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Ava Goldworks Website Review

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Ava Goldworks Website Review 3168-daily-golden-nugget-940This is the Friday Website Review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Every Friday I randomly select a destination in the USA and search for unsuspecting retail jewelry stores, then I review their website.

This week I started my search with the phrase "jewelers Hannibal, Mo" and found Ava Goldworks to have both the top organic listing and the top Google+ Local listing.

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

My first impression of the site was "WOW, great photography." It's not often that I see creative photography on a website. Most of the basic jewelry photography I see has gray background and usually a bit blurry, but that's not at all what they are doing here.

After browsing around their website I got the sense that they are not the typical jewelry store, but yet Google ranked them above Crescent Jewelers, a more traditional jeweler that's also in their town.

I went back and tried a search for "jewelry stores Hannibal, Mo" and still found Ava Goldworks to be in the top spots above Crescent Jewelers.

The Ava Goldworks website was designed with a lot of artistic style. When first landing on their home page the large photo of the peridot ring commands your attention but then 2 boxes slowly fade in on the right side of the screen. One box says "Have Fun" and the other says "See More." Certainly not the typical jewelry store website!

The "Have Fun" box caught my eye first, and I clicked on their award-winning link that brought me to this page: http://www.avagoldworks.com/acclaim.html

This page details 12 awards they've won for their handcrafted jewelry styles. They have good photography for each item and a description of the award and what the style is made of. Naturally it's impossible for every jeweler to win an award for their custom design work, but many jewelers should use this page as a model for how they should show large photos of their previous work along with the fabrication details like Ava Goldworks has here.

They also have stunning photography on their Gallery page here: http://www.avagoldworks.com/gallery.html

Take a look at this page closely. It appears to simply be 9 large photographs, but there's a lot more happening here.

Every one of their photos was correctly tagged with an ALT and TITLE tag as I explained in this old Nugget. The result is that you will see a popup description as you hover your mouse over each photo.

I also noticed that 3 of the 9 photos have reasonable image names that help with SEO. Here they are:
opalring.jpg
Yell.-Sapp.-Pear-ER-050c.jpg
Pink-Sapp.-Trilliant-Rose-Gold-Ring-028.jpg

They should have named the other 6 images more appropriately than 4621462164.jpg. Apparently these little SEO tricks were good enough to get them top ranking anyway.

Speaking of SEO tricks, I see that the title of every page of their site doesn't follow typical SEO rules either. They are listing their page name first, followed by their store name and their unique selling proposition.

All their titles have this format:
" ___{page name here}___ | Ava Goldworks, Handcrafted Jewelry and Original Designs"

They've done something on their website that I often suggest to other jewelers who create custom jewelry. They have a long page with large photos to document their creation process.
See it here: http://www.avagoldworks.com/steps.html

You won't find description of the photos on that page, but they did add the IMG ALT and TITLE attributes again so you can hover over the images and see the descriptions. I feel the page would have been more user friendly if they also include those popup descriptions as caption for each image.

Speaking of user friendly, I thought it was a little distracting that the background color of several pages was different. It flipped from white to gray to black. It's jarring to go from a black background page to a white one, or vice versa. I realize they were trying to incorporate different types of photography into their background, but I don't think their website design will be winning any awards simply because of that background color change.

I have to admit, the design of their website is overly simplified, but it works. I checked the history of their website and found that they've had similar minimalist website designs all the way back to 2006. They've stayed focused on promoting their custom design service.

The one thing I really didn't appreciate about their website is that they are not keeping it updated. They put a lot of time and energy into updating their Facebook page often. Considering how badly Facebook has whacked the customer reachability of Pages, I wonder if they have noticed a decrease in business.

They should really refocus their efforts back to their website and away from Facebook, or at least start posting the same things on Google+ when they post them to Facebook.

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: 02/28/2014 10:18:43 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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