SEO Copywriting Snapshot – Sylvan & Sons Genuine Dog Gear

As promised, here we go with our first SEO copywriting snapshot! This week we’re looking at Sylvan & Sons, a family-owned and operated business that has been making unique dog and cat collars, leashes, harnesses and collar bows for 20 years. Sylvan & Sons first popped online in 1999. Shortly after the launch of their Genuine Dog Gear product line, they launched a second website.

This week, we’re looking at Sylvan’s first site, so let’s get right to it :)

What they’re doing right…

They’ve created unique titles that are actually written for conversion! By stating that they have a huge variety and the products are affordable, these guys have actually included a benefit statement in their Title tag. Why am I so flabbergasted by that? Simply because catalog companies are often dealing with hundreds and hundreds of product pages and they generally use some kind of content management system. Dynamically generated titles typically are not sexy (with the exception of zappos!).

So why should they (and you) care? Because the title tag is your first opportunity for conversion! It’s what shows up on the SERP as the hyperlink; it’s what appears in the top of your browser (see image below); it’s what automatically gets plugged in as your Bookmark, but most of all … it’s what convinces the reader to click on your site rather than the other nine options on the page. So writing a Title for the engines is important — but writing it with the conversion in mind is just as important.

What they could improve…

Best practices suggest that the title tag should be in and around 60 characters including spaces so it doesn’t get chopped off in the SERP. If we take a look at the home page, the title is a tad long, weighing in at 92 characters.

What they could do is trim down keyphrases and the benefit statement so it’s shorter.

What they’re doing right …

Are their duplicate content issues?

Ah yes, duplicate content — a common issue with catalogers. However, Sylvan & Sons has done an excellent job with their content! Most of the product copy I looked at throughout the pages appears to be unique.

What they could improve…

C’mon now, I can’t let them off the hook that easily — I found some duplicate content ;-)
Sure, it’s the same product, just different colors. But the fact of the matter is that these are two separate pages with separate URLs. Sylvan could simply rewrite one of the pages to be slightly different.

More SEO copywriting thoughts….

One of the other things we like to consider in the greater scope of SEO copywriting is whether or not there are new content opportunities to explore. In this case, two opportunities jumped out at me– a blog section (read more on blog benefits for catalogers) and customer reviews. If you have a pet or know someone who does (as we all do), you know what an important member of the family they are. And you also know how much we all love to share stories and talk about our pets.

So on a site like Sylvan & Sons, a blog section would engage the readers and keep them coming back on a regular basis. Customer reviews are also a great way for folks to share their own stories and tell others how much they love the products. It also gives new customers a more warm ‘n fuzzy feeling because they’re more likely to believe testimonials from actual consumers who have purchased what they’re interested in buying themselves.

So there we have our very first SEO copywriting snapshot! Next week we’re going to look at Toronto-based JivitaYoga.