In case you’ve been living under a rock lately, Google (in the person of Matt Cutts) has discussed the issue of paid links a lot recently. In fact, the search giant has begun asking webmasters to send in “spam reports” pointing out paid or possibly paid links and claims that all purchased or sold links should be tagged as such for search bots to clearly see. Now I’m all for full disclosure to alert readers to any possible conflicts of interests in paid posts such as this one, but I for one, won’t be doing Google’s work for them. I won’t be applying the nofollow tag to any sponsored links and as far as I’m concerned, Cutts and his mindless hoard of finks can kiss my grits. Until Google starts paying me more to tag links than I make selling them, the brown nosing Cuttlets will have plenty of fodder for their reports offered up in appeasement of the all mighty G.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, lets turn our attention to Wallhogs.com. In terms of usability and design, the site does quite well. The colors are bright, the layout provides a lot of information without looking cluttered, and visitors are greeted with an attractive picture of the product. However, once you begin browsing individual items (such as my personal favorite), the navigation is a bit lacking. I would have expected breadcrumb navigation or at the very least a button to return to your search results.
In terms of SEO, Wallhogs.com has a few of the basics covered, however they could certainly benefit from an extended SEO campaign. The page titles contain the company name and category names, but they aren’t targeting other related phrases. As a result, the site ranks well for its own name, but is nowhere to be found in other relevant searches. If Wallhogs were my client, I’d suggest targeting dozens of less competitive phrases such as “baseball wall decorations” or “dorm room decorations” with their categories and terms like “wall art” or “posters” for the site overall.Ranking for the name of your company is fine, however Wallhogs is severely limiting their search traffic by not optimizing for more broad industry terms. With a fairly unique product like this, you’re going to need to attract new customers that don’t necessarily know your product even exists yet. An aircraft Wallhog would be the perfect decoration for a young airplane enthusiast’s room, but mom is more likely to search for something along the lines of “airplane poster” rather than something Wallhog specific.
Once the target terms were determined, using mod_rewrite to create search engine friendly URLs would be another simple, yet highly effective tactic I’d suggest. Not only does it make the site more attractive to search engines, but it would also improve the look of the site and could come in handy if the company were to start a pay-per-click campaign in the future.
According to Yahoo, Wallhogs.com has over 2100 external inbound links. The problem, at least in terms of SEO, is that most of those links are likely using anchor text of Wallhogs or Wallhogs.com. If the company wants to rank for some of the industry wide terms I mentioned above, they’ll need to acquire links with better anchor text. Of course everyone has different methods of acquiring links but I’d suggest a combination of a few things. Here are just a few quick ideas:
- First and foremost, I’d move the company blog over to the main domain. The blog has 800+ links that should have been helping support the company’s main domain. There’s simply no good reason to blog on a separate domain.
- Order more SponsoredReviews like this one and mention the desired anchor text in the description.
- Offer to create custom Wallhogs for popular bloggers in exchange for a few links or a blog post.
- Hire an artist to create some remarkable scenes and promote them on sites like Digg and Reddit like this.
- For a slightly more guerrilla (and possibly illegal) tactic, create WallHogs of cracks and place them on a skywalk or on windshields in a busy parking lot. (Just don’t blame me if you get arrested).
Bottom Line: Wallhogs has a pretty stinkin cool product (more examples here), and a nice looking site. With a bit of SEO work and some creative marketing, they could be selling a lot more of those stinkin cool products.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, the following was a sponsored post in which I reviewed the website Wallhogs.com. If you’d like me to perform a review of your site, you can contact me through the SEO Refugee Blog SponsoredReviews listing.