Twenty-five years ago, no one understood how the internet would trigger an evolutionary change in how almost every business in the world operates. Today, most businesses have some type of website to represent themselves online, and even the companies without websites have some type of online presence in business directories like Yelp and Google Maps.
It seems like every business industry has figured out how to use the internet to improve the efficiency of their business and their c... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Way back on April 10, 2017, Facebook announced that they'd be cleaning up the News Feed to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time.
Their goal was to cut back on the amount of spammy content that is published by Pages that deliberately try to game the Facebook algorithm. Their algorithm measures the popularity of a post by the number of likes, comments, and shares it gets an... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Your online reputation is now part of your marketing. The results that people see in search help formulate the first impression that someone has of your business and whether or not they will purchase from you.
Managing your online reputation through reviews that appear on Facebook, Google Reviews, and Yelp is vital for your future business health. Savvy consumers are referring to what other people say in these online reviews and other consumer generated co... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I was in New York City over the Independence Day weekend helping someone troubleshoot a sound and mixing board problem for a friend of mine. They recently bought a new sound board that was causing a hum when connected to the older equipment.
This little challenge was a throwback to my pre-2003 days when I volunteered as a sound and lighting engineer for community theatre productions. I knew exactly what the problem was and what was needed to solve it. I needed something called a "ground loop isolator," ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
On June 23, 2017, the Jewelers' Security Alliance issued a special alert outlining a widespread scam that's been recently targeted at the jewelry industry. In the security alert, which you can read here, the JSA explains that scammers are profiling retailers and manufacturers in order to pull off the reported telephone scams.
I recently had a few meetings with a French tourism company that needed help figuring out how to build traffic to their website. Their website wasn't anything special; honestly, it was just another directory website. Directory websites are a very common business model that range from large sites like CitySearch.com to local Chamber of Commerce websites. Niche focused directory websites can usually better serve their community than the larger sites.
No one ever wants to write a business plan for their new business or new business venture. Most people feel that a business plan is especially needed when you want to raise startup capital, which while true, a business plan helps you create focus.
Many business owners have great ideas that they feel they can accomplish without writing the ideas down on paper. I started my first business in 1994 with just vague ideas and didn't write my first plan until 2 years later after suffering several slow starts.
Every time internet technology changes, there is a chance that consumer expectations will change along with it. I often say that expectations change every time someone upgrades their smartphone. Unlike a desktop computer that we hold on to for 4 or 5 years, we each have the option to upgrade our smartphones at least every 24 months. The recent smartphone upgrade I did gave me faster processing speed, which means my apps, camera, and video editing run faster, but my internet speed is still controlled by my carrier. ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Many small businesses, not just retail jewelers, are caught in a tight monthly financial cycle. Those businesses teeter on financial ruin because the only thing needed to send them over the edge is a bad week of sales, unexpected loss of the star salesperson, tax penalties, medical bills, or the wrong choices of inventory. Each of these could be an unrecoverable setback.
For several years and through a lot of tough competition, Facebook has managed to maintain its status as the most popular social media network, although there seems to be an evolutionary shift of people away from Facebook and on to other networks like Instagram and Snapchat. Some organizations, groups, and communities are using Facebook's Group feature to create a community messaging board, while other organizations have migrated to networks like Telegram. For the moment, Facebook is still the network to use, but Instagram is growing quick... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Website review and analysis are part of my everyday job. I've been actively analyzing and making suggestions on improving traffic acquisition, user flow, SEO, and usability for several years. I've shared this analysis process and the tips for improvement in my writings for the last few years to provide an insight into how you could do it yourself.
Today, I'll share 6 of the most frequently broken or missing website features that I have seen over and over again, and provide some suggestions for maki... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Google made a significant change in the search results page layout over the last 7 days that removes the powerful advantage that they'd bestowed upon local businesses for about 10 years. Today, I'll dive into the details of those changes.
A Little Background
Google created their original Local Business database in the early 2000s and has morphed it through many permutations with names like Places, Maps, and Local. Today, they call it "Google My Business" or just GMB for short. Having your business... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Online referrals are starting to make an impact on local businesses, but not in the way we all expected them to. A few years ago, the buzz within the online marketing community was that social networks would become a referral engine for people to ask advice through. Facebook even attempted to create a new type of social search engine to capture that referral service. Google also struggled with the idea that the internet would become a big referral engine, and they tried to capture a piece of it through Google+.
In honor of the jewelry shows in Tucson, Arizona this week, I decided to search for a website review candidate in that area. I began my search with the phrase "jewelry stores tucson az" and saw these results on Google:
In this week's website review, I'm going back to re-review the first website I ever wrote about way back in April 2013. At the time, I chose Franzetti Jewelers with the website http://www.franzettijewelers.com/. You can read the old review from April 19, 2013 here.
My review process was pretty unsophisticated 3.5 years ago. It took a while for me to realize that I should be ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The internet of things (IoT) now connects so much of daily life it's hard to remember what things were like 23 years ago when it was just in its infancy. New internet connected devices are announced every day that will undoubtedly shape our futures of personal life and how we reach customers and conduct business. Although there are plenty of new tech toys announced every week, it's the smartphone which has changed how we manage our daily lives.
Can you learn from someone else's mistakes? That's exactly what I hope you'll get out of this Friday Flop Fix. This week, I'm venturing over to Tupelo, MS in search of a retail jeweler that might be making a mistake with their online presence.
This is the result I saw when searching for "jewelers tupelo ms" in Google:
I find it interesting that, in this world of shopping malls and big box stores, there are still times when people automatically think of a specialty store for a specific need. Local retail jewelers are specialty stores because they focus on a single product category, but at the rate that JBT reports jewelers going out of business, it seems like the small local retail... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Welcome to a somewhat unusual Friday review. Every Friday, I usually look for a website that's a bit of a fixer-upper and I suggest how to make it better. This week, as usual, I opened my Google Chrome browser in incognito mode and ran a search for "jewelry stores in Cairo GA."
There are certain search phrases that trigger specific search results formats, and normally when you search for a "jewelers in _____" or "jewelry stores in ____" Google activates the local results version of the SERP, but today it didn't.
In this week's website review, I'm heading over to Laramie, WY in search of a good jewelry store. My hope, like most savvy internet users today, is that I'll find a good jeweler based on the information they have on their website. If the website I find happens to be a total flop, well, then I'll give some suggestions to fix it.
I write these website reviews every Friday to demonstrate how to apply new SEO techniques, online usability, and content building to pre-existing websites that need help. ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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:
It's time to take a drink, or maybe 15 drinks! The official jWAG drinking game is to take a drink every time I mention Google Maps. Why? Because the very first Golden Nugget I wrote was about Google Maps and it's been one of the most common topics I've written about since I started writing these Golden Nuggets on July 27, 2010. I've been writing special edition version of the Golden Nugget every 100 since. Today is my 1500th Golden Nugget.... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Last weekend, I received a frantic phone call from a store owner that needed to fire an employee, but the employee was in control of all their Google accounts. The store's Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Search Console, and Google My Business accounts were all created by an employee years ago, and the store owner never insisted that those accounts be transferred into her name. It's a sticky situation now that should have been avoided from the beginning.VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Every week, usually on Friday, I write a website review. This week, I'm publishing my review a couple days early because I have something special planned for Friday. The goal of my website reviews is to dissect the online efforts for a random local retail jeweler. I don't bother reviewing the websites for chain stores because I want to illustrate how a local jeweler can improve a similar site like their own.
I find my website candidates by searching Google using the Chrome browser set to incognito mode. Incognito mode is good to use whe... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
As a coach and a mentor, I'm often asked a variety of unexpected questions. Over the last week, I was working with another client to help them plan for their retirement. Their retirement is many years away, but right now, they needed some help planning their future profits and if they should sell the business or if their children will take it over.
Their children are in their early 20s and haven't committed to working in the store. Both children finished their non-jewelry college educa... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Stop apologizing for not updating your blog! That's it! Just stop it!
Throughout my entire career writing these Golden Nuggets, I have explained over and over again how important it is to have an active blog on your website. The basic goal of your blog is to provide good information to customers who want to know more about a topic.
The blog on your website is a good place to publish information that doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the pages on your site. Most webmasters spend a lot of time tw... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the #FridayFlopFix edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each week, I find a random retail jewelry stores and review their website in hopes that we'll be able to learn something from the process. I call this a "Flop Fix" because I specifically look for websites that are making mistakes, i.e. flops, so I can suggest fixes.
Here's the search results I saw this week when I searched Google for "jewelry stores Elko, NV":
Your success on social media is related to the amount of time you spend engaging with your customers. I like to think of social media as the online version of a business networking event. Plenty of people attend business networking events with grand notions of meeting new business partners only to get there and stand on the sidelines, or quietly sit at a table without working the room.
Within the jewelry industry, I often hear about jewelry designers who take a break and put their business on hold while they reconsider their artistic direction or go back to school for additional training. Although it might seem like a simple idea to put a business on hold, how you present yourself online during your hiatus could have positive or negative ramifications on your future livelihood.
Social media is required for business--all businesses. It ties all your other advertising together: every ad you place in your local community, whether it's on TV, radio, on billboards, in all of your direct mail, for newspaper ads, or everything else you do on other social networks. Social media ties all your marketing together in such a way to support your customer life cycle.
Once upon a time, Facebook was the social network for college friends only. Then it was opened up to anyone to join. It was a free-for-all of friends keeping in touch without any special filtering getting in the way of seeing your friend's status updates.
When they let businesses join, there was a sudden surge of unwanted solicitations and plenty of users complaining that they were seeing too many business posts in their news feed. As is all things internet related, businesses viewed Facebook as t... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Today I'm stepping back into 2015 to review the top 10 Daily Golden Nugget posts according to my Google Analytics account. Take a quick look to see if you remember them, and if you were able to put any of this information to use:
During my internet travels over the last few days, I came across the website for Goodman's Jewelers in Madison, WI. It caught my attention and I immediately decided to use it for today's #FridayFlopFix review. I hope to make a few suggestions that will help them improve how they use their site, and give you a few ideas on what to avoid on your own site. Let's dig in...
With the 2015 Holiday Season at an end, let's take a look at some website tracking results from the Thanksgiving week through Christmas.
I have a lot of data to from various retail jeweler websites. The set of data I'm referencing below was recorded across retail jewelry websites that have been active with updating their website regularly over the last 12 months. These same websites are also mobile friendly. This includes a combination of retail jewelers and ecommerce sites. Remember, the results show... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The year 2015 is about to come to a close, but before it does, I'm venturing out on a limb to give you my forecast insights for 2016. This year, I'm referring to these as "insights" and not necessarily as "predictions" because these things are what I already see happening in a small way, and steadily growing. They are in no particular order...
Social Media Change with the Young Generation
The current teenage generation is struggling to hide from their parents online. Many of them want nothing to do with Facebook because the grown-... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is a pretty sad edition of #ThrowbackThursday. In fact, it's not even much of a throwback since I'm only jumping back 3 months to September 2015 to my explanation of how to share Google reviews to your website.
Testimonials and online business reviews are an important part of a customer's pre-screening process of you. While every online directory has a review system, arguably Yelp a... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Since 2010, the predicted website and internet usage trends right before the holiday season have suggested that more people will use their smartphones to pre-shop retail stores and to look up product information while in a store. What better way to save time during the busy holiday shopping season than to look for online product information and find stores that carry the items?
Welcome to the 1,400th Daily Golden Nugget. In honor of reaching another "00" status, I'm returning back to the root topic of where these Nuggets began, which is an update on what's happening with Google Maps. It's become our own personal drinking game, so let's explore it again with a beverage of your choice.
During the last 5 months, Google has changed a tremendous amount with regard to how Search, Maps, and Google+ work together. It started with a large c... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Did you know that 61% of smartphone users are more likely to buy from mobile sites and apps that offer some type of customized information for their location? That statistic came from the Consumers in the Micro-Moment study conducted in August 2015 by Google and Ipsos. The full details of that study are here.
Do you have a specific question about your website or business that you'd like to see answered in a future Daily Golden Nugget? Please send it in through the contact form on the jWAG website http://www.jwag.biz/contact-us.html.
Here's an interesting question I received recently:
It's #ThrowbackThursday, and it's also the 19th installment of my special 2015 Holiday Run-Up series. Over the last 30 days, I've written out holiday marketing steps for Pinterest, Google+, VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The time needed to manage social media can easily eat up most of your day. Over the last few weeks, I've detailed a lot of social media tactics in this 2015 Holiday Run-Up series. If you've missed out on the discussion so far, then go back to the beginning here and catch up.
It's Friday. Every Friday, I start out by saying "This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget." I'm sure you guys are tired of reading that. Anyone want to suggest a hashtag that alliterates with Friday? Send your suggestions to me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or just email them to me.
So it is Friday, and it's review day. The goal is learn something from a random website of a random retail jeweler chosen from a random city somewhere in the U.S. This week that random somewhere is Raynham,... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In today's #ThrowbackThursday, I'm jumping back to January 2014 to my directions on how to post to Google+. This is also a continuation of my special 2015 Holiday Run-Up series giving you the tactics you need to help boost your sales this upcoming season.
This is the weekly website review where I choose a random retail jeweler and compare their website and online identity to what is commonly known about search engine optimization, online marketing, and customer usefulness.
I started this week's review with the Google search "jewelers athens oh" and saw these results:
This is probably the Daily Golden Nugget you've been waiting for! Over the last few weeks I've been working through several topics related to marketing for the upcoming holiday season. This is part 10 in that special Holiday Run-Up series, and it's also a #ThrowbackThursday edition.
I'm not throwing back too far in this one, only to August 2014, when I explained how to use Facebook's VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The economy of the United States is built on small business. Those who run a small business know that every decision is a trade off of one thing for another. Taking a short cut today might help to lower expenses, but that same short cut might create bigger problems in the future.
As a business coach I'm always helping entrepreneurs evaluate business tradeoffs and opportunities that might financ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
September has a strange place on my yearly calendar. I view it as a month that tries to maintain a death grip on the hot days of summer while also revealing the temperatures and colors of the fall. I remember how it was to dread the beginning of the school year, and now, even though I'm not a parent myself, I can appreciate how parents feel now to have their children occupied all day again.
It's time for this week's Throwback Thursday Daily Golden Nugget. I'm jumping back to March 2011 to my discussion of Older, Wiser, Faster Indexed Websites to specifically revisit the difference between new websites and old websites, and how Google indexes them.
People don't race to shop at your store as soon as you build a new website. Before that can happen, Google needs t... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the Friday website review where I do a Google search for an independent retail jeweler in a random town, then review their website.
This week, I'm starting my search with the phrase "jewelry stores in grand fork nd." Every week that I do this, I try to give you my first impressions of every website as I work through it. Just looking at the results given below, I have a feeling this week's review is going to be quite... nasty. Hold on to your seats gang and let's jump in...<... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I recently had someone tell me that they felt it was better to post anything to their business Facebook account than nothing at all. This particular jeweler didn't have anyone in the store willing to manage their Facebook account, yet they felt it was important to be active.
Their solution was to hire a social media management company that didn't know anything about jewelry, and was posting non sequitur information to their account. Although their fan base was slowly increas... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this edition of Throwback Thursday, I have to report some news which saddens me. It relates to how your business websites reviews appear; or rather; no longer appear in Google search results.
In October 2014, I wrote this Nugget explaining how to use Google My Business to find and reply to online reviews that are not part of the Google system. In other words, customer reviews that are ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
That's what I always say when a jeweler wants to ask me a question but starts off saying "I have a stupid question," which happened several times over this past weekend while I was at the RJO show in St. Louis. When it comes to asking me questions though, you have to be aware that I always use the good questions as future Daily Golden Nuggets, like this one.
After my Local Marketing seminar at the RJO show, a jeweler was explaining that they often ask for their customers to write ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I'm sitting on a regional jet right now as I write this. I'm heading back to New Jersey after three days with the RJO in St. Louis, Missouri. For me, it was a weekend of discussions about e-commerce, online local marketing, and social networking.
I was very impressed with all the jewelers I spoke to this weekend and I'm starting to think that the need for social media is starting to be understood as a necessity for marketing, even though the results can't be tracked. Many jewelers told me... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
When you consider the time it takes to be involved with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and so many social networks, it's no wonder so many people live their lives carrying their smartphone in their hand all day. So many people have traded everyday verbal conversations for terse text conversations and deluges of selfies.
Those who have chosen a smartphone-tethered life, now find it second nature to use social network as a way to keep their friends and family in... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the weekly website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each week, I work through these website reviews to give you real examples to learn from. It doesn't matter if the website is good or bad, there's always something to learn from.
Once again, the Daily Golden Nuggets have reached another milestone: 1300!
It was 1,300 weekdays ago that I wrote the first Nugget about Google Maps. In honor of my first topic, I now write about Google Maps and its subsequent incarnations ever since, and save them for these milestones.
The original Maps service has transformed several times through the years and had names like Local, Places, Local Business, and Google+ Local. Ever since Google started using Google+ to tie all its services together, the p... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Jennifer Shaheen, President of Technology Therapy Group was among those speakers chosen to present at the 2015 JCK Las Vegas show. Jennifer and I are industry colleagues and we share 99% of the same point of view about the internet and how retail jewelers should be using it for their marketing.
I was at a social media marketing meeting in New York City last month when someone asked if they should be posting the same photos and status update to every social network.
That was a good question, and there's no real straightforward answer. In reality, it depends if you have the same audience following you on all the social networks. If the same audience follows you on all networks, then they will get very bored very ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In today's Throwback Thursday, I'm bringing back a group of old Nuggets that are near and dear to my hart: Location Based Services.
One of our more ambitious events here at jWAG was back in August 2010 when we held live video broadcasts several days in a row, we called it "jWAG Live 2". Every day we covered different topics, one of which was ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Diamonds are supposed to be forever and a girl's best friend, but lately they are a tough sell. While many of my retail jewelry store customers are still looking for ways to increase their wedding and engagement ring sales, there are plenty of other opportunities for with designer lines of jewelry that could attract a new audience to your store.
I'm in favor of the entrepreneur that tries to build a business around a perceived need. What make entrepreneurship in the U.S. so exciting is that you potentially make a healthy living off an idea you dream up yourself.
The internet makes those dreams possible.
A few weeks ago, one of my clients brought my attention to the following message that was posted on their Facebook wall.
Last week, I was doing a little research into the US census data on this website. The U.S. business census data is captured every 5 years, but there's a delay before the information is published. The 2012 was only recently published.
Shrinking Number of Retail Jewelry Stores
The data shows that there were only 16,847 corporations that classified themselves as "jewelry stores" in 2012, and there were 2... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The ellipses are a set of three periods that has different functions depending on how that punctuation is used.
In these Daily Golden Nuggets, I often use this symbol to represent a long pause or a trailing off thought. In text messages, I use them to represent long pauses, or sometimes I even send them alone in a single text message to illustrate a perplexed reaction when I don't know what to say. A stunned silence, perhaps.
Many retail jewelers still struggle managing the time it takes to promote themselves on social media. Unfortunately, even though you can hire an agency to manage your social accounts, the best way to engage your customers is to establish your brand's own online identity.
It's difficult to allocate the time needed to engage on social media amidst the daily routine needed to run a jewelry store. Instead of doing it all yourself, you could allow your employees to engage soc... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
If you're jewelry store is located in a strip mall or a shopping mall, Google will probably be changing your address, if they haven't already.
In honor of my 1200th Daily Golden Nugget I'm bringing you some updated information about Google+ Local today. Way back 1200 post ago I began these Nuggets with a a post about Google Maps, since then I've carried the tradition or reviewing Google business related changes every 100th Nugget. So here we are again.
Facebook can be very annoying when it doesn't let you select the right preview image for the blog you are trying to share. All of your blog posts should have associated images. They grab attention and help to convey your message, but sometimes Facebook simply ignores the images you use.
Facebook has become a very visual social network and they try to offer all users the best possible shared images from every web... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The internet has become a very visual place, especially on social media. While blog content may thrive with well written information, as of today, on Facebook and Google+ you won't get noticed without some type of visual. This is especially a complete change for Facebook because in 2013, they lowered the visibility of status updates with images because they were combating meme over usage.
I'll be the first to admit the website content creation difficultly level is pretty high. Content includes infographics, photos, podcasts, PDFs, videos, testimonials, and, of course, the written word. It takes hours to prepare each of those types of content but the return on that time investment come in the form of several years of attracting customers throu... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Today, I'm going to perform an incognito Google search for a random jewelry store candidate in Blackstone, Virginia, then review their website.
The goal of this weekly website review is to learn something new, or at least to see an implementation of something good or bad that you never knew.
When I used the search query "jewelry stores in blackstone va" I was given these results:
A few years ago, Google undertook an extremely ambitious project to extend its Street Mapping technology inside buildings. Specifically, they created a way that Google Maps Street View could reach inside individual retail stores to create virtual walk throughs of those businesses. These virtual tours are called Google Business View, and the businesses taking advantage of this technology are reporting more engaged customers and higher sales.
I was recently analyzing the Google+ Local account for a new jewelry store. The owners bought the previous bead store that was at that location and remodeled it into a new jewelry store. My analysis discovered a situation I'd not yet seen, or in fact, even envisioned. Of course, that makes it a perfect topic for a Daily Golden Nugget!
It's obvious that every new business needs to design their store and stock their shelves with merchandise. Before you even get to that... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Jewelers are in the business of helping couples get to the moment when they profess their love and vow "til death do us part."
Few relationships are intended to last forever, or even a lifetime, but when you get into bed with a business partner, you are rarely thinking about the day when you will break up. When you're in business for yourself, you should be making forward steps to improve your business, but also prepare yourself to different possible future outcomes.
Let's imagine that there's a special gift giving day coming up soon and I need to buy a gift. Assuming that I live in Englewood, Colorado I might do a Google search for "buy jewelry gifts in Englewood Colorado."
Today is the weekly website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. The goal of this review is to randomly search Google for a retail jewelry store and learn something from scrutinizing how they manage their website and online identity. There's always something to learn from these reviews, whether it's learning from someth... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Ask that question to a room filled with 100 business owners and you'll probably get 100 different answers based on their own experience and how they perceive their own profits. In truth, profit is a measure of all the money left over after you deduct expenses from the money you make from sales.
This equation has been around for as long as businesses have been around:
I'm often asked how I keep up with all the internet changes because people feel overwhelmed. It really is true; the technology companies that control key factors of the internet make some type of change every day. Even though the internet is made up of millions of computers and billions of wires, it's the search engines and social networks that really control how we use it daily. In reality, the search engines and social networks are just software programs. VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the Friday website review where I dissect a random retail jeweler's website to find the good and bad that we can all learn from. Although I write about website design, search engine optimization, and online marketing every day, sometimes all that stuff doesn't make any sense unless you see exactly how it applies to a real website.
That's why I dedicate one day every week to these reviews of randomly selected jewelry stores.
Normally I ask someone on my team to give me a random city name, but this week's review c... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In yesterday's Daily Golden Nugget, I explained how you can invite someone to help manage your Google business account. An email is sent to notify the person who's being invited to manage the Google account. That email invitation is the only way that the person will know they've been invited, there's no other notification.
This is the last part in my 7-part Daily Golden Nugget series on Google My Business. The links to the first 6 parts are at the bottom of today's edition.
As the Google services have become more complicated, the user interfaces to manage them have become equally complicated. Many users have given up on managing their accounts while others have screamed for help. Google hears those screams and is working through their different services to give business owners a way to share editing rights to consultants that you hire to help.
In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'm going to review the latest AdWords Express functionality that you'll find within your Google My Business account. This is slightly different than the last time I explained it in this previous Nugget.
Today's Nugget is part of my ongoing series explaining the new features within the Google My Business dashboard that allows you to control all of your Google related business... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the fourth entry in my Daily Golden Nugget series explaining how to manage your Google business account through the Google My Business interface. I've included links to the first three parts at the bottom of today's edition.
Today's My Business topic is the reading and understanding the Insights app within the Google My Business interface. Once you log into your account, you need to click the box-cluster icon on the top right of your browser window as shown here:
This is part 2 of a multi-part Daily Golden Nugget series explaining how to edit your Google My Business listing. Please refer to this previous Nugget to see how to access your business information within Google's system.
Once you get into your account, you need to review and update any information that they have on file. It's important to log into your account and verify your information every once in a while. It mig... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We're now in the last two weeks of October and a lot of holiday promotions are about to launch. You've probably already completed your own marketing and all the publication dates have been set. In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'll go over some last minute online marketing referral sources that you still have time to set up this week.
Your customers will find you through many online sources. Some of those sources will be your own paid marketing, while other people arrive through organic tra... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Time flies and another one hundred Daily Golden Nuggets have passed. This is the 1100th edition of my 5-day a week newsletter, and to commemorate that milestone, I'm returning back to my favorite topic: how Google drives customers to your door, literally.
Google's free business listing service has morphed over the years from its original simple name of Maps, to Local, to Places, to +Local, and Places for Business. In April 2014, Google finished migrating all business accounts from the "Places" interface to the "Places for Business" inte... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Seventy-seven week days ago, when I reached the 1000th Nugget milestone, I got the idea that I should write a recap of all the technology that I wrote about that came and went since 2010 when I started this daily newsletter.
Although I really want to be nostalgic, I don't even have the time to look through 1000 posts to create a full list. But I'm going to give it a try and see where this goes, so let's have a little fun... Instead of learning something new today, I'll look at some old topics that I'v... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
My journey today began with a search for "jewelry stores Hayward CA." You see, I'm pretending to be a real customer searching for a local jeweler in Hayward. My goal is to examine how the local jewelers in that town stack up in Google search, take a look at their websites, and see what can be learned by the experience.
This is my weekly retail jeweler website review, but this week I'm changing up the format a little bit.
Here's a snapshot of the business listing I saw in the Google SERP for that search: VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'm reviewing another section of the seminar I presented on July 27, 2014 at the JA NY show. This segment is about paying for traffic on Facebook; should you be doing that?
Paying for online advertising always has a right way and a wrong way. Typically the wrong way is seriously wrong and it's a complete waste of money. Most businesses, not just retail jewelers, are advertising on Facebook wrong.
I've been sharing a lot of my secret tips recently and today I'd like to share another. This one's about understanding your customer's intent.
One of the biggest mistakes I've noticed many retail store owners, not just jewelers, make is that they set up their store, create advertisements, and design their website based on what they believe their customers will like, without truly trying to understand what their customer's intent is.
Small business owners always seem to struggle trying to balance the time they spend working in their store, managing back office paperwork, and growing the business. It's very difficult to achieve the perfect balance of spending time with each of these tasks if no one showed you how to do it correctly in the first place.
Occasionally, you will find a small business success story in the news, and perhaps you wonder how they achieved their success. From my own personal experience,... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The discussion of today's Daily Golden Nugget was requested more than a year ago by a few of my daily readers, but it wasn't until recently that I could provide the correct answer to it.
The topic is how to use Google Places for Business if you are a personal jeweler or a jewelry professional working out of your house. Personal security is usually a bigger factor for these types of jewelers since they will often carry styles with them when visiting clients. ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
How can Google lead potential customers to you unless they know what type of business you are?
Although Google might spend a ridiculous amount of effort reading and indexing your website to figure out who you are and what you do, they also rely heavily on exactly what you tell them from within your Google Places for Business account.
The screen shot below was taken from a jewelry store's Places for Business account. You can see the list of categories... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Ever since Google started hiding keywords from their Analytics reports, it's been harder and harder for marketing professionals and business owners to figure out what keywords customers search for when they find your website.
Google Places can help you get found in local search results, but you'll get into trouble if you disobey the Google Places for Business quality guidelines.
Over the years, I've seen many jewelry stores using a lot of tricks to place higher in Google's ranking results. Perhaps the most common trick is changing your business name to include specific keywords.
Using the jewelry store name Perosi Jewelers, located in Totowa Borough, NJ, here are some examples of what some jewelers ha... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Google Maps will help people locate your business online, but sometimes those online reviews will chase people away screaming, instead of luring them to your door.
The power of the online review is undeniable now. I've read a few case studies about negative online reviews and the affect on a business, and I've had personal experience helping several businesses deal with the aftermath caused by horrible online reviews.
The legitimacy of online reviews has gone through some controversy over the last 4 ye... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
During the summer of 2013, as part of their product unification process, Google converted all YouTube accounts into Google+ accounts. This resulted in duplicate business pages on Google+ Page for several businesses. Now that Google is transitioning the old Places listings into the combined Google Places for Business and Google+, these same businesses now have a triplicate listing.
This is a bad situation that needs to be corrected and I'll explain why in this Daily Golden Nugget. I'm documentin... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
There might be trouble with your business listing on Google and you don't even realize it. Over the last year, Google has been slowly migrating all Google Places listings created years ago into the new and improved Google "Places for Business" (PFB) systems that's integrated with Google+.
As I explained in the Daily Golden Nugget yesterday, this migration could cause accidental VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
That's how it all began way back on Monday, July 26, 2010 with the first Daily Golden Nugget I wrote. It was only 147 words because, after all, it was only supposed to be a "nugget" of information. Many nuggets are now 10 times tha... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Something's been happening over at Facebook since December 2013 that affects how the overall methods of how customers see your social posts...
If you carefully examine your own Facebook Insights, you should see what many of my own customers are seeing. Generally speaking, there's a massive decline in the number of your Fans that see the social posts your business is publishing.
Although Facebook doesn't provide statistics on personal accounts, you might have also noticed that while your business s... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Page Cover Photos usually draw a lot of attention in the News Feed which means you can capture some extra attention if you change them on a regular basis.
Do you have an upcoming store event? Special sale? Big announcement? You can use your cover photo to announce any one of these, but just make sure to keep that announcement within the 100% Safe Zone I'm showing you.
Back in February, I reported that Facebook changed their Advertising Guidelines to limit how much space in your cover photo could be used for text. This guideline quickly became known as the 20% Rule my many Facebook marketers and it seriously limited how you could use Facebook to quickly attract attention of your page fans.
To the delight of many Facebook marketers, this 20% Rule was removed on July 1, 2013. This is great news that allows us to use our cover photos for ads, notifications, and calls to action... Facebook gave us back the permission they took away from us when they launched the 2012 major layout redesign, back when we only had tall Profile Pictures in the left margin.
I remember reading Facebook studies from 2011 showing that the most popular types of updates to Facebook were images. When comparing text updates, video updates, and photos updates, the photos had the highest ratings in the studies.
It certainly was true for a while; any photo posted to Facebook would be seen by a larger number of your fans and friends. The results were clearly measurable.
Within a short time many brands started to flood their posts with images. This exploitation eventually lead to a change... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Facebook recently announced that they will try to revolutionize online search by letting you find recommendations from your friends. The entire concept is still in the early phases and the usefulness is not quite clear. They call it the "Social Graph Search."
In the past they've tried to work their way into other technologies, like location based services and photo sharing, with mixed results. In some cases they had to force their new features on users when they were not adopted quickly.
Let's set the wayback machine to 1993 when we used to track the number of "hits" to a website. At that time a website was simply an HTML file with text and a bunch of links between pages. A hit was counted every time one of the HTML pages was displayed in the Mosaic web browser. (Mosaic was the first web browser.)
The early internet engineers wanted to know how many times their pages were read, and they assumed each "hit" represented 1 person taking the time to actually read it. Those old counting system didn't consider that other file types, like images, would eventually get caught up in the hit counting.
Before anyone knew it, a page with 2 images was counting as 3 hits, and a page with 9 images was counting as 10 hits. This meant that two people visiting a page with 9 images would suddenly be 20 hits, rather than jus... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
As we close out another holiday season, we at the Jeweler Website Advisory Group hope that all our readers experienced a successful holiday season.
How were your bridal sales this season? A recent study shows that only 51% of Americans are married, and that number is declining. The study also shows that other countries around the world are seeing a decline in the number of married couples. Visit this Bitly link to read more about this study: http://bit.ly/vR22pz
With this marriage study in mind we took a close look at trends for "engagement rings" this season to see if we could find any correlation of online interest that agrees with the study.
Online interest in engagement rings shows a slight rise in from October 2011 to December 22, 2011, and there's certainly more interest than Q2 and Q3 of 2011. When looking ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
A subtle emotional shift enters as we begin the month of December and start counting down the days remaining before Hanukkah, Christmas Eve/Day, and Kwanzaa. Gift giving, holiday cooking, family gatherings, and those holiday lights that start to brighten neighborhood streets all help us realize it's that time of year again.
The season of cheer might be here, but uncertain economic times also bring many holiday frowns for all business owners. Increasing material costs means that all jewelry, not just gold, is on the rise. Do your customers prefer leather and beads this year, or will they add a new 18kt charm to their bracelet?
What we know for sure is that many retail jewelers are having a tough time choosing between changes in product lines, paying bills, stock balancing, and if some new marketing strategy will actually ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
As mentioned a few days ago, American Express is trying to popularize Saturday, November 26, 2011 as the day when people should go out and buy local, not online, and not from big brand stores. This is the 2nd year in a row they are promoting it and they call it "Small Business Saturday."
Those looking to support their local community will visit the stores they already know about. Other shoppers might make an extra effort to read their local newspaper or direct mail circulars and ValPak, Money Mailer, or similar ad mailers.
Smartphones are everywhere and we are already inside the mobile age. Mobile websites are a thing of "today" not "tomorrow." However, if you don't have one yet there are still many things you can do to beef up the chances of being found on Small Business Saturday.
During the first week of October one of the SEO strategies we gave you was to add your holiday website content to your website immediately so Google could find it and serve it up to holiday shoppers when the time came.
Well, that time is just about here. Many national brands launched their holiday websites yesterday, November 1, 2011. Let's look at them:
Blue Nile: http://www.bluenile.com 1. Their background was changed to include their signature snowflake. 2. BlueNile's website design signature is the home page large red ribbon. That red is now darker, less noticeable. 3. As of yesterday they added a small red bow next to "Find the Perfect Gift," which includes "Top 25 Hot Gifts," "Top 25 Classic Gifts," and "Top 25 Gifts Under $100." 4. Speaking of gifts, they also hav... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
There's a tactic we commonly use when creating AdWords campaigns that allows us to target online ads to appear to people who have already visited your website. The idea is that if someone took the time to browse through your website, they were probably interested in your jewelry, but weren't interested enough to purchase at that moment; so we keep showing them ads to make them remember the jewelry store.
This is a very successful strategy that Google AdWords has enhanced greatly in the last 12 months or so. Google explains the effectiveness in the fact that people are targeted with specific offers. These offers were not, and will never be, visible on the regular website, making the person feel like they found a special deal or even say to themselves "wow, thankfully I didn't buy that a day ago."
There's an idea among first time website owners that it's best to slap up a website with perfect jewelry photos, prices, and a Buy Now button and they can sell online. At the other end of the scale there's another camp of first time website owners that feel it's best to slap up a website with basic information about the jewelry store and they will attract new customers into the store.
Both of these ideas are completely erroneous. There is no way to slap a website together and become a success. What's worse is that we know, and our staff has attended, many seminars at jewelry trade shows where both of these myths are perpetuated.
You might be familiar with the phrases "Business card Websites" and "E-commerce sites from vendors." The business card site is a basic 1, 2, or 3 page website that puts your name online. The e-c... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Yesterday, we gave you our three month research study results to illustrate how online user generated content is out there, and potentially damaging until you lock it down.
InsiderPages, Yahoo Local, and CitySearch are the top 3 review sites you should worry about. Let's look at a case study to show exactly what you need to pay attention to.
We randomly searched InsiderPages.com for all jewelry stores within 20 miles of our office to find a good example.
We found: 188 jewelers with 5 star reviews from 1 or more reviewers. 178 jewelers with 4 star reviews, mostly from a single reviewer. 52 with 3 star reviews, many from 2 or more reviewers. 13 with 2 star reviews from 1 or more reviewers. 20 with 1 start reviews from 1 or more reviewers.
We'd like to tell you about a little research project we started on March 13, 2011 and concluded July 1, 2011. We'll explain what we did, give you our results, and then explain why this is important for jewelry stores.
Our goal was to determine how many small businesses are actually using online reviews, social media, Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, etc. as part of their online strategy.
Our target market was Houston, Texas, where we chose the unofficial diamond district on Richmond Ave. as our test epicenter.
We don't actually have anyone physically in Houston. This test was purely via the internet by searching in Google Places where we randomly selected independent restaurants, hardware stores, toy stores, various boutiques, and many other types of retail businesses. We tried to get a completely random sampling of... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
"Sometimes it's easier to find exactly what you're looking for when someone you know already found it. Get recommendations for the things that interest you, right when you want them, in your search results."
The "Plus One" feature was in beta testing for a while, and we've been peeking under the hood of that beta for several months to get an idea on how it will work.
On June 1, 2011 as many of you were probably packing for the JCK show, Google officially moved the +1 service from beta to general use and once again changed the way we have to deal with search engine optimization.
From now on, you should see a [+1] button on the Google SERP next to the title of each result. Specifically, y... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We've covered this topic before in our trainings, but with the recent changes to Google we need to revisit this again.
Your organic ranking is determined by the information you have on your website and how your website has been shared with the world. Search Engine Optimization now includes a mix of different social networking signals in addition to how many times people link to your website.
In 2010, Bing developed a strong association with Facebook to help measure the popularity of shared websites. The shared websites were given some new weighted value in Bing's search results.
Google was much slower to adopt social networks into their organic ranking, but in late 2010 it was announced that Twitter would help determine ranking. In early 2011, Google further introduced methods to measure Facebook sharing on Busines... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Do you have a customer report showing the nearby town names and how many customers are in each of them? If not, start working on that. Naturally, if you don't have a computerized point of sale this might be a serious challenge.
When considering link building strategies, it's always good to develop a relationship with other local non-competing stores and link your websites together somehow. Relationships with popular local businesses that also have active websites would be your best target, like the pizza place, popular bakery or even the local pub. The local newspaper would be the ultimate relationship.
But let's extend this further out beyond your own town. Using the customer report mentioned earlier, you could also establish relationships with the popular local businesses in towns that have a high density of your cus... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It's been a rather unplanned Google-centric week of Nuggets. These Google developments are important, and many times they go unnoticed unless a blogger makes a big commotion out of them. There are a few more topics we will also cover next week that should be instantly valuable for this Holiday Season.
Today, we'll explain what a Rich Snippet is and how you can use it on your website.
Way back in May 2009, Google introduced Rich Snippets in its SERP as one of the initial steps towards universal search results that show content from a variety of places. The Snippet displays important information about a web page, a product or a business that is useful for anyone searching.
For all their ability to spider, save and process meta data, Google apparently decided that they were going to reach out and let the website owne... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
A little more than a week ago, we reported through these Nuggets how Facebook could zap you if you didn't follow their rules. One of those things is sending too many emails to your Facebook friends from your personal account.
There is however, a way to send out an "update" to all the fans of your Business Page. You can even target the specific people to send to. Here's how...
Go to your Business Page. In the left margin, under your image, click "Edit Page." This will take you to the Management Page, where your Basic Information will be showing. Now click on the "Marketing" link in the left margin to get to the screen that says "There are many ways to Promote Your Page." Click on "Send an Update" The next screen will look like an email compose screen, but it has a subtle difference. You will see the "Audi... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Do not shoot the messenger on this one. We're about to give you very specific instructions on using your Facebook Business Page. You might not believe us. If you choose to ignore this Gold Nugget, we will simply laugh and point a finger at you when you get zapped.
Was that blunt enough for you? Please give us some attention for this one.
First, understand that Facebook needs to make money. They have a mostly free system, but somehow they have to pay their bills. From our point of view, their rules are put in place to prevent you from making money with their free system unless they get a cut of the profits.
In November 2009, they announced a set of new rules that totally distorted the ability for businesses to use contests to gain new fans and to protect their branding.
Our last topic this week regarding domain names is actually about email addresses.
All too often, people will use free email systems for their email addresses. Google Mail, or Gmail, is very popular in the past year or so. Prior to that, Yahoo! was most popular, and of course AOL, Hotmail and a multitude of others are still around.
As the web becomes an important part of your business, email communications will become even more important (if they aren’t already). When you use an email address associated with your domain name, you increase the brand awareness with your customers, as well as establishing credibility.
There's a higher level of business credibility with using firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com.
"...articles are easy to follow and seem to have information one can use right away." -Ann, Gallery 4, Hamden CT
"...serious kudos to you. We love your straight talk, pertinent information and plain language. I don't know how many industries have something of jWAG's caliber available, but I learn from the emails every day. Really, really nice work, and very appreciated." -Cheryl Herrick, Global Pathways Jewelry