Turning to my iPhone, I opened the latest Google App (version 3.1.0) and spoke "Okay Google... jewelers with the best Yelp review in Motor City."
The first result was for Motor City Casino, which was obviously wrong, but the second result was from Simmons & Clark Jewelers with a 4.5 Yelp rating.
When I searched "jewelers Detroit mi" from my desktop, the listing for Simmons & Clark Jewelers was first, above the +Local listings.
Many people are now searching Google for stores with the highest star ratings. The Google SERP shows star images for both Yelp review and Google+ Local reviews. Those little stars certainly do attract a lot of attention.
For my purposes, I had to click to read the Yelp review for Simmons & Clark before I was able to get to their website. Their Yelp listing showed the website: http://www.simmonsandclark.com; you might want to open it up to follow along as you read this review.
[Side Note: In the summer of 2012, I had the opportunity to speak at the Leading Jewelers Guild conference near Los Angeles, CA. Although I don't have the list of attendees in front of me, I believe the owners of Simmons & Clark Jewelers were in attendance. This is the first time I'm writing a website review for someone I might have met in person...]
The first think I have to say is... Wow, this website is ugly! The design looks like it dates back about 10 years. I actually cross referenced the archive.org website and found out this website was last redesigned on April 21, 2003.
However, I've seen plenty of ugly websites that were working very well for the jewelry store. This website might be serving their needs, especially since it seems like they are keeping it up to date with their latest catalog information.
The first issue I see is right on their home page. They have several logos of big brand names like Chamilia, Gabriel & Co, Caravelle Bulova, and Wittnauer Accutron. Each of these logos link to the respective vendor's website, except that the links for Bulova and Accutron are broken.
I do not recommend ever linking to a vendor's website. You should always have dedicated pages on your own site for each vendor/designer. Not only do those dedicated pages increase your own search engine ranking, they also help to increase visitors, and they prevent broken link situations like this one.
To prevent this on your own website, you should always have someone checking all your off-site links on a monthly basis.
Although the home page of this website only has 5 navigation links on the left side, according to Google search, there are about 483 pages on this website. I did a Google search for "site:simmonsandclark.com" to find those 483 pages.
It looks like they do not clean up the old information from their site. Normally I would tell jewelers to archive their old newsletters on their website because it helps with long term search ranking; which is one of the topics I spoke about at the Leading Jewelers Guild conference. But that archiving is different than what Simmons & Clark is doing.
This is the URL for one of the old pages on their website:
Clearly that's a Valentine's 2011 catalog. For several years, S&C has been uploading their current print catalog to their website. Their home page currently links to their "Anniversary 2013 Catalogue."
They are converting every page of their print catalog into JPG images and uploading each JPG to a separate page of the website. This is a very old, 10 years old, approach to posting catalogs to a website. Although existing customers might like this, there's no search engine value in this approach. It would be better to transcribe all those catalog pages into typed out text and individual images for each piece of jewelry.
Another old school SEO technique still on their home page is this block of text at the bottom:
Bridal Jewelry Detroit, Engagement Ring Detroit, Engagement Rings Detroit, Watch Repairs Detroit, Watch Repair Detroit, Jewelry Repairs Detroit, Jewelry Repair Detroit, Watches Detroit, Diamond Watches Detroit, Jeweler Detroit, Jewelers Detroit, Jewelers Downtown Detroit, Jeweler Downtown Detroit, Instant Credit Detroit, Diamond Earrings Detroit, Jewelry Detroit, Custom Jewelry Detroit, Jewelry Downtown Detroit, Custom Jewelry Downtown Detroit
Years ago, that was a good method of getting your website listed for additional town names. In today's website world, you need to somehow include those town names somewhere else on your website. One of my favorite recommendations is to write stories about customers you've helped that live in those towns. Those stories are then posted to your blog.
As a member of the Leading Jewelers Guild, S&C carries the line of Love Story Diamonds and jewelry. The official website for Love Story is http://www.love-story.com/
Several years ago S&C copied the then current version of that Love Story site and replicated it here:
Dozens of pages have the same content that still exists on the love-story.com website today. This situation obviously predates any of Google's latest duplicate content filter penalties, but I'm sure one of these sites is being penalized for having duplicate or similar content. It's either hurting Simmons & Clark, or it's hurting all the members of the Leading Jewelers Guild.
Back on the home page, there's a large Facebook logo which links over to their FB page here:
As of this review (written on November 17, 2013) the most recent post on their page was June 19, 2013 to announce their new Pinterest page here:
As of today, 5 months later, they do not have any Pins in their Pinterest account. As a general rule, you should not announce your involvement with any social network until you have figured out how to use it and are using it regularly. You never want to fall into the typical trap of social media excitement before you figure out how to integrate that social activity into your normal routine.
Here are some general thoughts of what Simmons & Clark Jewelers should do:
1. Set up a plan for 2014 to redesign the website. Move away from HTML programming: set up a CMS.
2. Establish a plan for getting Google+ Local reviews in addition to those Yelp reviews. Start with asking customers to write them.
3. Pin the entire Love Story jewelry collection to that Pinterest account. Pin all the other jewelry items that are in those printed catalogs.
4. Verify the Google+ Local page using Google's post card verification method and merge a +Local and a +Page together.
5. Start blogging on the new website when it's launched.
6. Share those blogs out to Facebook and the Google+ account when they are written.
7. Create a social strategy and post to FB and G+ every week.
This website review was certainly a departure from my normal format, but I'm sure there are several jewelers reading that will benefit.
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.