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Filter Articles By Topic: "Just Starting Out"

Friday, November 13, 2009

What are the most challenging aspects of putting a site together?

by Matthew A Perosi

The most challenging aspect of building a website for a jewelry store would be the design. I have seen many people waste their time trying to figure out the best design for their website. Months of wasted time. Technology and website usefulness changes with every season; yes every 3 months. If you start designing you website today with one concept in mind you will find yourself out of date if it takes more than 3 months to launch the site.

Don't get wrapped up in the design aspect. Ask your website designer to suggest pre-made templates that can we tweaked, or go online and search for "jewelry website templates" to find your own. Just pick one and move on. In 6 seasons you will need to change it anyway.

The second challenging aspect with creating a website is the technology you build your website with. Do not ...
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AT: 11/13/2009 08:25:32 AM   0 COMMENTS
Saturday, November 07, 2009

Things to think about before you set up a jewelry e-commerce website.

by Matthew A Perosi

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.
Here are several things to think about before you jump right in and decided to set up a jewelry store online.

When looking at different website platforms, you need to find out if you can import your inventory list. How difficult was it to type all your inventory into your point of sale software initially? Imagine having to retype it all again into your website.<...
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AT: 11/07/2009 08:39:39 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, November 13, 2009

Should you have one person do the site, or should you split the work up by areas of expertise?

by Matthew A Perosi

As with all areas of business, you should assign specific tasks to the people with the appropriate skill set. You should have a designer work on "designing" your website and a programmer to "program" your website. These are two different types of people. The creative designer thinks with one side of their brain and the logical programmer thinks with the scientific side of their brain. Please be skeptical of anyone who says they are both a designer and a programmer as it is extremely infrequent to meet someone who was born with the gift of a balanced creativeness and logical thinking.

On the other hand, someone can learn to be creative after years of experience, and someone can learn how to be a programmer after years of working hard. A programmer can learn to design, but it's akin to painting by numbers. A designer can l...
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AT: 11/13/2009 08:27:33 AM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 53 - White Hat

by Matthew A Perosi

Throughout this entire lesson I mentioned several times that there are methods that should be avoided. The entire industry calls these bad methods "Black Hat SEO."

Even though this is a long lesson on vocabulary, I gave examples of several good jewelry SEO ideas. All these good methods are referred to as "White Hat SEO."

As long as you stick to White Hat search engine optimization techniques you should be able to quickly elevate your website to higher and higher ranking. ...
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AT: 01/22/2010 03:27:24 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 52 - Web Page vs. Website vs. Domain Name

by Matthew A Perosi

For the absolute newcomer to the internet, the difference between a domain name, a web page and a website might not be clear, so let's explain it.

Your "Domain Name" is your chosen online name. The best option for your first domain name is something that includes your store name.

If your store name is "Nancy's Jewel Shop" then you should try to get the domain name
      nancysjewelshop.com
instead of
      nancysjewelrystore.com

Your domain name should be chosen to match exactly how your customers refer to you. If at all possible, stay away from strange permutations like the one just explained.

When you hire a web programmer or designer, they will create an entire website according to your request. The "Website" is everything you have online, includin...
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AT: 01/22/2010 03:25:53 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 51 - Usability

by Matthew A Perosi

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...
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AT: 01/22/2010 03:24:51 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 50 - URL

by Matthew A Perosi

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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AT: 01/22/2010 03:23:25 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 49 - SSL Certificate, Secure Socket Layer

by Matthew A Perosi

You will need an SSL Certificate if you want to sell jewelry directly from your website and accept credit cards for payment. Before I can explain what an SSL is, I need to explain a little about how the internet works.

When you visit a website, the words you see in your Firefox web browser (or IE or Safari if you haven't yet installed Firefox) are sent to your screen through the internet. You aren’t actually directly tethered to the web site, instead a copy of the page you requested is sent to your screen, and then the connection is turned off until you click something again.

Normally, anything sent to your computer is sent in what we call a "clear text" format. Any skilled VIEW FULL ARTICLE


AT: 01/22/2010 03:20:01 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 48 - Social Media

by Matthew A Perosi

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.

There are very specific methods you should use for a...
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AT: 01/22/2010 03:18:02 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 47 - Sitemap

by Matthew A Perosi

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...
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AT: 01/22/2010 03:16:07 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 46 - Search Engine Marketing, SEM

by Matthew A Perosi

This is the term we use when talking about all the efforts involved with optimization, pay per click, writing good page titles, writing good meta descriptions.

SEM also includes the process of getting information about you and your jewelry store published on other websites. As you publish more information about your jewelry store it will also show up in the search engines when someone looks for your name or store name.

More visibility, even if it only publicizes your store name, will ad credibility. You are probably wondering how this additional visibility creates credibility, so let me explain.

Once you start reviewing your website stats you will quickly discover that the most popular "keyword phrase<...
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AT: 01/22/2010 03:14:44 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 45 - Return on Investment, ROI

by Matthew A Perosi

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.

Once you learn the proper internet ma...
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AT: 01/22/2010 03:12:58 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 43 - PCI Compliance

by Matthew A Perosi

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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AT: 01/22/2010 03:09:48 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 39 - Meta Tags

by Matthew A Perosi

As I have been describing the Meta Descriptions, Meta Keywords and Meta Robots I referred to all of them as "tags."

The HTML language includes many variations of the "meta" code, each variant has a specific purpose. Some software companies will also come up with their one unique "meta tags" for your website. These unique tags may have a special software purpose, or they could be for tracking and analytics.

You will commonly hear people referring to their meta tags, for example, "You need to examine your meta tags to improve them." This example actually refers referring to your "meta description" tag.

If someone mentions "meta tags" and you don't know exactly which variation they are talking about, just stop and ask them. I can think of at least 15 different variations of meta tags.

Admittedly it...
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AT: 01/22/2010 03:03:50 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 38 - Meta Robots

by Matthew A Perosi

The "Meta Robots" tag is part of the HTML family of programming tags that help with your SEO efforts. Knowing how to program it and where it belongs inside each individual web page is not as important as knowing how it can be useful on every page.

IMPORTANT: Cancel your service and find something different if your CMS does not give you the ability to change your Meta Robots tag on every page of your website. Seriously. No Joke. No Control? CANCEL NOW!

The "Meta Robots" tag relates back to our previous discussion on Robots, or bots for short. When a search engine bot reads your website it will first look for directions for handling your website.

Using the Meta Robots tag you can instruct the search engine to crawl that page for later indexing; or you can tell it read the page and continue to the next...
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AT: 01/22/2010 03:01:52 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 37 - Meta Keywords

by Matthew A Perosi

The "Meta Keywords" is part of the HTML family of programming tags that many people believe help with your SEO efforts. It doesn't matter if you knowing how to program it or where it belongs inside web pages because it's worthless for SEO. In fact the only thing a "Meta keyword" is good for is to confuse your rival jewelry store.

It wasn't always this way. Meta Keywords weren't always worthless. In the mid 90s they were used as the main way for search engines to analyze your website. But unscrupulous people decided to stuff hundreds or repetitive keywords into the Meta Keywords setting making their website the most popular.

And when they dropped in popularity they would simply add another hundred permutations of their keyword into this meta tag field.

Around 1997 all search engines stopped using this meta ...
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AT: 01/22/2010 03:00:03 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 36 - Meta Description

by Matthew A Perosi

The "Meta Description" is part of the HTML family of programming tags that help with your SEO efforts. Knowing how to program it and where it belongs inside each individual web page is not as important as knowing that you must have one for every page.

IMPORTANT: Cancel your service and find something different if your CMS does not give you the ability to change your Meta Description tag on every page of your website. Seriously. No Joke. No Control? CANCEL NOW!

The Meta Description is a 150 character or less description of what the visitor will find on your web page. The description needs to include as much detail as possible within 150 characters.

Assuming each page of your website is dedicated to a single Keyword Phrase as I previously explained, it should be easy to compose a terse 150 character d...
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AT: 01/22/2010 02:56:20 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 35 - Log File

by Matthew A Perosi

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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AT: 01/22/2010 02:55:28 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 32 - Link Bait

by Matthew A Perosi

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...
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AT: 01/22/2010 02:50:06 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 31 - Keyword Stuffing

by Matthew A Perosi

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...
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AT: 01/22/2010 02:48:10 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 30 - Keyword Phrase

by Matthew A Perosi

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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AT: 01/22/2010 02:39:52 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 29 - Hyperlink, Link, Reciprocal Links, Backlink & Inbound Links

by Matthew A Perosi

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 ...
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AT: 01/22/2010 02:36:22 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 28 - Hosting

by Matthew A Perosi

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.

What do you get for the rent you pay every ...
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AT: 01/22/2010 02:34:37 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 27 - Heading

by Matthew A Perosi

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.

If your web page ...
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AT: 01/22/2010 02:29:20 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 26 - HTML

by Matthew A Perosi

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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AT: 01/22/2010 02:28:05 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 25 - Hacking, Hacker

by Matthew A Perosi

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 ...
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AT: 01/22/2010 02:26:41 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 24 - Form

by Matthew A Perosi

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.

One last point I need to rando...
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AT: 01/22/2010 02:25:36 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 23 - Firefox Web Browser

by Matthew A Perosi

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...
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AT: 01/22/2010 02:19:38 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 22 - Directory

by Matthew A Perosi

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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AT: 01/22/2010 02:17:42 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 21 - Delisting, Banned

by Matthew A Perosi

If you participate in any Black Hat schemes you will eventually get caught by Google or Yahoo! or your competition. Once caught you will be removed from the search engines!

Removal from the search engines is a manual process. Google and Yahoo! do not go looking for websites using Black Hat techniques. Instead they wait for complaints from users.

You will be investigated if someone complains about your site. If Black Hat techniques are discovered you will be removed from their index permanently. This removal is called "delisting."

They will make a copy of your website for their file in case you decide to fight them, and they will also keep your name on file.

Once your website is delisted you w...
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AT: 01/22/2010 02:15:56 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 20 - Crawl and Indexing

by Matthew A Perosi

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...
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AT: 01/22/2010 02:13:03 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 19 - Conversion Rate and List Building

by Matthew A Perosi

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.

Here are some good...
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AT: 01/22/2010 02:10:12 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 18 - Content Management System, CMS

by Matthew A Perosi

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...
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AT: 01/22/2010 02:06:33 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 17 - Content

by Matthew A Perosi

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...
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AT: 01/22/2010 02:00:46 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 16 - Comment Spam

by Matthew A Perosi

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...
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AT: 01/22/2010 01:59:21 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 15 - Cloaking

by Matthew A Perosi

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...
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AT: 01/22/2010 01:54:58 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 14 - CAPTCHA

by Matthew A Perosi

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...
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AT: 01/22/2010 01:52:04 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 13 - Bread Crumbs

by Matthew A Perosi

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.

Example:
      Jewelry Catalog : Rings : Diamond Rings : Tacori Platinum 18k

This would indicate that you are viewing a "Tacori Platinum 18k" Gold Ring which was found in the "Diamond Rings" sub-section of the "Rings" product category in your main "Jewelry Catalog."

The example also shows the different levels of pages separated by a colon, but you will also find it represented by arrows, slashes or some other character. ...
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AT: 01/22/2010 01:48:54 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 12 - Bounce Rate

by Matthew A Perosi

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. ...
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AT: 01/22/2010 01:46:56 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 11 - Bot, Spider

by Matthew A Perosi

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.

Please stay away from anyone talking a...
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AT: 01/22/2010 01:44:30 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 10 - Blog, Blogging, Blogger, and Articles

by Matthew A Perosi

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.

Although LiveJournal pa...
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AT: 01/22/2010 01:40:25 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 09 - Black Hat

by Matthew A Perosi

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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AT: 01/22/2010 01:37:46 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 08 - Authority Website

by Matthew A Perosi

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...
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AT: 01/22/2010 01:33:27 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 07 - Analytics

by Matthew A Perosi

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....
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AT: 01/22/2010 01:31:47 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 06 - AdWords, Google AdWords, Pay Per Click, PPC

by Matthew A Perosi

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 ...
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AT: 01/22/2010 01:24:21 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 05 - AdSense, Google Adsense

by Matthew A Perosi

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. ...
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AT: 01/22/2010 01:22:23 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 04 - 302 Redirect

by Matthew A Perosi

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.

Let's say that you are holding a Trunk Show in ...
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AT: 01/22/2010 01:09:05 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 03 - 301 Redirect

by Matthew A Perosi

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...
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AT: 01/22/2010 12:56:27 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson 2 Vocab 02 - 202 Response

by Matthew A Perosi

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 ...
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AT: 01/22/2010 03:24:23 AM   0 COMMENTS
Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lesson 1 - PDF: Introduction & Search Engines

by Matthew A Perosi

Learning the Basics

Lesson 1 - Introduction & Search Engines

Click Here: This is the PDF version for you to print out and put in a binder.


...
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AT: 01/10/2010 05:17:39 AM   0 COMMENTS
Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lesson 1 - Introduction & Search Engines

by Matthew A Perosi

The Learning the Basics course is a collection of written and recorded training intended for the absolute beginner. If you just put up a website and really need to figure out what to do, and what search engine optimization, and search engine marketing is all about, then this course is for you. A lot of topics will be covered and perhaps the information here will be beneficial for people who already have gotten started and just really need to fill in all the gaps between what they have learned.

Search engine optimization and search engine marketing is a very tedious task. It's not difficult, it just takes a while to learn all the steps and important procedures in what to do and what not to do.

Once you learn all the basics of search engine optimization it will be rather surprising how easy it is to elevate your web...
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AT: 01/10/2010 04:53:42 AM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, November 13, 2009

How much time and effort should go into designing a site?

by Matthew A Perosi

The design of a website is important in that you want to make sure it is customer friendly. A website owner will experience several stages of understanding, just like grades in school. First Grade would be the jewelry store owner who is setting up their first website. They want to design it themselves, usually modeling it after another website they have seen. Imagine a child in a store pointing to a a toy saying "I want that!" The child does not have a true understanding if the toy is good for them or not. The child wants something fun to play with whereas the parent wants to make sure it's fun and educational.

The jewelry business is a very visual business. Thoughts of fire and brilliance abound all the time. Jewelry store owners usually want to control what their website looks like, down to the location of that ver...
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AT: 11/13/2009 08:23:19 AM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, November 13, 2009

How much should jewelers budget for a good web site?

by Matthew A Perosi

"Good" is a relative term. Some people view "good" as visually pleasing but being nice looking can only get you so far in business. As internet users become more savvy there has been a shift from what we call "eye candy" to something more "functional." The iPhone has provided a general education to almost everyone who is at least the slightest bit technologically aware. This awareness is of the iPhone "App," as in the commercials that claim "yeah, we have an App for that." Combine this with users of online social networks are increasingly more familiar with online interactive websites.

Online customers are not impressed with websites that simply display information, or have flashy graphics. Direct online interaction is what users are craving. Give your website users some way to directly interact with you and they will be...
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AT: 11/13/2009 08:20:30 AM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, November 13, 2009

How important is good copy for a web site, and how do you get it?

by Matthew A Perosi

You can spend an exorbitant amount of money designing the perfect brochure to give to a customer. IBM once upon a time spent millions of dollars to create paper literature to sell their mainframe servers. Millions of dollars for a brochure that they new was only being given to 10 potential customers.

Please don't take the same approach with writing copy for your website. Don't get me wrong, you do need a well written website, but it does not have to be perfect. Every page of your website should be limited to 500 words or less. Actually 250 to 350 is probably a good measure, and you should try to have some copy on every page or your site.

Compose your copy for a high school junior or senior level education, not because your customers are uneducated, but because that level of reading can be fast and easily unders...
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AT: 11/13/2009 08:29:48 AM   0 COMMENTS
Monday, October 26, 2009

Here's Your Basic Jewelry Website Strategy

by Matthew A Perosi

Want to know what to do with your jewelry website? I bet you think you need to sell online don't you?

Well before you jump to that conclusion let's talk about what most other industries are doing... What is Bob's Bait and Tackle on Main St USA doing? Trying to get more business, right? He wants more foot traffic, right? Does he want to sell a lure to someone across the country? Sure he does! But what about live bait? I doubt it.

So that's the local guy, right? Your neighbor. But what about Costco, esurance or CVS?

Well, Costco does have a huge online store, and you can use a VISA and MC credit card to pay. They don't allow that in the store. And when the store runs out of something you can still order it online and have it shipped. But they also allow you to upload digital photos direct from...
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AT: 10/26/2009 07:14:23 PM   0 COMMENTS
Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Getting to Know You: Why You Need a Staff Page

by George Blair IV george@jewelerwebsites.com

Getting to Know You: Why You Need a Staff Page george
George Blair IV,
VP of JewelerWebsites.com

Learning about your store goes beyond the items in your showcase. You surely know that without divine customer service, the items won’t sell. This is true online; the personality behind the showroom counter must carry over on your site.

A “Meet Our Staff” page (and it can be “Our Experts,” “Our Service Representatives,” whatever you feel ...
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AT: 01/05/2010 11:46:22 AM   0 COMMENTS
Monday, October 26, 2009

Building Links to Your Website

by Matthew A Perosi

So you just finished putting up a website.

Great!

Fantastic!

Now what?

Sorry to say you will not have visitors beating down your door right away. If you just put up a brand new domain name it will take quite a while for the search engines to find you... Actually, have you ever wondered HOW the search engines will find you?

It's not magic. The search engines will find you when you either tell them that your site exists, or when some other website links to yours. It does not happen automatically.

You could set up a Google Local account or a Google Webmaster Tools account, but neither of those accounts will help you get placed in the search engines quickly.

The best way, and perhaps the only way to get yourself found by a search engine is to go out and ge...
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AT: 10/26/2009 09:13:14 PM   0 COMMENTS
Saturday, November 14, 2009

Best Way to Layout Jewelry Retail Website?

by Matthew A Perosi

This is a common question asked of my design team over at JewelerWebsites.com. So here's the basic idea.

Top of the page (Header):
• Include a logo and or photo of your store. Make the logo/photo clickable back to your home page.
• In the top right corner of the page you need to include links to the most common things your visitors will look for. Normally this is your Contact Us, Directions to Our Store, Store hours. Other things that might be popular are Store Events, Contest Registration, Register to Win, Daily On-line Specials. Also note that you can and should change this set of links to match your advertising.
• With e-commerce sites you should also have a link to login to the customer account.
• You could have a main navigation menu in your header, but only if those menu ...
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AT: 11/14/2009 09:16:03 AM   0 COMMENTS
Monday, October 26, 2009

12 Things to Know Before Creating Your First Jewelry Website

by Matthew A Perosi

The information on this website caters to jewelry businesses with real brick and mortar stores. Nothing in this article is geared toward etailer only stores.

As you sit and contemplate how to create your first jewelry website here are some things to think about:

  1. You do need a website. You cannot survive without it

  2. All adult users of the Internet use some kind of search engine to find store locations, services and products they are interested in.

  3. Since 2007 Google has tested and virtually perfected the service Google Local, which is designed to bring local customers together with local markets.

  4. Managing online inventory is as time consuming process as initially entering inventory into your POS in the store.

  5. In the article America, Online in the J...
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AT: 10/26/2009 06:49:46 PM   3 COMMENTS
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