The digital screen on my bathroom scale has been on the fritz more and more every day, and I finally decided to do something about it today. I've owned different wearable devices over the past 7 years to monitor my health and daily activity, but I didn't yet have a smart bathroom scale to monitor my BMI or other health factors. Today was the day I would finally get one.
I contemplated buying one off Amazon.com but decided that I'd rather compare models ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Every time internet technology changes, there is a chance that consumer expectations will change along with it. I often say that expectations change every time someone upgrades their smartphone. Unlike a desktop computer that we hold on to for 4 or 5 years, we each have the option to upgrade our smartphones at least every 24 months. The recent smartphone upgrade I did gave me faster processing speed, which means my apps, camera, and video editing run faster, but my internet speed is still controlled by my carrier. ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I have met and helped many different entrepreneurs during my time as a volunteer business coach for my local chapter of SCORE, a division of the U.S. Gov. S.B.A. While I've helped them make their businesses better, I've also learned that most entrepreneurs of all ages share several similar personality characteristics and daily practices.
Life of an entrepreneur
Most entrepreneurs start out small and quickly learn all the jobs needed to make their business run. If you're a small business owner, then you are probably the best s... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Your website is the cornerstone of all your online marketing; it's what people find when they search for a local business type or a specific product by name or by model number. People go to Google with an instigated need for an immediate purchase, when they need a specific service, or when they need to start research on a longer term decision making process. Those with immediate needs will take action based on what they see on your website or your social accounts. Those looking for an immediate purchase will look for an onlin... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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
It seems like once every year I come across another website using the Hibu service. Their corporate website says they are a leading provider of digital marketing to local businesses across the US, UK, and Spain. They say that they provide one-on-one service to unify digital marketing, website development, and SEO.
It all sounds good to the small business owner who is looking for an all-in-one online solution and doesn't have the time to learn or the money to hire the right people to do it. Hibu has... 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."
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
My website reviews every week usually start with the random selection of a town, but this week, I didn't find any jewelers when I selected Jurupa Valley, California. If there are jewelers in Jurupa Valley, then they probably don't have a website or a large enough digital footprint for Google to find them.
With the lack of any real local results, Google returned store listings from surrounding towns and a bunch of directory sites, like Yelp. Here's what Google gave me:
Last week, I went shopping for a water proof iPhone case; something that would be good enough to protect the phone while canoeing on a river. After a bit of searching at the local mall, I found a potentially good case made by THULE. Due to its price, the THULE Atmos X5 case was locked in one of those anti-theft store packages that covered most of the important details. Before buying it, I needed to make sure it was really waterproof rather than just splashproof, and to what dep... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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.
Last weekend, I received a frantic phone call from a store owner that needed to fire an employee, but the employee was in control of all their Google accounts. The store's Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Search Console, and Google My Business accounts were all created by an employee years ago, and the store owner never insisted that those accounts be transferred into her name. It's a sticky situation now that should have been avoided from the beginning.VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Last week, I reviewed some good ways to correctly implement QR codes in your marketing and in your store. One of the methods I suggested was to create a QR code that would lead people to an online review form. To do that, you'll need the website address for that form, but Google doesn't make it easy to find any more.
This is the #FridayFlopFix edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each week, I find a random retail jewelry stores and review their website in hopes that we'll be able to learn something from the process. I call this a "Flop Fix" because I specifically look for websites that are making mistakes, i.e. flops, so I can suggest fixes.
Here's the search results I saw this week when I searched Google for "jewelry stores Elko, NV":
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
Your success on social media is related to the amount of time you spend engaging with your customers. I like to think of social media as the online version of a business networking event. Plenty of people attend business networking events with grand notions of meeting new business partners only to get there and stand on the sidelines, or quietly sit at a table without working the room.
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:
This is the #FridayFlopFix website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Every week, I scrutinize the website of a random retail jeweler and make recommendations for how to improve the site. I seek out bad websites for these unsolicited reviews so you, the reader, can learn how to identify and improve upon your own websites.
I'm changing up my approach this week. Normally I choose a review candidate from the first few that appear in the Google search results; this week I'm digging into the second page of the searc... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In yesterday's Nugget, I gave you 4 ways to prepare for ecommerce. Long before you get to the ecommerce state, you need to have a perfectly working website that reflects how your business operates and the customer service you provide. To help you achieve that today, I'm giving you 5 ways to improve your website.
Bring up the topic of smartphones with your friends and the conversations will soon turn into a debate over the reasons why some think the Android OS phones are better than iOS phones. While the iOS phones are only available in a limited number of models from Apple, the Android OS is available on dozens of different models from dozens of different phone manufacturers.
Regardless what your personal smartphone choice is, knowing what your customers are using will help you design a ... 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:
A few weeks ago, I published a Nugget showing the recent trends in search engine organic usage. I've been tracking those statistics since 2010, and now I have enough information to compare mobile organic visits to desktop organic visits.
Today I'm stepping back into 2015 to review the top 10 Daily Golden Nugget posts according to my Google Analytics account. Take a quick look to see if you remember them, and if you were able to put any of this information to use:
Welcome to the #ThrowbackThursday edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Today, I'm jumping back to one of my early posts about location based services and checking-in on Facebook.
It was all the rage during the summer of 2010 to have a check-in app on your smartphone check-in everywhere. Gowalla, Foursquare, Whrrl, and Loopt were competing heavily when Facebook tried getting into the game. Facebook's initial eff... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
If technology and website design are not your cup of tea, you might want to skip this one. On the other hand, if you're a business owner who wants to understand the future of how to make your mobile customers happy, and want to learn some advanced concepts that will help with the future of customer detection and personalization, read on.
There are a lot of mobile devices out there. The data I analyzed while writing my latest VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Welcome to #ThrowbackThursday edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. As I looked back over my recent data, I realized I haven't analyzed the top performing search engines for quite a long time. The last time I reported the top search engines results was back in May 2014.
I've collected a lot of data since then, and now I can even report on the differences between desktop and mobile search engine usage.
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
With the 2015 Holiday Season at an end, let's take a look at some website tracking results from the Thanksgiving week through Christmas.
I have a lot of data to from various retail jeweler websites. The set of data I'm referencing below was recorded across retail jewelry websites that have been active with updating their website regularly over the last 12 months. These same websites are also mobile friendly. This includes a combination of retail jewelers and ecommerce sites. Remember, the results show... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Coincidently, this is the final Daily Golden Nugget for 2015 and it falls on a #ThrowbackThursday, giving me the perfect opportunity to check back in on my 2015 predictions from last year this time. Was I right, or very wrong? Let's find out...
Content Marketing Will Become More Important
My specific prediction was that the word "blogging" would be replaced with the phrase "content marketing" by the end of 2016... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The year 2015 is about to come to a close, but before it does, I'm venturing out on a limb to give you my forecast insights for 2016. This year, I'm referring to these as "insights" and not necessarily as "predictions" because these things are what I already see happening in a small way, and steadily growing. They are in no particular order...
Social Media Change with the Young Generation
The current teenage generation is struggling to hide from their parents online. Many of them want nothing to do with Facebook because the grown-... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It's hard to keep up with the many subtle technology changes that happen on the internet every day. Just when you think you understand how things work, they change. It's not just how the internet works, but also how all those devices connect to and use the data available on the internet, which is referred to as the Internet of Things.
I recently did a comparison of the total user sessions between November 2014 and 2015 including a breakdown of usage on mobile, desktops, and tablets.
I'm continuing my analysis of the same data as measured across retail jeweler websites; this time I'm comparing the increase or decrease of new users between November 2014 and 2015.<... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Since 2010, the predicted website and internet usage trends right before the holiday season have suggested that more people will use their smartphones to pre-shop retail stores and to look up product information while in a store. What better way to save time during the busy holiday shopping season than to look for online product information and find stores that carry the items?
Every week, normally on Friday, I write a website review with suggestions on how to make a random site better. I have something special planned for this Friday so I have to move my Flop-Fix review to today.
My purpose here is to find a website that has something wrong, point it out, and give suggestions on how to fix it. My suggestions are entirely my own and based on my past experience, research, or observations. I found my review candidate this week with the query "jewelry stores Happy Valley, OR" and th... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Reports from the first weekend of the big holiday season in the U.S. are in, and they are quite mixed.
Businesses both large and small tried to get a jump on the Black Friday specials this year by advertising "Black Friday" discounts throughout the four weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Early in November, a blog post on C|Net speculated that VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Internet technology and search engine optimization changes continue to affect small businesses and the marketing methods they use. Google forced everyone to think seriously about their mobile website in April 2015 with #mobilegeddon, creating a surge in businesses that finally took mobile websites seriously.
The web browser wars rage on. Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari... Which one do you use?
It's time to check in again on the current state of affairs of website browsers usage. Since I started tracking this data several years ago, I've been surprised with the popularity growth and decline of my personal favorite web browsers. The informed internet user will use the web browser they like the most, downloading it from whatever default brow... 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
Last week I explained what I've been seeing with regard to mobile trends and your business future. Because of those trends, I strongly urge all businesses to start migrating their approach of reaching customers using the internet from a desktop computer point of view to a smartphone point of view. Doing so will be a complete shift in how you think, and what you... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
While there's a lot of chatter about TV cord-cutting, I'm starting to see the another type of cable being cut: the ethernet cable.
Although the majority of my reporting is based on measured data, I also feel it's important to report on the unscientifically tracked trends that I observe in my daily life, trends I notice when interacting with my own customers, and how I obser... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Once again, the Daily Golden Nuggets have reached another milestone: 1300!
It was 1,300 weekdays ago that I wrote the first Nugget about Google Maps. In honor of my first topic, I now write about Google Maps and its subsequent incarnations ever since, and save them for these milestones.
The original Maps service has transformed several times through the years and had names like Local, Places, Local Business, and Google+ Local. Ever since Google started using Google+ to tie all its services together, the p... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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
This is the weekly random retail jewelry store website review. The purpose of these weekly Friday reviews is to find out how to improve your own website by dissecting the techniques of another website.
This week I'm searching for "jewelers in sun valley, Idaho." Here's the SERP for that search query:
This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Today I'm searching for "jewelers in North Charleston, South Carolina" using the Chrome browsers on my iPhone 6. I have Chrome set in incognito mode to avoid personalized search results.
Here are the full results returned on my phone. As you can see, I've indicated that all the organic results are "mobile-friendly":
Welcome to the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. The goal for today is to find and perform a usability review of a random jewelry store mobile website. I'm performing the review on, and taking screen shots with, my iPhone 6.
The first review for today is to see if a google.com search through the Safari web browser would yield the same results as a search using the Google search app on the iPhone. Here's a side by side comparison of the two methods:
It's officially been one month since Google Mobilegeddon on April 21, 2015. I've been eagerly following the blogs and new channels of several companies that are tracking the results, and they all seem mixed.
Google started showing mobile friendly websites in search results earlier than April 21st. Reports from Search Engine Land stated that the mobilegeddon rollout seemed to be slo... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I'm one of those people. I admit it... I don't turn my cell phone off in a movie theater.
It's not that I want to be rude; I do put it on silent; but I have to keep the vibrate setting on. The nature of my job is such that I'm always on call to monitor a few very important websites for a few of my clients. So I can't be out of touch from those computers and servers. In fact, the only times I'm unplugged is when I'm at 38,000 over the Atlantic. WiFi isn't available on the transatlantic f... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I've been online since 1988 and I began programming websites professionally in 1994. With 35 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.
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 week's edition of the Friday Website Jewelry Website Review, I'm beginning my search in "jewelers morgan city, la" to find a website review candidate. I go through these website reviews every Friday as a way to monitor and show you what's happening in the world of jewelry websites. I never know how the review will turn out, but the hope is that something is learned.
For as long as the World Wide Web has been around, there has been competition over the most popular web browser. Many web browsers have joined the extinct software list, or at least become endangered as technology changes.
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.
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
Over the last two weeks, I've been detailing why it's important to have a correctmobile setup for your website. Google's decision to use mobile friendliness as a ranking factor has a lot of people worried that... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Welcome to the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Every week, I randomly search for retail jeweler websites to review as an educational exercise. Over the last two weeks, in the wake of Google recent announcement regarding mobile readiness, I've written severalVIEW 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
In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'll cover one of the nagging mobile website issues that Google doesn't like any more. Well, I don't know if they ever liked it, but in this video they've clearly pointed it out.
It all started a few years ago when people first started dabbling in mobile websites. It's difficult to retrofit a desktop site to include a mobile version, unless you are willing to redesign the entire site again. Setting up a parallel mob... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'm exploring keyword data collected between November 1 and December 31, 2014 from many retail jeweler websites.
I collected a large amount of keyword data from people using Google's desktop search, mobile search, and image search. The mobile search data is very interesting. Last week, I presented th... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Welcome to the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. The purpose of this review is to examine a live retail jewelry website in search for the good and bad traits. There's always something interesting to learn from in every week's review.
For this week, I started with a search using the Google Chrome browser in incognito mode. I stay incognito while searching for a review candidate so my own browser history will not influence the search results I see. Through your search history, Google has a way of knowing which websi... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
When using Google Webmaster Tools, you can view which search queries will trigger your website to appear in search results. In the past when we SEO guys would spew the phrase "search queries" it was just a fancy name for saying "keywords." In fact, you can say "search queries," and "keywords," and "search phrases" and mean the same thing.
Regardless what you called it, all you wanted to do was put the right words on your website that correspond to what people search for in the dif... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Throughout 2014, Google made several advancements in their search engine and gave us some new reports in Google Webmaster Tools to see the results of those advancements.
Specifically, from within Webmaster Tools you can easily see when your website appeared in web search results, images search results, and mobile search results. During the first quarter of 2014, I started noticing retail jewelry websites appearing in image results more than ever before, and the Webmaster Tools ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. The goal for today is to review a random website in order to learn something good, or bad, from someone else's work.
Review Candidate & SERP
To find my review candidate, I normally choose a city at random and search for local jewelers, however, this week I wanted to find a winter themed town name with a nearby jeweler. Using Google Maps I found the unincorporated community of Snow in Clinton County, Kentucky.
With the 2014 Holiday Season at an end, let's take a look at some website tracking results from the Thanksgiving week through Christmas.
The following data was recorded through more than 100 jewelry related websites. This includes a combination of retail jewelers and e-commerce sites. Results shown here only apply to the jewelry industry.
Holiday 2014 Sessions
Here's a screen shot of my Google Analytics tracking across the retail jewelry websites I'm tracking:
As the final hours of 2014 tick on by, I would like to share some of my predictions for 2015.
1. Content Marketing Will Become More Important for Jewelers
In order to understand why this will be important, you first need to understand what Content Marketing is. "Content" is anything that you publish online with the intention of influencing a customer's buying decisions. Written content is usually absorbed into Google and Bing and returned in search results, while all other content (photos, graphics, videos) are shared socially.
I'm often asked how I keep up with all the internet changes because people feel overwhelmed. It really is true; the technology companies that control key factors of the internet make some type of change every day. Even though the internet is made up of millions of computers and billions of wires, it's the search engines and social networks that really control how we use it daily. In reality, the search engines and social networks are just software programs. VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We know from yesterday's Daily Golden Nugget that people who browse jewelry websites prefer the iPhone over the Android. In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'm investigating exactly what mobile visitors are searching for.
During the month of September 2014, I collected and analyzed all the landing pages for mobile visitors across m... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
What role will smartphones play in the lives of the everyday average consumer during the 2014 holidays? The mobile audience is becoming more important in marketing as mobile devices become more ubiquitous in everyone's daily lives.
Everyone has a different opinion of which smartphones are better. Many software developers prefer the Android devices because they provide more flexibility, whereas the Apple devices are designed to be more user friendly for the non-technically oriented.
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.
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 Friday Retail Jeweler website review. The goal for today is to examine a random jewelry website, pull it apart to see how it functions and evaluate the good and the bad that we can learn from.
Every week my staff gives me a random city in the United States and I use Google Chrome in incognito mode to search for local jewelers there. This week the target city was Spokane, Washington.
The number of mobile users is still rising, but the rate at which jewelers are intentionally deploying mobile websites is slowing. In the month of June 2014, I tracked 43.12% of visitors to jewelry websites using either a smartphone or a tablet. This is up from the 39.88% I reported in April 2014.
This mobile usage level during the recent slow summer months is now higher than ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It's about time that we cover today's mobile marketing topic about downloadable, mobile applications.
For the record, we're not big fans of mobile applications for retail stores simply because you have to download them, install them, and in many cases you also have to configure or log into them. That can take from a minute to 5 minutes depending on the size of the application and how difficult it is to find in your phone's "app store."
We feel the retail store should focus their mobile strategies on mobile websites instead of an application. The mobile sites are much less expensive to create and maintain, and your customers appreciate it more too.
Back in March 2012, Nielsen released their findings on the popularity of mobile apps vs. mobile websites. During the holiday 2011 season they measured Amazon, Best Buy,... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Yesterday we attempted to explain the difference between using m.domainname.com and domainname.mobi for your mobile website.
Our bottom line was that it all depends on how long your domain name is, and if you want your domain name to exactly match your jewelry store's name.
Shortened mobile domain names really do help users. Bank of America uses "bofa.mobi" on all of their mobile marketing literature.
Typing B O F A . M O B I on a mobile device is a lot easier than typing out M . B A N K O F A M E R I C A . C O M.
Although, the people over at Bank of America are clever because if you type bofa.mobi in the smartphone, it redirects you to www.bankofamerica.com/mobile/richui.do#_home, and that's a much longer URL that no one would want to type into their smartphone.
We've mentioned quite a bit about mobile websites during the last few months, but we realized we never dug into the difference between the use of "m.jeweler.com" and "jeweler.mobi," so let's cover that topic today.
For our purposes, please replace the expression 'jeweler' with whatever your domain name is.
Back in 2005 the popular cell phone hardware and software companies supported a push to establish a new top level domain called dotMobi. The "mobi" is short for "mobile." Since cell phone speeds were also very slow back then something needed to be done to accommodate the growing trend of web browsing via cell phones.
It was hoped that the ".mobi" extension would tell users that the website was safe to browse on their cell phone, and it would be fast. In fact, if you registered a .mobi domain you had to sign a gua... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Consumer expectations of mobile commerce are getting higher every year. We're looking at more reports from the 2011 Holiday season in our quest for the best website recommendations for this coming season.
Rarely do we find published studies specific to the jewelry industry, so we occasionally take a close look at what's available from other industries and try to relate them to ours.
We recently looked at the company Tealeaf.com which provides comprehensive customer behavior analysis to some very large companies. During the 2011 Holiday Season, Tealeaf commissioned an analysis of mobile commerce website from what they designated as the top 35 mobile retailers worldwide.
We've taken their findings and tried to relate them to the jewelry industry.
It's hard to believe the Holiday Season 2011 is already 3 months in the past, and the 2012 season starts in about 8 months. We don't want to be pushy, but right now is the time to start reviewing your 2011 holiday website strategies in preparation for the 2012 season.
We're serious about this. Now that Spring is officially here you need to start reviewing what worked, what didn't, and what your competitors did that impressed you. Work out a new marketing strategy, and start implementing it in July.
Last year Google Think (http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/) once again gave us reports that holiday shopping starts online in August. Few websites are prepared for these early shoppers.
Starting today, and then over the next 2 months, we will frequently publish the research-based SEO and online marketing strategies that we... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Our Daily Golden Nugget from Monday this week caused a bit of controversy when we gave a list of the most popular pages viewed on mobile devices. Read the Nugget here: bit.ly/w2K7nf
What surprised our readers the most was that the Directions, Contact Page, and Store Hours fell so low in the list. We've assumed for quite some time now that mobile consumers would be most interested in contact information, but Product Catalog pages far outpaced everything else on mobile.
We decided to go back to the drawing board and review a different sample of our captured data. This time we concentrated the Exit pages of mobile jewelry consumers, and the amount of time someone was on the site before they left.
There's a big caveat that comes with the statistics below. Since we rushed through this analysis, we couldn't 100% accurat... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Simply saying that people are using mobile devices is easy. Knowing how and what they are using them for is actually more important. If you knew what mobile users were interested in, you could better understand the type of mobile website your jewelry store needs.
Well we've got that information right here! No guesses, no theories. Here's some hard data of how customers are using their iPhones, iPads, and Androids to browse various jewelry store websites.
This is a breakdown of the pages mobile visitors are currently viewing and the percentage of their time spent viewing them.
35.8% Jewelry Product Catalogs 17.3% Home Page 14.7% Blog or Article Pages 12.2% View Individual Product Pages 4.2% Loose Diamond Searches 3.0% Services Page 2.5% Specific Designer Line Pages 2.2% Jewelry Education Pages<... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We're taking a close look at Google Analytics data to find useful, actionable information for jewelry stores.
Today we took a close look at the most popular mobile devices consumers used during the first 6 weeks of 2012, i.e. the Valentine's Day shopping season.
Apple took the lead with about 37% traffic using the iPad and 33% using the iPhone. HTC was in second place with 7%, and Samsung devices managed to claim 4%.
This is the first time we're seeing Apple's iPad at the top of the mobile device list. This seems to make sense since many people are replacing their laptops with iPads and cloud computing.
comScore recently reported that the Google Android operating system is now more popular than the iPhone, but according to our tracking we see more jewelry website visits using an iPhone. In the US we see a 1,... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Your mobile website should be brief, only including enough information to accommodate the specific needs of the user. Of course the needs of the user will be dictated by your own advertising.
If your advertising invites customers to "shop from home using a mobile website" they will assume you have a fully functional mobile commerce system. On the other hand you can avoid the expectation of mobile commerce if you advertise that someone can "browse jewelry conveniently on the mobile website before coming into the store." Your subtle changes of words will make all the difference.
Many large retail stores already give consumers easy access to mobile websites loaded with detailed product information and consumer reviews. These types of websites are fantastic in-store shopper assistance tools. But that's not the shopping expe... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Mobile websites are rising in popularity and it seems like many jewelers have the same few questions about mobile websites. We're going to answer one today.
Over the past 2 weeks, our team here has activated a bunch of new mobile websites and the #1 question was whether or not the cell phone user would automatically see the mobile version of the site when visiting the jeweler's website.
According to our own research, it's a bad idea to force users of mobile devices to see a mobile version of a website automatically, without warning.
First, the mobile version of your website should NOT use the same URL as the full version of your website. Sure, you could use fancy programming show the full/mobile website after sniffing out what type of computer or mobile device someone is using, but this eliminates choice.
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
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.
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
There's a tactic we commonly use when creating AdWords campaigns that allows us to target online ads to appear to people who have already visited your website. The idea is that if someone took the time to browse through your website, they were probably interested in your jewelry, but weren't interested enough to purchase at that moment; so we keep showing them ads to make them remember the jewelry store.
This is a very successful strategy that Google AdWords has enhanced greatly in the last 12 months or so. Google explains the effectiveness in the fact that people are targeted with specific offers. These offers were not, and will never be, visible on the regular website, making the person feel like they found a special deal or even say to themselves "wow, thankfully I didn't buy that a day ago."
We've had an entire month of Holiday 2011 Run-Up Daily Golden Nuggets. All together, they are published as a 121 page book and available from our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/JewelerWebsiteAG.
Today's Daily Golden Nugget is the last one from the Run-Up book. There are a few lingering topics we didn't cover, so look for those throughout November.
Today we need to talk about your mobile website, and the need to appeal to the smartphone users. Regular phone owners will not be looking at your mobile site, so your target should be the technology users. Just like all marketing, you need to know who your target audience is and then how to appeal to them.
Some of the data we are presenting today comes from the Holiday Mobile Marketing Summit we attended in NY... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Over the last 6 months we've monitored an average 97.52% increase of mobile visitors to jewelry websites across our network. The actual number of mobile visitors to a single website is pretty small each month, as in about 60 visitors, but that number has nowhere to go but up.
Did you know that you can create mobile AdWords ads? According to Google, 1 in 3 mobile searches have local intent.
According to what we mentioned yesterday, 87% of people walking are using their cell phone. Of those surveyed, it was found that people use mobile search 77% of the time spent on their phone. Finally, 33% of that 77% are searching for something locally.
What does that mean with real numbers? 100 people walk by, 87 of them are using their cell phone. Of 87 people, 77% or 67 of them are using a search engine. Of those 67... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Of all the chapters in this Holiday 2011 Run-Up, this might be the most important. Consumers are using smartphones today, right now, this exact minute. The data is undeniable and we're going to step through it and show you what the experts are saying and how you can use mobile technology yourself.
In the past 12 months we've heard many retail jewelry store owners tell us that "their customers do not use smartphones" and they don't need to create a mobile website even though those same jewelers themselves have an iPhone or an Android. This is similar to what we heard in 2003 when jewelers claimed their customers didn't use the internet and they didn't need a regular website.
We have our own in-house mobile research methods, and we've been tracking mobile usage for more than a few years, but to get a broader view of the mo... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Starting today and continuing for the next several days (yet to be determined) we're giving you our concentrated action SEO, SEM, and mobile marketing action plan for the Holiday 2011 season.
Welcome to the Holiday 2011 Run-Up!
Last year's Run-Up presented a 9-part Online Marketing Plan; how many will be in this year's? We don't know yet because we're still putting it together.
The 2011 jWAG Run-Up will have the most recent search engine optimization techniques, best search engine marketing ideas, methods to improve your online catalogs, and mobile marketing ideas presented as action items to plan for and then execute on specific days of the holiday season.
BE WARNED: This is where we tell you exactly what to do so you have the best chance of winning sales over your local competing jewelry store. We're not... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This has been a big year for changes with Google as they try to figure out how to change from a purely mathematical search engine into something more socially controlled.
They are reaching out into the real world trying to gather data on how we all use the internet when we're away from our computers, i.e. mobile.
On June 20, 2011 they changed the way Google Mobile search works. If you allow google.com to detect your location automatically they will show you a list of popular nearby places. They've made a specific change to how m.google.com looks so you have fewer taps on your screen to find popular places.
Their top places usually include restaurants, coffee shops, and bars, but their default options on the next screen usually include "jewelry shops."
Christmas Eve is 6 months from today and we want your website to be ready. We know you are already planning your holiday ads and looking at potential styles for your holiday inventory, and you should be planning your website right now, too.
All week we've been reviewing holiday shopping data published by Google at http://www.google.com/think/insights. We're giving you the more relevant data for retail jewelry stores with ideas of what to do with it.
Mobile phones with 4G technology are more widely available this year. Most (if not all) smartphone plans now require some type of data plan with internet browsing. Google says the mobile market each holiday season since 2008 has risen 300% due to faster cell phone speeds. Is it possible to still have 300% mobile usage growth... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The mobile market for retail jewelry stores is still very young.
BlueNile and Tiffany already have mobile versions of their sites. We couldn't find a mobile version of the James Allen site. We're not referring to smartphone applications, only mobile websites that easily work in cell phone browsers without needing to pinch zoom.
According to http://www.google.com/think/insights mobile shopping during the holiday season has been increasing more than 300% year after year since 2008. Their data shows mobile shopping spikes for the weekend of Black Friday and then again mid to late December.
According to the research Google published in January 2011, during the 2010 holiday season they tracked 59% of smartphone users using their phones for holiday shopping.
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
It's Memorial Day in the United States, which means all our subscribers there are probably watching a parade, sitting out next to their pools, on the beach, or having a back yard barbecue.
It's not supposed to be a work day, so let's keep this Daily Nugget brief.
Sitemap pages were very common back in the early days of the web because none of us really knew anything about navigation menus or buttons. If you wanted to get from one page to another on a site you simply looked at the sitemap page.
All pages of a website used to be listed on sitemap pages; of course, that was back when a large website was 20 pages. Today you can click through 20 pages of a site faster than counting to ten.
In the early 2000's, the sitemap page seemed to fall out of usefulness. But then as SEO strategies matured, we all realized... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
These are all typical actions when using a smartphone. "Tap" is the same as a mouse click. "Swipe" is the same as scrolling.
On the other hand, "pinch" does not have a counterpart action when using a regular computer. Pinching is what you have to do to zoom in and out of a website that was not designed for mobile devices. Normal web browsers do have a zoom feature, but there's usually never a reason to use it.
You should be planning to include a mobile website in your advertising portfolio already. Don't simply rely on the new fancy smartphones, fast 3G cellular networks and even faster 4G networks to support your non-mobile website.
As you plan out your mobile site, make sure it fits nicely on a small screen without needing to pinch resize to see details. Naturally, you won't be able t... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Continuing the conversation from yesterday's Daily Golden Nugget, let's present another simple idea you should consider while building your mobile website.
You're going to have to make a choice between allowing your mobile visitors to see your PC website initially, or automatically redirecting them to the mobile version of your website.
Our opinion is to allow the users to visit whatever website they typed into their browser, and not automatically redirect. So, if they type in http://m.jewelrystore.com you should show them your mobile website, but if they type in http://www.jewelrystore.com then you should show them your normal website.
When visiting the normal website, you need to give them an easy-to-locate link that allows them to jump to the mobile... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
As mobile websites become increasingly popular, website owners are given more dynamic features that will work on a mobile device.
Early adopters of mobile websites were limited to simple 1 or 2 page sites with directions to the store or simply an address and telephone number. Web programmers are now learning how to provide mobile websites that are as interactive as their PC counterparts.
For the jewelry store, this means you can have your entire product catalog available on the mobile website. This also means you can have customer accounts and even mobile purchases. Setting up secure certificates for a mobile shopping cart is no different than the process for your PC website.
We've heard many jewelers say "I just don't want my product catalog online because I don't want anyone to price shop." Our answer to that is... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Network Solutions, GoDaddy, Register.com and Domain.com are just a few of the hundreds of companies that you can now buy your domain name from. They are called "registrars."
Each of them are trying to improve their profits, yet the prices of domain names have dropped as low as $1.99 for the .info domains. As a sales tactic, each of these registrars have started promotions to have you buy more and more domain names.
"Secure your biz, co, net, org domain name and protect your trademark" is a common slogan. But how useful is this really? Why would you want 5 domains, or 15 domains?
In reality, you only ever want to advertise one primary domain name. If you have jewelrystores.com and jewelrystore.net you should simply use the .com version. The .net becomes useful only for special purpose advertising where you can tr... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
As the world of mobile website matures, you should start wondering whether or not you will ever see your mobile website in the search results. If you haven't given it any thought then maybe you should, and if you haven't considered a mobile website yet then you should.
There are a lot of tricky techniques to setting up a mobile website. It's not as easy as it may seem.
For example, your web programmer can't simply set up a .mobi domain name and create a website that looks good on a cell phone. You actually need to make sure the web server sends the proper programming code to the cell phone, and that technique is actually pretty tough--most web hosting companies are clueless about it.
We could also say that setting up a mobile website is not as easy as buying a mobile website template and slapping it up at VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The past few months have seen a huge surge in recent blog posts and news articles about the mobile website. Perhaps 2011 will be the year mobile websites really come of age and awareness.
There's actually a domain name extension specifically for mobile websites too; it's .mobi.
As of today there are very few mobile websites that completely mimic their PC siblings. In fact, most of the time, a mobile website is rather simple and only has basic contact information or product and service information on it.
The last time we checked, there were reports of 54 million smartphones in the USA, but there were also reports of at least an equal or greater number of non-smart phones. Keep in mind that even a "dumb" phone is still able to surf the internet.
We're not going to talk about anything new today. Instead, we wanted to share industry statistics and our own findings for this 2010 holiday season. Everything reported is for online sales or statistics.
These statistics were reported from comScore.com Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 25) $407M, up 28% Black Friday (Nov. 26) $648M, up 9% Cyber Monday (Nov. 29) $1,028M (that's a Billion!) 16% Green Monday (Dec. 13) $954, up 12% Free Shipping Day (Dec. 17) $942M, up 61%
The week of December 17 (Free Shipping Day) saw 52.7% of online transactions with free shipping. comScore also reported that there was a greater trend for online buyers to wait until Free Shipping Day before making the final sale. This is a clear indication that free shipping is a deal winner when selling online.VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Sometimes the information we publish gets very focused on a single topic and perhaps those reading get confused with what is important from day to day. Honestly, it's difficult to really point a finger and say what's more important than another.
We're going to take a step back and try to list the most popular internet marketing ideas for retail jewelers according to specific categories. We always try to maintain or focus on local retailers, but even e-tailers can take advantage of our ideas.
Some of the items below are repeated in each category, and this list is by no means all-inclusive. The items in each list are also not in any particular order since different internet marketing experts will rank them all differently.
To attract new non-mobile customers to your store: 1. Need a website. 2. Website n... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We might have to create a drinking game out of the number of time we mention Google Places in our Daily Gold Nuggets.
If you are keeping score this is going to be #5. Ready? Set? Drink!
According to Google's Mobile Blog, there are some nifty new features when they display local businesses through the SERP on a cell phone.
Although we've not been able to test the features on every type of phone, our initial results should be the same on all smartphones.
From your smart phone, do a Google search for "jewelry store."
On the mobile SERP you should see map. Right above the map there should be a button that says "Use my location." When you click that button you should get a pop-up notice asking permission to use your current location. Go ahead and allow that.
Here are some quick recent measurements: * 4.2% of users searching for diamonds online are using a cell phone or iPad * 3.6% of users looking at jewelry online are using a cell phone or an iPad * 1.5% of retail jewelry store owners are using a cell phone or iPad for B2B
Here are some quick measurements from April 2010 * 3.2% of users searching for diamonds online are using a cell phone or iPad * 1.9% of users looking at jewelry online are using a cell phone or an iPad * 0.6% of retail jewelry store owners are using a cell phone or iPad for B2B
The number of users moving to the mobile space is gaining speed RAPIDLY. There are already more smart phones on the planet than regular computers.
"...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