In this edition of my weekly website review, I searched for "jewelers Stamford, CT" and Google suggested these results:
I decided to jump right past all the top listings on that page and went down to the eighth, Marco Jewelers and their website http://marcojewelers.net/
This is what the home page looked like when I first visited:
(click to enlarge)
My first impression of the site design is that it's clean and easy to read. The top menu is well spaced and the three paragraphs of text are easy enough to read. However, I don't like the stylized photo they are showing of the inside of their store, and I consider it a flop.
Every photo on a website has the chance to show people what you sell and help make a sale. It looks like they sell long strands of pearl necklaces, clocks, gift frames, and they have at least two showcases of engagement rings to choose from. I'm only guessing based on the silhouettes of what I see in this grainy photo. A well lit, in focus photo of the inside of their store would prevent the guessing and give customer something real to look at.
Missed the SEO Boat
Although the copy on the home page was easy to read, it looks like they tried using some older SEO techniques, but then got them wrong anyway. Take a look at the first paragraph here:
They are linking the words "serving Stamford and the surrounding communities" to their Google+ page here: https://plus.google.com/+MarcoJewelersStamford?hl=en
It looks like they were trying to use internal linking as a way to improve their ranking for "Stamford." However, the trick with all linking is that the page you link *to* gets all the credit. In other words, this link is telling Google Search that the Marco Jewelers Google+ page should rank for "Stamford" rather than their website.
I don't often see bold text formatting used randomly around a web page, but their home page uses it twice. Bold text is an old school SEO technique that hasn't been mentioned in SEO forums in several years. Once upon a time it was known to help boost the ranking for the 1 or 2 words you had in bold. I have to assume the technique still works because I've not read any reports refuting it, however even if the technique still works, it certainly does not for whole sentences like they have here.
The second paragraph also has some lost SEO opportunities. Take a look:
They chose to link "GIA Graduate Gemologist" to the GIA website, but in that same sentence they also mention their appraisal service. Instead of linking to the GIA website, which sends people away from their site, they should have linked to their appraisal page. Linking people to the appraisal page would help people navigate further into their site, rather than away.
I also find it odd that they chose to include the words "BEST SERVICE" on the page, and there's probably a deep hidden reason they did this. I'm often educating people that your website will not appear in search engines for specific words unless you include those words on your website. It's also common for people to search for phrases like "best pizza place" or "best mechanic" or even "best jewelry store."
It looks like the person managing their SEO tried to tap into the phrase "best jewelry store" by including it on their home page. Except that, in this case, the strategy backfires. Google uses other metrics to determine if you are the best store around, like the quality of your reviews, and how many other places link to you or mention you online.
Content Needs SEO Tweaking
As I said, the best way to tell Google about the product or service you provide is to completely spell it out. Take another look at this sentence:
We also have a GIA Graduate Gemologist on premises for all your appraisal and estate needs.
In the context of the page, it's easy for we humans to understand that they are talking about jewelry appraisals, but Google might have difficult figuring that out.
Consider that many other industries provide appraisals, like home appraisals, and boat appraisals, and estate appraisals.
The sentence they have there needs to be more specific with subtle changes like this: "We also have a GIA Graduate Gemologist on premises for all your jewelry appraisals for your insurance and evaluation of estate jewelry."
You could probably rewrite that a few dozen ways to say the same thing, but the important part is that you indicate "jewelry appraisal" and "estate jewelry" as specific phrases.
The home page isn't the only page with gratuitous off-site linking. The Diamonds & Engagement Rings page has 7 links to the GIA.edu website and another link to their Google+ page. There's no value provided by all that linking and they should just be removed.
The Fine Jewelry page has 2 links to the GIA.edu site and 1 to Google+. Again, remove them.
The Jewelry Appraisals page has 3 links to GIA.edu and 1 to Google+. Remove them!
There's an old SEO notion that you can gain credibility for your website if you link to other reputable websites. The only time you should link to another website is if it's worthwhile for the customer to follow that link.
Certainly, it doesn't make sense for someone to click 7 links, 3, links, or 2 links to the GIA site from a single page. Honestly, I don't think any of these links need to be here and they should all be removed. I suggest simply adding the GIA logo to the footer of the site and link that to the main GIA home page.
This is a relatively simple website of 10 pages, including the home page. I've evaluated many sites of this size that ranked very highly in search even against other big competitors with active blogs and social media accounts.
Marco Jewelers is ranking in 8th place when searching for "jewelers in Stamford" and they are also ranking in the same 8th place when searching for "best jewelry store in Stamford."
What they need is for someone to completely reevaluate the SEO on every page of their site. Their content needs to be rewritten and those gratuitous links need to be reconsidered.
That's it for this week; 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.