This is the Friday website review where I randomly choose a retail jeweler and scrutinize their website for problems. I look for design mistakes, SEO mistakes, functionality mistakes, content mistakes, and even marketing mistakes.
This week I searched for "jewelers Renton, WA" to find a review candidate. Here are the results I saw in Google:
Happy New Years and welcome to #FridayFlopFix! FridayFlopFix is what I call my weekly website reviews. The goal of these Friday the Daily Golden Nugget editions is to find a website that is behind on expected website standards, i.e. flops, and provide suggestions for fixing it.
Last night, on New Year's Eve, millions of people watched the ball drop in Time Square, New York City. In honor of this, I've also decided to focus my attention on NYC to locate a retail jeweler. Considering the NYC Diamond District and so many retail jeweler ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I was at a social media marketing meeting in New York City last month when someone asked if they should be posting the same photos and status update to every social network.
That was a good question, and there's no real straightforward answer. In reality, it depends if you have the same audience following you on all the social networks. If the same audience follows you on all networks, then they will get very bored very ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In 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
Content creation is a continual task for every website owner. It can also be a very challenging task to come up with new content all the time without suffering from mental burnout or writer's block. That burnout will have a bad effect on your long term SEO, so it needs to be prevented.
One way to prevent content creation burnout is to spread the task around between several employees on your sales staff. Remember that website content isn't just blog posts. Content... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Seventy-seven week days ago, when I reached the 1000th Nugget milestone, I got the idea that I should write a recap of all the technology that I wrote about that came and went since 2010 when I started this daily newsletter.
Although I really want to be nostalgic, I don't even have the time to look through 1000 posts to create a full list. But I'm going to give it a try and see where this goes, so let's have a little fun... Instead of learning something new today, I'll look at some old topics that I'v... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Last month Google changed the way YouTube videos are ranked in the SERP to better match locally created videos to user locations. We're not sure if this new feature will work on a country level, state level, or local town level, but it's enough for us to revisit the YouTube topic and remind you of some things you can be doing to attract search engine attention.
The easiest videos to create are short, simple presentations of jewelry between 15 to 60 seconds in length. Someone could model the jewelry while a narrator (you or the model) describes what it is; or you can make it real simple and hold the jewelry up to the camera.
The last time we suggested short videos like this, we recommended the Cisco Flipcam, but now we're recommending to just use your Android or iPhone. Both smartphones can record simple videos and also ma... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Video is a pretty powerful marketing tool. There are many ways you can shoot, edit, and post your own videos online.
One of our favorite suggestions, and perhaps the easiest method to create video, is to simply use your smartphone to record short clips around your jewelry store. In particular you could create video "unveilings" of new inventory as it arrives. Naturally that type of video will have a "home movie" or "reality show" type quality, which is a good way to entice your audience rather than trying to sell directly to them.
Posting your videos to Facebook and YouTube is made easy through a variety of software programs on your PC or Mac, as well as easily available applications for your smartphone. Videos uploaded to Facebook are usually never seen by anyone other than your own Facebook fan base due to the fact th... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Every few months we like to remind you that the internet is not just about your jewelry website, or about Facebook, or Twitter, Google+, or any number of blogging sites, etc., etc., etc... It's also about video.
Where would our Holiday 2011 Run-Up be without some new information about video? So let's get to it.
In the past, we heavily recommended the Flipcam as one of the best portable video cameras. Even though these hand held video cameras are still available today, Cisco has officially discontinued the product line and will not support it after December 2012. These are still fantastic cameras and if you can find one in a store lower than $150 you should surely grab it.
Those who are video camera challenged might have video capability already hidden in their pocket, that is, if you have a smartphone. Most smartp... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Ten Nuggets ago, we ended our short series on YouTube with the topic of transcripts. The goal of that YouTube Nugget series was to help your videos rank in Universal Search results.
But there's another benefit to transcribing your videos...
If you're going to take the time to make a video and upload it, most likely you're not going to let it sit all alone on YouTube hoping your customers will actually find it. No, in reality you should also be embedding your video into your website.
Many retail jewelers have large video libraries on their site. They are great educational resources and when you can show off visits to Antwerp or a South African diamond mine you are proving your local experience and superiority over all the other jewelry stores.
Google measures fresh content by the time stamp of the physical file found on a server. If you upload your website on November 15, 2010 then many of your pages will have that November 15 time stamp.
Time stamping on files is also how Google determines original ownership of intellectual property. If your time stamp is oldest then your images and articles will be considered the original source of that particular information.
There is a growing problem with this time stamp concept when using content management systems. In a Google training video in 2010, someone asked what Google was doing about management systems that create a static page, but populate it with new information daily.
When Google checks the time stamp on a web page, it ignores the page if the time stamp is still the same as its last visit. In other wo... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is it. Today's Daily Golden Nugget is the reason we spent the last 7 Nuggets explaining YouTube.
The video title, description, and tags are all important for SEO, but if you really want to trounce your competition you need to follow the directions in this Nugget to create Captions and Subtitles for your video.
Transcribing video correctly is a difficult task. It's incredibly time consuming and best left to people who know how to write in shorthand or steno. For people without those skills, even being a fast typist, it could take you 2 hours to transcribe only 30 minutes of video.
However, we don't want you to do that. Instead, we want you to use a shortcut that YouTube provides, and then modify it.
A few days after uploading your video, YouTube will attempt to transcribe the words within you video. If... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Last week, we explained how to optimize your YouTube videos for the search engine. Today we're reviewing the settings that allow your videos to be used socially.
*Video Thumbnail: After YouTube finishes processing your video, they will randomly select 3 frames from the video and provide them as options for the video thumbnail. This is the thumbnail you see in the SERP, within all the YouTube pages, and as the still frame before the user presses the play button.
Of the 3 options YouTube gives you, select the one that is most compelling.
*Privacy: There are three privacy options for your video. Most of the time, you want to set your videos as Public since that's the setting you need if you want users to find you in the SERP.
With your YouTube channel set up and your first video recorded on your simple camcorder, let's talk a little about SEO for individual YouTube videos.
Uploading to YouTube can be done easily through the video editing software that comes with your basic camcorder, or you can log into your YouTube account and click the "Upload" link at the top of every page.
All new YouTube accounts are limited to 15 minute long videos. If you stay within the YouTube terms of service and don't violate any copyright laws, you might have that time limit restriction eventually lifted.
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.
The Internet is not not just limited to websites any more. In fact, the everyday normal website is slowly being replaced by social sites and various online services.
A few years ago, if you wanted to put all your jewelry store information online you would have to figure out how to do it all, or hire a company that could do it all.
Do you have videos on your website? Previously, you needed to manage video content on your own and have a hosting account capable of handling that huge video bandwidth. Now that process is much easier with YouTube.
Do you have testimonials on your website? Previously, you needed to ask people to write testimonials and mail them to you. Now you can ask people to write online reviews on Google Places or Yep. You can even capture tweets about your site and post them on your website.
Duplicate content is an issue for all websites and not just a situation where one website copies the information from another website.
In fact, more duplicate content issues come from your own website because of programming glitches that were not foreseen.
Duplicate content happens when information you have on one web page is the same as the information on another page. Of course, if you have a small site with only 10 pages to begin with, you might not be thinking there is a real problem for you.
Maybe there isn't.
However, any website that has any size product catalog might fall prey to duplicate content issues through a number of common issues.
One very common issue is a search box you might have on your site. Search boxes allow your users to search your site for words or jewelry. Want to find all t... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We expect a plethora of SEO experts to post wonderful articles today about how SEO changed over 2010 and what the future will hold for all of us. We're staying away from the predictions and simply following forward with basic SEO discussions.
Although, our discussions are not simply old SEO techniques regurgitated over and over again. We do spend a lot of time making sure what we are saying is still valid. We search through what the SEO experts are saying and we especially look for the guys that have the analytical data to prove what they're saying.
We never believe any SEO expert who makes a claim without evidence to back it up.
Once we find something interesting, we compare it to our own jewelry-specific measurements and determine if the same finding also holds true within the jewelry ind... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
So far, you have a lot of ammunition from us to have a pretty successful online holiday season. But we don't simply want to sit back and watch you succeed. Here are even more email ideas that we've learned from previous years.
Your emails and website don't actually need to be holiday focused. In other words, you don't need to have photos of Christmas Trees or Menorahs. Instead you just need to show photos and tell stories that remind people that the holidays are a wonderful time to talk about the future and the past.
Emotions drive purchases and if you can somehow tap into those emotions you will have successful sales.
We've mentioned educational content for your website in the last 2 Daily Gold Nuggets. Before we move away from this topic, we wanted to cover another example.
We've seen many jewelry websites with pages about custom design. The best types include photos of original sketch work, CAD models, wax molds and then the final product.
These are great to show the quality of your work. But you could also include a story along with the photos of the work.
1. Get a photo of the customer and the original sketch together. 2. Write a paragraph or two explaining the conversation you had with the customer. Include the reason for the custom item and any emotions the customer has regarding its creation. 3. Explain your process and what you need to consider while making it. This is your art, so explain wha... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
When it comes to SEO, time is very precious. It's ticking by very quickly and if you want your website to be functioning correctly for the holidays, you need to take action before September 30.
On Friday last week, we explained a strategy of writing a description of your holiday inventory and having your webmaster post it on your website. Today we are continuing with a different spin of this idea.
As soon as your holiday inventory arrives, you need to film a video presentation of each item you are serious about selling. Production studio camera and sound quality is not needed, but lighting is very important.
You have several choices to shoot your video: Digital camera, Flipcam, or Cell Phone.
Your audience will forgive poor audio quality as long as the video image is good, and the jewelry color... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
"Lord" Google provides a tremendous amount of educational material through their Webmaster Tools series. But the problem for us "mere mortals" is simply that we don't have enough time to sift through to find the relevant minutia for ourselves. Even though the Jeweler Website Advisory Group is striving to provide such relevant jewelry website related minutia, we can't cover it all fast enough (yet). We love it when another source has helped with the process.
The SEO Workers organization provides a big help with regard to Google video library series. Navigate over to http://www.seoworkers.com/tools/analyzer.html and enter your website address into the "Page URL" field. Make sure to answer their question-based CAPTCHA before clicking the Submit button.
"...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