After spending months setting up your website, the day finally comes when you are happy to launch it. You're hoping that new business will start rolling in simply because your website is fantastic! Right?
Just because you put a website up it doesn't meant that you are suddenly going to start making money.
Remember back to those first days and weeks when you first opened you retail jewelry store. How many people actually visited your store? How much advertising did you have those first few weeks your store was open? You had to attract many new customers before "word of mouth" advertising started to pay off.
The success of your website only happens if your website is found. After the initial launch you could kick start your website's popularity using online advertising, but in the long term you need to make sure your website is getting found in search engines.
So what do you need to do in order to get your website found?
In a nutshell, you need to figure out what keywords you want to rank for, write content for those keywords, optimize your website for those keywords, and submit your website to Google and Bing. Let me cover each point separately.
Choosing Your Keywords
My most recent Daily Nugget on keyword research is here for you to refer back to. As you figure out your own keywords you should think about the types of product on your website.
For a jeweler, keyword research is closely tied to merchandising. If you carry generic halo engagement rings on your website then you are in direct competition with every other online jeweler selling them. Specific designer names will attract more online searches than just generic product types. If designer names are not an option then you need to focus on phrases of 3 or more words. You will need to do some keyword research for each phrase you choose. When using Google AdWords for keyword research you can see the number of people who search for your chosen keywords. Pick keywords that have at least a few thousand global searches per month.
Content Writing for Keywords
Hopefully you can create a keyword list of different phrases that are not similar. Each of those phrases then becomes the topic for new content that you would add to your website. Typically that content is some sort of blog, but it can also be in depth product category descriptions, or even individual product descriptions.
Phrases like "engagement rings" and "diamond engagement rings" are too similar for you to create unique content for each. On the other hand the phrases "sapphire halo engagement rings" and "diamond engagement rings" would be two completely different items and could be completely different blog posts.
The goal behind the content creation is to feed Google and Bing enough information for them to realize that your website is a viable source for those specific keywords.
Optimize Your Website for Keywords
The basic search engine optimization you need to accomplish includes tuning every page of your site to match the keyword topic for each page. The blog post about "sapphire halo engagement rings" should probably have the page title "Sapphire Halo Engagement Rings" as well as the same words in the H1 HTML tag on that page.
Don't try to put too many keywords into your page titles. If you write a blog about "diamond engagement rings" your page title should simply be "Diamond Engagement Rings" rather than "Engagement Rings | Diamond Engagement Rings." Simple is better.
Other than then page titles and the H1 tags, you also need to write a meta description for every page. I like to think of the meta description is a 150 character sales message that people read in the SERPs. The meta descriptions should be the most important thing you can say to entice someone to click your page.
Submitting Your Website to Google and Bing
The search engines find new websites as their spiders crawl the internet from link to link. The best way to get found in search results is to have some other website link to you, but as a new website you probably won't have anyone linking to you for a while. So you have two possibilities for notifying Google and Bing:
1. You can directly submit your website to them using this link for Google and this link for Bing.
2. You can create an XML sitemap of your website and submit that to Google and Bing. This is my preferred method, but it is more complicated.
Here are directions for Submit a sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools.
Here are directions for Submit a sitemap to Bing.
Once you've completed these first few steps you will need to sit back and watch Google Analytics to see how it's working for you. You will need to continue the keyword research and the content building process over and over again every month. More people will find your website as you continually add new content to it.
Even though I've given you the basic steps for getting your website found I do have to warn you that this is a laborious process and it requires commitment. To do this right you need to have a dedicated person working on the process monthly, or you could hire a professional company to do it for you.