I received an interesting question the other day from Suzie, a jewelry designer. Well, her name wasn't actually Suzie, but let's just say that it was so it makes this story easier to tell.
For several years, Suzie had an Etsy account where she sold a line of baby toe ring jewelry. This was her fist line of jewelry before she started making gemstone jewelry necklaces. Realizing how different these two lines of jewelry are, instead of using Etsy to sell the necklaces, she opened an e-commerce site.
It seemed practical to keep the two lines of jewelry separated. After all, if you are looking at a site showing gemstone necklaces, wouldn't it seem a little odd to stumble upon an area with photos of all those baby toes wearing rings? Okay, so she doesn't actually sell baby toe rings, but I wanted to give you an extreme example to illustrate the differences between Suzie's two different lines of jewelry.
She wants to move her baby toe ring sales from Etsy to an e-commerce site, and redesign the necklace website as well. Both websites are using Shopify, but neither has a built in blog. She's using Blogspot to maintain an off-site blog.
Suzie's question was if she could use a single Blogspot to build content to promote both websites, or if she needed two different Blotspots to correctly promote each site.
Some of her concerns were for SEO and some were with regard to the different types of customers that her jewelry would appeal to. Should she be mixing her marketing together?
Initially, I thought the answer to this question was going to be easy, but wasn't.
The simple answer is that, if you have two different websites, then you should have two different blogs to support those websites. Each blog would attract the target audience and lead them to the online catalog. Ideally, you'd want to have the blog built into your website at the location domainname.com/blog because the search engines will better understand that the blog supports that site.
Suzie had wondered if she could set up two tabs on her Blogspot and save blog posts related to each jewelry line under each tab. However, that won't work on Blogspot because it's a simple blogging platform. For a feature like that you'd need to move to WordPress.
Moving to WordPress would allow Suzie to have a single blog with a navigation tab for her baby toe rings and her necklaces. The URLs for each blog post could used different page slug to help the search engines understand how they relate to the different product lines. One URL page slug could be /baby-toe-rings/ and the other could be /necklaces/.
Traditional Website/Marketing Approach
A traditional view of marketing would be to keep two different product lines separated like this so you can refine the marketing for each. Large companies have done this for years, and they build up a customer base using a consistent marketing strategy. That marketing strategy might just be a message or slogan, it might be about price, or a mix of both.
The type of marketing I'm referring to here doesn't try to establish a personal connection with the consumer, and that consumer will switch to a similar product if they find a less expensive one offering the same perceived value.
However, after careful review of Suzie's two new websites, I realized there was a better answer that had more to do with how to appeal to a target audience and attract customers than it had to do with SEO.
In my point of view, those who take the traditional view of marketing and set up an e-commerce websites to sell a specific product line eventually find themselves competing on price. There will always be someone selling a similar jewelry item for a lower price on Etsy, Ebay, or Amazon.
Don't Portray Yourself As A Faceless Manufacturer
Instead of falling into price competition, jewelry designers could, and should, position themselves differently online. Jewelry designers need to promote their passion for jewelry making, their style, and their story. Suzie wasn't doing any of this. She was simply trying to sell her products and use SEO to attract potential customers.
Although the construction of the two websites is well underway, I felt Suzie needed to put some thought into her own brand position, and name recognition at this stage. Suzie was also wondering if her blog should be about her, her jewelry, and her life. I spent quite some time browsing new necklace website before I realized that her name wasn't mentioned anywhere.
I eventually noticed that her necklace website header was lacking an "About Us" link and a "Contact Us" link. In fact, the entire website was devoid of any information about who was making the jewelry and where it was coming from. It wasn't until I scrolled to the bottom of the site that I discovered her "Meet The Designer" page.
Without knowing who the designer was, or where it was made, I had no idea if the material was ethically sourced or if it was being manufactured by a faceless labor force in China. That's a bad strategy for a jewelry designer because it forces price competition and doesn't build a good reputation.
The "Meet The Designer" page should explain Suzie's personal story, the passion she had for starting the baby toe ring line of jewelry and how that grew into the more mainstream necklace jewelry.
Create The Personal Connection
Jewelry designers need to tell their story and establish a personal connection with the customer. It's that personal connection that will eventually lead to the desire for people to own a "Suzie Design" rather than some cheap jewelry sold online.
A "Suzie Design" comes with a full story that customers will want to know about, and they will share that story with their friends when they get complements while wearing the jewelry.
The baby toe ring site and the necklace site will have to remain split unless Suzie promotes herself and her story as a whole story with two product lines--Two websites also means two blogs.
The Bottom Line
As a jewelry designer, if Suzie plans on keeping her identity low-key and mostly hidden on both websites, then she needs to have two different blogs. This method will appeal to the people who just want the jewelry at a low price and don't care about her story.
If Suzie pulls her identity out into the open, then it make sense to combine the blogs on a single site, but separate them into different distinct sections using slugs like /blog/baby-toe-rings/ and /blog/necklaces/. Search engines will be able to figure out how things belong together using directory structures like this.
Pulling her identity out into the open will also appeal to people who like to wear designer jewelry and want to have a connection to what they wear.
Let's face it; because of social media, everyone wants a connection to all the products they buy.
Customers want to know about the jewelry designers, the story behind the jewelry, the methods used to make the jewelry. Designers can create a customer connection through blogging on the website and through social media.
Got A Question?
Do you have your own question that you'd like me to answer? You can submit it though the contact for on jwag.biz, or send it to me through any social network. I try to answer all questions and some of them even turn into Daily Golden Nuggets like this one.