Retail is being redefined every day. Everyone still looks at their bottom line sales, but it doesn't matter anymore if the sales are from foot traffic through the front door or via shipping boxes out the back. While most retail businesses are still struggling to figure out how to bring foot traffic back in the front door, I submit that it's probably easier to learn what it takes to build your ecommerce business and increase the flow of shipped product instead.
Website review and analysis are part of my everyday job. I've been actively analyzing and making suggestions on improving traffic acquisition, user flow, SEO, and usability for several years. I've shared this analysis process and the tips for improvement in my writings for the last few years to provide an insight into how you could do it yourself.
Today, I'll share 6 of the most frequently broken or missing website features that I have seen over and over again, and provide some suggestions for maki... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
MySpace used to be a fun social network. You had complete freedom to change your profile any way you wanted by adding music, changing colors, and customizing your background. Anyone with a working knowledge of HTML could customize the look of their page and turn it into their online bastion of delight. I remember when being on social media was nothing more than a fun competition of making your profile page look better than your friend's profile, then tease each other about it. ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Every week, usually on Friday, I write a website review. This week, I'm publishing my review a couple days early because I have something special planned for Friday. The goal of my website reviews is to dissect the online efforts for a random local retail jeweler. I don't bother reviewing the websites for chain stores because I want to illustrate how a local jeweler can improve a similar site like their own.
I find my website candidates by searching Google using the Chrome browser set to incognito mode. Incognito mode is good to use whe... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I have a love/hate relationship with the placement of social network icons on a website. Some websites have them in their header and some put them in the footer. In this Golden Nugget, I'll give you my point of view of where and why you should place your social icons.
Are They Important Enough?
Back when MySpace and Friendster were the latest craze, it seemed like everyone was adding large icons for those networks to their website header. Websites without those icons were made to feel like... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Stop apologizing for not updating your blog! That's it! Just stop it!
Throughout my entire career writing these Golden Nuggets, I have explained over and over again how important it is to have an active blog on your website. The basic goal of your blog is to provide good information to customers who want to know more about a topic.
The blog on your website is a good place to publish information that doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the pages on your site. Most webmasters spend a lot of time tw... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Back when jWAG was formed in 2010, the common mantra touted by many online marketers was that "the money is in the list." The list, at the time, was a reference to the number of people on your email list. Since then, we now have the ability to reach customers through many other list methods, including Facebook retargeting lists, Google AdWords remarketing lists, and even push notifications through custom apps that people download. So many online marketing opportunities exist now tha... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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
How can you accurately decide when to post to social media when there are many reports, infographics, and varying online advice on what time of day and how often to post to social networks? So many contradictory reports make it difficult to know what advice is the best advice.
For this week's #ThrowbackThursday, I'm jumping back to a Daily Golden Nugget that's in desperate need of updating, specifically what I wrote about the Jewelry Information Center, otherwise known as the JIC. JIC was created by Jewelers of America as a consumer education service. The jic.org website commonly posted current jewelry trends and was a great inspiration resource ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Social media marketing is quite frustrating. The rules seem to change every time you think you understand the right methods of how and when to share to social media. Most internet marketers will lead you to believe that business success will come if you can get 10,000 or more fans following you on every network, when in reality it takes a bit more than just growing your social fan base.
Somehow those social media fans have to be converted into sales as shown in this diagram:
Social media is required for business--all businesses. It ties all your other advertising together: every ad you place in your local community, whether it's on TV, radio, on billboards, in all of your direct mail, for newspaper ads, or everything else you do on other social networks. Social media ties all your marketing together in such a way to support your customer life cycle.
In 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.
Once upon a time, Facebook was the social network for college friends only. Then it was opened up to anyone to join. It was a free-for-all of friends keeping in touch without any special filtering getting in the way of seeing your friend's status updates.
When they let businesses join, there was a sudden surge of unwanted solicitations and plenty of users complaining that they were seeing too many business posts in their news feed. As is all things internet related, businesses viewed Facebook as t... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this #ThrowbackThursday nugget edition, I'm jumping back to a simple one from October 2010 about finding blogging topics.
Blogging has become the primary way of generating content for your website that search engines then use to better understand what your website is all about so they can correctly match you with the people searching for... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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
I realize that over the last 12 months, I've spent most of my time talking about Google to the exclusion of the other search engines. Many SEO professionals, myself included, feel that if you can achieve high ranking in Google then you should easily be able to achieve high ranking in any search engine. It seems only natural since Google is the de facto search engine, right?
While Google might be the most popular search engine in the U.S., it's not the most popul... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Need some advice to help you solve a business or website issue that keeps you up at night? Send it in through the jWAG Contact Form or to me directly through any social network; just search for my name "matthewperosi" on any social network and send a message.
Here's a question that came in recently that I'll answer in this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget:
When I get a new follower on social media, should I thank them for the follow, or the Like - and if so, how do I do that without looking desperate, and move them closer to an in-store conversion or visit. Should I be sending them to my website? It feels like that is sending them away, not towards us. Thanks! -- Twisted on Twitter
It's Friday. Every Friday, I start out by saying "This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget." I'm sure you guys are tired of reading that. Anyone want to suggest a hashtag that alliterates with Friday? Send your suggestions to me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or just email them to me.
So it is Friday, and it's review day. The goal is learn something from a random website of a random retail jeweler chosen from a random city somewhere in the U.S. This week that random somewhere is Raynham,... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I've covered topics of Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram so far in this Run-Up to the 2015 Holiday season. This is my 14th installment in this special Daily Golden Nugget series to help you boost your 2015 holiday sales.
If you're just joining in for the first time, then you should review the outline of this series I explained here. I'... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
September has a strange place on my yearly calendar. I view it as a month that tries to maintain a death grip on the hot days of summer while also revealing the temperatures and colors of the fall. I remember how it was to dread the beginning of the school year, and now, even though I'm not a parent myself, I can appreciate how parents feel now to have their children occupied all day again.
I recently had someone tell me that they felt it was better to post anything to their business Facebook account than nothing at all. This particular jeweler didn't have anyone in the store willing to manage their Facebook account, yet they felt it was important to be active.
Their solution was to hire a social media management company that didn't know anything about jewelry, and was posting non sequitur information to their account. Although their fan base was slowly increas... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I'm sitting on a regional jet right now as I write this. I'm heading back to New Jersey after three days with the RJO in St. Louis, Missouri. For me, it was a weekend of discussions about e-commerce, online local marketing, and social networking.
I was very impressed with all the jewelers I spoke to this weekend and I'm starting to think that the need for social media is starting to be understood as a necessity for marketing, even though the results can't be tracked. Many jewelers told me... 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
Over the last few days, we've all seen our share of rainbows exploding from our computer screens and smartphones. The Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS) ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment requires States to allow same-sex marriage in their State and recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
While the legal fight for legal same-sex marriage rights is now over, the personal conflict and religious views will continue for quite a long time to come. Regardl... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I'm not sure if it's just me or general public awareness, but I feel that the subject of blogging has been a hot topic for the last two months. I think it started as a snowball effect because of this post where Robinson Meyer expla... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This Daily Golden Nugget is my 1,276th in a row. When I started this blogging journey nearly 5 years ago, I never expected where it would take me. Truthfully, every blogger begins their writing journey for personal reasons and we never know where we will end up.
Blogging is huge. The word blog has become the general term to represent all types of content creation that involves written words. When I started writing these Nuggets, I envisioned them only as email newsletters that would be archived online. I... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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
I received an interesting question the other day from Suzie, a jewelry designer. Well, her name wasn't actually Suzie, but let's just say that it was so it makes this story easier to tell.
For several years, Suzie had an Etsy account where she sold a line of baby toe ring jewelry. This was her fist line of jewelry before she started making gemstone jewelry necklaces. Realizing how different these two lines of jewelry are, instead of using Etsy to sell the necklaces, she opened an e-com... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Testimonials are a wonderful sales tool. They provide the social proof of good products or service that can help close a new sale. Every testimonial you receive should be posted to your website for everyone to see.
Customers are more likely to believe what other people say about you than what you say about yourself. Online directory sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Google+ all provide methods of leaving online reviews. These reviews are good at helping to attract organic website visitor... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
A number of years ago, and I was hired to create a website to promote a national marketing campaign for retail jewelers. The website served as the cornerstone for hundreds of jewelers who were using the same set of ads to promote a select number of products that were sold exclusively through those retail jewelry stores.
The goal of the marketing campaign was to establish a nationwide brand identity for the hundreds of participating retail jewelers. Participation in that brand identity woul... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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
In yesterday's Daily Golden Nugget, I proposed a few scenarios on how you could create content needed to attract customers to, and convert customers on your website.
Content marketing is a large part of the modern day business strategy, but the creation process is so long and expensive, that many business owners are ready to give up after t... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I'll be the first to admit the website content creation difficultly level is pretty high. Content includes infographics, photos, podcasts, PDFs, videos, testimonials, and, of course, the written word. It takes hours to prepare each of those types of content but the return on that time investment come in the form of several years of attracting customers throu... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Today, I'm going to perform an incognito Google search for a random jewelry store candidate in Blackstone, Virginia, then review their website.
The goal of this weekly website review is to learn something new, or at least to see an implementation of something good or bad that you never knew.
When I used the search query "jewelry stores in blackstone va" I was given these results:
I've been sharing a lot of my secret tips recently and today I'd like to share another. This one's about understanding your customer's intent.
One of the biggest mistakes I've noticed many retail store owners, not just jewelers, make is that they set up their store, create advertisements, and design their website based on what they believe their customers will like, without truly trying to understand what their customer's intent is.
This is the last in our series of Daily Gold Nuggets explaining how storytelling through your emails, blog or Facebook posts will build better long term (buying) relationships with your customers than direct advertising.
This story should be sent out after Christmas, but before you take your usual winter vacation break.
You should be writing from home with friends and family around you. Share a special event or perhaps something funny that happened over the holiday. If your readers have followed the first 5 stories, they are already predisposed to following through to the end.
As mentioned previously, if your holiday was uneventful then recount a story from a previous year. Your story could also include your plans for New Years Eve festivities. Wish them the best conclusions of their holidays and a happy New Year.... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This week's Daily Gold Nuggets explain that storytelling through your emails, blog or Facebook posts will build better long term (buying) relationships with your customers than direct advertising. This technique is usually only employable during this time of the year when your customers are more open-hearted to hear stories and share their own experiences.
The next story you share should be sent 7 to 10 days before Christmas. In it, share details about your customer holiday party or your office party. Of course, if you are not having one of those parties this year then you should simply reminisce moments from previous years.
If you held an in-store event, then share the photos and tell your readers how much your party-goers enjoyed themselves. Was there a gift exchange or a contest? Include those details, and use real n... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We're continuing on the subject of building a social media persona to interact with your customers on a personal level. Your Facebook Business Page is where you build business relationships, introduce offers and engage customers. The one flaw with a business page is you have to continually interact with your fans to keep them interested in your business.
We know it's difficult to find the perfect balance between interaction and offers in all social media. We also know that many of you have personal accounts that you use for business. The strategy we started explaining yesterday will help build a level of trust with your customers. This type of trust will endure even if your customer doesn't hear from you for a while.
Let's continue explaining how to build that trust during the holiday season.
The Holiday Season 2010 seems to have already started - last week in fact. TV commercials are already talking about pre-Black Friday sales, and "don't wait until Black Friday" specials.
You are about to enter your busiest 7 weeks of the year, and today is the Monday when you should start seeing a surge of traffic on your website. Every Monday from now through January should show a surge of traffic.
Other than holiday selling, something else happens during this time of year. People are much more open to personal bonding. It's part of the gift-giving season; it's why greeting cards are sent simply to say hello and it's why people want to get together in person. People are all inspired to open their hearts during this time of year.
We don't want to sounds like a Scrooge, but this is also when you can forge unbreakab... 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