Practical Ecommerce

SEO Report Card:

Juvie is a kid’s clothing store in Los Angeles, and it is balancing the hipness of Flash-based features (not particularly SEO-friendly) with the common sense of good textual content (always SEO-friendly) on the home page of its ecommerce site. The site focuses on hip, modern and stylish adolescent clothes for tweens (ages 7-12). is just over one-year-old and the site has built a PageRank of 3 for its homepage. Its theme is wholesome and the site is pleasant to the eye. Yet there are several ways the company could improve with regard to search engine optimization. Let’s dig down into the laundry basket to see how this site can grow its search traffic.


Home Page Content

Flash-based features are not particularly SEO-friendly. Search engines rely primarily on text as the main source of information and Flash .swf files are notoriously hard to extract textual content from. And, as a result, pages that are entirely designed in Flash are not well optimized for search engines. While a good chunk of the home page is Flash-based, Juvie has wisely surrounded that Flash file with textual content. The home page doesn’t incorporate heading tags, which is a missed opportunity. Search engines give extra weight to words in heading tags, and therefore these tags should always be used on the home page. While there are links to many categories in the site, an internal sitemap would be a good addition. A sitemap not only helps search engines find all the sections of a site, it can also be a shopping asset for customers.

Inbound Links and PageRank

PageRank for the home page of the site is 3, which is low. This is easily explained by the number of inbound links the site has. Google sees exactly one link from an external site. Yahoo sees 909 links coming in, which is below average for an ecommerce site. Why the difference between the search engines? Yahoo! and Google are different technologies that simply “see” a different number of links. In actuality, the “real” number of links is most likely either number, and those numbers should be thought of as benchmarks or estimates. Regardless, a link-building program is in order here. PageRank is built primarily on the number of quality, inbound links to a given site. The higher the PageRank, the more likely it is that pages in a site will come up in Google and other search engines for a given query. High-quality directory submissions, like DMOZ (, are definitely in order, which can help boost PageRank (and therefore search results) of a linked-to site. Remember, directory submissions (the act of submitting one’s site to directories) are an important part of an overall link building strategy. Juvie also has a blog, which can also attract inbound links, but it has not been updated in roughly two months. Fresh content is imperative for attracting traffic and potential links.


Numbers from the three major search engines were comparable, which indicates accurate indexing. Google reports 1,555 pages, Yahoo! sees 2,130 pages, and MSN Live Search shows 1,300 pages. If the site owners have vastly differing numbers from what the search engines are reporting, issues of crawlability or duplicate content could be in the mix.

Internal Hierarchical Linking Structure

Juvie wisely uses text-based navigation, and often that text is reflective of keywords. At the product level, however, links are contained in graphics, while the corresponding text under the graphics is generally not linking. Adding textual links under the images will heighten the keyword theme of those products. The use of breadcrumb navigation throughout the site is commendable, though more keywords could be implemented to heighten the SEO value of the breadcrumbs (breadcrumbs allow for automated keywords to be programmatically pulled and placed on a page).

HTML Templates and CSS

The main template for the site features H1 heading tags, which is a good start. Adding H2 and H3 heading tags beneath the H1 tag in a hierarchical fashion will further augment and emphasize keywords in those tags. The use of keyword-rich text beneath each product is excellent, though in some scenarios keywords could be improved. CSS is used sparingly, which is fine. A link to an internal sitemap in the footer of the main template could help search engine spiders navigate the site.

Secondary Page Content

Secondary pages contain ample textual content. On both the subcategory pages and the product pages, keywords are present and accurate. Here again, further use of heading tags could help to emphasize keyword themes.

Keyword Choices

Keywords are generally descriptive and ample textual content to reflect those keyword themes is present. Use of free keyword research tools could help to further hone these themes, including Keyword Discovery’s free service, which can be found at

SEO report card for

Title Tags

Unique title tags are one of the simplest and most important ways to establish the keyword focus of a given page. They are an extremely important SEO parameter because search engines place a large amount of focus on them. While many of Juvie’s pages do have keyword-rich, unique title tags, almost an equal amount do not. The addition of unique title tags for every page will be a great SEO improvement for


A typical URL looks like this: While Juvie includes code and database references to create most of its URLs (like c92), almost all of them also include keywords separated by underscores (BeddingandDecor). From an SEO point of view, this is an acceptable format, though dashes between words instead of underscores tends to be the safer and more acceptable route.

This site reflects decent core SEO attributes. With a few tweaks to the site and a link building campaign, should be able to increase PageRank, traffic and, hopefully, sales. Quality inbound links are very important, and should look to business partners, high-quality directories, and attractive blog posts for increased links. For more information on link building, read “Link Baiting Tips To Juice Your Site”.

SEO Report Card

Home Page C+
Inbound Links D
Indexation A
Internal Linking Structure C
HTML Templates B
Secondary Page Content B
Keyword Choices B
Title Tags C-


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Jeff Muendel

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Comments ( 5 )

  1. Legacy User January 8, 2008 Reply


    Thank you so much for the exquisitely detailed report card. It's a fantastic "laundry list" to guide our SEO improvements. I knew that there were problems, but just wasn't sure what they were. Now we know.

    Re. inbound links, we actually have many more (roughly 600), which have been confirmed using our Google webmaster tools. It's always seemed odd to me that the Google "" command returns only one link, and our PR is only 3. Any insights there?

    Best regards and thanks again,

    — *Kristen (Juvies owner)*

  2. Legacy User January 9, 2008 Reply

    Where can I find resources on getting inbound links?


    — *Dulce*

  3. Legacy User January 21, 2008 Reply

    Hi Kristen,

    Great question! The link query "" only shows a snapshot, and doesn't show all of the links purposely so as to discourage scraping. It's a good basic monitor, but your Google Webmaster account is the way to go for more absolute link numbers. As for the PageRank of 3, it is relative to the 600 or so links you're seeing in your account. If you only had one link in Google's eyes, it would be lower than that.


    Check out this Stephan Spencer article:

    — *Jeff Muendel*

  4. Legacy User February 23, 2008 Reply

    For your keyword research try using – a keyword research technology that will help you know what keywords your competitors are using and how it generates money for them, you can use those keywords to drive traffic to your site and give your business the exposure it needs. It offers Free trials.-

    — *Michelle*

  5. Legacy User March 19, 2008 Reply

    For your keyword research try using – a keyword research technology that will help you know what keywords your competitors are using and how it generates money for them, you can use those keywords to drive traffic to your site and give your business the exposure it needs. It offers Free trials.-

    — *Michelle*