SEO Report Card:

I have to admit that both the design and focus of this month’s report card recipient stood out from the many requests I receive. The website is not subtle, and it’s probably not even pretty in the classical sense, but it’s certainly fun. sells clothing accessories that have one of two things in common: They are pink or they are punk. Need a white leather piano keyboard belt? Not pink, but very punk, and imagine how cool you’d look at the office with it around your waist! But while the site is visually intriguing, there are improvements that can be made to its search engine optimization. Let’s take a look.

SEO report card for

Homepage Content

While visually interesting, does not feature enough textual content on its homepage. At the top of the page, the line “Welcome to” appears, but that simply isn’t enough. Some good keyword research is in order to determine what a potential customer might be searching for. Those identified terms should then be added to the introductory line, expanding it to a short paragraph. Adding even a sentence or two with applicable keywords describing the site could make a difference. A sitemap link appears at the bottom of the page, which helps spiders find their way through the website. Alt tags, used to textually describe graphics, are quite good, and this can help search engines identify the page’s focus. Alt tags are not a replacement for good textual content however, as they no longer carry much weight with search engines.

Inbound Links and PageRank is a fairly new website, which may partially explain its PageRank of 0. But, the other factor in the ranking is the site’s small number of inbound links. Yahoo! sees 45 links from outside sites while Google doesn’t list any at all. Inbound links translate to PageRank, and higher PageRank translates to better search engine results. This site, with its vibrant content, should have no problem garnering links! A linking campaign is in order here. Research online directories and get listed in those that still have decent PageRank (many have been recently demoted by Google in that regard). A blog is also in order, especially with such hip content. Online press should be a target as well, as should social media avenues like MySpace, Flickr and Facebook.


This site’s webmaster estimates the number of pages to be around 90. Yahoo! sees 64, Google sees 80, and MSN Live Search sees 70. For a small site, this isn’t too bad, but better navigation (see below) will help in getting all pages indexed.

Internal Hierarchical Linking Structure

The main, left-hand navigation at is graphical, not textual, and search engines are therefore not seeing that navigation. This is a huge problem for search engine spiders as, without that navigation, it is difficult for them to find their way through the website. While the sitemap link in the footer of the website is helpful, an alternative navigation structure is sorely needed. Using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for design purposes, rather than JavaScript, would greatly help with this.

HTML Templates and CSS

As mentioned, CSS needs to be used in place of less-SEO-friendly JavaScript in the design of the main navigational bar. An equally important issue is the lack of heading tags anywhere in the site. Search engines give text in heading tags extra weight, so heading tags should appear on every page in support of defined keywords. The homepage, category pages and product pages should all use at least H1 tags (the top of the heading tags hierarchy) to emphasize keywords and page focus.

Secondary Page Content

Secondary pages contain more textual content than the homepages, especially product pages, which have nice sections of text on each of them. Though content tends to be light, it is fairly well designed at all levels and maintains core SEO attributes throughout the secondary pages.

Keyword Choices

While category and product descriptions on tend to contain good keywords, many potential keywords are overlooked. Full keyword research is in order for this site. Try the free interface at or to assist in determining other potential terms. For example, what comes up for “belt buckle” Are there more focused terms for “wallet.” Besides being good for research, these can be fun interfaces to use.

Title Tags

Unique and keyword-focused title tags are an important SEO attribute. Search engines see title tags as one of the first things upon entering the code of a given page, so getting them right is important. Specific keywords related to a page should be first in the title with branding at the end. appears to have automated title tags pulled from other page content, which often isn’t a bad way to go. But there is a flaw in the site’s system. For example, the title for the pink belts category page is “Pink or Punk – All Products – Pink Belts.” This is contradictory information for both users and search engine spiders. Such inaccurate titles need to be cleaned up.


Whenever possible, keywords should be the base of URLs, and where multiple keywords are used, they should be separated by dashes, as search engines see dashes as spaces. Unfortunately, ends up with ugly, appended URLs that end with jargon like:
?category=316002&count=1. The platform upon which the site is built ( does not make search-friendly URLs very easy.

Pink or Punk is the kind of site that can attract viral attention in the form of blog mentions, inbound links from news stories and punk-oriented groups. The webmaster should seize upon this opportunity, but first he needs to clean up some of the technical, structural issues.

SEO Report Card

Home page C-
Inbound links D-
Indexation D
Internal Linking Structure C
HTML Templates B-
Secondary Page Content B-
Keyword Choices B
Title Tags C-


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Jeff Muendel
Jeff Muendel
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