Are you looking to open a new jewelry store but don't know where to do it? There seems to be a good opportunity along the northern border of Massachusetts in the City of Lowell.
According to Wikipedia, Lowell has a population of 106,519, but according to the search I just did in Google, they only seem to have two jewelry stores. Both stores seem to be long established jewelers, but their websites are so old looking that anyone could set up shop, launch a modern website, sprinkle in a little social media engagement, and take that town by storm!
When I set out to find a candidate for this week's jeweler website review, I searched for "jewelry stores lowell massachusetts."
The top results included Schiller Jewelers and Design Jewelers.
I first looked at http://www.schillerjewelers.com and was pretty surprised with how antiquated it looked. Click the icon below to enlarge the screen shot of the site.
The time stamp on the website says January 18, 2010, but the Schiller Jewelers website seems so much older. According to the website archive.org, the Schiller site hasn't been updated since it was launched in January 2010.
There's really nothing I can say about this site other than to start over. So I moved on to the second website listed in Google's results:
Design Jewelers: http://www.designjewelersonline.com Click the icon below to enlarge the screen shot of the site.
I'm a little perplexed that two jewelers in the same city have extremely old, unattractive, and non-inviting websites. The time stamp on the Design Jewelers website dates back to July 31, 2007.
Okay, so there's really nothing I can say about this website either, other than to start over.
If I were a potential bridal customer, younger than 30, I doubt I would pay attention to either of those website above. I would continue my search back in Google for a local store that seemed more reputable.
Google's results also included Lowell Jewelry & Loan, which, according to the online photos, seems to be a jeweler in name only.
I had to switch over to Google Maps to find more results. In there I found Lush Beads--Not a fine jeweler; Upsara Jewelry--no website; Prasat Meas Jewelry--no website either; and Asian Jewelry--still no website.
As a jewelry buying customer, I would have to choose between two jewelry stores that have chosen to ignore their website since they put them up, of three other potential jewelers who don't yet even know about the internet.
It's no wonder that a few jewelers that are 10 miles away in Nashua, NH are running online ads in the Lowell area. All my searches included AdWords ads for Nashua jewelers.
I'm not exactly sure what's happening in the City of Lowell, and why, from there is such lack of internet interest. It's not only jewelry either, because I did some quick searches for local dentists, lawn care, fireplace stores, furniture stores, and plumbers; each industry seemed to be a bit behind on their website design.
All joking aside, this is what I would tell any one of these jewelers if approached me for advice.
1. Start over with your website. If they needed something really cheap, then you could try WordPress or WIX and do it yourself.
2. Claim your Google+ Local listing, add a description, and upload some photos of your store.
3. Claim your Yelp listing, add a similar description, and upload a few different photos of your store.
4. Set up a Facebook Page using your store name. Upload a few photos of your store and fill out all the company profile information. Even if you don't use the Page regularly it will still work a little in your favor in Google's search results.
5. Ask some customers to write reviews for you on either Yelp or Google+.
So, this was the first time that I didn't actually review a website in my "Friday Review," but hopefully this situation helps you realize how a potential customer would search for a "reputable" jeweler based on how good their website looks.
I'm not sure what's happening in Lowell, but typically, those of you without a website might as well make plans for your retirement. Someone who searches online is not going to call or stop in without first reviewing your website.
If you don't have a website, you might as well not even exist. Your potential customers already assume you don't.