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.
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."
The internet of things (IoT) now connects so much of daily life it's hard to remember what things were like 23 years ago when it was just in its infancy. New internet connected devices are announced every day that will undoubtedly shape our futures of personal life and how we reach customers and conduct business. Although there are plenty of new tech toys announced every week, it's the smartphone which has changed how we manage our daily lives.
Can you learn from someone else's mistakes? That's exactly what I hope you'll get out of this Friday Flop Fix. This week, I'm venturing over to Tupelo, MS in search of a retail jeweler that might be making a mistake with their online presence.
This is the result I saw when searching for "jewelers tupelo ms" in Google:
What's good and what's bad? What works and what doesn't work? This is what I try to reveal every Friday as I work through my Flop Fix website reviews. I always start them with a Google search in a random town around the U.S. in search of an independent retail jeweler that could use a little help while also allowing me to publically explain what can be learned from their mistakes.
This week, I began my search for "jewelers Honesdale, PA" and saw these results:
It's time for the weekly case study of a website that's pretty old and in desperate need of a makeover. I call these weekly posts my Friday Flop Fix review. During these reviews, I look for websites that are implementing search engine optimization strategies poorly, or have poor website designs and I suggest ways to make them better.
This week, I searched Google for the phrase "jewelers Zanesville, OH" and was shown 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:
Every business experiences some type of growing pains; these usually have something to do with lack of time, hiring the right employees, and supply and demand of products, but there's also a website growing pain that's very real.
This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. The purpose of this website review is to look over a random retail jeweler's website to evaluate if they are correctly applying what we know about the internet, online marketing, and business. We'll see if improvements can be made, or if we can learn something from them.
Each week I start by searching Google in a random town for a typical phrase that a consumer would search for. This week the search phrase is "jewelers logan ut," and he... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the Friday website review where I do a Google search for an independent retail jeweler in a random town, then review their website.
This week, I'm starting my search with the phrase "jewelry stores in grand fork nd." Every week that I do this, I try to give you my first impressions of every website as I work through it. Just looking at the results given below, I have a feeling this week's review is going to be quite... nasty. Hold on to your seats gang and let's jump in...<... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
For this week's review, I'm using my iPad to look up a review candidate. Every week, I use the Chrome browser in incognito mode to search for a random jeweler. In case you don't know, the iPad version of Chrome also has an incognito mode.
This week, I'm searching for "jewelry stores Eugene OR." Here's the Google SERP I saw on the iPad:
This is the weekly website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each week, I work through these website reviews to give you real examples to learn from. It doesn't matter if the website is good or bad, there's always something to learn from.
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
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
In this edition of the Friday website review, I'm traveling to Shreveport, Louisiana in search of my review candidate. Using the Chrome browser in incognito mode, I searched for "jewelers Shreveport, Louisiana" and saw these SERP results:
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.
The weather in North America has been quite drastic through this winter. Snowfall and low temperature records have been broken all season long, and we're all counting the days until March 21st, which is only two weeks from now. Thankfully temperatures seem to be on the rise.
On the other hand, two weeks ago, the temperatures in New Jersey were lower than in Fairbanks, Alaska!
I'm certainly not a cold weather person, but many people are. In this week's edition of the Friday website review I'm headi... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Welcome to the Friday retail jewelry website review. In this week's review, I'll be searching for a random website candidate to critique in the hopes that we can all learn something useful to implement on our own websites.
To start this week's review I started searching for jewelers in Hudson, NY. Specifically, I used the Google search query "jewelers in Hudson ny."
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
The internet has seen many changes over the last 4 years since I started writing these Daily Golden Nuggets. Undoubtedly, a lot of that change was informed by Google, but really there are a lot of other factors involved.
Through the Great Recession, a lot of easier and less expensive technology emerged that now allows us to access information from anywhere at any time. You could argue that the technology companies forced fancy new mobile devices on us; or you could say that the technology devel... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The request has come far too often. I get a phone call from someone wanting to redesign their website. They tell me that their website is old, hasn't been updated, and they just want to start over.
Along with the request to redesign a website, I'm also usually told that they don't want to tell their current web programmer that they will be canceling service. Some business owners have decided that they want to file for a surprise divorce of their programmer.
Let's imagine that there's a special gift giving day coming up soon and I need to buy a gift. Assuming that I live in Englewood, Colorado I might do a Google search for "buy jewelry gifts in Englewood Colorado."
Today is the weekly website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. The goal of this review is to randomly search Google for a retail jewelry store and learn something from scrutinizing how they manage their website and online identity. There's always something to learn from these reviews, whether it's learning from someth... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In honor of Thanksgiving, I decided to look for some town names related to the American holiday. Turkey and cranberries are among the many traditional dishes served at an American Thanksgiving meal. Although I found that there's a Turkey, Texas, it seems like Cranberry, Pennsylvania might have a better chance of locating a review candidate for today's Daily Golden Nugget, Friday Review.
Off to Cranberry I go, with a search for "jewelry stores in cranberry, pa." But the results you see here were not as satisfying as I expected:
Today is the Friday Review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. The goal of this review is to analyze a website for its good qualities, and bad, and to learn from it. Every week I choose a location in the United States from which to pluck a review candidate from.
This week I'm heading over to Albany, Georgia. What I remember most about my own visits to Georgia is the unstoppable kudzu. But today I'm less concerned with vines that grow 1 foot per day because I'm in need of a quality jewelry store.
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
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.
My journey today began with a search for "jewelry stores Hayward CA." You see, I'm pretending to be a real customer searching for a local jeweler in Hayward. My goal is to examine how the local jewelers in that town stack up in Google search, take a look at their websites, and see what can be learned by the experience.
This is my weekly retail jeweler website review, but this week I'm changing up the format a little bit.
Here's a snapshot of the business listing I saw in the Google SERP for that search: VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In its simplest terms, search engine optimization is the process of doing something for your website that will help it to rank higher in search engines. Google maintains its dominance over the entire search engine industry because it keeps its users happy.
Users... Those are the everyday people of this world, like you and me, who keep returning to Google because it offers the best search results no matter which device you use. Google pays attention to what we all look for, how we use ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It seems like every day I see not one, not two, but perhaps more than a dozen different online marketing campaigns that make me scratch my head wondering why they bothered.
I'm not only referring to the jewelry industry either, but all types of online marketing. It just seems like so many businesses don't understand the larger view of how intertwined the internet is to everyday life and the expectations of their customers.
This is the Friday website review where I randomly look for a jewelry website to dissect so we can all learn something new. This week I'm taking a slightly different approach to locating a review candidate. I'm going to search in a county instead of a specific town.
To start the process, I always open an incognito window with Google Chrome. This step allows me to do searches in Google without any personalized results affecting what I see. Google has several ways to identify your compute... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Five months from today, you will be launching your last minute Christmas advertising campaigns and counting down the last 7 days before the big holiday. Have you started to prepare your website and holiday ads yet?
The other day, I was walking through one of those stores that sells Christmas items all year long and I couldn't help but remember that now is the time for those "Christmas in July" sales events. However, considering that today is Friday, I immediately started to wonder how many towns were n... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Websites have become part of the normal process of establishing a business. It's more important to get your website and social media started before you even open your retail doors. In some cases, you need to get your website launched before you even make the first sale.
I'm not specifically talking about e-commerce website, but consider for a moment that your website needs to be the support system for your business. What's the minimum amount of work you need to put into your website before it will s... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I'm still surprised when I come across a jewelry store website that has auto-playing music on their home page, and throughout their website. The popularity of websites with auto-playing music is certainly declining. One of my recent jewelry website reviews talked about home page music, and even some of my regular clients still request music on their home page.
I have a quick case study today about a jewelry store that first built their website in 2008, did a minor programming change in 2010, and then did a major overhaul of the entire website in 2012. You will see how traffic changed and how activity on their website changed. My measurement period spans from December 2011 - February 2012 compared to December 2012 - February 2013.
Both the old and the new website shared these similar pages: * About Us * Staff * Special Offers * 4C's of Diamond Education * Designer pages ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
1. Grab attention; 2. Establish a connection; 3. Welcome them inside.
Those are three basic functions that the home page of your website should be doing. When you do any of those wrong, you are doomed to have a higher bounce rate.
The photos on your home page play an important part of that home page trifecta. Based on my measured results, I've put together some guidelines on the hows and why's you should use certain types of photos.
My top 4 home page photo guidelines in order of importance:
Large page headers and hero graphics are very popular right now; in fact they are so popular that in 5 years we'll look back on the 2010-2012 internet era as the rise and fall of oversized, in your face images and headers. Those oversized home page photos are known as "hero graphics."
While website header design growing, computer screen size is shrinking. Not too long ago the latest and greatest computer monitor was a 24 inch or 32 inch, but now it seems like the PC is quickly being replaced with laptop and netbook computers. Naturally those portable computers have smaller screen sizes.
And when it comes to really small screen sizes... let's not even mention mobile devices right now.
In the 2003-2006 internet era we saw a transition from websites that were designed with a static width of about 800 pixels to designs... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Over the last 6 days, we've given you Black Hat SEO discussions and examples of how to avoid them. Unfortunately there are a lot of SEO "professionals" out there that want nothing more than to take your money and promise you results.
A quick Google search for "link building services" returns 35,300,000 results and tons of ads, meaning there is big business in link building. Do you think all those paid link building services will openly tell you that they use Black Hat techniques? Remember that Black Hat SEO refers to anything you do that will trick the search engines into ranking you higher in the SERP.
If you're not doing your own website SEO you will eventually need to hire someone to do it for you. Between today and tomorrow we're giving you 9 very blunt directions that will make working with your SEO professional mu... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We're continuing on our journey to explain the effects of Google's Panda Update and how it changes the way websites are examined and ranked.
Until Google unleashed their Panda on the web all website ranking was based on a mathematical model that measured clear quantitative items like:
* How many inbound links does a site have? * How many words are on each page of the site? * How many times are important keyword phrases used on the page? * Are your page titles written well?
As a SEO company, we will admit that it is easy to win in a mathematical numbers game if you know how to correctly count the numbers. Websites who have enough money to play the SEO numbers game rank well in Google all the time even though their websites might suck.
Yesterday Google announced their Google+ (that's Google Plus) service which looks like their first large step into competing with Facebook. They also announced a major design change to all the Google services.
It seems Google did some heavy usability studies and we're going to take this opportunity to explain what they did, compare it to what we've previously said about usability, and perhaps you can learn something new.
We use the phrase "website usability studies" when referring to all the research that shows us how a person uses a website. This includes watching how they move the around the screen, what they click on, testing the same words in different colors, and changing images to see if one image is better than another.
Ultimately the usability studies tell us "what get's the click" so we can correctly design ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Yesterday, we explained the value of footer links on your website. Today we'd like to talk briefly about header navigation links and menus.
In a Google training video last year, it was explained that Google didn't penalize you for putting a small amount of hidden text on your site when that that text is part of navigation or interactive information. We wrote a Daily Nugget about that video earlier this year.
In that training video, Google didn't say how much, if at all, of that hidden information would be use for ranking, and at the time we didn't have any valid data either, but we do now.
Using Google's SERP preview feature in recent testing, we've consistently noticed that jewelry websites don't rank at all for words hidden in dropdown menus. Our tests were far from scientific, but the results were consistent acr... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Design is one of the foremost concerns for your website. Trying to figure out the aesthetics that best please your customer is very difficult. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what you personally like, because the customer will like something completely different.
You need to program your website so it best functions for your users.
Typical design concerns are: * Width of the website. Do you want to be full screen or static width? * Colors. * What web browsers do you want it to work in? IE, Firefox and Safari are the big players. * Do you want the website to work on a mobile device? * Do you want to use a lot of images as part of the design? * Do you want Flash? Remember Flash does not work in IE 64-bit, the standard browser for Windows 7. * Do you want your website readable by users with visual impair... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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"...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