After many years of talking and teaching about it, I'm finally starting to see retail jewelers embracing the reality of catalog and ecommerce websites. The reality I'm referring to is the tedious process of photographing your inventory, maintaining a website, and handling all aspects of order fulfillment.
Within the jewelry industry, there are several ways to mimic an ecommerce website without actually setting it up or managing it yourself. Many large man... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Retail is being redefined every day. Everyone still looks at their bottom line sales, but it doesn't matter anymore if the sales are from foot traffic through the front door or via shipping boxes out the back. While most retail businesses are still struggling to figure out how to bring foot traffic back in the front door, I submit that it's probably easier to learn what it takes to build your ecommerce business and increase the flow of shipped product instead.
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
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
This is the #FridayFlopFix website review. The goal of this review is to learn from someone else's mistake by randomly choosing and dissecting a website that has problems, and explain potential fixes. Hopefully there is something we can all learn from.
Websites with mistakes usually don't rank very high in Google, so when I search for review candidates I usually look lower in the SERPs, and even deep within the forbidden-nowhere-zone on Google... Page 2.
One of the marketing testing methods I use is to put myself out in the real world, away from my desk, to observe what an ad will look like when encountered out in the wild. Although I do test my digital marketing ads on different devices and browsers when sitting at my desk, it's difficult to get into the same headspace that a consumer would be in then viewing an ad or a website. This is my own interpretation of the proverbial "walk a mile in their shoes."
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
Over the last 6 years, I've subscribed to more jewelry email lists than I can remember. Whenever I do a website review, I look for the newsletter signup and add myself to their list. Most of the time, I never hear from those retail jewelers because they don't follow through with their email list.
Amidon Jewelers, in New Hampshire, is one of the few independent retail jewelers that I know that has consistently sent me emails since I signed up to their list way back in 2012. Years ago, they were sendi... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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
In honor of the jewelry shows taking place in Miami this weekend, I've chosen a Miami Beach jeweler for this week's website review. It all started with a Google search for "jewelers miami beach, fl" and these search results:
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.
It's time for the weekly case study of a website that's pretty old and in desperate need of a makeover. I call these weekly posts my Friday Flop Fix review. During these reviews, I look for websites that are implementing search engine optimization strategies poorly, or have poor website designs and I suggest ways to make them better.
This week, I searched Google for the phrase "jewelers Zanesville, OH" and was shown these results:
Welcome to my weekly website review. Every Friday, I randomly look for a jewelry store website that has a few problems, that I call flops, and then I suggest ways to fix them. These short website reviews are not meant for the store itself but rather you, the reader. My hope is that you will discover something here that you also need to fix on your own site.
This week I used the phrase "jewelers Newport, RI" to search for my review candidate. Instead of choosing a jewelry store from the first page of the Google res... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Every Friday, I venture out into the unknown to find a website that needs some help; I call them flops that could use some fixing. My hope is that you, the reader, will be able to learn a thing or two from someone else's mistakes, so that's what I look for.
This week I searched Google for the phrase "jewelers in Chapel Hill NC," and got these results:
Reading the latest website optimization and marketing methods online, and putting them into practice on your own website is a daunting task for most business owners. Many question their own actions and simply don't know where to start. For this reason, every Friday I present these mini case study website reviews. My goal is to find a website that has a few obvious (to me) problems, or flops, and then I suggest first steps fixes to get them on the right track again.
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 #FlopFix website review. Each week, I find a random retail jeweler's website and suggest fixes that could make it better. I never know what I'll find when I start these reviews and I do my best to document my first impressions as I look at the site.
This week I'm venturing to Olympia, WA where I'll search Google for "jewelry stores in olympia wa." Here's a screen grab of the returned SERP:
Welcome to my weekly random website review. In these reviews, I search for website candidates that have problems (aka flops) with their website, and I suggest fixes to make them better. This week, I'm taking a drive down to Accomack County, Virginia in search for a jewelry store. Accomack is near the famous Route 13 Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel that I once had the pleasure, and slight fright, to drive over. There are fewer bus... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Your customers and online followers will eventually become familiar with the routine and presentation of your content. Your content, and how you post it online, eventually becomes part of your brand's positioning, which is why planning ahead is so helpful for building that brand identity. The routine is just as important as the visual look because eventually your followers, whether paying customers or just readers, will expect things from you.
The axiom of search engine optimization is that your website will only rank for words that search engines can find on your website. If you learn nothing else about search engine optimization you must learn that one point. If you have learned that already; good, you don't have to read today, but before you go consider that many people aware of that axiom are still not applying.
When it comes to social media photographs, it's easy to forget that every person has a legal right to prevent you from posting a photo of their face online. Paid photographers and media companies are very aware of your legal rights, and they require people to sign a model release form.
Those release forms grant ownership and permission to use the photos for any purpose, even to sell the photos or use in promotions to sell a product. A quick Google search for "sample mode... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the #FridayFlopFix edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each week, I look for candidate websites that are not ranking very well in Google search results and dissect them to figure out why they are ranking poorly.
This week, I searched for "jewelry stores Florence, SC" to find that poorly ranked site. I found an interesting situation with the store Fisher Jewelers & Silversmiths that I'll investigate today. I first noticed the AGS listing for the store shown here:
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.
In preparation for this weekend's MJSA and JA Expo at the Jacob Javits center in NYC, I'm jumping way, way back to my fifth Daily Golden Nugget from July 30, 2010 about photography. I've written about photography many times since then, written product reviews about the VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I'm going back to my own jWAG website tracking today to look at the top 10 Daily Golden Nuggets of all time, that are still relevant today. I see that some of the Nuggets with the highest reader count are out of date because Facebook and Google have changed things, and a few others are very similar so I'll have to do some consolidating.
Popular Screen Resolutions
1. The most popular screen resolutions change constantly as new mobile devices and laptops are introduced. I publish an updated version of screen resol... 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:
Mobile websites are important, but a growing trend of mobile website design has me a little worried that websites are accidentally turning back the clock to a time of poor usability.
The splash page was a very popular type of website home page design prior to 2010. A splash page was supposed to welcome a visitor to your site with a pretty image or an animation, and sometimes even music. Typically, there was a big arrow or the words "enter site" lik... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Now that we closed the book on the 2015 Holiday Season, it's time to review the results. Over the course of the holiday season, I captured more than 47,000 different keyword queries related to retail jeweler websites. I'm sifting through all that information to find something actionable for retail jewelers. I've been looking for things like a list of good keywords, or popular designer brands to carry, or even where to focus your energy over the next few month... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We're all visual people. Smartphones and social media give us the freedom to snap and share photos all day long. Google has gotten much better as locating socially shared images and surfacing them in their image search.
When analyzing websites, I often find that there's more organic traffic arriving from Google image search than from web search. You can see this in your own Google Search Console data by looking at the Search Analytics report an... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
A few weeks ago, I was privileged to present a photography workshop at MJSA ConFab. Even though I don't necessarily like to be known as "The Jewelry Photography Guy," I seem to be gaining that reputation. After all, this was the 4th time I've enjoyed teaching jewelry photography techniques at an MJSA event.
I'm always being asked the same few questions about photography, which usually includes questions about macro lenses, lighting, and ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Welcome to the Friday Website Review. In honor of Halloween, I went searching for a spooky or horror related city name in which to find a candidate jeweler to review. Sadly, populated places like Devil's Peek, Hells Corner, and Pumpkinville are nothing more than tourist traps in the middle of nowhere with nothing more than a general store.
I then tried a search for Haddonfield, Illinois, the city portrayed in the Halloween movie series. But as it turns out Haddonfield, Illinois is a fictiti... 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 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 9 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 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 the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. I'm starting my Google search this week with the phrase "jamestown ny jewelers" to find the review candidate for today. That search yielded these results:
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.
This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. The goal of these weekly reviews is to evaluate a random retail jeweler's website against website design methods, SEO strategies, usability, and technology trends. I use Google Chrome in incognito mode to find every review candidate with a basic local search phrase. I also try to capture my first impressions in these reviews and write them during my initial pass through the website.
This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each week, I dig down into a random retail jewelry store website to discover the good and bad of what they've done with their online identity. The goal is to learn something that you can also apply to your own online identity.
This week I've decided to search San Luis Obispo, CA for my candidate jeweler. I'm starting my search with the phrase "wedding rings San Luis Obispo, CA." This is the Google SERP that was returned:
This is the weekly random website review where I search for a website candidate in a town near you and review how well their website is put together.
I never know what I'm going to find. Sometimes I find great sites and sometimes I find sites with a lot of problems. I do my best to write down my first impressions of the sites in an attempt to illustrate how a consumer might be reacting.
No matter what, there's always something to learn from.
For this week's review, I'm using my iPad to look up a review candidate. Every week, I use the Chrome browser in incognito mode to search for a random jeweler. In case you don't know, the iPad version of Chrome also has an incognito mode.
This week, I'm searching for "jewelry stores Eugene OR." Here's the Google SERP I saw on the iPad:
This is the weekly website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each Friday, I work through these reviews to help you understand the good and bad ways a retail jewelry store website works. I look for good and bad website design, content, photography, usability, and search engine optimization in hopes that we can all learn something new.
Each week, I use Google Chrome in incognito mode to search for review candidates. Incognito mode allows me to hide potentially personalized search results ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
For this week's Throwback Thursday, I'm jumping to April 11, 2011 and my topic of speeding up your website images. This is an important topic that never gets old.
The internet has sped up tremendously since the days of dial up 14400 baud modems. Back then, it would take 45 seconds to download a 62K image; today, it takes only 1 second to download through cable and 4G connection spee... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I angst a lot over the poor photo quality I often see used on jewelry websites and in print ads. Someone will never know the detail of intricate fine jewelry unless they are holding it in their hand or looking at a perfect quality photo.
I have a simple idea of a perfect quality photo: just be in focus and properly lit.
I like to use photos with interesting backgrounds to attract attention and then high definition photos with pure white backgrounds on the product det... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The internet is a very visual place. Photos, videos, memes, animated graphics, and company logos flood every social network. When used incorrectly, they also create clutter on websites.
One of the methods I use to gauge how often a website is updated is to look at the 3rd party logos used throughout the website. I'm especially critical of search engine optimization companies that tout their modern SEO services next to search engine logos that are more than 10 years old.
Way back on May 3, 2013, I reviewed the website for Alletti Jewelry. In that review, I explained that they were using the GoDaddy WebsiteBuilder and showed why it was a pretty bad content management system (CMS).
Recently. I came across a different retail jeweler's website using the new version of GoDaddy's Online Store CMS. The store is Goldirocks Jewelers and their website is VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this edition of the Friday website review, I'm traveling to Shreveport, Louisiana in search of my review candidate. Using the Chrome browser in incognito mode, I searched for "jewelers Shreveport, Louisiana" and saw these SERP results:
This is the Friday jewelry website review where I find a random retail jeweler and review their website for design, usability, and SEO. In each one of these reviews, my goal is to show how the information from my other Daily Golden Nuggets can be directly applied to a website.
This week, I'm using the Google Chrome browser in incognito mode to search for "jewelers st joseph mo." Here's a snapshot of the results:
Apparently Google is turning a few more heads with its recent search engine ranking algorithm changes again. I'm not talking about Mobilegeddon, which will happen on April 21, 2015, but their latest announcement about e-commerce product images.
Google has put a lot of effort into improving how it understands images and the types of images that people would like to se... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Last week I wrote my weekly jewelry website review while I was waiting for my flight to France in Newark Liberty Airport, in Newark, NJ. Because I was sitting in the airport, I had the opportunity to present that review from the point of view of an actual mobile user.
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
Website usability is always a point of contention between visual website designers, data analysts, and website owners. The website owner always wants their website to look good, the designer is always trying to satisfy the owner, and the data analysts seems to always be in a losing position of 2 against 1.
Of course, then there's the uncomfortable situation some months later when the website owner is upset that the website is not driving more business the way they had hoped. Usually this is when ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Our last two Nuggets explained the importance of naming your images more effectively for greater SEO value. But what if you don't have the time, or the ability to name your images?
Built into standard HTML coding is the ability to include an "alt" tag and a "title" tag for every image. These are parameters that would be placed inside the HTML image tag. Here's what it looks like...
Generic HTML image tag: <img src="IMG_0001.jpg" />
HTML image tag with alt and title parameters: <img src="IMG_0001.jpg" alt="Zeevoog Diamond in a Diamond pendant" title="Zeevoog Diamond in a Diamond pendant" />
The alt/title parameters serve many very useful functions online, here are a few:
1. When you hover your mouse over the image, you will see the alt/title text in a popup bubble. 2. Screen readin... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
What's the difference between email you send to your friends and family and the email you send out in bulk to your customers?
Constant Contact is one of the popular, easy to use email newsletter management systems. They provide colorful email templates that you can manipulate and turn into beautiful masterpieces of email creativity.
Perhaps you sit and marvel at the beauty of those email newsletters before sending, only to have your excitement crushed by those built in statistics that show how few people open the email (called open rates).
There are many reasons for low open rates, including spam filters, firewalls, poor subject lines, and customers who don't view images in email. You can only track when an email is opened if the person views images. Have you ever see that "Having trouble viewing this email? Click ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
While recently cleaning up an old jewelry website and the jewelry product catalog, we noticed something that dates back to our Daily Golden Nugget #183 (read it here http://bit.ly/erFrbU) and we'd like to tell you about it.
In #183 we said that you should include Alt and Title attributes for all the images on your website. Our feeling is that if you make your website user-friendly it will rank better. In this case, the Alt/Title image attributes are used by screen readers for the visually impaired.
We also mentioned in last Friday's Nugget #230 (read it here http://bit.ly/m1N2D0) that the Alt/Titles also help get your images indexed in Google's Image search.
Just to add some more proof of the importance of the Alt attribute, there is a report from... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Determining the correct size of an image to use on your website can be tricky. Your website probably has a standard image size setting, and if you learn to size your images correctly your users will have a quality visual experience and a pleasant browsing experience.
The first thing you need to understand about website images is that no two web designers use the same terminology. Some designers will ask the "size" of an image when they want to know the pixel dimensions as they appear in the web browser; whereas the "size" for someone else actually refers to the kilobyte size of the file saved on the hard drive.
Jewelry photography is very difficult. You won't sell anything online or attract attention to your store if your photos are too small to see detail, of if the images are too grainy. Grainy images are also referre... 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