This is the Friday Review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Every week I analyze the online properties of a jewelry store found during a random search in a random city.
For this week's review, I searched for "jewelers near elma ny" to find this search result:
None of the jewelers listed in the Google+ Local results are in Elma, NY. I also can't tell how far any of those jewelers are from Elma. This really isn't helpful to me if I was honestly trying to find the closest jeweler to that area.
Instead of focusing on the +Local results, let me turn my attention to the organic results shown at the top. The first one is from WeddingWire.com with a link to:http://www.weddingwire.com/c/ny-new-york/elma/wedding-jewelers/19-vendors.html
This is what the page looked like:
(click to enlarge)
This is a Wedding Wire search results page for Elma, NY showing 4 potential jewelry stores. I'm personally familiar with West & Co. Diamonds, the first jeweler in that list, as well as the designer Mark Schneider shown second.
Notice how those first two listings show the word "FEATURED" under the image. That means they are paying for the placement of their listing to appear on the results for Elma, NY. Wedding Wire has multiple advertising subscription plans that allow you to promote your jewelry store nearby or in specified geographic areas.
Mark Schneider is paying for nationwide advertising as a way to support their brand and drive leads to retail jewelers, but West & Co. Diamonds is trying to capture sales within a reasonable driving distance of their store, which includes Elma, NY.
Several of my own jewelry clients are using Wedding Wire and they get at least 10 customer referrals every month. Every retail jeweler should sign up for the free account with Wedding Wire. They have a good reputation and they will send you free sales leads. The paid Wedding Wire services offer a lot of features that retail jewelers may not need to use, but it still might be worth paying for one of their service levels once you start to see referral traffic from the free account you create.
I'll return now to the Google SERP shown above. The second listing shows "Elma - Southgate Plaza Jewelers" with the website address:http://www.southgateplazajewelers.com/JewelryStoreNear/ElmaNY14059.html
Here's what that page looked like:
(click to enlarge)
There are a lot of things wrong with this page, and with the entire Southgate Plaza Jewelers website, but let me focus on this single page for the rest of this review...
Even though Southgate's store is in West Seneca, NY they are using an SEO trick to get themselves listed in position 2 on Google's SERPs for Elma. The above page shows how they did it.
It starts with a single page dedicated to the town they wanted to target. They created 16 almost identical pages on their site with a very specific URL structure that includes the city name, state, and zip code. This is the Elma URL:
Notice how they used an initial sub-directory of "JewelyStoreNear." This ties directly into the "jewelers near" phrase I originally searched for.
The body copy on this page is overpopulated with links and keywords. The page has only 50 words in the actual copy, 10 of which are in the headline. The page also links back to itself 2 times.
You'll notice the list of all their other towns along the right side. Every one of those pages has the same structure, and the same 50 words.
Honestly, I'm a little surprised that this strategy still works because it breaks several Google quality guidelines
, including the keyword density guidelines and usefulness guidelines.
I noticed that the copyright on the site says 2011, which was back before Google started to crack down on sites breaking the guidelines. Perhaps the only reason this page appeared in the SERPs was because of the nearly exact match of my search phrase to the page, and because there simply were no other qualified choices to show even though these pages are low quality website spam.
My preferred method of ranking for multiple town names now is to post customer testimonials on the website. Those testimonials should include the names of the people and the towns they live in. It's a much safer way of attracting organic traffic for different towns, and it doesn't break Google's guidelines.
That's it for this week's website review; hopefully you can apply a few Nuggets directly to your own website.
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.