Websites should no longer be designed to only appease your own personal likes and style. Large interactive websites should instead be designed with "human computer interaction" in mind.
You need to make sure the website design and layout is innately easy to understand with a high degree of friendliness. This type of design takes longer to implement, and requires the talents of website designers who have experience analyzing how and why visitors click on things.
This entire design method and the philosophy of worrying about how jewelry website visitors click is known as "Usability."
Even the more experienced usability expert could not design a perfectly accurate website for you on their first try. Every customer group, from every area of the United States or other parts of the world will respond differently... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
The initials U R L stand for Universal Resource Locator. This is the shortest, fastest way to refer to the website address you see in your web browser's address bar.
The URL could be a basic domain name like http://www.tacori.com, or it can be longer including file names like http://www.tacori.com/rings/bridal.html
Notice that I said "http://" as part of the URL. Officially a URL is not accurately stated unless you include the http:// part of the web address. Without the http:// you would just be stating a domain name and not a "URL."
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Like Search Engine Marketing, the phrase "Social Media" is an all inclusive term referring to any membership website. A membership website is one that gives you the ability to join, create a profile, and directly interact with other website members and friends of yours.
Generic examples of Social Media websites are Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Classmates, StumbleUpon and YouTube. There are thousands of others.
Some jewelry specific Social Media websites include Polygon and Instore Magazine.
I urge you to get involved with at least one social media website. You should start with the same one most of your customers are using. You should eventually join another after you have learned some online marketing skills specific to social media.
A "sitemap" is a great way to show your visitors every important page on your website. It's simply a well organized list of all the pages on your website, in other words, just a list of links.
Visitors might get confused and lost when you finally grow to a very large website. Lost savvy internet users will scroll to the bottom of your website and look for the "sitemap" link to help them out. Sometimes we all need a map to figure out where we're going.
Many people are using their cell phones to view web pages. Actually in late 2009 it was estimated 20,000,000 iPhones and 30,000,000 Blackberry phones had been sold. It can be difficult to navigate a website using a cell phone, especially if the website has a lot of photos or logos on it. Many cell phone users delight to find a sitemap page on a difficult to naviga... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
As an entrepreneur I expect you monitor all your advertising expenses. It is important to know how much profit is realized as a result of your advertising spending. This profit is your Return on Investment, or ROI.
I have heard many advertising companies claim that you need to continually flood your message out to the population. This is an especially common claim from magazines, newspapers, radio stations and TV stations. Of course a continual flood of your message translates into a deluge of spent money.
I've heard several advertising agencies state that a 2% response for direct mailings is a great return.
Lucky for you that you are now embarking into the era of new media advertising, where the cost of advertising is much lower and the ROI is much greater.
Positioning and visibility is very important for successful advertising. Within search engines we refer to visibility as "ranking." The higher your website is positioned on a search engine results page, the higher the "rank" or "ranking."
Google and Yahoo have secret methods of determining the best ranking for your website. They keep their methods a secret so no one can abuse the system. Every search engine optimization professional and SEO service company, including ours, is making their best guesses for how to increase website ranking.
The search engine results pages show 10 web page results at a time. Terminology is a little flexible when referring to ranking results. For example, a web pag... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
Payment Card Industry (PCI for short) Compliance standards were enacted in June 2003 by the major credit card companies to minimize identity theft.
The standard says that you as a merchant need to protect all personal information and ensure security when transactions are processed using a payment card. Your financial institution will impose a non-compliance fee if you don't submit them the required proof of compliance.
If your jewelry website accepts credit cards you must maintain proof of compliance. PCI Compliance is in your own best interest because non compliant websites are susceptible to hacking. You will be fined and loose the ability to process credit cards if someone's identity is stolen as a result of your website being hacked.
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PageRank, abbreviated PR, is a trademark of Google's and is irrelevant to all other search engines. PageRank is one of Google's many methods of indicating the popularity of a website as a number ranging from 0 (least popular) to 10 (most popular).
Previously I explained that links from Authority websites are more valuable than links from small websites. PageRank is a numerical representation of how valuable all those other backlinks are to your site.
PageRank, Authority websites and Link Popularity are all related. The larger your website becomes the more of a chance it will become an Authority. As it gains Authority status more and more people will link to it, thus providing votes for your website.
Each link, or vote, will help to increase your PageRank.
Most of the things we teach you deal with the correct ways to design, program and write copy for your website. We want you to learn the correct way so your website will appear in search engines when someone searches for your product or service.
Even though your education is just beginning, you probably already know what an "organic listing" is. Except that no one pointed to it and told you the name.
Think of the layout Google and Yahoo! show when you search for something. Typically you see ads at the top, you see ads on the right side, and on the left is a list of web pages that match your requested search.
The "organic listings" are all the websites on the left side. These unpaid listings appear because the search engines have calculated them to be the best match for the keyword phrase that was searched.
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At the beginning of this Lesson I talked about Analytics and how you need to learn to read the reports from your website. I described how every visitor to your website leaves footprints of their actions. Those footprints are saved as plane text in what we call a "Log File" on your website. It's usually saved in a "logs" directory.
Ask your website hosting company for help finding your log file and reading the statistics generated every day from that file.
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Remember what was said earlier, Content is King. The larger and more interesting your jewelry website is the better results you will have from search engines. But how exactly does that happen?
The natural method to develop better results over time is random unsolicited linking from other websites to yours. If that sounds confusing, just keep reading because I'm going to explain it right now.
Remember before when I mentioned Reciprocal Linking? You ask someone to put a link on their website in exchange for a link on yours. But an unsolicited link is much more valuable... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
Black Hat alert! Keyword stuffing is a technique whereby you write content for your website that is overly contrived with an unnatural repetition of the same words.
The hope is that by having the same word repeated many times Google will think you are an authority on that keyword. But that's wrong.
Actually Google prefers to find content that is written naturally by humans, with the intent that it will be read by humans. Overly contrived pages are difficult to read. Google's built in grammar checker will detect and flag your page as keyword stuffed.
Although I've never heard of someone getting banned from search engines for keyword stuffing, the practice is automatically detectable by search engines and... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
Think about this for a moment, when you go to Google.com you type in words into the search field, and then you click the Error: the 'SEARCH' context requires that you specify a db or a table
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Set up a mobile website easily with CityQRCode.com. Get your own multi page mobile website with 6 different easy to understand and use QR Codes with forehead slapping ROI tracking. Your signup, the mobile website and 1st QR code are free.
The World Wide Web is called a "web" because of how one site is able to connect to another site through "hyperlinks" that create a spider web of information. There's a small amount of HTML programming involved with creating a hyperlink.
These hyperlinks, or "links" for short, are nothing more than a few words that, when clicked, will make your web browser jump to ... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
I'm going to start off by simply saying that most people do not understand what hosting is and I hope my explanation here will help you if you are one of those who struggle with understanding this. I'm going to explain hosting using an analogy.
Imagine that you just purchased all new furniture for your apartment. The furniture is delivered, the old furniture is hauled away and you are sitting on your sofa watching a movie on your brand new big screen HD TV. You paid a lot of money for your new furniture, but you only paid for it once. It makes you happy because it looks great, for now.
However, on the first of next month you have to pay rent to your landlord. You have to pay rent every month without fail otherwise you and your brand new furniture will be evicted.
Just link in a newspaper, the heading of each individual web page should be the largest and most prominent words on the page. Just like in a newspaper, the headline should sit near the top of the page, right above the main content. And finally, just like in a newspaper a website heading is measured in different sizes from "Header 1" through "Header 6."
A "Header 1" is referred to as <h1> and a "Header 6" is referred to as <h6>. The h1 is physically the largest header font size and h6 is the smallest. Naturally there are different steps of sizes in between with h2's, h3's, h4's and h5's.
Every page of your website should include a Header 1. The search engines will look for words designated as Header 1. Using the <h1> setting will improve your visibility in search engines.
This is an acronym for HyperText Markup Language. HTML is a simple programming language used to display information in a web browser. Without HTML you could not view a web page.
It is a simple language to learn. Although there are several hundred commands, the typical website owner only needs to learn a few dozen to manage their website.
The content management system you are using should handle most, if not all of your individual programming needs. But you will need to add a few basic HTML commands if you really want to spice up the usability and friendliness of your website.
Again, it's not difficult to learn a handful of HTML commands. Every person I've trained has felt a sense of accomplishment as they learn to use HTML codes.
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Anyone trying to harm your website or attempting to break into your website is called a "hacker." The process of trying to break into your website is called "hacking." Occasionally you will hear some people use the word "cracker" instead of "hacker," because it means the same thing.
Hacking attempts on a website come in many forms. A bot could attempt to attack your website several hundred times a minute. A virus could attack your website relentlessly. A malicious program could transmit thousands of bits of data without stopping in hopes to overload the website... new hacking techniques are dreampt up every day.
Believe it or not, most of the hackers come from China. A review of any analytics report will clearly show that the majority of traffic is coming from China. There's no easy way to prevent them, and the best ... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
Some web pages give you the ability to type in your name, email and a question. Other web pages are designed for you to type in your credit card information to make a purchase.
Any page that gives you the ability to type is called a "form." The most common form is on a Contact Us page. You don't want to post your email address directly on a website because an email bot will find it and send you spam email.
Instead we put a simple form on the Contact Us page. Typically the form requests the visitor's name, email address, phone number and some way to ask a question. When the person clicks the [Submit] button the information is gathered and emailed to you.
Other types of forms you may find include Email Signup Form, Opt-In Form and a Discount Certificate Request Form.
There are several different types of web browsers. If you use Microsoft Windows you will no doubt be familiar with Internet Explorer, or IE, web browser. This is built in to Windows. If you use a Mac you will be familiar with the Safari web browser.
Instead of using those default web browsers I urge you to go to www.firefox.com and download the Mozilla Firefox web browser and learn to us it.
Firefox is a customizable web browser with thousands of little extra add-on features that can be installed if you find them useful. There are dozens of really great add-ons specific to search engine optimization.
Please go install Firefox on your computer now. Look for the green "Download Now - Free" button on www.firefox.com. A lot of our training will reference Fir... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
Not all search engines have bots crawling the web for the latest content. Some of them are actually set up by humans who review every website submitted. A real person decides if the website should be included, and if so they write a 25 word summary and place it in the appropriate category of their "Directory."
Users are then able to search the directory using word phrases, but also you can select categories and sub categories until you find what you are looking for. In other words, you can look through a directory just like you would look through your local yellow pages phone book, if you still have one that hasn't been immediately recycled.
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Earlier I mentioned the term "bot" and how it refers to the Google Spider that reads websites. This Google Spider has the official name of "googlebot" which you will frequently see in your analytics reports.
Many newbies to the internet get confused between the words "Spider" and "Crawl" and "Indexing" because they all relate to a similar action. But there are subtle differences that will help your completely understand the SEO process.
First, as you know there is a Google program, referred to as a "Spider," or "googlebot." This is the software used to make a copy of your website.
Second, the process of making a copy of your website is called "crawling." You may also hear the term "spidering" but in 2009 Google made a shift in several of its helpful tools and replaced the words "spider" and "spidering" wit... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
How many visitors to your website become customers? If you have 54 visitors to your website every day, how many of them will become customers?
Before we can answer that question we must first figure out for ourselves what someone has to do before we consider them a customer. When it comes to websites and visitors, what might surprise you is that they don't have to spend money to "convert" from a simple random visitor into a "customer."
Your website can do many things for you. The common thing you might think it does is sell, but as a brick and mortar jewelry store your website won't even do that. Pure statistics show us that less than 1% of all jewelry websites that try to sell online succeed.
Instead, you should focus on creating some kind of alternative customer interaction.
You are not a web programmer. You are a jewelry business owner. It should not be your job to program your website, nor should you try to learn to program your website. You should concentrate on what you do best and let the actual website programming be done by a professional.
On the other hand, website programming is totally different than managing your online product catalog, or adding content and articles to your site.
You should never set up a website without the ability to easily change the information in it. I'm not saying you need to learn how to program; I'm saying you need to learn how to change your words, photos and products.
In order to make changes you need a "Content Management System" that can be accessed through a web browser. The content management system, or CMS for short, gives you easy e... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
Everything worth reading on your website is what we call "content." What would be left on your web page if you strip away all the graphics, the navigations, buttons and logos? Hopefully you will have at least 250 words of good, easy to read information. This is your content.
Every page of your website should be filled with quality content, something that your visitors will find worth reading. We also refer to this as "copy content." Every page of your website should be written with Excitement! Your potential customers need to be excited about doing business with you, and your copy needs to impart the needed Excitement! Usually the best person to write about the jewelry store is the person with the most passion about it… the owner.
Don't think you can write? Then get yourself a digital voice recorder and record your... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
This vocabulary term refers back to blogging. Every time you post a new article in your blog, someone is able to comment on it. In fact you should invite the comments. The more people comment, the more active your blog will be because comments show new readers that your blog is actually worth reading.
However, there's a drawback to blog comments, and they are know as "comment spam." This is when a bot (there's that nasty bot again) or some person finds your blog and posts a useless comment unrelated to your article.
Let's say you just posted an article about the latest Tacori designs. "Comment spam" would be someone who then inserts a comment saying "That's a great article, I sell Tacori r... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
I'm mentioning this here because you might hear the term from other people. You have to be savvier than most people to pull this off.
Cloaking is a way to make someone see a version of your website while at the same time forcing another person to view something completely different. Usually this is done by some Black Hat experts to hide a real website from Google while letting everyone else see the true content.
That sounds a little obscure so let's see some examples. Let's say you wanted to hide your website from the other jewelry store in your zip code. You could use some internet investigative methods to discover the settings for their store's internet connection, and then redirect them to a totally different website.
You might be tempted to use this Cloaking technique on your competition if they are al... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
Although pronounced as the word Captcha, this is actually a contrived acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. The term was first conceived by 4 professors at Carnegie Mellon University in 2000 as a way to combat "bots" that were attacking website forms.
Common place attacks on every website include a "bot" filling out your Contact Us form and sending you pornographic information, or trying to sell you Viagra, or just random garbage characters. Whenever you get random garbage through your contact form it's usually because the bot was attempting to do something bad to your website.
The only way to fight attacks from a bot is to make the user prove they are human using a CAPTCHA technique. Typically the CAPTCHA presents itself as a cluster of characters, numbers or words t... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
This is a navigation technique provided by some websites. Just like a bread crumb trail in a fairy tail, the bread crumbs on a website will show you the names of the different navigations links you clicked on to get to the page you are viewing.
This refers to the percentage of people who leave your website immediately after landing on the first page.
Search engines are used by people looking for find an answer. It doesn't matter what the question is, they just need an answer. Will your website answer their question? If not the user will click the Back Button in the browser and select the next potential answer.
Bounce Rate is the measure of how many times your website didn't answer someone's question and they left.
... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
This term is short for Robot. It refers to a software program that is designed to read web pages without a human controlling it. Every search engine company has a software program to read and save web pages. These search engine "bots" are usually called spiders and it's their job to find all the pages on your website.
There are other types of bots too. In my experience none of them are good. Unless you're a search engine performing a service, there is no other reason to use a bot program other than information theft. There are "email bots" which will read website looking for email addresses. There are "virus bots" that will scan the internet looking for websites to deface. There are "screen scraping bots" that will copy all your information and republish it on their own website.
I previously mentioned Google AdSense and how you could make money if you were a writing publishing your stuff online. What I didn't say before is that the process of writing and publishing online is called "Blogging."
The word "blog" is a portmanteau of the words "web" and "log." In 1997 the process of writing and publishing online was considered a weblog, but then in 1999 it was shortened to just "blog."
Someone who writes and publishes online is called a "Blogger." Every blogger of course needs their own "Blog." Each time you publish into your blog it is referred to as an entry... as in a journal entry.
One of the original blogging website is called LiveJournal. They created their name and their system for people who keep daily journals and want to publish them online.
A few unscrupulous people have figured out how to make their website appear in search engines very quickly using tricks to fool the search engines. Stay away from any method used to trick a search engine into believing you have good SEO. We won't usually teach these bad methods, and there are several. They all fall within the category known as "Black Hat" SEO. Everyone using a Black Hat technique will eventually get caught and their websites will be removed from search engines.
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Financial success comes when you achieve some renown in your area of expertise, and then figure out how to capitalize on it.
Your website will bring many customers and increased sales once it achieves expert or Authority status. So how do we do this? It's simple actually, just add 50 or more pages to your website relating to the topic you want to be an expert in.
Yep, 50 or more pages need to be added to your website.
Don't try to do this overnight, do it gradually over time, and when you reach 50 pages don't stop. Keep adding new pages to your website forever! Since you own a jewelry business it should be easy to find information to put on your website.
Here are some ideas for adding pages to your website: Your monthly newsletter Reviews of th... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
As people visit your website they leave behind a footprint. In fact they leave behind and entire trail of footprints. Every page they view, every link they click and every product they read about creates a footprint.
These footprints are saved in a file somewhere hidden on your website. But don't try to read the file, it would be impossible to comprehend because it's a bunch of numbers, codes and file names. This is perhaps the most valuable part of your website but in order to understand the value you need to process all that information through a program.
There are many programs that do this, and popular programs like Webalizer and AWStats are included with most websites. A really fantastic program is Google Analytics. There's a little work with setting up Google Analytics, so ask your website guy to do it for you.... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
If you have a brand new website and need customers overnight, then AdWords is your answer. You can also use AdWords to attract new customers and even test advertising ideas.
Google makes most of their money with AdWords, and if you are not careful you will be contributing a lot of your own money to their monthly profits.
At the time of this writing, the AdWords system is currently the best paid online advertising method. It's easy to create an account, create ads and pay them. The hope is that you will get lots of customers.
Here's how it works. The ads you create can be text ads, video ads, image ads, map ads and even tv ads.
You need to associate your ads with different words that you would like to target. Your ad will appear in front of someone when they type one of those words into a search ... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
First let me say that as a jewelry business owner this is probably not going to benefit you much. AaSense is how you could make some money online by allowing other people to advertise on your website.
Naturally you do not want to allow people to advertising on your jewelry store website. But you should use this if you are a writer who frequently publishes your stuff online on a different website.
You could sign up with Google AdSense and allow them to put ads throughout your published writings, and if you are lucky you can make some extra money every month. Many writers make a very good living with Google AdSense, but unless you are willing to quit your day job I say not to bother.
... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
Yep, there's another type of redirect other than the 301. This version is used to tell web browsers and search engines that we are temporarily telling people to visit another web page, or domain. BUT some time real soon this redirect will be removed.
In the 301 Redirect I gave examples of two stores merging, or alternative domain names, or legal reasons as to why you use that feature. Those were all permanent reasons to force someone to view a new website even thought they typed in something else.
Finding uses for the 302 Redirect is not so obvious. In fact, only very savvy website owners, and our students, will ever understand the true power of the 302.
Did you know that it's possible to force someone to view a different website than the one they typed into their browser? It would be great if someone could type in bluenile.com and have them redirect to your website. Imagine all the traffic you would get, and the money you would make that day. Of course if you are imagining this then you should also imagine what a prison cell feels like because that's where you would end up.
Stealing traffic from someone else's website is illegal. Hackers try to steal traffic all the time, and they use redirect technology to do it. However, that's not why I mention it here. I mention it so you can learn what it is, and how to use it for yourself.
As I said, you can use the 301 Redirect to force someone to view a different website, to say it differently, a different domain name than t... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
If you're saying "oh great, he's starting with the technical stuff," you'd be correct. Remember that the internet is nothing more than a bunch of computers that talk to each other. They talk in 1's and 0's and other strings of numbers and strange characters. As the internet has evolved many of us tech-heads have realized that you guys, the non-techies need to be shielded from this stuff.
You don't need to know what those crazy numbers are all about, you just need to know how to use it, have fun and more importantly make money with the technology. There will always be a tech savvy person around to help you, if you just ask.
However, there are still technical terms that need to punch through that shielding because there's no other way to explain them. The entire family of website codes is part of that technical ... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
In order to show up in search engines correctly you need to make sure you follow all the current guidelines for how to properly create a website.
We have a list of guidelines we publish for jewelry businesses, but more important than our own, Google also publishes a list of guidelines for the correct ways to create a website.
When you follow these guidelines, it is said that you are Search Engine Optimizing your website.
Here's how you would use it in a sentence: "I need to search engine optimize my website." "I need some SEO work done on my website." "My website is not optimized at all." "I have to hire a Genius SEO to optimize my website."
As you can see, the Search Engine Optimization term can be used as a noun, verb or even to refer to the person you hire to do... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
In our first lesson we talked about the search engines, how to use them, how the search results were laid out and introduced some terminology. In this lesson we will introduce most of the vocabulary you will encounter while working on your website. In my own continual education I find that the biggest hurdle for me is to simply learn the new vocabulary terms involved. Indeed, once I fully understand those new words I am able to consume the educational material faster.
As always with the Jeweler Website Advisory Group, this lesson will be presented using examples that directly related to you, the jewelry business owner. The common lexicon within your industry is infused into this training for your ease of understanding.
I'll present the vocabulary in alphabetical order, but I'd like to recap the terms you have alr... VIEW FULL ARTICLE
"...serious kudos to you. We love your straight talk, pertinent information and plain language. I don't know how many industries have something of jWAG's caliber available, but I learn from the emails every day. Really, really nice work, and very appreciated." -Cheryl Herrick, Global Pathways Jewelry