I recently came across a seminar titled "How to Promote Your Online Store In A Cost-Effective Manner" and thought it was an extremely misleading headline. Whenever business owners ask me about cost effective online advertising, they usually mean "least expensive" rather than asking me how to achieve the best ROI with their online ads.
I've also found that many business owners believe that online marketing is simple, and that anyone can do it. Preying upon this belief, there are ad a... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I recently had a few meetings with a French tourism company that needed help figuring out how to build traffic to their website. Their website wasn't anything special; honestly, it was just another directory website. Directory websites are a very common business model that range from large sites like CitySearch.com to local Chamber of Commerce websites. Niche focused directory websites can usually better serve their community than the larger sites.
Because the online paid advertising playing field changes monthly, my clients constantly ask for my current recommendation for where to spend their limited marketing budget. Although there are many online advertising possibilities, I prefer that businesses use Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising because the ads can be changed frequently to highlight current offers.
In this week's website review, I'll show you an example of how Google reads words on your website and how you can see those words for yourself. I'll also show you why you should host your blog within your own website instead of using an outside service, I'll even show you screen shots of how Google views a website when the blog is hosted outside.
It all starts with a Google search for "jewelers flagstaff az." According to these results, there are not many jewelers n Flagstaff:
In last week's Golden Nugget, I presented some interesting information showing the comparison of web page visible content to the hidden HTML code in the background. From that post, you could conclude that your website goal should be to fine tune your code to prevent too much hidden code, a problem that is known as "code bloat."
I'm digging a little deeper into this topic again today because of the emails, phone calls, a... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I'm taking a different approach in this week's website review. Normally, I look for poorly ranked websites and try to find reasons why they are not ranking well. When I started my search this week, I found a bunch of mediocre websites that were outranked by Yelp and YellowPages. All of the websites needed improvement. Oddly enough, the site I thought needed the most improvement, was outranking all of the others.
Today, I'll explore why that might be happening. First, I searched for "jewelers Healdsburg CA" and saw these resul... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
For this week's website review, I went searching for "jewelers spokane wa" and had some trouble deciding on which site to review. There are several jewelers in Spokane to choose from with a wide range of websites from very old looking to very modern. The goal of this website review is to give ideas of how to improve a site and increase its ranking or improve its customer usability.
Pounder's Jewelry was the first website I found that could use improvement. The website address was VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Searching for a website candidate for this week's Friday Flop Fix was a little challenging. I began my search, as usual, looking for a random website candidate in a random city in the United States. My randomly chosen city this week was Orange, CA. My specific Google search phrase was "jewelers Orange, CA" for which I was given the search results you see below.
I've included my commentary in the screen capture:
This is my weekly website review where I search for a retail jeweler at random through Google and pick apart what they are doing online. I try to uncover the flops that are being made so I can suggest the fixes needed to improve what they are doing.
This week, I started my Google search with the phrase "jewelers Brookline, MA" and quickly found myself heading down a rabbit hole after viewing these results:
Every week, I review the website of a randomly chosen retail jeweler. This week, I searched for "jewelers Ketchikan, AK" to find a review candidate. This type of search always triggers Google local results format, which includes the top three business listings for that area. Google understands that people are usually looking for local businesses whenever a keyword is included along with a town name in a search query. Google then shows results formatted like this:
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":
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.
Since the beginning of Google time, their search results page has been formatted as a two column layout. The wider left column showed the organic results and the thinner right column had the paid AdWords ads. Eventually, Google started including paid ads above and below the right column organic results.
This is the #FridayFlopFix edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each week I seek out a website that needs some help, and I make improvement suggestions. Most of the time, I simply do a random Google search for a jewelry store, sometimes I come across a store randomly during work, and sometimes one of my friends sends me a website that perplexes them.
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
This is the #FridayFlopFix edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each week, I look for a random retail jewelry store website that is using the wrong approach on their website, and I make suggestions for improvements. This week when I searched Google for "jewelers st. petersburg fl," I was given these results:
Now that we closed the book on the 2015 Holiday Season, it's time to review the results. Over the course of the holiday season, I captured more than 47,000 different keyword queries related to retail jeweler websites. I'm sifting through all that information to find something actionable for retail jewelers. I've been looking for things like a list of good keywords, or popular designer brands to carry, or even where to focus your energy over the next few month... 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
There are a lot of easy ways for business owners to build their first website. WordPress is a good option for businesses that just want to put information online, and Shopify is a good option for those hoping to sell online quickly. Both of these systems offer out-of-the-box templates and setups to get your website live in just a few days. GoDaddy also runs a marketing campaign to convince the new business owner that building a website overnight is the right thing to do.
One month ago today, I introduced the 2015 Holiday Run-Up with the premise that this year you could create several specialized marketing campaigns, or micro-campaigns, focused on singles products or groupings of products. Implementing the micro campaigns would require lots of product photography, correctly targeting your customers, writing lots of product content, sharing that product content to social media, coordinating... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It's #ThrowbackThursday, and it's also the 19th installment of my special 2015 Holiday Run-Up series. Over the last 30 days, I've written out holiday marketing steps for Pinterest, Google+, 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
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
Do you have a question about your own online marketing situation or feel perplexed about something specific on the internet? Send it to me and I'll answer it as a future Daily Golden Nugget if I can.
Shortly after posting my Friday website review on the morning of April 24, 2015, one of my email readers asked me a really viable question about the SERP results from that day's review. You can read the review VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Welcome to the weekly edition of the Friday jewelry website review. Every week, I randomly choose a candidate website and put it to the test for design, SEO, usability, content, and a wealth of other website and business related issues.
I never know how they will turn out; sometimes good and sometimes bad. I always try to write these reviews in the order in which I browse around the site, providing my first reactions as I discover things.
Since the dawn of computer networks, every server has recorded logs of all communications activities. You might be surprised to find out that email servers keep logs of every email sent, who they came from, and who they were sent to. Many large organizations even save copies of those emails.
When it comes to sharing files, all FTP servers and all file sharing services, like Dropbox, keep track of what files were uploaded and downloaded.
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
This is the Friday Jewelry Website Review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Every week, I randomly choose and dissect a retail jeweler's website to see what makes it tick. I never know what I'm going to find each week; sometimes it's something new to learn or a refresher on topics I've previously written about.
To find this week's review candidate, I searched Google for "jewelry stores in Bridgeton, New Jersey" and was given this SERP:
If you're jewelry store is located in a strip mall or a shopping mall, Google will probably be changing your address, if they haven't already.
In honor of my 1200th Daily Golden Nugget I'm bringing you some updated information about Google+ Local today. Way back 1200 post ago I began these Nuggets with a a post about Google Maps, since then I've carried the tradition or reviewing Google business related changes every 100th Nugget. So here we are again.
During my Throwback Thursday Nugget last week, I dug up the old story of bad neighborhoods and how they could negatively impact your website.
The negative impacts I mentioned included slower website response time, potential for server downtime, and lower Google ranking if too many of your website neighbors involve porn, gambling, or E.D. drug websites.
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
It's the Thanksgiving Holiday in the United States. For many years, this day marked the official point on the calendar as the start of the holiday season in the US. Not too long ago, you wouldn't see a single Christmas Tree or holiday decorations in a store until the Friday morning after Thanksgiving. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade would march down the streets of New York and not a word about Christmas was mentioned until Santa Claus went by on that last float, giving us the go-ahea... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'm going to review the latest AdWords Express functionality that you'll find within your Google My Business account. This is slightly different than the last time I explained it in this previous Nugget.
Today's Nugget is part of my ongoing series explaining the new features within the Google My Business dashboard that allows you to control all of your Google related business... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Welcome to the Friday website review, where every week I randomly review the website of a local retail jewelry business somewhere in the US. The goal is to find something good, or bad, that we can all learn from and apply to our own business.
For this week's review, I'm heading over to Washington state and searching for "fine jewelry stores bellevue wa." When doing these searches, I always use the Google Chrome browser in incognito mode. This allows me to see non-personalized search results.
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.
Microsoft and their Windows PC software have long been the target of virus and trojan attacks. Computer hackers find security holes in the software and write the virus programs that spread so easily throughout the internet through email and hacked websites. Without antivirus software on your own computer, you will easily fall prey to even a novice hacker's first attempt at mayhem or phishing.
There are also hackers that exploit security holes in well known website softwares, especially WordPress. According to VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I never set up a website or an online advertising campaign without attaching some type of tracking. Without tracking,you simply never know if you are wasting money on marketing or improving your business. With normal, everyday online marketing you can usually rely on Google Analytics to provide all the tracking data that you would need to measure results. However, there are times when Analytics simply fails to give you the answers you need.
The next time you launch a contest or plan event for your jewelry store, you should consider issuing a press release as part of your announcement.
Most people think of press releases as a statement you send to your local newspaper in hopes that they will run a story on you. Although that might be true, in the digital world a press release is also a credible way to build links to your website.
Press releases have very specific formats for writing. You can find great beginner how-to guides on prweb.com under their "Learning" section. Make sure to review these before attempting to write a release for yourself. Of course if you have the money you should hire a press agent instead of doing this yourself.
Once you've composed your release, you should call all your local papers and find out their procedure for submitting... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Since we seem to be on a roll with blogging topics, we'll continue today with another important blog discussion.
We frequently get asked what blogging software and blogging hosting service should be used to set up a jewelry store's website. There are obvious answers to that question, but they come with not so obvious consequences.
The apparent, obvious answer is to use a readily available blogging platform. According to TopTenReviews.com the top 5 blogging software platforms for 2012 (so far) are: 1. WordPress 2. Typepad 3. Squarespace 4. LiveJournal 5. Blogger
The popular blogging platforms amongst the jewelers we work with seem to be WordPress and Blogger. WordPress has a lot of features and can be used not only as a blog, but also to run the entire operations of your website. On the other han... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Here's a regular routine for the online marketing process of your jewelry website, or brick and mortar jewelry store...
You share status updates on Facebook and hope to gain new fans. Maybe one day those fans will click over to your website to see the jewelry you sell.
You share on Google+ knowing that it will help influence the Google SERP. Maybe one day someone will actually search a phrase you posted on Google+ and click over to your website to see the jewelry you sell.
You create quippy remarks for a 140 character Tweet and flood your Twitter account. You hope that eventually someone will see your #jewelry or #engagement #ring hash tags and click over to your website to see the jewelry you sell.
You set up a WordPress blog and post regular entertainment news or monthly updates about birthstones. This pr... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Today we'd like to explain how we discovered the unfortunate waste of money one jeweler spent when they hired a SEO guy to build links by writing blog posts.
There's no need to look at your own account right now, but we'll begin our story with a quick trip into our Google Analytics account and click on the link for TRAFFIC SOURCES in the left margin. From there we expanded the Sources sub-section and selected Referrals.
On this Referrals page inside Google Analytics, we are able to see all the domain names on which people find your website, but more importantly, clicked to visit your website. It's typical to see facebook.com, jewelers.org, yellowpages.com, and maps.google.com among the popular referral domains.
If you've paid someone for "link building" services, you will see hundreds of random domain names in the r... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Yesterday we answered a question posed by one of our readers. She wanted to know the disadvantages or drawbacks of replacing her current jewelry website with a brand new one. We couldn't quite think of specific disadvantages so instead we wrote out 3 hurdles in the website redesign and programming process.
Today we'd like to give you 3 specific advantages to having your jewelry website redesigned and replaced. We could probably list 100 reasons, but we're simply going to pick the top 3 we feel are important today.
1. With a new website comes a new design; at least we hope you will get a new design!
In the real world, we can each identify building architecture from different periods. Many of us can easily identify building and interior decorating styles from our own lifetime. Can you remember the late 1960's? ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We received an interesting question recently from a well established jewelry store. They wanted to know the drawbacks or disadvantages of "getting a new website." We thought the question was interesting enough to answer as today's Daily Golden Nugget.
To answer this question, let's first assume you have had a website for at least 2 years, and you are thinking of getting a new one.
So what are the "disadvantages or drawbacks of getting a new jewelry website?"
Before we itemize a list we'd first like to say that we really don't see a disadvantage of making a new website that runs with current standards of technologies, website usability, and design that appeals to the current market. With that said, let's outline the hurdles you need to get over to make a new website.
WordPress evolved from simple blog software into a very large open project that many programmers have contributed to. With it you can create article sites, membership sites, news sites, photo galleries, and even your own business website.
It's a great system, and it's very cheap to buy into.
However, there are major drawbacks to using WordPress. Here are a few: 1. Most WordPress websites look and function the same. 2. It's not free; you still need a hosting account. 3. It's not free; you will need to pay someone to set it up if you are non-website savvy. 4. It's not free; all the best features need to be paid for. 5. There's no guarantee that a WordPress website will be found by Google; standard SEO still applies.
Number 1 is one of our biggest gripes here at jWAG. We hear so many jewelry stores say ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
One of the well known "no no's" of website search engine optimization is something called Keyword Stuffing.
Old search engines used to rank a website by the amount of times you had a phrase listed on the page. If you wanted to be listed for the old "right hand rings" you simply needed to use the phrase "right hand rings" on the page more times than your competitor.
The phrase "right hand rings" is difficult to say over and over, and that's why it's such a good example to today's Daily Golden Nugget, so let's continue with it.
The Diamond Promotion Service started using the phrase Right Hand Ring in 2005, so let's imagine it's 2005 and you are trying to sell to women that want to buy themselves an anytime gift. The common SEO strategy of that time was simply to bloat a web page with your target phrase more times tha... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Google has a lot of built in protection for its users. Every search result page is filtered to provide a variety of answers whenever possible. Their system also tries to filter out websites that you might consider worthless.
Our own analysis has shown us that Google is constantly re-crawling jewelry websites. Some days, they download dozens or hundreds of pages per site, and other days they only look at 3 or 4 pages. Most of the time, they simply peek at a page to see if anything is different, and then they move on.
Google also monitors for hacked websites. Since they are crawling your website a few times a day, it's very likely that they would know your website is hacked before you do. We're not sure how quickly they take action, but we do know that if they discover a hacked website, they will attempt to block the sit... 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
How closely do you look at the address of the websites you visit?
Some websites are built with sloppy content management systems that have long strings of variables like this EXAMPLE 1: www.Jewelrystore.com/page.html?id=25&code=1234&var=5
Some websites are built with more appealing website addresses like this EXAMPLE 2: www.Jewelrystore.com/12345/67890/page.html
And some websites are built with fully readable website addresses like this EXAMPLE 3: www.Jewelrystore.com/online-catalog/diamond-jewelry.html
It actually doesn't matter how your website addresses are structured. You could have a really long website address like this EXAMPLE 4: www.Jewelrystore.com/jewelry-catalog/diamo... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In previous Daily Gold Nuggets, we've mentioned methods to get links from other businesses in your town or in neighboring towns. Building links to your site is very important and there is a huge variety of ways you can do so.
The important part to link building is making sure that the link to your website is not what we call a "nofollowed" link. A few years ago, the search engines came up with this "rel=nofollow" feature in order to prevent the huge comment spam that was building up on blog posts.
Many people were intentionally commenting on blog posts and including the link back to their website as a method of link building. The result was a huge amount of link spam and improper search results pages. The nofollow feature nullified and disqualified this type of spam and all those links, which quickly returned all search... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Competition is good; well, at least that's what some businessmen will say. Competition keeps companies honest because it prevents monopolies, and it also spurs innovation.
In June 2009, Microsoft re-branded its MSN search engine into the Bing search engine. This engine has some very nice features, but according to our tracking of jewelry websites, only 7.63% of search traffic comes from Bing, so we don't pay attention to it much.
Although, Facebook is inching closer to becoming a full-fledged search engine using Bing, so that minuscule 7.63 might increase. Again, we'll let you know if it does.
Bing has one really good SEO feature for reverse engineering your competition's website, and that's the IP Address lookup. You can put the IP address of any website into the Bing engine and find out all the other websites ho... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Are you aware of all the little nuances of Internet Marketing that could improve the conversion rates from your blog site to the main area of your site where you make money?
Internet Marketing is a learned skill. Even with many years of experience in traditional media marketing, you couldn't possibly know the how's and why's of Internet Marketing. We're giving you a few easy ones below.
By now, you should have an established blog set up. We hope you have it on your own website rather than a Blogger or WordPress account. Here are some tactics that you should be employing in each of your blog posts.
1. Your main headline needs to be the largest words on the page. 2. You should break up your blog entry into subsections with a sub-heading for each. 3. Headings and sub-headings should be in a Sans Serif font. Good ch... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Every once in a while, you should add something a little extra into your online marketing efforts. While everyone scrambles to figure out how to use Facebook and Twitter every day for immediate buzz, it's still very important to slowly establish your website as a local authority.
The next time you get a new line of exclusive jewelry in your store, or run an event, you should issue a press release. The press release has the event details as well as links back to your website. Once published, these press releases last forever, and so will the links.
Our last topic this week regarding domain names is actually about email addresses.
All too often, people will use free email systems for their email addresses. Google Mail, or Gmail, is very popular in the past year or so. Prior to that, Yahoo! was most popular, and of course AOL, Hotmail and a multitude of others are still around.
As the web becomes an important part of your business, email communications will become even more important (if they aren’t already). When you use an email address associated with your domain name, you increase the brand awareness with your customers, as well as establishing credibility.
There's a higher level of business credibility with using email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org.
"...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