Site review of online glass store

Site review and recommendations for online eye wear retail shop with presence across Europe.

Part 1

The E-commerce Website ranking factors

Brand metrics

Features that correlated mostly with higher ranking in Google are 1) PageRank and 2) Brand mentions. So, this is something that goes with the popularity of your website: traditional signals (number of inbound links & their quality) as well as new ones – number of domain’s mentions in the Social and blogs. This is where you need a Blog and Social Media Strategy – something essential for a brand new ecommerce website (see below).

On-page factors

Presently, on-page factors show the decline of keywords and rise of content. It particularly means that usage of keywords in Page title, the Headers and consistently over the page has been less productive than before. Likewise, Google has developed its algo to the stage of being able to assess the quality of content beyond the keywords usage. Insofar as ecommerce websites have traditionally been relying on keywords while lacking the ‘true’ content – it’s very important that you started content-rich pages now: blog, buyer’s guides and other supplementary (non-for-profit) content.

E-A-T (expertness, authoritativeness and trustworthiness)

While all websites that sell glasses have quite similar content, there’s a way to prove that you website is an EXPERT in what you do. It can be done though creating supplementary content – something that enriches the main content and brings in optimal user experience: how-tos, buyer guides, tech spec, widgets, etc.

This is something that 1) facilitates buyers choice, 2) contains lots of ‘expert-proof’ content words (for example, lenses, lighting conditions, etc), and after all 3) enhances your user metrics (Pages / Session rate, Time on page, Conversion rate, etc) that’s priced in into your ranking position.

YMYL specific pages

“Your Money or Your Life” pages are those that can have an impact on your current or future well being (physical, financial, safety, etc.). Google shares five examples of YMYL pages, including:

  1. Pages that solicit personal information, such as personal identification numbers, bank account numbers, drivers license numbers, etc., which could be used for identify theft.

  2. Pages used for monetary transactions, on which users might give their credit account or bank account information; for example any page that allows you to buy something.

  3. Pages that offer medical or health information that could impact your physical well being.

So, YMYL websites owners need a special caution to show Google they are reliable. It means effective ‘About us’ info, full contact, quality customer service information as well as who is responsible for the upkeep and content of the website. So, if you do monetary transactions plus offer medical info (goods) Google would look for ALL of this information on your website.

HTTPS is another factor of ranking of YMYL websites, especially ecommerce sites. For now it’s relatively lightweight signal but it’s evident that Google will give priority ranking to the web stores using SSL.

Content Relevancy and Fullness

Generally, website that has more content on a specific topic has higher chances of ranking above its competitors. So, what’s important for the ecommerce store is 1) number of items, 2) navigation to terms, and 3) relevant supplementary content. Likewise, you may have more mentions of, for example, Versace glasses than other – and be ranked 1st place. Yet, to do that you don’t necessary need lots of items – what you actually need is a good navigation bringing the relevant term on-page more often that your competitors do.

User experience (UI) metrics

Google is using search and visits patterns to connect words / phrases and search results. For example, Google would constantly bring your page Top-10 against ‘luxury glasses’-related search if the CTR & behavior metrics of your page was great among the people who used to search around that topic in the past. So, what you have to do is 1) deliver to user search intent, 2) work toward enhancing your user behavior metrics.

Tech validity / Server response time is an indirect factor (hard to isolate its effect from others), still, evidently it impacts UI, social shares rate and is looked upon by Google

Mobile friendliness

Mobile friendliness affect the site’s ranking from mobile searches. Yet, it’s effect is very important. For example, as per example, the mobile friendliness delivers the competitive edge: the site is ranked 7th against ‘ray ban’ on website search and the 3rd in mobile. So, you would want to take care of the site’s mobile friendliness as the number of mobile purchases is going to grow.

Key takeaways

  1. There’s a mention frequency and mention source in Google brand/domain bias. So, to effectively perform in organic search you have to develop the Social media / Blogging strategy aimed at citation and facilitate sharing of your content.

  2. On-page factors lose their importance, especially in competitive markets. Overall, more lengthy and content would outperform small keywords-rich one. To capitalize on that, make sure you deliver buyer’s guides, how-to and other supplementary content and put them as links on product pages.

  3. You would enhance your conversion and behavior metrics if your product & category template will feature E-A-T content, i.e. Choice help, Relevant Blog entries, similar items, and expert talks, etc. This will greatly help you rank higher in organic search.

  4. Static pages are one of your Points of Difference (PODs) as compared to competitors. Make sure you describe your company in full, list your company’s persons, give all shopping related info as well as contact & troubleshooting info.

  5. Strategically, switching to the HTTPS version of your domain is a ‘win’ solution. You would receive a point to your E-A-T as well as an additional ranking plus. Especially now, when you even have not got your site indexed.

  6. Response time has to be fixed up. It will enhance your overall metrics.

  7. Mobile friendly website has an additional competitor advantage.

A General Hypothesis

A website that has:

  1. Full stack YMYL Static pages

  2. Lots of supplementary content delivering E-A-T

  3. Effective Social & Blogging strategy

  4. Effective navigation to user search intent pages

  5. Adequate content number on search terms

  6. technical validity and the HTTPS version

will be ranked relatively high in organic against most of website’s search terms.

Recommendations – issues to consider in the first place

  1. Caching: the search query as well as other types of queries takes too long.

  2. Navigation

  3. Static YMYL pages

  4. HTTPS implementation


Website is too slow to load. For example, query takes too long to process. So I suggest that you enabled caching.

Brand pages, for example, render a 404 error.

Duplication of URLs: consider vs.

On the picture below all links lead to

Brand page is a nuisance: -- it’s accessible through both glasses and sunglasses Main Navigation links but mostly leads to sunglasses links. For example, here

Also, the image below is not related to the search intent of a user, i.e. ‘rimless eyeglasses’ – it shows the same girls wearing dark sunglasses on each and every page.

The Language switcher below is not working

The footer menu is not properly organized. It should have two areas of focus: e-Commerce related info, and the Company related info. Now, you may want to have the following structure of Footer link areas:

Ecommerce info / Customer care

  1. FAQ

  2. Shipping and Returns

  3. Terms and Conditions

  4. Privacy policy

  5. My account


  1. About us

  2. Blog

  3. Contact

  4. Sitemap

In addition to that you may want to have a Separate help section to facilitate choosing and ordering from you. By contrast to FAQ it may contain How-to guides on different issues of buying.

Shopping Help

  1. Choosing how-tos

  2. Ordering How-tos

  3. Discount How-tos

  4. Style finder, etc.

About us

‘About us’ page has to include:

  1. Description of the Company

  2. Key persons (with their Social Media links)

Importantly, your ‘Contact’ page has to be as full as possible. Likewise, it shall contain:

  1. Your physical address

  2. Google Maps fragment

  3. Email, phone

  4. The Social links

One good example of the proper Contact page (missing Google maps) is below.

The SSL implication for Organic ranking of the ecommerce sites

From August 2014 Google has been using encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. For now it’s relatively lightweight signal but it’s evident that Google will give priority ranking to the web stores using SSL. So, you would want to consider switching all together just now – before we have even had submitted the site to Google index. Details:

Example HTTPS implementation

How to cure that?

  1. Purchase SSL Certificate

Social media strategy


I recommend finding interesting bloggers /Social media personals in the markets that you target – they all have to LOVE eyeglasses – and create Curated beauty guides & tips of the day.

What you actually need is to follow and re-post Instagram feed of your inspiration and supply them with witty comments and life saving tips. The whole thing is going to work if:

  1. Social media personas – the inspiration personas – are interesting, fashionable and wear glasses

  2. The curator – the mind behind the photos – is witty and follows the fashion as well.

Blogging strategy

  1. Buyer’s guides

  2. ‘How to’ articles

  3. ‘What’s hot’ alerts / Stylist picks

  4. Celebrity picks

  5. Social media insights guides / articles

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