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Halloween is coming soon. It’s time for crazy parties and lots of candy. And it’s an opportunity for costume retailers to make a lot of money.

Let’s take a look at websites that are missing this opportunity.

I believe search term “costume(s)” is the most popular among other Halloween related searches. Google Trends shows decent season spikes in search volume around Halloween. That is why I decided take a look at “costumes.com” to see who owns this juicy name and how this domain name is being used. Or rather, “how this domain name is being wasted”.

Domain costumes.com

Despite its incredibly valuable domain name, costumes.com doesn’t have its own website. Right away that’s a missed opportunity to build a website under this domain and get a strong advantage over competitors. Instead, costumes.com is redirected to www.rubies.com. I don’t think it’s a good use of valuable domain name.
In addition, it’s not a nice SEO friendly 301 redirect, but rather an ugly unfollowable JavaScript redirect. Redirecting a valuable domain to a less valuable one is not ideal, but if you’re going to do so at least use a permanent (type 301) redirect instead of JavaScript!

Flash Animation

Flash provides some design advantages, but it’s not search engine friendly. The search engines have problems spidering and indexing fully flash websites and flash navigation.

Let’s take a look at the homepage. The entire page is built in Flash. There is no text content. There is nothing to index. Here is the text-only cached version of this page:
http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:http://www.rubies.com/&hl=en&strip=1

As you can see, the only text content is the copyright data!

Title Tags

Title tags are key to communicating your content (and relevance) to search engines, making them crucial to search engine optimization.

Rubies.com has the same title tag “Welcome to Rubie’s” on every page. Every single one. Such a valuable and easy thing to do, such an opportunity, and all they use it for is a welcome message.

Website Navigation

Rubie’s navigation menu is Flash based. As I noted earlier, search engines have problems following links in Flash and thus have trouble discovering the site’s internal pages. In addition to that, there is no HTML or XML sitemap to help the search engines spider and index the website.

The website’s menu navigation should be easy spiderable and accessible. That is why a HTML/CSS menu is the best choice. Keywords in internal links could help, too.

Text Content

The entire website has virtually no text content, short product descriptions such as “Plush material” and “Jumpsuit with shoe covers” aside (these do not make a big difference). The homepage (the most important page of the website) has no text at all. This website is desperately in need of text content.

Alt Tags

As we mentioned above the website has problems with title tags and text content. There is another on-page SEO factor that should be improved – alternative image tags. None of their images have descriptions in their alt tags. It is a missed opportunity to rank in Image Search. All images should be updated to include targeted keywords in their alt tag descriptions.

 

Rubie’s Costume Co is the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of Halloween and Carnival products. I totally understand that website www.rubies.com is not e-commerce retailer. But there is an opportunity to rank well for costume related keywords to promote products and brand. As they’re not doing this they are missing a prime opportunity to promote themselves and their brand.

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