SEO Audit of the HOBBS London Fashion Ecommerce Store

It’s time to dive deep into another ecommerce site and find some golden SEO nuggets that could sky rocket their traffic!

This time it’s the HOBBS London fashion store, based in the UK, that gets roughly 212,000 visitors per month, however the majority of that is brand, and their monthly organic traffic from non-branded search is approximately 58,000 in the UK:

Hobbs non-branded organic traffic

Starting the Audit

I’ll start with a few of the classic checks from my SEO audit post (click here if you’ve not read it yet), which often identify several fundamental SEO issues that are fast to fix.

site:domain.com – some key red flags

After performing the search “site:hobbs.co.uk -site:www.hobbs.co.uk” without quotes, we can see sub domains indexed that aren’t from the main website.

From this, I can see a few indexed that probably shouldn’t be:

  • m.hobbs.co.uk – 79 pages indexed
  • reviews.hobbs.co.uk – 3 pages indexed
  • surveys.hobbs.co.uk – 1 page indexed

Google results for m. sub domain

The main one to check here is obviously the m. sub domain, as it has the most pages indexed.

If we check archive.org, we can see that this mobile sub domain was supposedly redirected to the main website back in January 2016, which means these pages should have already dropped out of the index.

Hobbs Mobile Sub domain archive redirect

Why are these pages still indexed?

It could be one of many reasons:

  1. An old sitemap in Google Search Console trying to index these urls.
  2. Incorrect redirects from m. to the main site.
  3. Internal links to m. pages from the main site causing confusion.

The redirects are implemented correctly with a 301, and without an in-depth analysis and access to Google Search Console it will be hard to tell about the others for now.

Product Internal Links Differ From Canonicals

The internal links to product pages in the site use the field “productID” in the url with an upper case. However all of the canonicals use “productid” with the lower case version.

url variation canonical hobbs

This should be changed so all internal links are using the canonical version.

Duplicate Product Urls Indexed with Referral Page Parameters

The site is using internal link parameters to track where clicks come from, in the form of  &refpage=maincategory/sub-category

An example url: https://www.hobbs.co.uk/product/display?productID=0119-4825-3786L00&productvarid=0119-4825-3786L00-AQUA-12&refpage=coats-jackets/green

However some of these product urls have been indexed, even with the canonical link pointing to the main version:

Multiple product urls indexed

Google should not be indexing multiple urls for the same page, as it could lead to quality issues related to Panda penalties.

This may be an issue related to the incorrect internal links used when compared to the product canonicals.

Top Level Pages Missing Canonical Links

Hobbs are using a different layout for a lot of their top level category pages, targeting some important keywords. However they are all missing canonical link elements!

They are also missing these from their informational pages.

A few examples:

  • https://www.hobbs.co.uk/clothing-shop
  • https://www.hobbs.co.uk/stores

The master url of all pages should have a self referencing canonical link, and so these should be added to their page templates.

Broken inbound links to 404 Pages

Ahrefs Broken Links Hobbs

It’s important that inbound links going to the site should point to an active page. If the page no longer exists, these must be 301 redirected to maintain the power of those inbound links.

In ahrefs we can see over 4,000 backlinks going to 404 pages, which represents a good amount of links that they can reclaim, and could make an impact on their rankings.

Is there more? Probably

That’s the end of this mini-audit, but I’m sure there’s plenty of other issues I could find.

These audits are a little showcase to show you how to find SEO problems on a website.

They are also an example of how I can help you with your website.

If you need help with your SEO, then you can learn more about my services here.

Matt Jackson

Digital marketer, specialising in e-commerce SEO, including audits and strategy. Director of JP Digital Enterprises.

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