Time and time again, jewelers tell me they want to come up first in Google search for phrases like "engagement rings" or anything related to bridal jewelry. Those are tough keyword phrases to compete for since large ecommerce jewelry website spend a lot of time, money, and optimization efforts to maintain top ranking. Independent jewelers have a better chance competing in their local markets using the popular phrases that people search for.
Popular local phrases include the words jeweler, jewelry, or jewelry store, followed by either a town name or the phrase "near me." That's why whenever I write these website reviews, I search for a phrases that uses the word jeweler and a town name. I'm attempting to surface the same results that people in those local areas would see.
This week I searched Google for "jewelers Sandy Springs, GA" and was given these results:
The above SERP shows us 3 jewelers listed in the Google Local 3-pack followed by the usual organic results. I found it interesting that Yelp had the first 3 organic results before. Google and Yelp seem to have a love/hate relationship from week to week. Yelp does a good job at optimizing their system for search engines, but they don't always occupy the top organic results like you see there.
Skipping over the Yelp results, I see that Farsi Jewelers is in 4th place, followed by Lauderhills Fine Jewelry in 5th place, then D. Geller and Son in 6th place. Notice that D. Geller and Son appear in 1st place in the Google Local and Farsi Jewelers is in 2nd place in the local pack.
For this week, I will attempt to dissect why the organic listing shows a different order than the local listing.
Basic SEO Review
Before I scrutinize the websites and the SERP listings, I have to review some of the basic tactics that usually help a website gain higher ranking.
Every web page needs a good page title. Because of the way web browsers work now, most people don't see or notice the page titles any more. Because they are out of sight, they are also out of mind and most website owners don't bother with updating them until they realize how they work. The only place you really ever see the page titles is in the search results. The page titles are supposed to correctly state the topic for that page. Common page titles like "home" and "services" are usually worthless for search optimization; and Google will often replace these simple words with their own page titles based on the information found on the page.
The website address for every page, often referred to as the URL or the filename, is often overlooked as an optimization tool. It's assumed that the words you use in the file name have a very specific correlation to the information found on that page, and the search engines often give those keywords a lot of ranking weight. For example, a Services Page could have the filename services.html, but it would be better for a retail jeweler to use the filename jewelry-services.html because it's more specific for their store.
There are mixed opinions if the headlines on a website are worth any SEO weight, yet the yearly ranking reports that are published by high level SEO analysis companies indicate that there is still a strong correlation between correct use of the header tags and SERP positioning. The main headlines of every page should be enclosed in the H1 tag at the top of your page. Usually the main headline indicates the main topic of the page.
When Stars Align
You can usually get a slight ranking boost when you closely match your page title, the URL and the header. It's best to use the same words, but similar words also seem to work.
Often overlooked is the need for real words to be found on your web pages. Even if you correctly align the above three items, your web page will not rank well if you don't have words somewhere within your page. These words could be the filenames of your images, product descriptions, product headlines, and sentences of information. All together, that stuff is referred to as "content."
Even though Farsi Jewelers was in 3rd place in the search results, they were still the highest organic ranked jewelers. According to Google's algorithm, Farsi's home page deserves to rank higher than the other jewelers. Upon examining their home page I found that they followed the basic SEO tactics I mentioned above.
Here's a breakdown of their search results entry:
The page title follows the principal I explained above. It says "Farsi Jewelers | Jewelry Store Atlanta." They've included the name of their store and they are simply stating that they are a jewelry store in Atlanta.
Their home page URL is simply their domain name, which is the name of their store.
The search results also include a brief description of the page as provided by the Meta Description tag that is embedded in the HTML code. Even though Google highlighted several words in the meta description they way they displayed it, they don't use it for ranking.
As I said, my search query this week was "jewelers Sandy Springs, GA." Farsi has 3 total keyword matches to the word "jewelers" in their page title and domain name.
The Farsi home page has 1 match to the word jeweler, 9 matches to the word jewelers, and 4 matches to the word jewelry. There are no matches for the city name Sandy Springs, and it seems Google did matching by proximity to Atlanta because Sandy Springs is an adjacent neighbor of Atlanta.
I've highlighted all the matching words in this screen shot of their home page:
(click to enlarge)
What probably benefited them the most was that they placed a grid of 8 products on their home page. Each product has the name "Farsi Jewelers" followed by the description.
I also noticed that Farsi doesn't have a H1 header tag on their home page. It seems like Farsi outranked the other jewelers simply because of a higher keyword count.
Lauderhills Fine Jewelry
I would feel quite embarrassed if one of my websites that I worked very hard on was outranked by a free Weebly-made website; but that's exactly what happened here.
The 5th website listed in the organic results was by Lauderhills Fine Jewelry. This is a no-frills website using a mobile website design for both the desktop computer display and the smartphones.
They are using adorable puppies as the jewelry models in the hero image on their home page. Honestly, it took me several minutes to realize the puppies were wearing jewelry because I was distracted by their cuteness. Even though this photo is cute, I think it is too distracting at a cover photo for their website. They should focus more on their jewelry rather than their store mascots.
The Lauderhills SERP listing shows the matching of the word jewelry in the page title and the URL:
The body of the home page has only 2 word matches for jewelry and a phrase match for the city and state. Here's a screen shot:
(click to enlarge)
In total, the Lauderhill home page matches my search phrase 5 times.
D. Geller and Son
Although the hero image on the D. Geller website says they are the 2016 #1 Jeweler as voted by customers, they don't seem to be calling themselves a jeweler.
Google only knows what you tell it, and you have to tell it through the use of words. As strange as it might seem, all of the D. Geller & Son descriptions, logos, headlines, and page titles make no reference to them as a jewelry store, although, as a reader it is quite obvious.
For Google, it's not so obvious. The only way it would be obvious is if Google had achieved a more advanced level of artificial intelligence. Until they achieve that Skynet level of AI, you still need to tell Google the basics.
Have a look at their SERP listing:
The page title says "D. Geller and Son" not "D. Geller and Son Jewelers." They've also chosen to use the simple domain name dgeller.com rather than dgellerjewelers.com.
The D. Geller home page has the word jeweler only once and they do not use the word jewelry at all. The footer of their home page lists their 3 store locations, one of which is Sandy Springs, GA. Take a look:
(click to enlarge)
Adding the word "Jewelers" to their page title and using it a few more times on their home page would probably increase their ranking a little bit. By the look of it, I am assuming they only reason they appear in the search results at all is because they used "jeweler" one time and they had "Sandy Springs, GA" on the page.
It's my assessment that, even though D. Geller and Son is in the top spot on the local listings, the reason they are in organic 6th place is because their website is focusing too much on engagement rings and has completely overlooked to mention the obvious, that they are jewelers.
My search query for "jewelers" had a better match to the other websites than it did the D. Geller and Son site. On the other hand, D. Geller probably really likes that they come up in the 1st spot if I search for "engagement rings Sandy Springs, GA."
The bottom line point is that you will only rank for keywords and phrases that you concentrate on. It seems to me that D. Geller could be targeting "jewelers" or "jewelry store" in addition to "engagement rings." They spent a lot of time concentrating on engagement rings and ruined their ranking as a full service local jeweler.
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.