In a few days time The Profit will feature the business Montiel Activewear and it might make for an interesting pre-show website SEO review.
As I started to write the review I knew nothing about Montiel Activewear or if Marcus Lemonis made a business deal with them.
If I had to guess I’d say Marcus hasn’t made a business deal with Montiel. Check the Montiel website from a year ago using the WayBack Machine https://web.archive.org/web/20170603211453/https://montiel.com/, the home page hasn’t changed much. Also the “Our Story” information (see below) hasn’t changed and it’s generic blurb, this suggests it’s not been taken in a different direction by Marcus with a better back story to sell the fashion line to large buyers.
Montiel Activewear Review
Montiel Activewear blurb from their Our Story page…
Montiel is designed and made in sunny Los Angeles. We’ve spent years sourcing the best local manufacturing partners, and work intimately with them to ensure you get the best product possible. This hands-on approach ensures the integrity of our product and operations.
We don’t want to sell the most activewear. We want to sell the best activewear. This commitment to excellence is evident in the size of our collection. Making the best takes a lot of time and effort; selecting the best fabric, designing the best cut and delivering it at the best price. We think it’s worth the time.
Montiel SEO Review
Let’s see if there’s anything to learn from reviewing the Montiel Activewear website from an SEO perspective.
The business is in the fashion industry which means the website must be visually appealing. Many websites which require a visually stunning home page go the route of an image slider (bunch of images which change/scroll automatically): sliders are usually jQuery powered which is image and resource heavy, this makes a site run slower and this costs potential sales!
You can see from the Montiel domains Lighthouse audit below it’s not particularly fast at over 10 seconds to load the homepage. Although 10 seconds is slow (we want it below 5 seconds), it is by no means extremely slow, many important websites take over 10 seconds to load because web designers in general do not design for speed!
Montiel does need speed improvements.
The big concern about the home page loading slowly (10 seconds) is there’s not much on the home page. We have the image slider with 10 images and a handful of links to other parts of the site, there’s no reason for it to take 10 seconds. The slow loading is probably due to the resources required (jQuery etc…) to power the images slider and the size of the images.
The images are BIG, 2,000px by 1,333px wide and over 200KB each.
I’m a SEO consultant, web developer and work on a Desktop PC with a monitor screen resolution of 1920px by 1080px so I can see all aspects of design etc…, only 8% of users have a screen resolution of this size, most users (POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS) have much smaller screen sizes with 360px by 640px covering close to 25% of users.
Screen sizes are tending to get smaller due to mobile and tablet devices and they aren’t always connecting via a super fast mobile network. Currently (June 2018 stats) less than 25% of users are on a device with a screen width wider than 800px, most are on smaller mobile devices.
Without looking at Montiel Activewear’s user stats I’d estimate those images could be reduced in width to 1400px wide (or less) without changing anything for the vast majority of customers. That will make the size of the images significantly smaller: requires less bandwidth.
Personally I’d not use image sliders, it’s a flashy feature with very little functionality. A single image can be as stunning visually without the massive hit to performance.
Look through those 10 slider images, why would a user wait for them to scroll and click them?
For starters they ALL go to the same webpage and they tell the potential customer NOTHING about the business or products (it’s flashy branding). I’d bet good money their stats show barely any clicks go through the 10 image links: users don’t like image sliders, website owners like image sliders.
Quick SEO Tip
One quick way to see how much ‘crap’ a webpage loads in resource terms is to save the page to a PC. This is really easy in Firefox, go to “File” > “Save Page As” (or shortcut: “CTRL S”) and Save the webpage. In Chrome “CTRL S” also Saves a webpage.
This puts many (not all) of loaded resources into a directory on your PC and you can quickly see how big the files are without having to use any fancy SEO or developer tools.
You can see in the combined screenshot below on the SEO Gold home page resources (just over 300KB) and the Montiel home page resources (over 3,000KB) side by side. Note: I manually downloaded the 10 slider images from the Montiel site so more files where shown.
The 10 slider images are ~2.1MBs, to put this into perspective the SEO Gold home page includes 13 images and totals 215KB when all are loaded. The 10 Montiel images are 10x larger than the 13 SEO Gold images!
To download the entire Montiel home page which doesn’t do much uses over 5MBs of bandwidth: that’s why it’s taking 10 seconds to load! Consider the difference on a mobile device on a slow network waiting for 5,000KBs of data to download just to view the Montiel home page vs 300KB for the SEO Gold home page (takes under 2 seconds).
Slow Loading Online Shop
The Montiel home page loading in 10 seconds is bad (it’s slow), but take a look at the online Montiel shop, the Montiel Bra section for example took almost 30 seconds to load when tested with Lighthouse!!!
The bra section of the Montiel shop lists 64 products which appear to all load at the same time: no lazy loading of images which means all the images try to download at the same time! That’s 128 images totaling almost 7,000KB of bandwidth (just for the images) every time a customer accesses that page!!!
The total bra page including all the huge js files (same ones loaded on the Montiel home page) brings the total to around 10,000KB (10MBs) of bandwith to download ONE webpage!!!
What percentage of women on a smartphone are willing to wait 30 seconds for a shop page of bras to load? They still have to choose a specific bra(s) and go through the ordering system.
Montiel Teardrop Bra SEO Example
Also checked an individual product page (one of the Montiel bras, the Teardrop Bra) and it took just over 20 seconds to load.
Interestingly when I downloaded the bra product page to a PC there were 7MBs of files including 41 image files: this is a poorly thought out website design from a performance perspective. The basic SEO (which I haven’t even covered due to the speed issues) are totally messed up as well, for example just look at the Montiel Teardrop Bra title tag, it’s not unique, it’s just the brand name (Montiel).
The title tag for that bra product page should be something like
Montiel Teardrop Bra – Montiel Activewear
or even better
Teardrop Bra by Montiel Activewear
I like the latter because it means we don’t use the brand name twice in the title tag.
I’m afraid the Montiel site from an SEO perspective is a mess. There’s a lot of other SEO issues, but I’m not getting paid to write this Montiel review.