SEO Review-Ruby Speaks

SEO Article Posted by Internet Marketing Speaker on 29-01-2007

Like other website we’ve reviewed this week, is poised to improve in desired search terms – if the site can be opened up. This is the site of my friend Ruby Newell-Legner. Ruby truly is a “rock star” in the customer service arena and we would love to see her in the top three of a Google search for “customer service training”…Here is the path we would recommend!

Though she has great content within the site, it isn’t telling the search engines what it’s about for it’s lacking the necessary header tags; the title tag of ‘RubySpeaks’ is used site-wide and the needed meta-description and keyword tags are absent. Let’s add unique Titles, Descriptions and Keywords to each page relevant to the content of each page.

The site utilizes Headline (H1, H2, H3) tags well, but the page source is bloated for the style controls aren’t using an external CSS file (though one is referenced). Using the external CSS method will slim down the actual size of the page while leaving the content intact. Also, an external javascript file should be used for the menu system. Theses two issues, when resolved will increase page load speed and more importantly increase the ‘code to text’ ratio – a heavy variable in search engine algorithms.

By viewing the page source of this site you would see several screen heights before reading any real content, and search engine spiders have the same issue. Let’s bring your keyword rich content higher up in the code and give Google what it’s hungry for.

The javascript menu also prohibits deep crawling to the internal pages of the site. This problem can be circumvented by using a sitemap and adding footer navigation to the orphaned pages.

As we spoke of ‘text to code’ ratios this site concerns us a little with the ‘link to text’ ratio as well.

Many of the internal pages, for example the ‘About Ruby’ page doesn’t contain any content, rather a list of more links deeper within the site. This causes users to click again to find content, just as the search engine spider would. Let’s add a few paragraphs about Ruby here and link to more information from within the text.

One thing I really like about this site is how its product line includes .mp3 downloads. I do not know if they are marketed elsewhere online in concert with this site; i.e., iTunes. But, it has great potential. I would certainly provide pod-casting of the media, possibly giving a tease and selling the rest. This is outside the scope of the site review, but I wanted to mention the potential.

This site has a moderate number of back-links, but can be improved with a dedicated link building campaign and/or a blog. You do actually have to post in your blog Ruby 🙂

Search engines love current content, let’s remind Google the site is up-to-date by adding 2007 to the copyright in the footer.

The web has been around long enough for users to understand that blue underlined words are links to click on. What many people don’t know is that the actual link text (also called anchors) hint to the search engines what that linked page is about. Let’s add descriptive anchor text to the links instead of ‘click here’.

Conclusion – The clean interface will retain users, but attracting them is difficult due to excessive code bloat – a side affect of the initial choice of development software. Half of this site is essentially ‘closed’ to search engines because of the navigation structure. The site does contain lots of good content, but many pages horde the information, stripping other pages of any useful information to keep the spiders hungry.

This site has the potential to extend it’s reach in the search engines if the above concerns are addressed, as well as in other new online services that provide rich media.

Steve Mertz
Website Strategy Speaker

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5 Responses to “SEO Review-Ruby Speaks”

  1. Steve:

    You are doing such a wonderful service to your readers by providing such in-depth analysis. Thanks for publishing your findings!

    Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC

  2. Thanks Rebecca! It surprises people to learn how much search engine optimization is not only what you see on the page but also what you can’t see with all the code. Special thanks to Knox for all of his great help and insights on cleaning up the code issues.

  3. […] Hopefully by now our readers are starting to get an appreciation of what good search engine optimization can do to help you in your online marketing efforts. You have seen us mention more than once in our reviews that “this site is poised to improve in desired search terms-if the site can be opened up!  […]

  4. […] Today we’re reviewing This is the site of my NSA buddy, Shep Hyken. Shep is an expert in the customer service training area. Like Ruby, he too is a “Rock Star” in this space and should be in the top three of a Google search! […]

  5. […] code in your websites and blogs! If the search engines can’t spider your entire site without code bloat you will find it hard to make the first page of a Google […]

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