I went on a hike this weekend and it was a lot of fun—until the next day when I began to feel as if I had participated in something more like a death march. My leg muscles were so sore, it was tough to trek through the grocery store in search of ibuprofen. In honor of my pain (it’s my own fault—too much time at the desk), I’ve chosen Icewraps.net as the recipient of this month’s SEO Report Card.
The website, designed with icy blue tones, offers “ice packs and heating pads [to] treat your leg pain, elbow joint pain, hip pain, knee pain, foot pain or arthritis pain!” Great keyword placement there, though heating pads don’t seem to be congruent with ice wraps. That’s not necessarily an SEO issue, though, so let’s take a look at how the company does with regard to honing the site for search engine results:
Home Page Content
The IceWraps homepage has a decent amount of textual content, and on the whole, it contains good keyword selections. Lists contained in sentences are—within reason—a good way to do that. So are questions, and the homepage has a series of questions that are keyword-rich and link to quality answer content. The list of “Helpful Articles on Cold and Hot Therapy,” however, does not offer the same linking interface as the questions section above it, which is a bit of a usability issue. While informational content is great, so many direct links from the homepage may be sapping PageRank away from the product category page links, which is where the money is made. Fewer links to the informational content would be in order.
Inbound Links and PageRank
PageRank for the homepage of Icewraps.net is three. This is not a horrible number, but certainly not good either. Yahoo sees 1,159 links, which is respectable. With that number of external links into the website, we’d expect a higher PageRank. This likely means that a majority of the links don’t have much PageRank to pass on. As always, high quality directory submissions and a dedicated link building campaign will help; as will better quality links and pursuing mentions in arthritis and pain-related blogs.
Google measures 684 pages and Yahoo sees 715 which are very similar numbers with no real duplication issues. Good indexation demonstrates that search engine spiders are easily finding their way through Icewraps.net.
Internal Hierarchical Linking Structure
Text-based navigation is used throughout the site, which is ideal, and landing pages, with keyword-rich textual content, exist for every category.
HTML Templates and CSS
Secondary Page Content
While the category pages have good textual content, the product pages do hide content (product reviews for example) from the search engines. Product reviews can be great for reinforcing keyword themes and capturing keywords that might not otherwise have been covered in site content. Thus, it would be good to engineer the product pages so that content-rich product reviews are visible to search engine spiders.
Throughout the site, keywords generally appear to be focused on the products. Lots of informational content is available as well, helping to reinforce keyword themes associated with Icewraps.net. Still, a little more keyword research might help to identify secondary, long tail terms, which could be easily added to the informational content.
Unique title tags appear throughout the website and are representative of page content. The page titles appear to be automated, which is fine, though some customization is in order here and there; the automation on top-level pages could be improved to reflect more keywords.
The URLs on Icewraps.net are clean and reflective of keywords, even at the product level.
Overall, the content and structure of IceWraps.net is solid from an SEO perspective. The main concern for the site is getting more high-quality, in-coming links. An additional concern is the links page, which has many outbound links to other websites. These links are simply bleeding away PageRank. While it is great to support partners and associates, there are too many in this section, and most of the links should have NoFollow tags added to them so as to retain PageRank.
SEO Report Card
Home page: B
Inbound Links: C-
Internal Linking Structure: A
HTML Templates: B
Secondary Page Content: B-
Keyword Choices: B
Title Tags: A
Final Grade: B+
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