Twenty-five years ago, no one understood how the internet would trigger an evolutionary change in how almost every business in the world operates. Today, most businesses have some type of website to represent themselves online, and even the companies without websites have some type of online presence in business directories like Yelp and Google Maps.
It seems like every business industry has figured out how to use the internet to improve the efficiency of their business and their c... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I recently came across a seminar titled "How to Promote Your Online Store In A Cost-Effective Manner" and thought it was an extremely misleading headline. Whenever business owners ask me about cost effective online advertising, they usually mean "least expensive" rather than asking me how to achieve the best ROI with their online ads.
I've also found that many business owners believe that online marketing is simple, and that anyone can do it. Preying upon this belief, there are ad a... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It's the hope of every business that they will build a website that helps make them a lot of money, but few websites ever achieve that goal. Turning a website into a money making machine won't happen overnight, and it won't magically happen without a lot of help from employees and the business owner.
Most small businesses don't know how to update their websites once they are launched; indeed, many will continually pay for website updates even though they can edit the website on ... 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.
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
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
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.
It seems like only yesterday when it was thought that email addresses would become more important than telephone numbers, and now a website address is more important than both a telephone number and a physical address. A website is the most important representation of your business, yet most jewelers don't treat it that way, and many still view it as an online brochure that needs to be made once, and then forgotten about.
The local retail jeweler is losing a lot of business to the internet. The younger gen... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Entrepreneurs face many challenges when they first open their business. Frequently, business owners don't even know how to get started with registering their business on a local, county, state, or federal level. During my time as a business mentor with SCORE, I've been surprised by the number of aspiring entrepreneurs who come in asking for legal and accounting advice to help them get through their initial start-up peri... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I have this love/hate relationship with the words "branding" and "brand." When I became an entrepreneur and started studying different marketing approaches, I still remember my initial confusion of seeing those words used in connection with advertising. Up until then, I only knew of branding as a method of marking livestock, such as cows. The origin of the word brand, in fact, has Germanic origins relating to burning an identification mark into ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It all started six years ago; that's right, we're celebrating the jWAG's 6th anniversary today with the ambitious and philanthropic mission to surface our research about the internet and how the jewelry industry could best use technology to improve their business.
When my business partner and I launched the Jeweler Website Advisory Group (jWAG), we never expected it to blossom into the resource that is now referenced by so many people, even outside the jewe... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Every business experiences some type of growing pains; these usually have something to do with lack of time, hiring the right employees, and supply and demand of products, but there's also a website growing pain that's very real.
There are a lot of easy ways for business owners to build their first website. WordPress is a good option for businesses that just want to put information online, and Shopify is a good option for those hoping to sell online quickly. Both of these systems offer out-of-the-box templates and setups to get your website live in just a few days. GoDaddy also runs a marketing campaign to convince the new business owner that building a website overnight is the right thing to do.
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.
When it comes time to consider a new jewelry designer for your store, you have an extra tool at your fingertips to help decide if you should buy into the line or not. However you evaluate a new line, you can also use Google Trends to help you decide. <... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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 was recently asked if I could help evaluate an SEO agency based on their email solicitation. SEO, or search engine optimization, changes so quickly it's difficult to know if an agency will be providing the most up to date services.
Here's the email I was asked to evaluate:
Reminder-SEO starts from just @99 USD per month Hi, First of all thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read and consider this, We are of... 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
Once a week, usually on Friday, I write a website review for a randomly chosen retail jewelry store. This week the review is being moved to Wednesday.
For this week's review, I'm searching for "jewelers in Sedona, AZ" using Google Chrome in incognito mode. The results I saw during last week's review were formatted for a smartphone. This week the results are formatted for a desktop browser again. Oddities like that are usual... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The term Big Data is one of the internet's latest buzz words that everyone is talking about but no one seems to know what it is, why they should care about it, how to collect it, or how to use it.
Put simply, Big Data is the collection of massive amounts of demographic and tracking information you gather about your customers. Once gathered, you then churn that information into reports that help you better plan future marketing and provide interesting insights ... 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.
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.
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.
I've been online since 1988 and I began programming websites professionally in 1994. With 29 years experience online, you certainly can say I'm one of the internet "old timers." In the mid 1990s, we had no idea how the internet would transform the world. Indeed, just watch any sci-fi movie from the early 90s and you'll see how their portrayals of the future completely lack the everyday technology we take for granted today.
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:
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
Search engine optimization was once a game of pure guesswork. SEO specialists would simply watch their own efforts of what worked and what didn't work, then simply follow the same steps over and over again.
Companies like MOZ.com and SearchEngineLand.com have communities of users always trying to figure out which supposed SEO techniques work, and which don't. Search Engine Land even published their of VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
If you believe the (mostly North American) superstitions, Friday the 13th (today) is supposed to be an unlucky day. Perhaps it will be unlucky for some couples that breakup before tomorrow, Valentine's Day, arrives. I prefer the optimistic point of view and would rather believe that love is in the air today.
This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, and to honor Valentine's Day I decided to search for a jewelry store in or near a town with "love" in the name. This was not as easy a... 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
Welcome to the Friday retail jewelry website review. In this week's review, I'll be searching for a random website candidate to critique in the hopes that we can all learn something useful to implement on our own websites.
To start this week's review I started searching for jewelers in Hudson, NY. Specifically, I used the Google search query "jewelers in Hudson ny."
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
The internet has seen many changes over the last 4 years since I started writing these Daily Golden Nuggets. Undoubtedly, a lot of that change was informed by Google, but really there are a lot of other factors involved.
Through the Great Recession, a lot of easier and less expensive technology emerged that now allows us to access information from anywhere at any time. You could argue that the technology companies forced fancy new mobile devices on us; or you could say that the technology devel... 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
In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'm going to explain an often overlooked way to advertise your website locally. It comes at a lower cost, and with a higher return, than most other online advertising methods.
It's very easy to get swept away by the hype of online advertising methods like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, and to buy into the claims of large online advertising agencies. While you can get a lot of good results from agencies, Facebook, ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Google AdWords Remarketing is an online marketing method that allows you to show ads to people who have already visited your website. You and Google control who sees the ads by secretly tagging every visitor to your website, then choosing what ad to show to them around the internet.
I always like to refer to AdWord Remarketing as a separate type of online marketing, but... 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
"...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