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
MySpace used to be a fun social network. You had complete freedom to change your profile any way you wanted by adding music, changing colors, and customizing your background. Anyone with a working knowledge of HTML could customize the look of their page and turn it into their online bastion of delight. I remember when being on social media was nothing more than a fun competition of making your profile page look better than your friend's profile, then tease each other about it. ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Happy Holidays! There are only a few hours left in the 2016 holiday shopping season as I write this. Those still doing their last minute shopping are probably thinking a little outside the normal box in order to find something good for their loved ones.
For this week's website review, I will work through a search scenario in hope to illustrate how your customers use the internet and why it's so important for you to build out your online identity much further than you might imagine. For many businesses, this is the make-or-brea... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Back when jWAG was formed in 2010, the common mantra touted by many online marketers was that "the money is in the list." The list, at the time, was a reference to the number of people on your email list. Since then, we now have the ability to reach customers through many other list methods, including Facebook retargeting lists, Google AdWords remarketing lists, and even push notifications through custom apps that people download. So many online marketing opportunities exist now tha... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
There was a lot of marketing buzz around QR codes when they appeared in the USA in 2009 and 2010. Marketers thought they would be a hot sensation for smartphone users and started slapping them on all their ads. Even though QR codes began to appear everywhere, their usefulness and marketing success rates were small. What marketers didn't realize was that QR codes must be utilitarian, but most were gimmicky. I wrote this Nugget about... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
For this week's #ThrowbackThursday, I'm jumping back to a Daily Golden Nugget that's in desperate need of updating, specifically what I wrote about the Jewelry Information Center, otherwise known as the JIC. JIC was created by Jewelers of America as a consumer education service. The jic.org website commonly posted current jewelry trends and was a great inspiration resource ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The last seven days have been quite interesting, and fulfilling for me. In addition to the photography demo booth at MJSA Expo in New York City, I also presented three seminars/training classes, one of which was at MJSA this past Monday.
An interesting topic about marketing budgets and social media organically emerged during my training sessions last week, which I then added to my MJSA seminar at the last minute, and I want to share with y... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Don't want to read? This week you can also watch the video recording of this review here!
This is the #FridayFlopFix website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. This week I've randomly chosen Santa Clarita, CA as the city to search for my review candidate. When I searched Google for the phrase "jewelers Santa Clarita, CA," I saw these three Google business listings:
In this #ThrowbackThursday nugget edition, I'm jumping back to a simple one from October 2010 about finding blogging topics.
Blogging has become the primary way of generating content for your website that search engines then use to better understand what your website is all about so they can correctly match you with the people searching for... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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...
This is a special Christmas edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each and every Friday, I write some type of website critique or review as an educational case study. For Christmas today, I'm changing it up and reviewing a Christmas-related search engine results page.
As I started my search today by typing out "christmas jewelry ideas," Google offered me the suggestions you see here:
Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., the only national holiday that transcends all races and religions. The holiday is typically celebrated by gathering together with friends and family and enjoying an elaborate meal. The next few weeks will see huge spikes in retail store sales, and today is probably the last day off most retail store owners in the U.S. will have until Christmas Day.
I'm mentioning this because a recent review of my own Google Analytics revealed that 47% of... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
One month ago today, I introduced the 2015 Holiday Run-Up with the premise that this year you could create several specialized marketing campaigns, or micro-campaigns, focused on singles products or groupings of products. Implementing the micro campaigns would require lots of product photography, correctly targeting your customers, writing lots of product content, sharing that product content to social media, coordinating... 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.
I've covered topics of Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram so far in this Run-Up to the 2015 Holiday season. This is my 14th installment in this special Daily Golden Nugget series to help you boost your 2015 holiday sales.
If you're just joining in for the first time, then you should review the outline of this series I explained here. I'... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the continuation of my annual Daily Golden Nugget "Holiday Run-Up" series loaded up with step-by-step explanations of how to make the most of your holiday season advertising. The focus of this Run-Up is how to make the most of your product advertising to attract customers through multiple media methods. This is the 13th installment of the Run-Up, and this series still has a few more days before I finish all the topics that should make a positive impact on ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is Part 11 of my annual special Daily Golden Nugget "Holiday Run-Up" series packed with tactics to help you during November and December this year. I started this series 3 weeks ago with directions for all the initial steps needed to prepare for the information you'll find in these last few run-up days. The initial marketing strategies overview is here.... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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
This is Part 8 of my annual special Daily Golden Nugget "Holiday Run-Up" series packed with tactics to help you during November and December this year. I started this series with an overview of the marketing strategies that have worked over the last 12 months and have been expanding on each idea every day since.
This is Part 3 of a multi-day Daily Golden Nugget series packed with tactics to help you in your 2015 holiday marketing. The series started with the overview of 2015 holiday marketing strategies. Today I'm specifically covering the topic of...
This is Part 2 of a multi-day Daily Golden Nugget series packed with tactics to help you in your 2015 holiday marketing. The series started yesterday with the overview of 2015 holiday marketing strategies. I'm breaking down each section of that overview into a more detailed Daily Nugget.
Another summer has come to a close and the holiday season is almost here. No matter what the financial forecasts say, I want to give you some current ideas to improve your marketing methods, and hopefully your sales, through the end of this year.
Create a Uniform Branding With Your Ads
I'd like to start with a suggestion for you to review the ads you are already planning for this season. Instead of running standalone ads this year, you can use all the potential advertising methods... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The holiday season is quickly approaching and you need to consider how you will be spending your advertising dollars. Will you hold an event promoted with post cards and phone calls? Will you have a Black Friday sale promoted in the local newspaper? What medium will you use for your weekly ads for the holiday season?
There are a lot more choices now than just newspapers, post cards, billboards, TV, and radio. 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.
A "conversion" refers to some type of customer interaction that results in the capture of the customer's identity, usually their email address. E-commerce sites also measure conversions according to the number of online sales they have. 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
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
I'm not sure if it's just me or general public awareness, but I feel that the subject of blogging has been a hot topic for the last two months. I think it started as a snowball effect because of this post where Robinson Meyer expla... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This Daily Golden Nugget is my 1,276th in a row. When I started this blogging journey nearly 5 years ago, I never expected where it would take me. Truthfully, every blogger begins their writing journey for personal reasons and we never know where we will end up.
Blogging is huge. The word blog has become the general term to represent all types of content creation that involves written words. When I started writing these Nuggets, I envisioned them only as email newsletters that would be archived online. I... 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
The truth of the matter is that your business will never survive without some type of marketing. Word of mouth marketing is not enough anymore to support your business. Simple posts to social media and meager ads in community newspapers won't support your overhead, or even put food on your table.
Blogging has passed through various evolutions in the years since its original inception in 1994. The first blogs were created to help people keep their friends up to date with what they were doing. Services like Open Diary, Slashdot, and LiveJournal we... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Using a contest to promote your company and build awareness is a viable method of marketing for any business.
During the past month, in preparation for Mother's Day, many retail jewelers held jewelry design contests. Typically this type of contest required a sketch of a pendant to be submitted to the jeweler through some method. The winner would have their pendant turned into reality by Mother's Day.
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.
When I first opened my business in 1994 as a computer consultant, the drivers of new technology were a lot different. In the mid 90s, it was typical to first buy a computer before figuring out what software you could use on it. Many of my customers wanted their own programs written, too. Those were the days of DOS and Windows 3.1, and the options for software were limited to what you could find in your local Egghead Software store, or you ha... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this edition of #ThrowBackThursday, I'm jumping back to an old topic, and still a very valid topic explained in Daily Golden Nugget number 175 back on March 25, 2011... Adding new value to the internet.
Content, content, content! That's what Google wants. Countless numbers of official Google webmaster blog posts, videos, and presentations by Google employees at internet expos talk about the continual need to create new content.
A jeweler wrote to me the other day asking for help with their Mother's Day contest promotion. The promotion is being advertised through the local papers but the contest takes place through their website. To enter the contest you need to fill out the online form and agree to sign up for their newsletter.
Because the contest is centered around creating a custom design, this jeweler wants to send out a series of additional custom design em... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I received an interesting question the other day from Suzie, a jewelry designer. Well, her name wasn't actually Suzie, but let's just say that it was so it makes this story easier to tell.
For several years, Suzie had an Etsy account where she sold a line of baby toe ring jewelry. This was her fist line of jewelry before she started making gemstone jewelry necklaces. Realizing how different these two lines of jewelry are, instead of using Etsy to sell the necklaces, she opened an e-com... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
QR Codes have been a hot topic for several years. In this #ThrowbackThursday Daily Golden Nugget, I'd like to jump all the way back to my second Nugget ever, which was on QR Codes. That was July 27, 2010!
That Nugget was the number one most popular post I had ever made, until I started writing about screen resolution and setup directions for Google M Business. It has since d... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
A number of years ago, and I was hired to create a website to promote a national marketing campaign for retail jewelers. The website served as the cornerstone for hundreds of jewelers who were using the same set of ads to promote a select number of products that were sold exclusively through those retail jewelry stores.
The goal of the marketing campaign was to establish a nationwide brand identity for the hundreds of participating retail jewelers. Participation in that brand identity woul... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Every week, I receive at least one question from my readers through Facebook, Twitter, comments on jwag.biz, and even direct emails. Sometimes I reply privately, but sometimes I use those questions as source material for future Nuggets, like this one.
Here's a question that arrived via email about a week or so ago:
Regarding Blogging... Can post-dating a blog that you "should've" written months ago help you now if you date it the date from before (i.e. it's Feb and... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
What's your favorite type of content? Given that content includes written articles, videos, podcasts, photography, and every other type of creative digital experience. There's a labor cost associated with creating a digital experience for your customers, a cost that's not easily understood by small business owners.
There's also a competing value of the content that swings between the long term value to attract quality customers and the short term value of getting a lot of attention. S... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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
'Twas the night before Christmas, and time to close doors after a long four weeks, the time still soars. Did you break record sales with engagement rings sold? Hope she says yes tomorrow; the future's untold!
While it's usually children dreaming the morning's delight; the guys that you helped are filled with horrible fright. You're the town's best jeweler; the men come to you; your jewelry's the best at getting an "I do."
The times, they have changed, and there's much online chatter, you've to to keep up, or else you won't matter. You made mistakes then, when your website used Flash, but you took steps; improvement when sales came to a crash.
Your jewelry designs always win Best in Show, but your website's sad ranking had fallen too slow. With new learning, you hoped an answer'd appear... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It's time to kick off my yearly report of email subject lines throughout the holiday season. This is my breakdown of "Black Friday" emails throughout November 2014.
As part of my email tracking, I'm subscribed to hundreds of different email lists. Every month, I monitor trends and techniques to see how email marketing is evolving. During the month of November, I received almost 1000 emails building towards the launch of the holiday season.VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
As the internet and online shopping have become more popular over the last few years, today, the first Monday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday, has earned the designation as Cyber Monday. This is the day when many e-commerce websites have 24 hour sales to lure shoppers to spend their money online instead of shopping in local stores.
Every year comScore.com reports the sales figures for different shopping days through the holiday season. Although the calendar date of Cyber Monday changes ever... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I've seen a lot of chatter online recently and in business magazines about the management of store inventory and how it relates to online advertising. Many of the conversations stem from the requirements for the new online advertising system called Google Shopping and how it will help online sales for this holiday season.
For today, the eve of Thanksgiving in the United States, I wanted to briefly cover the topic of online inventory, inventory uploads, and how that works with Google Shopping.<... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Around this time every year, my local fire department hangs out their "Change your clocks, change your smoke detector batteries" sign. It doesn't rhyme at all, but they want to make sure you get into the habit of associating a required action with a life saving action that we all would otherwise forget about.
Since daylight savings time is on everyone's mind, this is also a good opportunity to tie in some type of watch promotion. Selling watches isn't as glamorous as selling diamond covered jewelry, but it's still a sale that shouldn't be overlooked... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'll bring to a close a multi-part series of holiday marketing for the 2014 season. This is the 11th part of the series all based around the unified topic of marketing for the 2014 season.
In this series, I started with explaining how to organize your marketing, then showed you how to set up tracking of that marketing, and concluded with a few posts showing you how to read the tracking results.
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.
Over the last three days, I've given you some specific marketing tactics that, as a whole, would equate to a large marketing campaign for the holiday season. I began with a discussion on choosing the right products for the campaign, then explained how to VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the third part of my Daily Golden Nugget series outlining a potential marketing plan for the upcoming holiday season. The first part explained how to select the items to promote during the holidays. The second part detailed how to set up your newspa... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the second part of my Daily Golden Nugget series outlining a potential marketing plan for the upcoming holiday season. The first part I began yesterday explained how you should select a specific set of jewelry items and then write blogs, take photography, and make videos for those items.
In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'm outlining a potential marketing plan for the upcoming holiday season. My example will focus on specific items which we will build content around and share socially.
What I've written out in this guide will be good for anyone looking for a different approach to marketing for this upcoming holiday season. There's a lot of detail for the setup, implementation, and then the post-analysis of the entire campaign. You'll do the setup... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Your business changes every day. Sometimes it's a small change like getting new inventory into your store and sometimes it's a big change like moving to a larger location.
The jewelry industry is highly competitive, and many times it's difficult to rank above your competitors if you don't have enough information on your website. You can't rely on a few educational pages, like the 4C's, and then small product catalog with images and simple descriptions. That's simply not enough in... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
On Saturday this week, I'm celebrating another Daily Golden Nugget milestone--it's the 4th anniversary of when I published my first Nugget. Four years, and still going strong.
Blogging can lead to a lot of opportunities for business and in your personal life. I find it extremely rewarding. If you haven't started blogging yet, then read through this s... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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
Do a Google search for the phrase "there are no original ideas anymore" and you will find 57 million results explaining how the world has run out of ideas.
Can it be true? Has the world truly run dry of new concepts and ideas?
Although I've heard a few people make such statements, I never gave it much real thought until the summer of 2013. There were a lot of big changes that inspired me to write a Nugget detailing how SEO... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
My job requires the wearing of many hats. Some days I spend all my time analyzing tracking data, some days I'm writing these Daily Nuggets, other days I've reviewing programming code, and then there are those mundane days when I'm spending time with the bookkeeper and insurance agent.
Although all these different duties seem disconnected, they all drive my business forward and it's surprising to me how each one helps inspire ideas for making the others better.
In today's Daily Golden Nugget, I'm reviewing website traffic and email headlines leading up to Mother's Day in the USA, which was May 11 this year.
Every year, during the three weeks leading up to Mother's Day, the organic customer acquisition patterns repeat themselves. This year that pattern started on Monday April 21, 2014 with a slight rise of traffic. The increase in traffic occured from Monday through Friday followed by the typical dip in traffic over the weekends.
A lot has changed in the world of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) since I first started my daily blogging more than 1000 posts ago.
The most significant SEO changes over the last 4 years are related to Google Panda and Google Penguin, but there are dozens of other notable changes, and hundreds of subtle changes throughout the entire internet.
Blog writing can be fun, educational, rewarding, and a boon for your business over the long term. If you're blogging just for the fun of it, then you might not spend the extra time to edit each blog post before publishing it. A quick read through for spelling mistakes and simple grammatical corrections might be all that's necessary.
Those of you blogging for business should take a slightly more professional approach to your blogging and spend a little more time on the editing proces... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The process of writing a blog post is more involved than just coming up with an idea and typing it out. Writing has its own set of interesting experiences which were holding me back from my writing creativity until I started to identify them.
What I've itemized below are 12 things that I discovered about the writing process and how to deal with them. Your own writing experiences might differ, but you won't know until you start blogging on your own.
Good ideas happen at the least opportune moments. When driving, while walking, brushing your teeth, watching TV, and of course the worst time is when you are just drifting off to sleep. You'll never remember that idea in the morning.
After writing more than 1000 blog posts, I came up with a few thoughts of my own for how to make sure I don't forget a good blogging idea when it comes to me.
Blogging is a method of online marketing, but it also has many other personal and business benefits. When I started blogging 4 years ago, it was partially because jWAG was a paid subscription education service and partially because I honestly just had the desire to do it. About a year later, it was decided to deactivate the subscription portal and turn jWAG into a philanthropic endeavor.
Since I started blogging on July 26, 2010, I've written 1006 Daily Golden Nuggets. This is my 1007th. I'm sure an accomplishment like this is child's play for a daily journalist who is paid to write several news articles in a single day, but I'm not a trained journalist and I don't have an English or Communications degree. I started as a lowly tech geek who suffered from a mild case of dyslexia with degrees in Computer Engineering and Applied Mathematics.
According to a report from the National Retail Federation, the number of Americans out shopping during this past weekend was up from 139 million in 2012 to 141 million this year. However, the average amount of money each person spent was down from $423.55 last year to $407.02 this year.
Yesterday, December 2, 2013, was Cyber Monday. This "special" day is designated as the day when Americans replace their weekend shopping with shopping online. This trend started way back fo... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I typically do a website review every Friday but this week I'm changing that up and going to review some recent email marketing that's associated with today: Black Friday 2013.
This was a very busy week for email blasts. On Monday, I received 31 emails from retail jewelers, on Tuesday 37 email, 43 emails on Wednesday, and even 35 emails on Thanksgiving day by the time I posted this. I sign up for new emails all the time and most jewelry stores never send any emails until the holiday season.
In fact, I saw a few emails on Tuesday from retailers I signed up with more than 6 months ago and had never heard from before then.
For those of us working in retail, or those of us who provide services to retail businesses, we know the day after tomorrow is when we can official start promoting the Holiday Season. True, we will still get flack for "skipping Thanksgiving," or for beating the first snowfall (maybe!) to the punch, but after Halloween, it's finally fair game. Holiday movies start playing on TV, and new holiday albums came out today is the US, which will start to affect the iTunes charts this weekend.
The USA is one of the few countries that celebrates Halloween in such a big way, and that day now represents the dividing date between "Fall" advertising and Holiday advertising. Not too long ago, that dividing date was Thanksgiving.
Of course, I'm only referring to the USA. Other countries that don't celebrate or commercialize Halloween in... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In yesterday's Daily Golden Nugget I explained that there are 4 potential days in November around which you could base some type of marketing campaign or announcement. Those days are Daylight Saving Time, Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving. Simple email announcements, Facebook posts, or Tweets could raise awareness of your special promotion and sneak in under references to those days.
On the first hand, most retail stores--including most retail jewelers with active marketing campaigns--would rather focus th... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In preparation for the upcoming Holiday 2012 season you need to start adding information to your website now so Google will lead internet visitors to during the holiday website search season.
Today's Daily Golden Nugget gives you a few website content strategies that you can use for new content or for blog posts. No matter how you include these ideas on your website, they will bring a flurry of visitors during the holiday season... as long as you go do this right now.
There are so many different ways to create quality blog posts, and to keep your readers engaged. Today I want to explain how you can create a digest blog post using your previous blog posts.
Digest emails are quite popular, in fact, for the first 200 or so Daily Golden Nuggets we were sending digest Nuggets every Friday to readers that wanted them instead of the daily emails. Websites with active blogs and articles (like news sites) often send evening emails with blurbs of all the day's posts.
There's a difference between sending a digest email and creating a digest blog post. The email can use the same wording, perhaps even the first few sentences of each original blog, but if you intend on posting this digest online you need to write a brand new summary of the blog.
Some people have the "Gift of Gab," and some just don't. Knowing what to say and when to say it can make or break your popularity, and surprisingly it's the same way with Google.
Official directions from Google always say to post new content to your website. It's the new, fresh content that attracts attention. But for most jewelers there's only so many ways you can talk about diamonds, the 4 C's, diamond rings, and birthstones before the topics are beaten to death.
So instead of beating that same old horse in your blog posts, you need to look for alternative things to talk about on a regular basis.
Here are 2 ideas to prevent writers block while writing blog posts for jewelry stores.
Red Carpet Events - Keep a lookout for any celebrity or local event that generates a lot of hoopla. Although these events... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
So... it's June. What's on your agenda for this month? Perhaps you have holiday advertising planning on your mind. If not in the next 2 weeks, then certainly you'll be thinking about it over the next 6 weeks.
As you evaluate your advertising budget we want you to take a very close look at what you spent last year, and what the return on investment was for each method. Many jewelers reported upticks in sales last holiday season, but was that because the economy turned around or because advertising methods worked?
While at JCK we spoke to a few successful jewelers that were not selling online, but were heavily marketing their website. In fact, those successful retailers told us they were spending between 50% and 70% of their entire marketing budget through online marketing instead of traditional media.
Most of the SEO techniques we teach you are related to how you should manage your content, write your content, and topics to attract customers. In our previous Nugget we explained in great length by you should remove the word "bridal" from all your online marketing and replace it with the word "wedding." That's a contextual change that will attract the right customers from Google.
We suggest looking through your site and replacing most occurrences of the word "bridal," but not all of them. Some people will still search for the phrase "bridal jewelry" so you should still be there for those few.
However, don't run to your old blog posts and replace bridal with wedding. That's the wrong strategy. Instead, you need to rewrite all those old "bridal" blog posts from scratch!
Over the past few weeks we were trying to get a better understanding of how Google will translate a long tail search query into a valuable SERP for users. Specifically, we were testing queries that started with this:
"What is the ________"
Have you ever tried a search query starting with either of those 3 words? Google understands that this query search is for information; therefore they try to return some type of quality educational article before any potential e-commerce site.
Google doesn't have an all-powerful artificial intelligence that would be able to directly return an answer to a question. They have to rely on mathematically matching a search phrase to phrases found on web pages. Other than the mathematical word matching, they also compare the results to more than 300 other ranking factors to give you th... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Sometimes we go months without thinking about a topic and then twice in a single day something comes up, like today when in depth conversations about keywords and SEO blossomed...
Tuning your website for keywords can be tricky. If you had a choice of tuning your website for only 5 phrases, what would you choose? Do you sell just 5 types of jewelry in your store? If you wanted to tune your website for "engagement rings" and "diamond engagement rings" that would already be 2 phrases. You could easily end up with a list of 20 or 30 desired keywords and phrase permutations.
From our point of view you should not be trying to narrow down SEO to a limited set of keywords, simply because that's not natural. Imagine if you were told to have a conversation about the rain storm outside, but you were not allowed to use the word "we... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
To follow up from yesterday's proposal location blogging suggestion, today we're giving you 2 more associated blogging ideas.
Our first suggestion is to blog about local locations where a wedding ceremony could be held. This list could include park locations, houses of worship, and even the mayor's office.
The second suggestion is a list of local banquet halls. Include the most upscale venue as well as the local firehouse or rescue squad hall.
You should include as many details about each location as possible, and remember to include a photo since those usually get the most attention by visitors. To get started, you should write one blog entry about each of the most popular places, or perhaps just the places you are most familiar with, then watch your website tracking for about a month.
The last time we analyzed the percentage of organic visitors to jewelry websites from the various search engines was July 12, 2011. Back then here's how the top 3 engines stacked up.
Google: 89.7% Yahoo: 4.2% Bing: 3.8%.
When we recently measured on February 22, 2012 we found this breakdown of organic traffic sources:
Google: 82.5% (expected leader) Yahoo: 7.9% (wow, this one is still beating Bing) Bing: 7.6% (new player and likely enhanced by Facebook users) AOL: 1.1% (geesh, people still use this?) Ask: 0.6% (amazingly still alive) Search.com: 0.3% (never really caught on; obvious names don't always work!)
Remember, these numbers are only measured against websites for retail jewelry stores. Google is losing ground while Yahoo and Bing are gaining, but then, Google's numbers wou... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Here's a cool trick that you should do tonight that will help you prepare for a more successful Valentine's Day for NEXT YEAR.
Doing a quick search on Google right now for the phrase "valentine day gift ideas" or "valentine day gifts" will return millions of results, most of which are for chocolate and flowers. You won't find much in the way of jewelry mentioned on page 1 or 2 of the SERP.
It's interesting that, according to Google's published research (link below), they say that jewelry gifts will be about $3.5 billion this year. That far out paces the 1.7 billion in flowers and the $1.5 billion in candy. They also state that online searches for jewelry between December 25, 2011 and January 8, 2012 were up 42% over last year. Google's research also showed that people were starting their onli... 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.
It was predicted that this holiday season was going to see a huge jump in the number of smartphone users for holiday shopping.
Predictions from Google Think Insights and from data presented at the Mobile Marketing Summit in NYC on September 8, 2011 both stated that mobile would be a big player this year.
We decided to check in on the stats now that we are 2 weeks into the season.
75% increase is what we're seeing right now!
The actual numbers we're tracking are showing approximately 25,300 mobile users from a current total 38,300 mobile users. To put it differently, that's about 5.7 mobile users to your jewelry website right now.
Is your website mobile-ready or are you suffering your users through the pinch-zoom madness? Whether you have a mobile site or not, we'd like to give you a quick tip for you... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It's 3 days before the big kickoff of the 2011 Holiday Season and we're hoping you are all set with your online marketing. Today's topic will help you set up a last-minute local internet presence.
We're going to give you some pointers on setting up your Google+ Page. The Google+ Page and Google Places Page are two different website properties, and you will need to manage both right now. Google has hinted that Google+ will eventually absorb the features of Google Places, but let's not hold our breath on that today. Instead we need to deal with 2 Google business profiles for your jewelry store.
Google+ Pages will help you win your local market, so you need to step up and get this done. Google+ Pages will be important for you because they are already showing up in the Google SERP. Here's an excerpt from the Google+ Pages... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Every year your mail boxes are filled with holiday cards from friends, family, and sometimes even business relations who want to simply say how important you are to them. The typical "Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year" are among the common phrases inside holiday greeting cards.
Your Facebook Likes, email subscribers, Twitter followers, and Google+ Circles are supporting your business, and are very important to you as well. A message of holiday cheer and heartfelt warmth can make their holiday a little happier.
Sending messages to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are easy and you shouldn't feel worried about message overload during the last days of the season. On the other hand your email subscribers might be getting tired of hearing from you by the time December 20th comes around.
Many jewelry stores we've worked with do not have regular 9am to 5pm or 10am to 6pm store hours. Some have morning and afternoon hours and close for lunch, and many personal jewelers have morning hours some days and afternoon hours on other days. Most of the jewelry stores we know will also be closed on Sunday and Monday every week throughout the year.
Naturally these store hours start to shift during the holiday season. However you change your store hours, you need to make sure your customers know about it.
For starters, make sure you have an easy to find page on your website dedicated to your store hours. Yep, a dedicated page that actually says "Store Hours" as the link/button name in your navigation.
We've also seen some jewelers post their store hours on their home page, which might be a good strategy to cha... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It's crunch time! Well, maybe not really, not yet, but that's the mindset we want you to be in today. Imagine it's the last few days before the holiday. This year the major holidays of Hanukkah, Yule, Christmas, and Kwanzaa are all within the 7 days of one another, and last minute reminders on December 19th could really boost your season end sales.
All of our Daily Golden Nuggets so far have concentrated on selling new merchandise, but one of the easiest last minute reminders should be about jewelry cleanings, prong checking, and watch battery replacements.
You have to admit that most of us will want to look our best when entertaining family and friends over the holidays. Not only do people dress to impress but they also want their jewelry to impress. What good are those 2ctw., IF, D earring studs if they are so dirty t... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Marketing campaigns in early December each year shift from talk of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to campaigns mentioning the "12 Days of Christmas." Many of these marketing campaigns will align themselves with the 12 items in the popular song in hopes to create memory retention.
If you are looking for ways to create memory retention, you don't have to limit yourself to the overly popularized use of those 12 days and items; instead, you should try to be a little more creative. Let's look at some ideas that might spark your own.
The Holiday Season comes jam-packed with many religious traditions, cultural traditions, and popularized TV/movie/theatre traditions. Any one of these can be adapted to help your own brand or specific product positioning.
It's the season of giving. Combine that with the social web and you could come up with some creative ideas to weave through your website, email, Facebook, and Twitter marketing. If all your holiday marketing is simply attempting to sell, you will quickly lose your audience, so how can we spice up your website and email messages?
A good place to start is to think about what people do during the holidays other than buy gifts. They get together with family, catch up with friends, decorate their homes inside and out, watch seasonal movies and TV shows, bake, sing carols, and anything else you can think of. What are your traditions during the Holiday Season?
Actually that's a good question to ask on your Facebook Page: What are your Holiday Traditions? You could even make it a contest and have every shared story entered int... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We've spent each day this week reviewing important marketing tips and SEO ideas as they relate to key shopping days in the holiday season. Today's topic is Cyber Monday, the heyday for those of you that have e-commerce websites.
This year Cyber Monday falls on November 28, 2011. Cyber Monday of 2010 was reported to have 1,028M in online sales according to comScore, but according to our own data it wasn't the highest day for online visitors to jewelry store websites. The biggest traffic day award goes to December 20, 2010, the Monday before Christmas.
The philosophy behind Cyber Monday is that disappointed shoppers from Black Friday and the weekend are still trying to complete holiday shopping but ran out of time over the weekend. Many e-commerce websites will announce Cyber Monday specials to capture the online sales.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.
Black Friday emails continue to surge every year. According to Responsys.com there was a 67% increase in Black Friday emails in 2010 from previous years.
Black Friday shopping starts very early in the day, so if you're planning on sending an email that day you need to send it out at 3AM or 4AM local time so shoppers are reminded of your deals and include you in their shopping schedule.
Here are some suggested subject lines for Black Friday, a few of which come from Responsys.com.
"Wake Up! Don't Miss BLACK FRIDAY DEALS" "Black Friday Deal Buster Specials on Jewelry" "Black Friday Only - Free Necklace with every Pendant"
Naturally that last suggestion of a free necklace would be a loss leader. Take a look at yesterday's Daily Golden Nugget for some recommendations on low cost suppliers.
Advertising in the days leading up to Black Friday will be flooded with "Door Buster Deals" that entice those potential shoppers looking for the best deals of the Holiday Season and you can easily participate in that advertising strategy with minimum, last minute investments.
Hopefully with our Lookbook suggestion yesterday, you have a clearly defined strategy of which products you will be pushing for the holiday season, but if you haven't yet selected a line of jewelry with retail prices of under $200 and under $100 then we've got some ideas for you. It's these price points that consumers will be attracted to on Black Friday, and it's these items that you need to announce in your Thanksgiving Day email.
Yes, we're actually suggesting you send a Thanksgiving Day email this year. According to Responsys.com there was a 46% ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Today we're going to give you some ideas for email and website content that you should launch on the Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving. That's 2 weeks from today, so if you jump on this right now, you can still get it done.
To begin, we'd like you to take a moment and think about all the emails your vendors have sent you in the past week or so. This year it seems like many vendors are promoting their low-cost jewelry lines. These low-cost lines include silver charms, woven jewelry, alternative metals, and we've seen a few specials on traditional jewelry including pearls.
Black Friday shoppers will probably be more interested in finding gift items for people on their list than directly interested in spending time looking at your expensive ring showcase; so stay focused on the holiday buyers on Black Frida... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Officially we have closed the last chapter on our Holiday 2011 Run-Up. The book was getting to be too long and we wanted you guys to read it instead of being frightened to death by its magnitude. If you haven't downloaded it yet, you can still do so from our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/JewelerWebsiteAG.
We still have a lot of important research data that will help you make the most of your marketing dollars during the most important part of your year. Although not included in the Run-Up book, it makes sense for us to continue presenting our findings.
A few weeks ago, and on page 32 of the Run-Up, we gave you several days of subject line examples for your holiday email marketing. They were straight forward examples to get you thinking, but we didn't present ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Cyber Monday is the Monday immediately following Thanksgiving Day in the USA. Last year the company comScore tracked $1,028M (that's a Billion) in online sales that day. Sales were up 16% from 2009.
Cyber Monday got its name from the idea that holiday shoppers who were discouraged by their in-person weekend shopping experience would continue their shopping on-line that Monday morning.
This year Cyber Monday is November 28, 2011. Your strategy, should you decide to accept it, is to remind your customers early that morning about your jewelry store and what you have to offer. Even if you don't have an e-commerce jewelry website, you still need to get their attention.
According to our research we expect that on Cyber Monday morning, your customers will be tempted by emails from Macy's, Kay, Tiffany, David Yurman, Jar... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Today's Daily Golden nugget is a continuation of the holiday email research from the website Responsys. During the Holiday 2010 Season, Responsys tracked emails from more than 100 large retailers and published a report of holiday email trends.
We've taken their generic retail research data and reworked it for the retail jewelry store. The ideas presented here come directly from Responsys, with a little jWAG tweaking.
Let's turn our attention to the flurry of emails sent to consumers on the morning of Black Friday. For 2011, Black Friday in the USA is November 25th.
Any emails for Black Friday should be sent out during overnight hours, perhaps about 3am or 4am, so customers can find them waiting on their Smartphone first thing in the morning. Remember that many shopping malls and large department stores will open a... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Many large retailers and department stores have started a new trend of promoting online sales on Thanksgiving day and even opening their retail stores late in the evening on Thanksgiving Day. Responsys.com tracked a 32% increase on Thanksgiving day email traffic in 2010 and according to comScore, online sales for Thanksgiving Day 2010 jumped 28% to $407 million.
With this data it's obvious to us that that people are reading emails from their smartphones after their Thanksgiving dinner. They might be relaxing on the couch with the family, even watching the big game on TV, but secretly they are planning their holiday purchases.
You don't need an e-commerce website to benefit from a Thanksgiving Day email blast. You could use the email to plant an early thought and/or direct the person to your mobile website so they can view... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
During the months of November and December, email marketing experiences a huge spike in usage as the entire retail industry seems to remember that they can contact consumers through this "old fashion" communication method.
We have been monitoring emails from a handful of jewelry stores over the years, but we know that some of the best holiday email research comes from the website Responsys. For this Daily Golden Nugget and for this part of our Holiday Run-Up 2011, we're going to directly reference their research.
During the Holiday 2010 Season, Responsys tracked emails from more than 100 large retailers and found that every holiday related message contained one of the following types of messages somewhere in the body of the email. As usual, we've modified these where appropriate to make your job easier.
Google Plus continues to dominate tech news on many websites as Google publishes new tweaks of the service every day. I've been reading and testing to figure out how and why you, as a retail jewelry store owner, should get involved in Google+.
I suppose I should tell you about the video chat feature called a Hangout. Google gave us a brand new way to video conference between people. This feature allows you to video conference up to 9 friends to communicate directly through your webcam.
In a Hangout, you can all see each other in small thumbnail videos while the person talking is presented in a larger video window. The Hangout also has a chat, and a way to watch YouTube videos together.
It's quite fascinating and I know I'll find it useful when I want to hold a conference with my team when I'm traveling, but at the... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
As you might already know, we usually don't publish Daily Golden Nuggets unless we have enough data to substantiate what we're saying. Although recently we've published a few "Front Line SEO" nuggets that were based on developing SEO observations, we felt they were important enough to talk about.
Today we'd like to finally examine Groupon. Is it worth it for a retail jeweler? What's the typical result? How can you make it work for you?
Groupon recently filed for their S-1 and is moving forward with their IPO as soon as possible. They've had an amazing success in only 30 months, but is their business model actually a success for the retail stores that use it?
We've spoken to a few jewelers that have used Groupon and to many other retail business owners outside the jewelry industry. They've all reported the same e... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Universal search results pages contain organic web page listings, product information, Wikipedia information, local businesses and video. Recent additions also include bookmarks from friends, tweets and other social interactions.
Let's talk about video.
Both Google and Bing will include videos from sources including YouTube, eHow and TED, DailyMotion, MSN, Tudou (TF1), Allocine, MySpace, 5min, VideoJug, MTV, and perhaps other sources. However, it's obvious that YouTube is the most popular video website right now.
Video acts as a magnet to your product or service. You can use video to illustrate your specific talents and provide customer education. It also creates a bond between you and your customers that is solidified when they meet you in person or talk to you on the telephone for the first time.
Blogging is such an important part of website content. Using your blog, you can add real content that Google loves to index and use in the search.
You blog is a forum for so many different things. One day you can use it to showcase a new line of jewelry in your store, and the next you can use it to talk about your sponsorship of the local Little League.
Everything you post in your blog will feed Google's ability to bring you traffic. But what if you would rather have people share your blog posts on Facebook or Twitter? How can you get them to do that?
Google is a machine, programmed to do what it does and it doesn't care if your content is boring. It only cares if your content matches a search query.
To get interest from real people, you need to make your blog posts interesting. Give people a reason to b... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Blogging is a great way to increase traffic to your website. A blog entry allows you to create conversational information and use words more naturally than simply trying to keyword stuff all the other pages of your website.
Let's look at a good way to use blogging to increase organic traffic to your website.
Perhaps you have a landing page for the category "Diamond Wedding Sets" and on this page you have links to 4 sub pages: * Round Diamond Sets * Princess Cut Sets * Marquise Diamond Sets * Vintage Wedding Sets
This would be a "thin" page of information because you probably only have 1 photo and 1 sentence with each of those links. You don't want to keyword stuff that page because it would be unnatural. What does that actually mean? Well, don't use the words "diamond sets" or "wedding sets" or "diamon... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Let's jump back to the very basics for a moment. The word "blog" is a portmanteau of the words "web" and "log." In 1997, the process of writing and publishing online was considered a weblog, but then in 1999 it was shortened to just "blog."
Blogs are extremely popular now. In fact, we might even say they have become one of the largest driving forces of the internet. Everyone with an opinion (or a passion) has the ability to get online and offer a piece of their mind.
We'd love to see all our jewelry stores add a blog to their website. Naturally, we hear opposition to this all the time because "who has the time?" Right?
For business purposes you should consider your blogging time as "necessary advertising." But you should not consider it to be a chore; after all, aren’t you passionate about jewelry?
It's Black Friday in the USA and that means millions of people are out spending money and hopefully many of you retail store owners are bringing in some good sales. Which, by the way, we hope you are reading this from your cell phone or tablet while out on the sales floor.
Speaking of cell phones and tablets, here are a few good ideas you should think about over the next week.
#1. This one's for iPad users. Get yourself a nice photo frame stand that the iPad can sit in. A clear plastic frame will work, too. Load the iPad with some photos of items you have in stock. On Windows, you can easily load photos as if the iPad is a camera by using the standard iConnect-to-everything-iRelated-cable. On a Mac, you can use the iPhoto program to load and organize your photos.
"...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