I’ve decided to take part in the Tuesday Push when I can. A lot of the other people write reviews, but instead I am going to look at the companies’ websites from a SEO & Usability point of view. So here is the first look at Dine To Read. They are a book club with a difference, they meet up, have dinner and discuss a book.
There error page returs the right HTTP status code (namely a 404). But I would offer more infomation than:
The page you have requested does not exist. You might be able to find what you’re looking for from our home page.
Rather I would suggest they include a search bar (wordpress has an easy search function) and include links to some of their more popular parts of the website.
Getting back to the topic of search, this is something that is missing on their pages. Having a method where people can search through your site (especially if it is a dynamic site that changes often) is very important. This can be both good for existing users who remember a certain helpful page, say on the forum, but can’t find it anymore, as well as for new visitors so they can find what they want fast.
The titles of the pages should be improved. Title text helps users aswell as search engines. By tweaking your title text to make it more attractive. The main page for example “Dine to Read – A book club with a difference” really doesn’t use the title tag to it’s full effect. One thing with wordpress is that it lists the name of the website before the title of the page. This means that every single title will have Dine to Read at the start. Generally you will try to have the keywords you want indexed at the start of title. An example of what would be better wouuld be ::
- Irish book club with a difference – Dine to Read
- Book club that discusses books over dinner – Dine to Read – A book club with a difference
There is a great plugin call All in One SEO pack which will help you change titles of the pages, and it will also allow you to specify META keywords and META description tags on a per post/page basis. The META description is something that is used when displaying your search result, and when optimised (along with title tags) it can greatly increase you click through ratio in the SERPs. This would help pages in the News section to rank higher.
This will also help avoid content showing up multiple times. WordPress is particularly bad at having more than one place where you can see the content of blog post. For example you can see the post about World Book Day : here, here, here and here, and if you had categories you would be able to see it in more places ! These should have the noindex attribute to them, and this plugin will make sure of that for you. This would be another reason why the news section pages are not really being indexed by google right now.
So wrapping up my 45 minute analysis , I would say that over all dinetoread.ie , is a solild site, but it there are still a few tweaks that can make it more sound.
Other things that are missing that could be added easily:
- a robots.txt file, currently this displays the main page and could cause problems. It doesn’t even give a 404 code, it says what is displayed on your robots.txt is an actual page.
- a sitemap.xml file to tell the search engines what pages on your website are more important than others, and should effect the order of such queries. Currently the forums are figuring higher than the main page for example.
*note : as this is a new site, there are not many inlinks, and therefore not easy to analyse this part of the website.