This is my weekly website review where I search for a retail jeweler at random through Google and pick apart what they are doing online. I try to uncover the flops that are being made so I can suggest the fixes needed to improve what they are doing.
This week, I started my Google search with the phrase "jewelers Brookline, MA" and quickly found myself heading down a rabbit hole after viewing these results:
The first thing I noticed was the incorrect way that GoldSmith Co. is using their Google My Business account. According to Business Information Name Guidelines "Your name should reflect your business' real-world name, as used consistently on your storefront, website, stationery, and as known to customers. The guidelines further explain that you should not use taglines or service/product information in the name. GoldSmith Co. is using the "Goldsmith Custom made Jewelry & Engagement Rings" as their business name, which is a violation of those Google policies. Here's a closer look:
Although it looks like GoldSmith Co. is getting away with this now, as a Google City Partner, I can tell you that it's only a matter of time before someone reports them or the automated system temporarily suspends their My Business account for a policy violation.
Moving on from GoldSmith Co., I then looked at the website for the 3rd jeweler in the above local list, Walter's Jewelry and that's when I realized they would make a good case study for this week.
The Website Needs Work
The Walter's Jewelry website address is http://waltersjewelry.com/. This is what it looked like when I first visited:
In a word, this website is simplistic, which is not something I usually see when someone is using Wordpress. The static width and short height make it look much older than it actually is. The website has only 5 pages, each with very little information about the products they sell and services they provide. According to their Services page, they only sell engagement rings, wedding bands, and repair watches.
The ShowRoom page has a slideshow with 5 photos of different jewelry other than engagement rings. I'll designate this page as a flop because it should not force the user to wait for the slideshow to play. Instead the photos should be offered as icons to click and view larger with written descriptions.
They have an outdated Testimonials page on the site that desperately needs updating. Here's a snapshot:
The last testimonial posted is from October 21, 2011, which is 4 years and 7 months ago. They've had several other reviews since then, enough that they really can't say any more that "People Love Us On Yelp" as the header graphic shows.
It Looks Like They Don't Understand Online Reputation
This snapshot of their Yelp page shows a current 2.5 rating:
They have 22 reviews on Yelp, but only 6 of them are 5-star reviews raving about the honest service provided. The bad reviews talk about the low quality of repair work, overcharging for services rendered, and a lot or rudeness. Here are some of the highlights I found when quickly skimming the reviews:
...his wife started to yell at me in an vicious bitter, and disturbed manner and said, "Just take your bracelet and get out!"
When the woman saw that my watch was a Timex she told me I should throw it away.
I went in for a change of watch battery. The people were not nice. No hello, no welcome, no how may I hope you, just what is it you need?!! Good Grief.
I got my engagement ring resized here, despite seeing some really bad reviews. I learned a good lesson about believing yelp reviews!
I was referred to this place by a colleague. When I read the reviews I was shocked. However, I decided to give this place a chance. I was wrong!
Many of the reviews I read specifically said that they had read the reviews but took a chance anyway. The takeaway here is that people really do read these online reviews before shopping local. Customers can, and will, write about everything, including arguments they hear in the back of the store, the appearance of the store, what was said, and how employees dress and act. All of those contribute to the online reputation of a business.
There are plenty of flops here. To fix these, they need to claim their Yelp account and start responding to them, but also use these bad reviews as guidelines on how to make their business better.
It's Also Appears That Their Website Was Hacked
The website has only 5 pages with a menu across the top of each page linking all those pages together. The one and only website link I found on their website was at the bottom of their home page, shown here:
Clicking the link brought me to the websitehttp://www.cheaplikes.net/ shown here:
This is a very spammy website that's selling social likes and followers, but there's also a bit of website cloaking happening here. A few of the times I clicked on the Cheap Likes home page, it redirected me to the website http://www.thomasreplica.net/.
It looks like the Thomas Replica Watch website hired Cheap Likes for social liking and link building. Cheap Links then hacked the Walter site and added the link on the home page. Clicking it then, sometimes, brings you to the Thomas Replica Watch site, making it appear as if Walter's Jewelers endorses replica watches.
These spammy tactics are real. Gullible people do pay very attractive fees for fast link building not realizing that the company they hire is using illegal methods to provide service. Looking back through the Wayback Machine, I found that the Walter's website was hacked almost immediately after launch in 2013. Since then, every wayback snapshot of the site showed one of the following links in the footer of Walter's home page:
Wordpress often falls prey to hacking, which is one of the reasons I don't recommend it as a platform unless you have someone on staff or retainer to monitor it all the time. The fix for this flop is to set up a new hosting environment and rebuild the site. I do not recommend restoring a backup copy onto a new Wordpress installation because that backup probably contains the hacked code.
Their Facebook Page Is Quite Lonely
The Facebook link from their home page brought me to this page:
Here's the snapshot of it on the day I wrote this review:
The last update was April 1, 2013, which was 3 years, 1 month ago. Not only is this page inactive, it also only has 2 fans.
Fixing this flop would need a commitment of time and interest in social media.
They Appear To Make Time For Twitter
Although they don't make time for Facebook, I did find a somewhat active Twitter account in the Google SERPs. Shown here is the last tweet was from May 3rd, this month:
I didn't like what I found when I backtracked the link shared in that tweet. It brought me here:
This NearSay service is part of the LocalVOX service. Walter's Jewelry is probably paying LocalVOX about $99 per month for this blogging service. I first wrote about LocalVOX in this previous review.
As part of the service, LocalVOX set up and is maintaining a Twitter account and a Facebook account. The blogs written and posted to NearSay are also tweeted and posted to Facebook.
The flop here is the expenditure of that $99 for the paltry results they are receiving. The fix is to drop this service and find someone else to help them with blogging and social media. In their case, even a friend or relative would serve them better than what they are doing now. Their best course of action would be to hire a social media company to really help them out, or a full marketing agency.
Their Other Facebook Page is Just As Lonely
Walter's Jewelry is paying LocalVOX to write blogs and post them socially. What Walter's probably doesn't realize is the social posting mistake that LocalVOX is making on their behalf. Instead of posting to the Facebook page I showed above, they are posting to a second page that LocalVOX created here:
This is a snapshot of that page as of this writing:
Even though this page has monthly blog posts, it has fewer page likes than the other page. Fewer, if that were possible... In other words, there's only 1 person who likes this page.
My suggestion is to have this page deleted after the LocalVOX service is discontinued. It's hard to imagine having a Facebook page with only a single fan, but this is living proof of what happens when you don't promote your online social accounts or take an active role in building their popularity.
That's it for this week's review; I'll see you next time...
FTC Notice: I randomly choose this website and won't be telling the retailer jeweler that I'm giving them these flop fix ideas. Unless someone else tells them, they will only find out about this Nugget if they use Google Alerts or examine their Google Analytics and Google Search Console. I'm not doing this to solicit business from them, but rather as an educational exercise for everyone. This #FridayFlopFix is completely impartial and all my comments are based on previous experience in my website design and marketing agency, and from my personal research data.