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Devon Fine Jewelry Website Review

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Devon Fine Jewelry Website Review 8528-daily-golden-nugget-770This is my Friday website review where I dissect parts of a random retail jewelry website to help you understand more of the ins and outs of your own website.

To find this week's review candidate I searched Facebook for "jewelry stores" and found more than 48 local listings. I randomly chose the first jeweler on page 3 of the Facebook search results then clicked on their About Us information to find their website.

Here's the website: http://www.devonfinejewelry.com; you might want to open it up to follow along as you read this review.

The first thing I noticed when landing on their home page was the announcement for their Proposal Contest but then immediately saw the notice that they will be closed from June 29th through July 8th. Within seconds I knew that this website is updated often. It turns out that this website is pretty large, but the home page makes it look deceptively simple. I discovered more about Devon the more I browsed the site.

This is what I found...


What I Liked About the Site:

They understand images! Every page has some type of image or photograph that gets you interested right away and entices you to read the page. There's a good mix of artwork, photography, and videos throughout the site. It's truly a multimedia site and they are using several different tools and services to maintain it.

It looks like they put some thought into what appears on their home page. The home page has a unique menu on the right side that links to important inner pages. This home page menu is unique because all the menus inside the site are on the left side with a brown background, not white. This special menu links to various primary landing pages within the site.

The home page also has 3 boxes at the bottom to attract 3 completely different types of customers: those getting engaged, those looking to buy a gift under $350, and those looking for something more personal.

Lastly, on the home page they also have links to their social networks. I took a moment to look at their Facebook. Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, and Pinterest... I like their YouTube channel and their Pinterest page is nicely fleshed out. I'll talk more about the FB/Twitter/Tumblr pages in a moment.


They might be wasting money

As I said above they have links to their social networks on their home page but nowhere else on the website. Even though the icon for Tumblr is on their home page it actually links to a WordPress blog. I doubt many people will notice, but those who do will realize it's misleading.

Since this is a WordPress blog, it's hosted at a different location than their normal website. It's located at:
http://devonfinejewelry.thejewelerblog.com

At first glance this blog is well maintained and someone is posting to it every day. But a closer look reveals that Devon has hired the company The Jewelry Blog to write and post something new for them every day. This is a good idea in principle, except this particular paid service doesn't provide any long term value for a retail jeweler.

According to TheJewelryBlog.com, this service is actually writing and posting the same blogs daily for more than 170 jewelers. This method is a blatant disregard for Google's duplicate content penalty. TheJewelryBlog.com is managing 170 different WordPress sites with the same content.

From Devon's point of view they have an active blog that is shared to their Twitter and Facebook pages every day. I admit that the blog posts are interesting TheJewelryBlog.com is doing a good job writing them. Devon's existing customers might even be following and reading those posts, but the long term SEO value isn't worth it.

Take a look at these 2 pages to see how this duplicate blogging content looks:
http://devonfinejewelry.thejewelerblog.com/when_continents_collide__ruby_and_jadeite_reveal_secrets_about_the_history_of_the_earth.html
http://emsmith.thejewelerblog.com/when_continents_collide__ruby_and_jadeite_reveal_secrets_about_the_history_of_the_earth.html

According to the pricing on TheJewelryBlog.com it looks like Devon is spending $89 per month for this service which is defiantly a monthly expense rather than a long term website investment.

If you really want to find out about blogging then you should attend my JA NY seminar at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC on July 28, 2013.


Usability Issues:

The website needs a refresh. The content is all good, but the look is quite old. Several of the pages are not displaying correctly and the content forces the pages to expand wider than they should. It makes the website look sloppy.

There's a sub-menu along the top of the site design that is too cramped and often times overflows to a second line. This simply looks ugly.


What I Didn't Like About the Site:

I think their approach to the online catalog is confusing. There's a link at the top that says "view cart" but yet the product catalog does not allow you to add any items to the cart. This link is misleading and should be turned off or hidden.

Every item in their online catalog has the message "Personal contact is important to us at Devon. It's best to call for information or to place an order." This is certainly a fine approach, but I feel it would be better worded like this: "Our staff is here to help you. Give us a call about this item or print this page and visit our store to see it in person."

I felt a little uncomfortable with the information on the "customer service" page because it has details about order processing, shipping, security, returns, and other topics that are only essential for e-commerce websites. None of this information is needed if their shopping cart is turned off, as it appears to be. Additionally, I don't think anyone at Devon really thought through what "customer service" really means to them. Since they already use video on their site they should record the owner/manager explaining what makes their service special and post that to page instead.


Incorrect SEO Issues:

I've already mentioned the off-site blog is a waste of money for them. It's not actually counting against their SEO because it's not on their site. That's a small saving grace.

They do not have their telephone number or address anywhere on their website except the Contact page. This might seem logical, but in order to compete in local search you really should have your address and phone number in the footer of all your pages.


That's it for this week's basic review.

FTC Notice: I randomly choose this website and won't be telling the retailer jeweler that I'm doing a review. Unless someone else tells them, they will only find out about this review if they examine their Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. I'm not doing this to solicit business from them, but rather as an educational exercise for everyone. This review is completely impartial and all my comments are listed in the order that I discovered them.


AT: 07/05/2013 11:05:17 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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