As a continuation of yesterday's Daily Golden Nugget of 7 basic SEO tips, today I'd like to share with you my recent thoughts and experiences of the more advanced search engine optimization tactics.
Instead of diving into highly technical SEO tricks that only a programmer would understand, I've written these tips out based on an interesting array of circumstances. Some of the things you are about to read seem to have no bearing on the actual ranking of your website; but they all help with the new customer acquisition process.
Please note that I said "new customer acquisition" rather than increasing visitor traffic. A visitor is someone who simply looks at your website, but a customer is someone who's paying you money.
Ready. Set. Go...
2. Internal Linking - Although you have navigation menus to lead users around your site, you should also include occasional hyperlinks from within the body of the written content to other pages of your site. This technique is best used when you reference another area of your website, or even a section of your product catalog. For example, you could have a March birthstone blog about Aquamarine where you link to a section of your website that has aquamarine rings.
3. Self Blogging - No one can tell your story better than you can. You can hire an agency to write content for you, or a ghost writer that will write out your story, but it's the employees of your jewelry store, or even you yourself, that will truly write the best content for your website. Outside agencies usually have a tough time understanding and using the lexicon associated with the jewelry industry. You, on the other hand, have a mastery of how to use correct jewelry related terms and descriptions. If your blogs are exceptionally long, Google might even classify them as in-depth articles.
4. Monitor Content - No matter who you have working on your website, in-house employees or an agency, make sure someone is reading over the site with an objective eye. That person should always ask the question if the content on the site is high enough quality for it to be on the site. Do all the photos and words properly represent the store? This is more than just a matter or proper presentation. You need to make sure your entire website has a cohesive set of content that properly represents everything you do. Don't add words to your website for the sake of adding more words; you need to have a reason for it.
5. Social Media - Sharing your website content to Google+, Facebook, and Twitter will help you achieve higher ranking. I have to warn you though; sharing content alone is not a magic spell to search engine optimization success. You need to engage your audience, but more importantly, they need to engage you right back. No one will interact with you if your content is poorly written or simply not interesting (see above). There are many tools to help measure the success rates of your social media efforts. What you'll find is that, as your social media success increases, so does your search engine ranking. They go hand in hand.
6. Listings in Yelp, YellowPages, Wedding Wire, Knot, Patch - Each of the services I've mentioned here are have different criteria, and even required payments, to get yourself listed. If you follow my Friday reviews you already know that I mention Yelp when a jewelry store is ranking for their Yelp listing, but not their website. Sometimes the Yelp and website listing are right after one another. If you read my reviews carefully, you have noticed how the appearance of a Yelp listing will influence my review candidate choice. Each of the above mentioned websites has a higher level of conscious awareness, and therefore a higher trust factor, than your own website. These sites all drive traffic to your website. They might not directly improve your ranking, but they do help with new customer acquisition.
7. Personalized Search Results - Google believes that every one of us are unique, and they give us unique search results tailored for each of us. As part of the process to generate those unique search results, Google monitors our social connections with one another. They do this through the connections we make through Google+ Circles, through our other public social network accounts, and through the people we typically email through our Gmail accounts. There's a lot of 1st degree of separation information that has a potential influence on search results. With this in mind, you could add all your customers to your Google+ Circles, and share content with them through Google+. They may not pay attention to your shared posts on the day you share them, but those shared posts will bubble to the top of ranking the next time they actually search for that topic.
As I said at the beginning of this Daily Golden Nugget, the 7 SEO tips I've mentioned here are related to how your website will appear in the search results, but they may not directly influence the ranking of your site. Bottom line: They do help in the customer acquisition process.