In this edition of #ThrowbackThursday, I need to jump back to my discussion about Google Website Optimizer in September 2011. In 2012, Google closed down their Website Optimizer standalone product and merged its features into Google Analytics. They now call it Experiments instead of Website Optimizer.
'Tis currently the season for jewelry stores to upgrade their websites in preparation for the upcoming holiday season.
Website upgrades are good, as long as you are upgrading to something better. Everything online can be tracked and learned from. Before upgrading your website you should be reviewing all your previous collected data to see how you can improve.
The defacto standard in website tracking is Google Analytics, a massive tracking and analysis system that m... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In yesterday's Daily Golden Nugget, I explained a little about your website site speed and how to view the Google Analytics report that shows you how slow your website is.
While you could ask your website programmer to help you figure out how to fix your website, there's another report in Google Analytics that gives you initial ideas of what to do. It's called the Speed Suggestions report and it can be... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This Daily Golden Nugget is part of my Practical SEO Guide series with the goal of giving you quick, actionable information to make the search engine optimization of your website a little better.
Today we're looking at the Landing Page Report in Google Analytics. Log in to your Google Analytics account and navigate your way over to Behavior -> Site Content -> Landing pages as shown in this animated screen grab:
Did you know that it's possible to track the effectiveness of your offline marketing, as in, print ads, TV commercials, and even billboards? Yep, it's true, and it's simple too... Just use a different domain name on each ad.
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
Facebook is becoming well known for their ability to provide to the surface, very detailed demographic and the personal interest data about your customers. They've been able to give more details than the data Google has provided for several years. In light of Facebook's advancements, Google has improved their own demographic and interest data and made it available through Google Analytics and AdWords.
The data reported by Google Analytics is really helpful for every website owner to look at. By default, the reports provide really insightful data over the last 30 days of activity for users, sessions, pageviews, and bounce rates, but that's only a small piece of what GA can do for you.
The big benefit of GA is being able to produce a report for any time frame in the past and compare it to any other time frame in the past. You can compare the last 30 days t... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
As I quickly approach my 1300th Daily Golden Nugget, I find myself pondering my existence. What else could I possibly write about that I haven't already?
Truthfully, a lot, but I'm also realizing that's I've never created a series of simple examples or how-to's for typical search engine optimization tasks. So, starting today, I'm going to work through several days (however many it might take) to show you how to tie together simple SEO procedures.
In this third and final edition in my series on web server logs, I'll explain what an error_log is and the important information you can find within. My previous two Nuggets explaining your web server's access_log can be found here and VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Since the dawn of computer networks, every server has recorded logs of all communications activities. You might be surprised to find out that email servers keep logs of every email sent, who they came from, and who they were sent to. Many large organizations even save copies of those emails.
When it comes to sharing files, all FTP servers and all file sharing services, like Dropbox, keep track of what files were uploaded and downloaded.
The word "organic" is used to indicate something happening naturally in its environment, without outside influence that is deemed to be artificial or controlled. A quick look at the organic page on Wikipedia and you'll see that there are 28 different phrases for organic used in the English language.
All of the phrases refer to some type of natural growth or living thing that is grown according to certain standards. Orga... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Google Image search has really started to mature. Not just in its ability to find and surface images, but also with the way that people are using it.
In fact, if you look at this Nugget from last week, you'll see that 75% of the search impressions are generated through Google Image Search and 57% of actual organic visitors come from Google Image Search too.
Throughout 2014, Google made several advancements in their search engine and gave us some new reports in Google Webmaster Tools to see the results of those advancements.
Specifically, from within Webmaster Tools you can easily see when your website appeared in web search results, images search results, and mobile search results. During the first quarter of 2014, I started noticing retail jewelry websites appearing in image results more than ever before, and the Webmaster Tools ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
With the 2014 Holiday Season at an end, let's take a look at some website tracking results from the Thanksgiving week through Christmas.
The following data was recorded through more than 100 jewelry related websites. This includes a combination of retail jewelers and e-commerce sites. Results shown here only apply to the jewelry industry.
Holiday 2014 Sessions
Here's a screen shot of my Google Analytics tracking across the retail jewelry websites I'm tracking:
Here are the website tracking statistics from mid-November through mid-December 2014. As usual, these results are pulled from the group of 100+ retail jewelry websites that I monitor and the results might not apply to any other industry.
4-Weeks of Holiday Data
Here's the graphical representation of the sessions I've been tracking:
Managing the online identity for your business is time consuming. Although you might have found the best agency to build your website and help your marketing online, the relationship you have with them probably won't last forever.
Eventually, you will have to divorce your marketing agency.
This is the conclusion of the Daily Golden Nugget I began yesterday detailing how your agency should be setting up your business accounts and what you need to do to guarantee you always have login acce... 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.
Here are the website tracking statistics from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday in 2014. As usual, these results are pulled from the group of 100+ retail jewelry websites that I monitor and the results might not apply to any other industry.
November 2014 Sessions
Let's first take a look at this chart from Google Analytics:
Have you ever even really thought about that question?
If your business is 100% e-commerce, then it would be easy to run a few reports in Google Analytics and figure out which Acquisition/Channel brings the most visitors. You could also use the Conversions/Attribution to see when people first discovered you and what eventually turned them into buyers.
I typically don't write about current trends in the search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) industry, but today's topic is both a reassessment and a follow up to a previous Nugget about Google Penguin.
In April 2012, Google started fighting online spam in a big way. Prior to that month, one of the most common methods of achieving high Google search ranking was to pay a company to create links to your website. A single fee of $79 could get you thousands of l... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'm going to show you one of the more visually interesting reports inside Google Analytics. It's the User Flow report, and with it, you can see how your website visitors are moving through your website.
At the time of this writing, the first report you see when logging into your Google Analytics account is the Audience Overview. From that report, you simply click on the User Flow link on the left menu as shown here:
In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'll show and explain the Exit Page report in Google Analytics.
Although this edition can stand alone as a single Nugget, it's actually part of a larger series on holiday marketing and how to analyze that marketing. This is the 8th part to that series. I've included the first 7 in a link list at the bottom of this Nugget.
In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'm going to show you how to read one of the most popular reports in Google Analytics. In my opinion, retail jewelry store owners should know the basics of how good or bad their website is doing, and what might make it better.
When you first log into your Google Analytics account, you will be brought to your Audience Overview page, so let's start there. Here's a snapshot of one of my accounts:
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.
Have you ever considered what the real purpose of your website is?
You built it. You work on it (daily I hope). You expect it will bring you business.
People find the site somehow and you probably spend a lot of time thinking about building content to bring people to the site.
This is all sounds normal, right? What happens then? Your website is a driving force for your business, and you should use a slightly advanced setting within Google Analytics to see exac... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this installment of the Daily Golden Nugget I'm going to explain how to correctly set up your Google Analytics account structure to correctly track your marketing activity.
Almost as if they knew I was planning this topic for today, Morgan Stanley reported last week that that we would see the weakest Holiday Season since 2008. One of the reasons they cited in their report was that "increased promotional activity likely inhibits 2013 Holiday sales."
It seems like they are referring to the idea that too many promotions will cause people to buy less. Of course that almost seems like a paradox unless you are aware of all the consumer studies that measure choices vs. sales. This topic is widely e... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
So the internet changes very often. It's downright scary how much time it takes to keep up with the nuances of how things work between social networking, content building, and organizing your website.
Although I keep up with the changes in the internet, I know it's not realistic for you to. This is my job and my responsibility, whereas you are running a jewelry store and need to pay attention to daily operations there. But that doesn't mean you should be a complete ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Two years ago in October 2011 Google crushed the SEO industry when they announced that they would be withholding keyword search phrase information from Google Analytics whenever someone searched a phrase while logged into the Google Account. Their reasoning at the time was to increase privacy protection for their registered users by forcing them to use an encrypted login. The encryption blocks keyword information.
Google Analytics keyword traffic reports would never be the same after that. The appearance of--the now infamous--phrase "not provided" started appearing in all SEO reports and businesses that live and die by their ranking in search results became infuriated.
Today, two year later, Google is further crushing the SEO industry by encrypting all search results in the USA, even if you are not logged in. This chang... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the second part of a Nugget explaining how you can take tracking results from Google analytics and calculate more than just the return on investment for your retail jewelry store. (Part one here)
Let me do a quick rundown of all the example numbers from yesterday...
The following visitor referrals have come to our website over the last 30 days Visits from Facebook: 15 Visits... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
One of the most common problems for a retail store, not just retail jewelers, is being able to accurately track the point of origin of online visitors and follow them through to the point when they walk into your retail store. Although for small retailers there is a simple method... you simply ask your customers.
That might seem intuitive, but in all seriousness, the retail jewelers I talk to tell me it's not easy for the sales person to remember to ask a lead source question when you're in the mid... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Online marketing is a struggle for almost everyone. No one is sure what will work and what will not. Different experts have conflicting ideas on how you should spend your online advertising money, yet no one seems willing to provide meaningful reports that are easy to understand.
Email platforms like Constant Contact, iContact, and MailChimp have their own methods for measuring open rates, bounce rates, and click rates. But is that information really he... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Today we'd like to explain how we discovered the unfortunate waste of money one jeweler spent when they hired a SEO guy to build links by writing blog posts.
There's no need to look at your own account right now, but we'll begin our story with a quick trip into our Google Analytics account and click on the link for TRAFFIC SOURCES in the left margin. From there we expanded the Sources sub-section and selected Referrals.
On this Referrals page inside Google Analytics, we are able to see all the domain names on which people find your website, but more importantly, clicked to visit your website. It's typical to see facebook.com, jewelers.org, yellowpages.com, and maps.google.com among the popular referral domains.
If you've paid someone for "link building" services, you will see hundreds of random domain names in the r... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Have you looked at your Google Analytics data recently? Is your holiday traffic up or down? Do you know how your customers are finding you?
You may not be aware of it, but in the US, Google recently changed the way the SERP page works. Whenever Google or Gmail users are logged into their account, Google activates a secure web browser session.
In other words they are changing the browser from: http://www.google.com to https://www.google.com
As more and more information is tied together between Google's various products, this seems like a safe measure to protect us all, however there's a serious downside. This security is going to change the way you read your Google Analytics because your search keyword data will slowly disappear.
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
Today, and for the rest of the week, we are continuing our topic of Black Hat SEO tactics that you should NOT be doing on your website. Black Hat SEO refers to unethical technology strategies or website content that will negatively affect your SERP ranking or will get your website banned from search engines.
Today we are explaining Keyword Stuffing and we'll give you an example of it. But first, let's give you a little background information for the benefit of website beginners out there, or to refresh your memory.
In order to have a web page appear in the SERP for a keyword, you need to use that keyword on your page. If you want your website to appear for the phrase "champagne diamonds," you will need to use that phrase on your website.
In Daily Nugget #227 we explained the importance of lowering your bounce rate. In that Golden Nugget, we explained that you should try your best to lower your bounce rates as much as possible. You can read the full Nugget here: http://bit.ly/iExxJP
Google interprets bounce rates and uses them to judge the quality of your overall website when compared to particular phrases or topics. Google actually refers to topics as "themes" and that's a common word amongst website SEO professionals.
We've always said, and continue to teach, that you should be publishing educational articles or blog entries on your website. Each additional post increases the overall visibility of your site by giving Google more information to index and provide back out to users.
Today we'd like to tell you about one of our secret analysis tools. It's easy to use, colorful, and it will help you improve your website's usability.
When done correctly, usability testing can greatly improve your website's conversion rates.
We'll tell you about the secret tool we use in a little bit, but let's first tell you some of the things you can learn from usability testing.
List of What Usability Testing Shows You: 1. Most popular page of your website. 2. Where users move their mouse while surfing from page to page. 3. Where users click. 4. How far users scroll down on your page. 5. What part of your page is most visible in a browser window.
Google Analytics will provide data for #1 and #3, but the rest requires another type of tracking program.
Over the last two weeks, we first covered email topics and then landing page concepts that could create a continued experience and answer questions presented in your emails. Let's now move on to the next step in your internet marketing for jewelers' education: Conversion Rates.
Way back on January 22, 2010 we published a brief vocabulary lesson explaining Conversion Rates. Here's the link http://bit.ly/nTn9NW in case you want to read it. That lesson names the following 6 potential methods of determining conversion rates:
1. Email Newsletter Signup 2. Question submitted through the Contact Us form 3. Registration for an event 4. Fill out a form to receive a discount offer via email 5. Comment on your blog 6. Setting up a wish list
In yesterday's Nugget, we explained some basic strategies of meta description writing for the different types of pages in your website.
Today we're looking at a specific way to write your meta descriptions.
It is important to remember that only 150 characters of your description will appear in the SERP. This is a standard across all search engines. The search engines do not use the meta description for SEO ranking, and no one other than us tech-heads will ever view the source code of your website, so it's a waste of your time to write more than 150 characters.
Be wary of any SEO professional that wants to create long descriptions. Find the most concise way to say what you need to about a page.
Let's say you want to write a description for your page showing a collection of custom made wedding and engagement r... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I really didn't expect my review of Google+ to take all five days this week. This will be my last interstitial Daily Golden Nugget (for at least a few days).
Yesterday I started a list of features I foresee being integrated into Google Plus. Google's public company status prevents them from publicly announcing what they are working. The GOOG stock is actually doing very well since the launch of Google+.
Yesterday they reported their quarterly earnings were up and they've officially reached 10 million Google Plus users. I read a report on SearchEngineLand.com explaining how many people have not accepted invitations sent to them. Those of us that have are starting to realize the more compelling nature of Google Plus over Facebook.
When using Facebook, I usually keep a browser tab open. I occasionally look at that ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We've spent the last several Daily Gold Nuggets talking about the changes Google implemented with its Panda Update, and gave you suggestions on how to avoid having yourself negatively affected.
Over the next few months, we will report on new information about the Panda Update process as we learn it. But before we conclude this current set of Panda-specific Nuggets we have one more topic to talk about today.
After careful consideration, we believe we see a correlation between a Panda recommendation and something that we've previously told you about, so let's review.
According to the Panda process, Google will lower the overall ranking of your website if you have any low quality pages. If you review this page ( http://bit.ly/lPUebd ) you will see their explanation "that low-quality c... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We're continuing on our journey to explain the effects of Google's Panda Update and how it changes the way websites are examined and ranked.
Until Google unleashed their Panda on the web all website ranking was based on a mathematical model that measured clear quantitative items like:
* How many inbound links does a site have? * How many words are on each page of the site? * How many times are important keyword phrases used on the page? * Are your page titles written well?
As a SEO company, we will admit that it is easy to win in a mathematical numbers game if you know how to correctly count the numbers. Websites who have enough money to play the SEO numbers game rank well in Google all the time even though their websites might suck.
Next time you log into Google Analytics, take a look at your bounce rate. The jewelry websites we track range between 45% - 55% overall website bounce rate.
If your own bounce rate is below 45% then you are doing a much better job than the average jeweler.
As a reminder, the "Bounce Rate" is a measure of how many people first landed on your website, decided it was ugly/disorienting/wrong color/wrong size/misrepresented/etc. and they immediately click the Back Button in their browser.
Launched in March 2011, Google now gives individual users the ability to block results from your specific website. As first, this feature is not visible on the SERP. It becomes visible when you click one of the results and then click your browser's back button.
The Jeweler Website Advisory Group officially opened in January 2010 and built up its reputation throughout the year by providing SEO basic techniques and website advanced marketing ideas. This week, we went back to basics and will continue more of the same next week.
As alluded to yesterday, today we are going to tell you a little about long tail keywords and how you could put them to use on your site.
As you work on your website, you might think of specific words or phrases that you believe customers will search for. Unfortunately, your customers will rarely fit into the nice pigeon hole you would like to place them in. Instead, they will arrive at your site in some unusual ways.
Maybe you want to rank for "engagement rings" but your customers will flock to your website using the phrases "gold ring engagement wed... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is a continuation of a 4-part series providing specific instructions and examples of how to write effective copy for your website and emails.
Each day we're providing you 3 tips.
4. Offer more than one freebie with purchase.
It's so easy to throw in a bottle of jewelry cleaner. That's why you have them stacked behind the counter in a cute pyramid. But let's step up your sales game and make the customer feel really special. What if you had 2 pyramids of stacked jewelry cleaner? One small bottle and one large bottle. You could advertise a free small bottle of jewelry cleaner with all purchases, but then as a closing tactic you could offer the larger instead. However, a better way to insure repeat purchase is to surprise them with the larger bottle saying something like, "We're giving a free small bottle ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In yesterday's Daily Gold Nugget, you discovered 4 actionable ideas to use on your home page and in your holiday emails. Starting today, and continuing for the next 4 days, we'll give you specific instructions to write your copy.
Here we go.
1. You Need An Attention-Grabbing Headline.
It needs to be much larger than the rest of the body copy on your page. You should apply some specific styles. You want a Sans-Serif font, bigger, and enough white space above and below the font so it stands out.
People will skip a headline if it's too crowded by the words and images around it. All fonts have a built-in padding to create minimal white space, but that's never good enough for a headline. You will need a proportional amount of extra spacing depending on the font size.
Designing websites used to be so easy. The standard was 640x480 on a 14" computer screen. Then 17" was the standard at 800x600. Then 1024x768.
Unfortunately it's anything by simple now.
Our data research tells us that there are between 42 - 48 normal screen sizes that visit jewelry related websites every month. You will usually see the 1024x768 resolution in the list near the top with about 20%, but that's far from a standard now.
In your Google Analytics you should check out your own statistics. From your Dashboard click on Visitors on the left, then under that click Browser Compatibility.
Take a look at the sub-options for Browsers to see what your visitors are using. Is Internet Explorer still #1?
Then take a look at the Operating Systems and don't be surprised if our see iPhone, Android, Bla... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Most people look at the Search Engines right away, but there's a lot of other valuable information in there, and an answer to a very common question we hear a lot. That question is "Should I cancel my Yellow Pages advertising?"
Take a look at your list of Referring Sites. These are all the places that have links to you. Surprisingly, every retail jeweler website we've ever analyzed will have yellowpages.com, insiderpages.com and yp.yahoo.com all listed as referring sites.
What's even more surprising is that if you cancel your ad, or never even had one, you will still see traffic from YellowPages.com. It's usually pretty high quality with a low Bounce Rate and high Average Time on Site.
So save your monthly money and cancel that Yellow Pages ad when it's up for renewal. They won't remove your listing from their we... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Advertising is the key to any successful jewelry business; well, that is to say the advertising needs to be successful in attracting customers. Only then will the willing customers come.
In the past you would publish your ad and then wait patiently for customers. With the internet we don't have to wait too long to figure out what's working and what's not. The tool to use is Google Analytics.
Analytics allows you to see how people are using your website.
Here are some things you can learn from analytics: * What they are clicking on * What colors work best * If your jewelry photography effective * Which headlines work best
Highly successful jewelry stores usually see analytics and testing as a high priority. It's a key difference between winners and losers in both online sales and increasing... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
"...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