include a relevant keyword instead. The keyword should be a description of the category. Something like shirts or tshirts would be ideal.
2. Your URL should describe the content of the page, yet be as short as possible.
http://www.heavytshirt.com does a good job of keeping the URL nice and short.
We want short URLs, because they are easier to remember and easier to include in any links the page attracts. We love links and we should do everything we can to encourage other sites to link to us.
3. You should try to include your target keywords in your URLs.
Clearly, there are no keywords in the URL. As we mentioned, a better URL might be:
4. Use lower-case letters.
You should make sure content is available under one URL and one URL only. Google may get confused if you use both lower case and upper case letters in your URLs. So, I recommend sticking to lower case where you can.
http://www.heavytshirt.com/category/AS.html contains capitalised letters. Google will treat it as a different page to:
http://www.heavytshirt.com/category/as.html. To Google, this looks like duplicate content – which is a bad thing.
In other words, where you can, make your URLs guessable.
I have written more about the tricky problem of duplicate content in Wordtracker’s Academy.
Comments/Suggestions from Brian Massey, The Conversion Scientist
Brian Massey is the author of the book for website managers called Your Customer Creation Equation: Unexpected Website Formulas of The Conversion Scientist. Get a free chapter and more at http://CustomerCreationEquation.com.
From Jill Whalen, High Rankings
- What’s a “heavy t-shirt”? As it’s the name of the site it must mean something, but coming to this page out of nowhere, I really don’t know.
- You seem to be targeting “summer clothes” but I don’t know if that’s really what you’re offering as it appears you only have shirts (at least on this page). So it doesn’t make sense to target such a general phrase.
- The content at the top isn’t very good. I don’t think we need directions on how to shop online. And the rest is all “we-centered.” Also not sure why you’re bolding heavy t-shirts and custom t-shirts.
- Content at the bottom of the page doesn’t seem to be for people by the very fact that it’s way down the page where most may never see it. In fact, now that I found it, I see that you explain the “heavy shirt” concept.
- Why is signing up for your email way down at the bottom where it will likely be missed? Is this something you don’t really want people to do?
Jill Whalen is an SEO Consultant who’s been helping companies with their website marketing since 1995. Be sure to sign up for Jill’s High Rankings Advisor Newsletter for free and informative SEO advice that’s easy to understand and fun to read!
From Kurt Scholle, Website ROI Guy
I like this page for its simplicity. When you land on it, it is obviously about t-shirts. I think it needs a little more pop, perhaps some color in the sidebar (and maybe some more content in the sidebar.) How would a thin orange, red or 2-color line down the left side of the page or between the sidebar and main content?
Moving the Social Media NAV bar to the header from the floor of the page would add some color and promote more engagement with visitors.
Your opt-in email box should also be above the fold.
I’d like to see a positioning statement or other branding that supports the benefits of your shirts probably in the header. “Home of the Original Heavy T-Shirt” might work – it’s lost at the bottom of the page. Can you go beyond that with something like, “Heavy t-shirts last longer and retain their fit better.” (That will take more thought, but you get the idea.)
I’d move the About Our Company and Shop by Department. It might work in the sidebar under Categories. It needs to be seen by more people.
I might add something compelling in the sidebar or in the upper right corner of the page. Something like, “Don’t Forget Dad! Fathers Day is Sunday June 16th” Or maybe a coupon; “Buy 3 and get the 4th for free!”
I might feature the “Made in the USA” above the fold too. Maybe simply above Categories. Maybe add a small flag or at least some red, white and blue.
I notice the logo says Heavyweight Collections, but the domain is heavytshirt.com. I’m not sure that disconnect benefits you.
A testimonial and/or pictures of people wearing the shirts would give you some social proof. There’s plenty of room under the Categories in the sidebar. You might consider a mouseover on each product image that pops a larger image or a mini-page.
This is a nice site, but I think you’ll benefit from the recommendations of the reviewers! Good luck and it will be fun to see what changes you make!
Kurt Scholle blogs about website strategy, Internet marketing and social media at www.Website-ROI-Guy.com
From Karon Thackston (Me!)
The name of the site is Heavyweight Collections, but you’ve got a URL of “heavytshirts.” Are the terms interchangeable? I know what a heavyweight tshirt is, but have never heard them referred to as a “heavy” tshirt.
Your title tag includes the keyphrases “mens heavy t-shirts” and “summer clothes for men.” You’ve done a pretty good job of optimizing the page. You’ve used each keyphrase twice in its entirety. Then you’ve also used the individual words within the phrases as well. You could stand to insert a synonym or two.
However, the copy is rather self-explanatory and/or talks about products that are not on this page. For example:
This is our Entire Collection of Summer Clothes for Men
Shop here by browsing through the pages or click on the category to the left to get more specific.
We specialize in heavy t-shirts but also have a variety of aloha shirts and casual walk shorts from Go Barefoot. As summer marches on, we continue to have a larger selection of HIC board shorts and now have added some unique custom gift items made from recycled wood in the USA.
Also, the copy is a bit company-centered instead of customer-centered. While using “we” and “our” is OK, the copy should have way more mentions of “you” and “your.” Remember, it’s all about them.
This is where the actual copy for this page starts. What’s above that should be removed, in my opinion.
Don’t be fooled by the heavyweight nature of our summer shirts. They’re made using a custom thick cotton that will not cling but will breathe nicely and allow you to stay cool. They keep their shape and continue to look great all summer long. So, go ahead and select one of our super thick custom t-shirt styles for yourself or buy a distinctive gift for a special man in your life.
I’d consider rephrasing the “special man in your life” since not all buyers will have a special man in their lives.
This is an improper use of a keyphrase:
Whether you are shopping for yourself or buying a gift to enhance a men’s summer clothes collection…
You wouldn’t say “men’s”… the proper use if “man’s.” Don’t force keywords into sentence where they don’t fit.
This is duplicated content that is on practically every page of your site. I’d change this to a graphic instead of leaving it as text.
Near the bottom of the page, you have this sentence
…you will appreciate the premium quality and custom designs offered exclusively at Heavyweight Collections.
If you offer exclusive designs that are truly not found anywhere else, you should play that up. That’s a differentiating factor that will keep people coming back to your site. In any ecommerce environment, people are prone to bargain hunt. But if they aren’t able to buy what you have elsewhere, you have a big advantage.
This page links directly from your main navigation bar and yet it’s targeting summer clothes. Are you changing it every season? If so, you’re starting all over again with your rankings for this page every three months.
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.
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