Hello, I work with the site << snip >> and have recently started to focus on SEO for the site. We have modified all of our category page url's as well as our product page url's. All titles and meta tag have been reworked. I was hoping to get some advice on some of the next steps we should take.


SEO newbie

... I was hoping to get some advice on some of the next steps we should take ...

The site seems very visitor friendly and that should remain your primary concern.

As far as SEO goes, I only looked on the landing page, usually the most important page of a website.

You seem to have forgotten to place text within your meta description and keywords. Could be useful you know.

Try to not close your tags with />. This is XML and the web page is not an XML page or at least it doesn't appear to be.

There appears to be lots of coding errors but nothing overly serious. It should be cleaned up anyway though especially try closing your tags as there seems to be some nesting problems. Many may argue but it isn't good to confuse the bots. Internet browsers shouldn't be affected by these little glitches, so weigh it out. Personally, from an SEO perspective, I believe it is worth taking the time to fix the erroneous code.

There would be something to say:
1. You don't have a DOCTYPE declaration, whitch I think is very important; you must correct that. Check http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thenerds.net%2Findex.php for details.

2. In your home and category page the title of your products are in H1 tags; using H1 is very SEO if you use it once on a page, usually the same or simillar to the TITLE tag of that page; using H1 many more times could actually hurt your SEO or even get you penalized; I suggest you put the category name in H1, subcats in H2 and product names in H3

3. The TITLE tag on product detail page: you lose a lot of precious space and character position with the product code: get rid of it. It doesn't help your SEO in any way and it pushes your keywords further from the start of the tag, which is very bad for SEO

4. The product images ALT tag: same as with the title - get rid of the product code from there; you could add the short description near the name of the product

You should aply these principles to all your pages.

A more subtle thing is the way your content is placed on the page: if you look at your code you'll see that the upmost thing on (all) your pages is the left menu which is veeeeeery long and the same on all pages, while your main content (product listing, details etc.) is placed near the bottom of the code. This is very bad for SEO.
If you would have designed your page with divs/css, it would have been easier to move the main content up and the menu at the bottom while preserving the page layout.
Since you designed your page with tables, the only way I see you can do this is by moving the menu on the right.
Remember: this is really very important for search engine optimization; think what SE see on (all) your pages: the first two thirds of the page is the same content, which is the menu... veeeeery bad !!!
Fix those things and we'll see further ;)

1. Assemble a web site development plan that is integrated with your overall marketing processes; the content should be consistent with offline materials, the graphics/images don't have to be identical with traditional media, but should be consistent with your overall branding, style guide, usage of colors etc.

2. Hire a web site design firm that understands your market position and one that won't get "geek crazy" - meaning they are so in love with their own design capabilities, your site gets bogged down with graphics, plug ins, GIF garbage, etc. But, conversely, check your ego at the door when you work with your design firm - I've see so many good web site designs get ruined by clients who can't or won't listen to what we tell them!

3. Pay attention to "load times," how long it takes a web site to load on a 56 KBPS modem (this is an industry average), if its more than 12-18 seconds you may experience the "click of death" - the site doesn't load quickly and the surfer is gone. Of course, if your targeting broadband customers who are reaching your site via ISDN or DSL then you can build a site that incorporates multimedia-ready content that may include streaming audio or video, or Shockwave or Flash capabilities - go ahead and let those digital geeks get carried away with cutting edge content!

Re: Load times it's been reported recently if your site doesn't load in 4 seconds you lose most of your customers.