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302 Strategy for Jewelry Store Holiday Marketing

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During the first week of October one of the SEO strategies we gave you was to add your holiday website content to your website immediately so Google could find it and serve it up to holiday shoppers when the time came.

Well, that time is just about here. Many national brands launched their holiday websites yesterday, November 1, 2011. Let's look at them:

Blue Nile: http://www.bluenile.com
1. Their background was changed to include their signature snowflake.
2. BlueNile's website design signature is the home page large red ribbon. That red is now darker, less noticeable.
3. As of yesterday they added a small red bow next to "Find the Perfect Gift," which includes "Top 25 Hot Gifts," "Top 25 Classic Gifts," and "Top 25 Gifts Under $100."
4. Speaking of gifts, they also have a wrapped gift box in their top navigation menu now.

Macy's: http://www.macys.com/gifts
1. This is their special holiday landing page.
2. The largest image says "for her."
3. The second largest image says "for him."
4. Gifts under $25, $50, and $99 are also indicated.
5. "Free shipping" is prominent on the page too.

As the holiday season progresses more websites will start making similar holiday themed design modifications. Are you planning yours yet? You should have it thought out soon, and launch it by Black Friday.

Let's jump back to the holiday content again. There is a very special reason we keep telling you to load this content on your website way before it's needed. It's not simply to let Google and Bing find it now, but also so you can also set up the programming or the procedure to 302 redirect to it on the day it's needed.

That was a little complex, so let's explain with an example then give you specific instructions.

Let's make note again that today is November 2, 2011 and that the JA Chicago Special Delivery show was October 30 - November 1. As we write this Nugget we're doing a Google search for "JA NY" and seeing this result:

JA Special Delivery Chicago (title)
www.ja-newyork.com (URL)
JA New York Special Delivery Chicago Show, Jewelry Show Fine Jewelry Wholesale Retailers. (meta description)

Take notice of the URL. It says "www.ja-newyork.com" but when you click the link you arrive at "www.ja-newyork.com/jany/jany-special-delivery-chicago/" instead. In fact, as of this writing, all attempts to reach the home page of www.ja-newyork.com redirect us to the Chicago Special Delivery page.

What they've done is temporarily redirected all home page website traffic to a deeper inside page that corresponds to a special event. A temporary redirect is popularly known as a "302 Moved Temporarily," although the newer version is actually a 307, but it's not known if Google and Bing actually process the 307, so let's stick with 302.

The purpose of a 302 redirect is to provide a fast way for your users to find the website page they are most likely looking for, or to direct them to a page that you feel they should be reading today. Last week the JA website was 302 redirecting everyone to the New York Special delivery page located here: www.ja-newyork.com/jany/jany-special-delivery. They know that most website visitors (you jewelers) want times, contact info, directions, etc. when you visit the site, so they send you to that page instead of forcing you to navigate to it.

Those 302's are pretty fancy, and they seriously aide with website usability.

So how could you use this? It's simple really, as long as you already have your website content live on your site.

Let's assume that you are populating your website with website pages that match those holiday emails, or special events, or date specific announcements. Let's also assume that you are planning an email for the evening of Black Friday because you want to advertise "Small Business Saturday," November 26th. American Express is trying to popularize Saturday, November 26, 2011 as the day when people should go out and buy local, not online, and not from big brand stores. This is the 2nd year in a row they are promoting it.

For you, you could set up a special page dedicated to Retail Saturday, perhaps with hot links to gift ideas "for her" and "for him," as well as "Gifts under $100." Since this is an American Express promoted event, you might want to include the American Express logo too. You should include this page on your Sitemap so Google can find it.

Then on the afternoon of Black Friday, you would activate a 302 redirect to this special Retail Saturday landing page, keeping the 302 activated until Sunday morning. That Black Friday email blast will direct people to this "special home page" but, so as not to leave anyone out, other visitors organically reaching your site will see the same message.

The 302 redirect will add a new level of user enhancement to your website; in fact, your user might even think "wow, how did they know that's what I was looking for?"

Alright, now for the technical details... How do you actually do this?

First, ask your programmer or website company if they have an automated way to set this up. But don't be surprised if they haven't a clue what you are talking about. People usually know of a 301 redirect, but a 302 is less common and way less understood.

There are many methods to accomplish a 302 redirect using website programming languages, but that's far beyond the scope of this Daily Golden Nugget.

If the 302 is not available through an easy content management feature, and if your programmer can't do it for you, then you will need some sort of access to your .htaccess file on your website.

We have full directions for editing 301 redirects and the .htaccess file in Nugget # 273. You can read it here: http://bit.ly/qY63le

For the basics though, let's look at an example of what we would do...

Let's say your domain name is jewelrystore.com
Let's say your home page is http://www.jewelrystore.com/index.html
Now let's say your Small Business Saturday landing page is
http://www.jewelerystore.com/small-business-saturday/

Here's the format of the redirect file:

Redirect 302 {home page} {temporary page}

In your .htaccess file you would type this:

Redirect 302 /index.html http://www.jewelerystore.com/small-business-saturday/

Notice how the {home page} is just the old file name, but the {temporary page} is actually the full website address including the http:// and the www.jewelerystore.com.

Make sure you use the correct home page file name. You might have index.htm, or index.php, or default.asp, or index.asp, or some other random file extension. Also, this is very important: you might have one of those websites where the home page file name is hidden, i.e. you always see http://www.jewelrystore.com/ instead of http://www.jewelrystore.com/index.html. If this is the case you STILL need to use the correct file name even though the user will never know it, see it, or type it.

If you follow these steps correctly you will make your customers happy as they search Google on those specific days and Google automatically 302's those people to that special page for the day.

Go do this. It's important for a fatter bottom line.
AT: 11/02/2011 01:04:52 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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