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1 Hour SEO Audit Challenge: Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany 1 Hour SEO Audit Blue Fountain Media

SEO can be an extremely complicated undertaking for online businesses both big and small. There are relatively straightforward things like creating phenomenal content in order to grow links, but for businesses that already have that and are looking for new ways to take their website’s to the next level in order to attract tons of new sources of organic traffic, things can be a bit more complex. One of the best ways to understand what your business could be doing better when it comes to SEO is to take a look at other businesses and identify what they are doing well and what they can improve upon, and then applying the lessons you learn from that activity to your own business.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we wanted to make sure that this month’s 1 Hour SEO Audit did more than just show you what a business is doing right and what they’re doing wrong. So, in honor of the holiday, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the SEO presence of one of the most well respected companies in an industry that absolutely flourishes around this time of year – jewelry. Seeing as we’re based in New York, it seemed logical to take a look at a brand that is located only a few minutes away, and that has captured the hearts and minds of this city for generations - Tiffany & Co.

Just like we’ve done in all of the rest of our “1 Hour SEO Audit” investigations (which you can find here), we’ve based grades on the following criteria:

  • Content
  • Schema
  • Backlinks
  • Site Speed
  • Meta Tag Issues
  • Title Tag Issues

Just in case you’re not familiar with the brand (and you should familiarize yourself if you still need to get a last minute gift for a special someone), Tiffany & Co. has been one of the most well-known jewelers in the world over the last 175 years. They’ve gone from a New York City legend to jewelers of international renown.

Tools Used

In order to continue to keep this ongoing series consistent, I’ve used the same tools we’ve been using thus far in our 1 hour SEO Audit Challenges in order to give Tiffany & Co. as fair a grade as possible.

  • Ragepank
  • Screaming Frog
  • Majestic SEO
  • Mozbar
  • Open Site Explorer
  • Copyscape
  • Microsoft IIS
  • SEMRush

Content

Featuring great content on a website is one of the most important and best ways to engage in SEO that consistently performs. Content is a great way to offer users a superior user experience while simultaneously attracting relevant and authoritative natural inbound links. Featuring both of these factors on your website is a great way to build organic traffic while adhering to Google best practices so that you can be sure that your organic traffic growth will never be in jeopardy of suddenly disappearing.

Tiffany & Co. does a great job with their content – and they do it in a way that makes it very different from a lot of the other websites we’ve explored on this series. The first and most obvious thing that differentiates their content initiatives is that they’ve invested in building two fantastic apps, the “Tiffany & Co. Engagement Ring Finder”, and the “What Makes Love True App”. These are both fantastic additions to their onsite content and help to make sure that mobile users can interact with their brand whenever they like.

Tiffany-Content-Style
The website itself features a myriad of fantastic images that show their products in such a way that people definitely would be interested to find out how they can purchase them. This is particularly true in the “World of Tiffany” section that features some of the products in stylized settings in order to show how certain pieces can add to a theme or setting. Tiffany & Co. is also clearly aware of the fact that because their brand boasts such notoriety that much of the press is looking for information about their brand. As a result they have a press section that features more great images and news items that are in a press release format.

The only drawback is that there isn’t a section on their website that features blog content about their industry. However, given the fact they have so many other sections that feature content, it isn’t a massive lost opportunity.

Grade: A

Schema

A recurring theme that we’ve started to identify since we started this series is that a lot of different websites are extremely lacking when it comes to schema mark up. We’ve mentioned before that Google Authorship is no longer part of SERPs, and as a result it is important for businesses to make sure that they have as many visual assets in their listings as possible in order to increase click through rate to their website from the listings they already have.

Tiffany-and-Co-SERP
Unfortunately, Tiffany & Co. is not an exception to this pattern. We weren’t able to find much schema on their website, and while they do have Yelp reviews, location information and general information for their branded search in the SERP, the lack of jewelry related mark-up on their site to include things like ratings, price, and image mark-up is surprising and should be added.

Grade: N/A

Backlinks

One of the most important parts of a website’s SEO is its backlink profile. The ideal profile should appear natural and feature both followed and nofollow links that come from many different sources. Ideally, each link should come from a domain that features a high domain authority and is relevant to the website in question. Furthermore, a variety of different anchor texts, some of which feature targeted keywords should be present in order to help make sure that inbound links are boosting a website’s keyword rankings.

Tiffany-Backlinks-Authority
Tiffany’s has a very strong backlink profile. With a domain authority of 83, and established links from 9,788 root domains, they are getting a wide variety of different links from many different sources and have firmly established themselves as an authority in their space online.

tiffany-Anchor-text
Tiffany also has a good variety of anchor text that ranges from branded keywords and phrases to specific products. Just looking through the keywords it is easy to see that most of their links are built naturally.

Grade: A-

Site Speed

While historically page speed only played a role in SEO ranks when it was unbelievably slow, it is increasingly becoming a factor as more and more users access the internet on mobile devices. As such, it is important that any online business take the time to optimize their website speed as best they can in order to get the most SEO value possible from their website.

Tiffany-Pagespeed-Overview-Blue-Fountain-Media
Valentine’s Day is a holiday of love and jewelry, so it pains me to have to point out that Tiffany fails when it comes to website speed right on the cusp of what I can only imagine is a pretty important buying season for them. According to GTmetrix, the average page load time on Tiffany’s website is a lengthy 5.12 seconds and is exacerbated by a lack of minimized redirects, browser caching, little minified JavaScript, and almost no deferred parsing of JavaScript.

Tiffany-Speed-Factors-BFM
Redirects seem to be what is hurting Tiffany’s website the most when it comes to speed – and while it is worth mentioning that they are doing a pretty good job canonicalizing noindexed pages to indexed ones, they need to take a harder look at the redirects they still have in place and see where they can cut that down further.

Page-Load-Times-BFM
Perhaps what is most troubling about this data is that the jump in page load time they’re experiencing has occurred only over the last month or so – meaning that something they’ve put in place recently is probably causing this jump. Hopefully the error is noticed and addressed.

Grade: F

Meta Tag Issues

Optimizing meta titles and descriptions is an important step that every business needs to take on their website to make sure that search engines and users can understand what a page is about and set expectations for them about what they are going to find on a page. In particular, you want to make sure that any keywords you’re targeting are included in the meta description and that it is an appropriate length as search engines will bold searched keywords in the description to make users aware that the page itself includes references to what they’ve search for.

Tiffany-Meta-Description-BFM
Tiffany’s falls a bit short when it comes to meta descriptions – with 88.5% of their pages missing them altogether. This is a big loss for Tiffany’s – particularly when it comes to individual product pages that could do better as standalone landing pages for the specific product that is featured. Interestingly, the rest of pages that do have a meta description almost entirely feature the same one: “Tiffany & Co. has been the world’s premier jeweler and America’s house of design since 1837. Shop creations of timeless beauty and superlative craftsmanship that will be treasured always.” To make matters even worse, the meta description that these pages feature is over the 156 character limit (as defined by ScreamingFrog, some websites like Moz set the limit at 160), which means that not only are they duplicative, they aren’t optimized for search engines either.

Grade: F

Title Tag Issues

While there have been a lot of changes to best practices in SEO over the last few years, a page’s title tag continues to be one of the most important factors for good SEO. Having a title tag that is optimized for an appropriate keyword can be the difference between getting very little traffic and getting tons of qualified, converting traffic to a website.

Tiffany-Page-Titles-BFM
Tiffany’s has some of the most impressive title tag management we’ve seen on this series so far when it comes to making sure that title tags are on every page. Out of their entire website, only 1 page is missing a title tag. That being said, they fall short when it comes to title tag length and duplicate title tags. Of the tags we looked at, 34.03% of them were duplicates, and almost 368 of them were over the absolute maximum recommended title tag length of 65 characters (55-60 is more universally recommended). So while Tiffany’s has done a good job making sure every page has a title tag, they need to do more to optimize their tags to be more unique and within character limits.

Grade: B

General Suggestions

By and large, Tiffany & Co. has a very solid platform from which their organic traffic and overall SEO efforts can grow. That being said, there is definitely some room for them to improve.

The most notable, much like the other brands we've looked at thus far, is in schema. Taking the time to make sure that they have appropriate mark up will definitely help them to attract more visitors to their website and, in turn, help them sell more jewelry. The other place where improvement is necessary is page speed. It's great that they have two apps that can cover a lot of their mobile needs, but having such a slow page speed is particularly annoying for their mobile users, and seeing as their mobile website is most likely where the bulk of their sales are coming from, they really should take the time to address some of the speed issues they're currently dealing with.

Overall though, Tiffany's is doing a good job online at maintaining a strong brand that should keep the sales flowing during the Valentine's Day season.

Overall Grade: B+

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Comments on this post

  1. Nice article Austin! I am just interested in something, given that you work with companies. Are meta descriptions still a big issue for businesses today?

  2. Austin Paley said:

    Hey Matt,

    They absolutely are a big issue. Most businesses have not taken the time to properly optimize them, and while doing so may not directly lead to increased SEO rankings, it can help tell users that the content is useful – increasing click through rate, and by extension, SEO ranking. While Google will obviously auto-populate meta descriptions with text, it is worth taking the time to audit for any business to see if improvements are possible.

    Regards,

    Austin

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