I've been thinking about it for months and I've finally made the decision. I'm going to pick up an engagement ring today and propose to her this weekend! I have to find a jeweler in my home town, Modesto, California, that will help me out. I need a ring in a hurry!
I do a Google search for "engagement rings in Modesto, CA" and I see this as my first choice:
I hope they can help a guy in need since it says "specializing in engagement" in that result.
I click on the link for http://www.ciccarellijewelers.com/ and I see this:
Immediately I see the picture of the just married couple in the photo to the right and I think, "That's What I Want!" Obviously I've found the right place.
I click on the photo of the bride and groom and another wedding couple fades in. I click again, and yet another wedding couple fades in. Okay, this doesn't click to anything so let me keep looking for jewelry.
I'm looking for a ring.... I see the 3rd option on the top menu says "Bridal Corner" and click that. But it only brings me to a photo gallery of the same photos I was clicking while on the home page. Not what I wanted.
Ah, there's another link on the top menu that says "Bridal Collections" which I click on next.
This is what I see:
Now I'm excited. They have a huge selection of engagement rings! I'll just run over there and pick one up.
With that, I get in my car, deposit my paycheck, and head on over to their store.
Can you guess what happens next?
That's a fictitious story I just made up, but do you know what would happen next? How often has a guy come into your store looking for whatever ring you have on hand so he can propose that weekend? He's obviously been thinking about it for a while, but it was just today that he decided to do it.
That jewelry catalog is a website widget insert from Gabriel & Co, and it's very popular among retail jewelers. When the unsuspecting guy arrives at the store he'll find out that there is a limited selection of real rings in the store that he could buy today. Those Gabriel & Co rings would not be available until sometime next week.
This would be a complete disappointment to him that could have been avoided if there was a message on the website saying that those items needed to be custom ordered for him. The Gabriel & Co page doesn't have a message like that.
In this scenario I'm suggesting that the website's top placement in the SERP attracted a new buyer, and the widget catalog got him to drive to the store. I know this happens all the time, and it seems like a good method to attract customers, except that they are disappointed when they arrive in person.
Take a look at the enlarged version of the SERP listing shown above:
I circled 4 sitelinks that appear at the bottom of the listing. They are:
Bridal Corner - Contact Us - Designer Collections - About Us
In the above scenario I clicked on the Bridal Corner page because it was the first prominent bridal related menu item on the top menu, but it wasn't want I wanted.
Notice how the "Bridal Collections" page is not listed in the sitelinks. These sitelinks are created by Google when they find pages of value on the website that they believe will help the user. Bridal Collections is not in the sitelink list because that Gabriel & Co website widget is invisible to Google.
As far as Google is concerned, they probably think this is another jewelry website without products.
Many of the pages of the site had this error towards the bottom:
Their website is using WordPress as its content management system. WordPress is often riddled with errors and PHP programming errors every time the code is updated. For security reasons, WordPress gives their users the ability to easily upgrade the programming code when new software patches are available. Sadly, these upgrades often break the custom programming of the website. I'm guessing that programming error was caused by an upgrade.
However, this also reveals a different situation that I know many jewelers are guilty of: They never look at their websites.
It's easy to lose track of what's happening on your website and to forget about it, but as the business owner you should take at least a few hours every month to browse through your own website. Just skimming the pages will often reveal little updates that need to be changed, products that need to be deleted, and things that need to be rewritten.
If nothing else, this jeweler would have noticed the error I they had looked at their website recently.
That concludes this week's Daily Golden Nugget website review. Hopefully the mock search scenario was both amusing and educational. I also hope that you will be motivated from now on to take a cursory look at your website on occasion.
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.