Between your website, local newspaper, direct mail, radio ads, billboard, social media, and word of mouth, it's difficult to calculate exactly how your customers are finding you and what ultimately convinced them to make a purchase. What was once an easy task of calculating the ROI for an individual ad is now impossible because of so many different ways a customer can engage with you online.
Welcome to a very special #FridayFlopFix website evaluation. I call these weekly posts the "Flop Fix" because I specifically look for website problems, i.e. flops, for which I can offer improvement ideas, i.e. fixes, that everyone can learn from.
Well, this week is a doozy. I have been TRYING to publish this review every week since I ORIGINALLY wrote it back on December 16, 2015! Today is March 3, 2016; that's 11 weeks ago. There's a story behind this that should make you all cringe. Forewarning, I'm about to reveal some... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
For this week's #ThrowbackThursday, I'm jumping back to the topic of domain name scams. Unfortunately, this throwback doesn't go back too far since I last wrote about this in June 2015, when I reported the exploits of iDNS and their Domain Name Expiration Notices.
A new scam came through my inbox this week that business owners should be aware of. I deem t... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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:
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
Another summer has come to a close and the holiday season is almost here. No matter what the financial forecasts say, I want to give you some current ideas to improve your marketing methods, and hopefully your sales, through the end of this year.
Create a Uniform Branding With Your Ads
I'd like to start with a suggestion for you to review the ads you are already planning for this season. Instead of running standalone ads this year, you can use all the potential advertising methods... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Did you know that it's possible to track the effectiveness of your offline marketing, as in, print ads, TV commercials, and even billboards? Yep, it's true, and it's simple too... Just use a different domain name on each ad.
Once a week, usually on Friday, I write a website review for a randomly chosen retail jewelry store. This week the review is being moved to Wednesday.
For this week's review, I'm searching for "jewelers in Sedona, AZ" using Google Chrome in incognito mode. The results I saw during last week's review were formatted for a smartphone. This week the results are formatted for a desktop browser again. Oddities like that are usual... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a warning about the latest domain name scams that are sent through the mail. Those types of scams are trying to trick you into spending unnecessary money with them, but they are not stealing your domain name from you.
With so many domain name scams around, it's difficult to recognize when you get a legitimate domain name renewal notice. Those notices are e... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Every day there are email offers for incredible search engine optimization services guaranteeing first place ranking. I also get plenty of emails asking for my help to transfer money in exchange for a percentage of what gets passed through my bank account.
Scams. All scams!
Domain name scams are also very common, some of them arrive via regular mail and some arrive via email. It's important to recognize them as scams and not pa... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Usually I choose a random city around the U.S. to find a retail jeweler, and this week, in honor of the Las Vegas jewelry shows, I'll search around Las Vegas, Nevada.
The following is a screen grab when I searched for "jewelers in las vegas." The top listed store is The Jewelers of Las Vegas. They have updated their website since I last re... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Jewelers are in the business of helping couples get to the moment when they profess their love and vow "til death do us part."
Few relationships are intended to last forever, or even a lifetime, but when you get into bed with a business partner, you are rarely thinking about the day when you will break up. When you're in business for yourself, you should be making forward steps to improve your business, but also prepare yourself to different possible future outcomes.
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 second part of my Daily Golden Nugget series outlining a potential marketing plan for the upcoming holiday season. The first part I began yesterday explained how you should select a specific set of jewelry items and then write blogs, take photography, and make videos for those items.
For today's Daily Nugget, I'm answering a direct question that came in from one of my readers. Did you know you can send me questions? Submit them through the contact form on the jWAG site, or send them to me through Google+ or Facebook.
The answer to this question is a little technical, but this brings together a few different topics.
The other day, I was helping a business colleague of mine review a website design his customer gave him. For storytelling simplicity, I'll refer to my colleague as Joe and his customer as Sue. Although Joe doesn't work in the jewelry industry, the early steps in designing a website are very similar across all industries, and I bet all website programming companies have the same experience working with their customers.
Sue wants to open a brand new e-commerce store by December 1st. She already owns an old e-commerce store w... 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
Since the last time I mentioned website duplicate content issues Google has made a few significant changes to the way they figure this out. Today I'll explain how their changes are making your life a little easier as a website owner.
The issue I explained in March 2013 was the duplicate content that is created when you have a website that allows visitors to see the same content ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
How many print ads will you have between today and the end of December? Will you be able to track the effectiveness of those print ads?
Every week, because I'm the domain manager for hundreds of domain names, I receive several random domain name solicitations.
There are many companies out there that are trying to make a living by convincing website owners to buy additional domain names because they propose it will be good for Google's search results.
For example, since my office is in Totowa, and since I own the domain name perosijewelers.com, I once received an offer to buy the domain name totowaengagementrings.com. The solicitation specifically said that the exact phrase "Totowa engagement rings" would help with my Google ranking.
In today's Daily Golden Nugget I'm going to explain an important shift in offline advertising and how something very specific, and simple, is making the jump from offline back to online much easier for the average person... Hyphenated domain names.
Since the beginning of the internet there's been an ongoing debate whether or not to use a hyphen in your domain name or not. I clearly remember, back in the mid 90s, having conversations with customers who wanted to know if it was better to have their domain name, for examp... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
A simple, but very good question was asked in my office the other day: What's better, buying lots of domain names to match the exact keyword you want to target, or creating multiple pages on one single-domain website to target individual keywords.
I have to assume that the person asking would expect to focus all the content on each website to match those specific domain names.
This is a topic of much discussion among business owners as they begin their initial education in search engine optimization. There's a lot of inform... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Assuming everything works according to plan, once a year you will receive a scary looking email that looks like a very well planned out phishing email--but it's not...
During the early days of the internet, if you wanted a domain name you had to register it through a company called Network Solutions. Using the trade name InterNIC, they had a monopoly on all domain name registrations until 1998. The early years of the internet were very confusing for domain name owners. There were no control panels and no fancy websites... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Today I'm detailing information about a domain name and DNS scam circulating through direct mail and email. This is something you should be aware of to protect yourself from a financial fraud.
About three months ago I found out that several of my customers were receiving invoices in the mail from "DNS Services," a company specializing in DNS protection services.
DNS stands for "Domain Name System," which is the technology that allows you and I to type in a human readable domain name which the computer can turn into a number. Computers don't understand written words, only numbers,... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the 4th and final part in a series about website system administration. The previous topics I presented were website security, data backup, and server monitoring as common tasks for the everyday average System Administrator. These topics are meant to enlighten you to the important background tasks that make your website run, and so you can appreciate the work that your IT staff does to keep your online business running.
Ask any SEO professional how a domain affects your search engine ranking and you'll probably get a few different answers. The importance of how a domain name influences your ranking has changed a lot in the past few years, so those SEO guys were probably correct in their thinking at some point in time.
Here's an update on the impact of Parked Pages on how Google indexes your domain name. This is updated information according to what Google published as of November 2012.
Massive changes to any website completely scare the bajesus out of us! The potential for lost Google PageRank, broken links, voiding user bookmarks will harm your business. How does that harm happen? In the simplest sense your telephones will stop ringing, your internet sales will slow down, and fewer people will walk through your front door.
But sometimes you can't avoid the massive changes, say, every 18 months when you want to redesign your website. Of course a "redesign" could just be an upgrade of the style sheet that controls colors and how your pages are laid out. A redesign doesn't need to include changes to the URLs of your website; it all depends on the content management system you are using.
Massive changes can occur because you are switching to a different web programming company, or hosting company. Somet... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It takes a lot of time and effort to achieve top ranking for your jewelry store's website. Your store offers a variety of services which need to be explained. Even with your best efforts your jewelrystore.com website might not have high ranking in the SERP.
If you're feeling ambitious--very ambitious--you could take a different strategy of online marketing by using multiple websites for very specific target audiences.
Earlier this week we were looking at the SERP ranking competition for the phrase "mens watch bands" and were surprised how few local stores appeared in the results. Even when we searched for "mens watch bands totowa nj" we still didn't have local store results.
This example the SERP included these websites: nextdaywatches.com thewatchprince.com globalwatchbandgroup.com watchbands.com wa... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
While preparing yesterday's Nugget about blacked-out websites and that it would affect SEO, we were reminiscing about all the things we've seen that caused websites to break and how each was harmed.
Starting with this Nugget, and continuing for 2 more days, we are going to explain the 3 common problems that can harm your jewelry website. Each is damaging in some way or another and will harm your ranking in Google's search results.
1. Forgetting to renew your domain name.
This is a biggy, and it might be the biggest issue that small jewelry store deal with. Since most jewelry stores do not have an in-house IT guy, it's easy to overlook the importance of renewing your domain name yearly. Your bookkeeper probably doesn't get a paper bill and you might think the email renewal is spam.
The New Year is coming soon, and perhaps so is your website.
Understanding website usability is tedious. Ultimately you never want to trick your users into thinking there's more information to read or more jewelry to look at. It can be very frustrating for users who think they found what they were looking for only to click a link and read "Coming Soon."
On the other hand, it might surprise you to find out that those coming soon pages will help your website in the long run. Google tracks the date a link first shows up on a website, and the date a page is first linked to from another website. So put up those coming soon pages, but make them beneficial somehow.
You could have this message: "The information for this page is coming soon. We have some other jewelry information here (link) or you can browse our onlin... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is part of our Grain of SEO Gold Series for Jewelers--short SEO tidbits.
Here's a user-friendly website technique that's not so much about search engine optimization, but instead aimed at your existing customers.
It might seem silly, but consider that the way someone pronounces their letters will affect how they hear and then try to spell your jewelry store's name or website address. Perhaps the letter "a" in your store name is completely mistaken for the letter "i", "e", or "o", in which case the customer will have a more difficult time finding your website later.
Consider registering all the possible misspelling variations of your domain name, or your jewelry store name, and have them forwarded to your primary website. You may also want to register domain names based on the common, yet completely wrong, mispr... 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
Since our team started in the jewelry industry, we've seen many jewelry stores attempt to sell online and fail miserably.
The cost involved with setting up and maintaining an eCommerce website is usually far greater than a retail jeweler realizes. The marketing is completely different than what needs to be done for the physical store, and the smallest mistake can mean a huge difference between slow building success followed by sudden overnight failure.
We've always recommended that local jewelers target their business to the internet users that are only local to the store. Trying to compete on a national basis is very difficult and requires a larger online advertising budget as well as a full time staff.
However, if you do decide to set up that eCommerce site, the first thing you need to do is figure out your domai... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
By far the .com domain name extension is the most popular. It was the first one way back in the early 90s and everyone fought over them.
Today (that's in 2011, for those reading this in the distant future) it seems like there are new dot extensions every few weeks. The .co extension is newly available and now you can even register a .asia extension, if you really wanted.
Many of our jewelry stores have difficulty acquiring the domain name that perfectly matches their store. But some stores find that another store with the same name already has the .com. In these cases, we always recommend selecting the .net or the .biz options.
Just the other day there was a discussion in our office about the validity of the .co domain extension. However, the point was brought up that human muscle (typing) memory would probably k... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This week we've been telling you about domain names, different type of extensions and even strategies to register additional domain names for secondary websites.
Today we will explain the basics of what you could do with the secondary domain names.
Let's assume you take our suggestion and register the .net, .org, .us and .biz variants of your domain name. Once you own them, you could simply leave them deadheaded in your domain account which is the easiest strategy to protect your branding.
Another possibility is to 301 redirect them to your normal domain. If you have your domains registered through GoDaddy or Stellium Networks, you can use the built-in "301 Forwarding" feature. Again, the main reason for this is simply to protect your branded identity.
The topic of domain names might seem trivial and unimportant to you since you already have a website running with a domain name. But once you have your first website functioning, what will you do for your second site?
As we're stated many times in videos and online training, each jewelry website gets on average 45 visitors per day. The trick is getting them to get off their chair and come to your "general" jewelry store. But let's switch thinking for a moment. What if you were not just another "general" jewelry store; what if you had a specialty? Do you?
We've measured SEO results that show you can attract more business to a website that specializes rather than one depicting all-purpose or general-purpose.
Let's plant some seeds of thought right now. After your first website is up and running, depicting your bus... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Our headline today is not random characters or cell phone text messaging gibberish; those are different types of domain name extensions that you could actually get instead of the typical .com.
Most likely, if you are reading this you already have an operational website of the .com or .net or .biz variety, and registering more domain names is the furthest thing from your mind. This was a perfectly understandable philosophy until 2008 when domain name registrations opened us up to so many additional possibilities.
Have you noticed in the last few years how advertisers have gone from using http://www.domain.com to www.domain.com, and now it's common to simply use domain.com?
Our recognition of website domain names has become common place, and the various extensions are less and less misunderstood every day. Naturally t... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Would it surprise you to find out that domain name con artists prey upon website owners?
The typical scam is perpetrated by sending you an invoice for domain name renewal, which looks legitimate until you read the fine print on the invoice, which usually says something like "This is not a bill. This is a solicitation to transfer your domain name to our service."
If you blithely sign the invoice and pay the bill, you are authorizing that company to hijack your domain right from you.
Domain name scams have been around since the beginning of the internet. By the late 1990s, hijacking became so common that the industry as a whole had to create a way to "lock" your domain. By default, all domains are locked, and as a general rule you are now safe from domain hijacking.
"...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