For this week's Daily Golden Nugget website review, I'm heading down to Nashville, Tennessee in search of a new watch.
When you search Google for any topic, they will reference your previous search history and websites you've visited to create "personalized search results." As a jewelry industry professional I visit dozens of jewelry store websites every day, and my personalized results would interfere with the accuracy of how I find my review candidate websites every week.
In order to perform a non-personalized search, and see the results like a new customer might, I would normally use the Google Chrome browser in incognito mode to hide my identity from Google. But I didn't have to do that this week because I have a brand new laptop and when I started writing this Nugget, I hadn't yet logged in to any of my online accounts.
So using my brand new browser with nothing cached, no history, and no saved cookies I searched for "watch stores in Nashville TN."
There were 2 organic Yelp results that didn't seem to have a quickly discernible store name, so I skipped those. The next 3 organic results were from the domain name omegawatches.com. I recognized those as a vendor site, and skipped them because I was looking for a local watch store.
The Google+ Local listings appeared after those 4 organic results. The first one in the list was King Jewelers. Their listing showed 30 Google reviews with a 4.7 average rating. That's who I chose for this review.
In this multi-screen world we now live in, people have the freedom of starting their Google search on one device and continuing it on another. That's exactly what I had to do as I wrote this review. One of my daily mantras is that you always need to get out into the real world to experience how your store's digital identity looks to a customer. Although I started writing this review in NJ using my desktop computer, I actually had to take it on the road with me.
The details I'm giving you below were experienced on my iPad Air using the Google Chrome browser. I would have used the built in Safari browser, but that doesn't let me cache the web pages like the iPad Chrome browser does. I had to rely on cached pages because I didn't have WiFi access in London's Gatwick Airport as I finished this review.
From my desktop, to the iPad, there's really nothing special about all the technology jumping, and this allows me to review a website just like a real customer might.
Here's the site:
As a reminder, I searched for watches, so I'm going to focus this review on my experience while looking at the watches.
The King home page greeted me with a large "Holiday Gifts" hero image inviting me to "Shop now." They also had a clear notice that I could have free delivery by Christmas Eve if I ordered by 3pm EST on December 23.
I quickly glanced over the page for the word "watches," since that's what I searched for. I immediately realized that they are using the word "Timepieces" on their menu and as a header instead. I have to wonder if they have analyzed their Google Webmaster Tools to see if the word watches or timepieces bring more visitors. Even though I'm pretending to be a normal customer, I'm not. I understand that timepieces and watches mean the same thing. But which word do consumers search for? That answer can only be found in your Webmaster Tools account.
Scrolling down the page on my iPad made me realize that their website was well designed for the iPad size. The images were all crisp and clear and arranged nicely.
Their home page had a full section dedicated to watches. I like how they invite people to discover their next watch right next to their "expert repair" statement. They don't say "expert watch repair," instead they are relying on the photo and the positioning on the page to contextually say "watches" for them.
I tapped the photo for Expert Repair and was brought to their "Expert Watch Repair" page.
The SEO on this page matches up nicely. Here are the obvious SEO elements I see:
1. The URL has "WatchRepair" in it
2. The Page Title is "Expert Watch Repair"
3. Breadcrumb link says "Expert Watch Repair"
4. The H1 tag says "Expert Watch Repair"
5. Three H2 tags that divide up the page between "In-House Repairs," "Qualified Experts," and "Authorized Watch Repair"
6. Each of those three sections has their own associated photos and s brief description. They even included a short video in the last section. This is a great use of multiple types of content.
Next, I went back to the home page and clicked on the image for Men's Timepieces.
This relieved an error. It seems like their website has a responsive design and it realized I was using an iPad. It was trying to show me mobile content, but the error said nothing was available for the page. Admittedly an iPad is a mobile device, but the content served should be the same as a desktop. Since the iPad Chrome browser had the ability to "Request Desktop Site" I was able to clear the error and view the page.
The King site looks really good, and they've put a lot of work in, but someone forgot to fully test the website in all common web browsers and on popular devices.
Back to the home page again, this time I clicked on the "View all" link to see all their timepieces.
The Page Title here says "Shop Luxury Watches & Timepieces." They also use "Timepieces" in the breadcrumb link and as the H1. What they missed here is that the word "watch" only appears on the page once in the headline "Discover your next watch." To better match the page title I would change the headline to say "Discover your next luxury watch."
I like what they did on that page. They combined the logos of each watch maker with a photo of a watch. This quickly gives visitors a way to associate a watch style to a name.
To view the online catalog of watches you have to click the watch brand's name below the photo. What they completely missed was the need to link the photo and logo to the same page.
For those of you that don't know it yet, the primary method of navigation through a jewelry website is by clicking on the photography. If you put an image side by side with a link, or in this case, right under it, the image will always be clicked more. You can see this on your own website when you install heatmapping technology.
As I browsed through the 24 watch brands I chose the one I least knew... Slyde
I was brought to this product catalog page specifically for Slyde:
They have their catalog set up with a hero image at the top. On this page it works fine because they only have 5 Slyde products, but I caution against this type of setup when you have multiple pages of products. Those hero images quickly become annoying to scroll past, so always make sure to hide them when you set up your catalog pagination.
I tapped on the first Slyde product, T00 V1 CA01.
They have a written description as well as bullet points with much of the same information. Very well done in this regard. The URL for the product detail page matches the long product name.
Another note about their home page... While using my desktop computer I attempted to sign up for their email list. There's a purple "Join now" button on their home page which uses AJAX script to accept your sign up. That a script is very slow to respond and there's no visual indication that something is happening.
That's it for this weekly review, just in time too because it's time for me to board my flight to Bordeaux.
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.