After many years of talking and teaching about it, I'm finally starting to see retail jewelers embracing the reality of catalog and ecommerce websites. The reality I'm referring to is the tedious process of photographing your inventory, maintaining a website, and handling all aspects of order fulfillment.
Within the jewelry industry, there are several ways to mimic an ecommerce website without actually setting it up or managing it yourself. Many large man... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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.
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
This is the #FridayFlopFix website review. The goal of this review is to learn from someone else's mistake by randomly choosing and dissecting a website that has problems, and explain potential fixes. Hopefully there is something we can all learn from.
Websites with mistakes usually don't rank very high in Google, so when I search for review candidates I usually look lower in the SERPs, and even deep within the forbidden-nowhere-zone on Google... Page 2.
Every Friday, I venture out into the unknown to find a website that needs some help; I call them flops that could use some fixing. My hope is that you, the reader, will be able to learn a thing or two from someone else's mistakes, so that's what I look for.
This week I searched Google for the phrase "jewelers in Chapel Hill NC," and got these results:
In this week's website review, I'm heading over to Laramie, WY in search of a good jewelry store. My hope, like most savvy internet users today, is that I'll find a good jeweler based on the information they have on their website. If the website I find happens to be a total flop, well, then I'll give some suggestions to fix it.
I write these website reviews every Friday to demonstrate how to apply new SEO techniques, online usability, and content building to pre-existing websites that need help. ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is my weekly #FlopFix website review. Each week, I find a random retail jeweler's website and suggest fixes that could make it better. I never know what I'll find when I start these reviews and I do my best to document my first impressions as I look at the site.
This week I'm venturing to Olympia, WA where I'll search Google for "jewelry stores in olympia wa." Here's a screen grab of the returned SERP:
Instagram made headlines on March 15, 2016 when it announced that they would change the way their feed works. Since its inception, Instagram was a simple social network that allowed all users to scroll through the most recent photos posted by their friends. Keep scrolling to see the most recent photos. On March 15th, they announced that they will reorganize the feed for what you might care about the most, which is ex... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In yesterday's Nugget, I gave you 4 ways to prepare for ecommerce. Long before you get to the ecommerce state, you need to have a perfectly working website that reflects how your business operates and the customer service you provide. To help you achieve that today, I'm giving you 5 ways to improve your website.
It seems like only yesterday when it was thought that email addresses would become more important than telephone numbers, and now a website address is more important than both a telephone number and a physical address. A website is the most important representation of your business, yet most jewelers don't treat it that way, and many still view it as an online brochure that needs to be made once, and then forgotten about.
The local retail jeweler is losing a lot of business to the internet. The younger gen... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In preparation for this weekend's MJSA and JA Expo at the Jacob Javits center in NYC, I'm jumping way, way back to my fifth Daily Golden Nugget from July 30, 2010 about photography. I've written about photography many times since then, written product reviews about the VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Don't want to read? This week you can also watch the video recording of this review here!
This is the #FridayFlopFix website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. This week I've randomly chosen Santa Clarita, CA as the city to search for my review candidate. When I searched Google for the phrase "jewelers Santa Clarita, CA," I saw these three Google business listings:
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:
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
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.
A few weeks ago, I was privileged to present a photography workshop at MJSA ConFab. Even though I don't necessarily like to be known as "The Jewelry Photography Guy," I seem to be gaining that reputation. After all, this was the 4th time I've enjoyed teaching jewelry photography techniques at an MJSA event.
I'm always being asked the same few questions about photography, which usually includes questions about macro lenses, lighting, and ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Welcome to the Friday Website Review. In honor of Halloween, I went searching for a spooky or horror related city name in which to find a candidate jeweler to review. Sadly, populated places like Devil's Peek, Hells Corner, and Pumpkinville are nothing more than tourist traps in the middle of nowhere with nothing more than a general store.
I then tried a search for Haddonfield, Illinois, the city portrayed in the Halloween movie series. But as it turns out Haddonfield, Illinois is a fictiti... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In today's #ThrowbackThursday, I'm jumping back to January 2014 to my directions on how to post to Google+. This is also a continuation of my special 2015 Holiday Run-Up series giving you the tactics you need to help boost your sales this upcoming season.
This is the continuation of my annual Daily Golden Nugget "Holiday Run-Up" series loaded up with step-by-step explanations of how to make the most of your holiday season advertising. The focus of this Run-Up is how to make the most of your product advertising to attract customers through multiple media methods. This is the 13th installment of the Run-Up, and this series still has a few more days before I finish all the topics that should make a positive impact on ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is Part 8 of my annual special Daily Golden Nugget "Holiday Run-Up" series packed with tactics to help you during November and December this year. I started this series with an overview of the marketing strategies that have worked over the last 12 months and have been expanding on each idea every day since.
This is Part 3 of a multi-day Daily Golden Nugget series packed with tactics to help you in your 2015 holiday marketing. The series started with the overview of 2015 holiday marketing strategies. Today I'm specifically covering the topic of...
This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. I'm starting my Google search this week with the phrase "jamestown ny jewelers" to find the review candidate for today. That search yielded these results:
This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. The goal of these weekly reviews is to evaluate a random retail jeweler's website against website design methods, SEO strategies, usability, and technology trends. I use Google Chrome in incognito mode to find every review candidate with a basic local search phrase. I also try to capture my first impressions in these reviews and write them during my initial pass through the website.
This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each week, I dig down into a random retail jewelry store website to discover the good and bad of what they've done with their online identity. The goal is to learn something that you can also apply to your own online identity.
This week I've decided to search San Luis Obispo, CA for my candidate jeweler. I'm starting my search with the phrase "wedding rings San Luis Obispo, CA." This is the Google SERP that was returned:
This is the weekly random website review where I search for a website candidate in a town near you and review how well their website is put together.
I never know what I'm going to find. Sometimes I find great sites and sometimes I find sites with a lot of problems. I do my best to write down my first impressions of the sites in an attempt to illustrate how a consumer might be reacting.
No matter what, there's always something to learn from.
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 Friday, I work through these reviews to help you understand the good and bad ways a retail jewelry store website works. I look for good and bad website design, content, photography, usability, and search engine optimization in hopes that we can all learn something new.
Each week, I use Google Chrome in incognito mode to search for review candidates. Incognito mode allows me to hide potentially personalized search results ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
For this week's Throwback Thursday, I'm jumping to April 11, 2011 and my topic of speeding up your website images. This is an important topic that never gets old.
The internet has sped up tremendously since the days of dial up 14400 baud modems. Back then, it would take 45 seconds to download a 62K image; today, it takes only 1 second to download through cable and 4G connection spee... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I angst a lot over the poor photo quality I often see used on jewelry websites and in print ads. Someone will never know the detail of intricate fine jewelry unless they are holding it in their hand or looking at a perfect quality photo.
I have a simple idea of a perfect quality photo: just be in focus and properly lit.
I like to use photos with interesting backgrounds to attract attention and then high definition photos with pure white backgrounds on the product det... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I was at a social media marketing meeting in New York City last month when someone asked if they should be posting the same photos and status update to every social network.
That was a good question, and there's no real straightforward answer. In reality, it depends if you have the same audience following you on all the social networks. If the same audience follows you on all networks, then they will get very bored very ... 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
Way back on May 3, 2013, I reviewed the website for Alletti Jewelry. In that review, I explained that they were using the GoDaddy WebsiteBuilder and showed why it was a pretty bad content management system (CMS).
Recently. I came across a different retail jeweler's website using the new version of GoDaddy's Online Store CMS. The store is Goldirocks Jewelers and their website is VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this edition of #ThrowBackThursday, I'm jumping back to an old topic, and still a very valid topic explained in Daily Golden Nugget number 175 back on March 25, 2011... Adding new value to the internet.
Content, content, content! That's what Google wants. Countless numbers of official Google webmaster blog posts, videos, and presentations by Google employees at internet expos talk about the continual need to create new content.
Apparently Google is turning a few more heads with its recent search engine ranking algorithm changes again. I'm not talking about Mobilegeddon, which will happen on April 21, 2015, but their latest announcement about e-commerce product images.
Google has put a lot of effort into improving how it understands images and the types of images that people would like to se... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the Friday website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. The goal of today's review is to take a critical look at a random retail jeweler's website in hopes of finding something we can all learn from.
At the start of each review, I launch a new Google Chrome incognito window. This allows me to search for a jewelry store without any influence from my previous search history or personalized results.
In this Daily Golden Nugget, I'm going to analyze the photography of a popular e-commerce jewelry site. In this exercise, I hope to reveal some aspects of photography that you can apply to the photography on your own jewelry website.
For this exercise, I'm going to search Google for the Verragio style INS-7074R. This is a very popular engagement ring style and it's easy to find many different website selling it. What I hope to find is a website that took its own photos instead of using the photos ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The internet has become a very visual place, especially on social media. While blog content may thrive with well written information, as of today, on Facebook and Google+ you won't get noticed without some type of visual. This is especially a complete change for Facebook because in 2013, they lowered the visibility of status updates with images because they were combating meme over usage.
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 jewelry website review where I randomly select and review the website of a retail jeweler. The goal is to dissect their online accounts to see how they might be ranking highly, and what they might be doing right, or wrong, with their online identity.
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
Your e-commerce website will thrive or starve based on your jewelry product photography. This is a tough topic that I've spoken about at the Las Vegas JCK show, at MJSA Expos, and have even given presentations to students at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC.
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:
I recently gave a seminar about website design and SEO to a local group of entrepreneurs in New Jersey. Although the presentation was mostly about what to watch out for when hiring a search engine optimization agency, there were a lot of questions about good website content versus bad website content.
One of the attendees started explaining her recent difficult experience with website design and a WordPress template. She's an established copy writer and content c... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
One of the common errors in the English language is the confusion between the words Champagne and Champaign.
Champagne is a region in France where the sparkling wine, champagne, comes from. Those French "regions" are similar to states in the US. Although there are vineyards all over the world that produce sparkling wine, it's not "champagne" unless the grapes were grown, and the wine was produced in that region of France. The capital city of Champagne is Epernay, which I visited a few years ago. I've include... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the third part of my Daily Golden Nugget series outlining a potential marketing plan for the upcoming holiday season. The first part explained how to select the items to promote during the holidays. The second part detailed how to set up your newspa... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'm outlining a potential marketing plan for the upcoming holiday season. My example will focus on specific items which we will build content around and share socially.
What I've written out in this guide will be good for anyone looking for a different approach to marketing for this upcoming holiday season. There's a lot of detail for the setup, implementation, and then the post-analysis of the entire campaign. You'll do the setup... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
When Google Image Search was redesigned in January 2013, it introduced a modern way of looking at images across the web. Images were presented larger, with the ability to view just the image or jump to the website where the image was found.
I remember having a lot of trouble understanding the redesigned user interface for Image Search, but after a few months I finally got used to it.
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.
Content creation is a continual task for every website owner. It can also be a very challenging task to come up with new content all the time without suffering from mental burnout or writer's block. That burnout will have a bad effect on your long term SEO, so it needs to be prevented.
One way to prevent content creation burnout is to spread the task around between several employees on your sales staff. Remember that website content isn't just blog posts. Content... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I decided to give myself a little challenge today with this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, Friday Website Review. I'm back in Bordeaux, France today, and in honor of that I decided to search for any town or location within the United States that was named after Bordeaux, France. I only found one, and apparently it's a small settlement in the US Virgin Islands, so I decided to check it out.
Sadly, it really is just a settlement without a large town, and certainly no jewelers. Accordin... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Jewelry photography is a topic that's near and dear to my heart because I know it can either make or break the success of a jewelry e-commerce website.
Let's face it; jewelry is all about beauty and style. No one wants to buy something is it doesn't look good in a photograph or match the style they desire. Blurry photos, dirty jewelry, and gray backgrounds do not help with the e-commerce selling process.
Photography is something that many jewelers angst about all the time. Jewelry photography can be a complete nightmare to do yourself or expensive when you hire a professional. Jewelry photography will make or break the e-commerce sales on your website.
However, today we actually don't care about jewelry photography. Instead we want to talk about other photography on your website, specifically, photos of YOU!
That's right, you... Your smiling face should be somewhere on your website, as well as the rest of your employees'. This personal touch will appeal much more to the local customers that you're hoping will actually walk into your store.
Your photo, and other staff photos, shouldn't be reserved just for your "Meet Our Staff" page either. Sure, that's where they also belong, but why not have photos of you and yo... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Really... All you want them to do is look around and click. Is that so hard?
Even though you might spend a great deal of time laying out your website, sometimes your site visitors just will not click on what you wanted them to.
For example, you might spend a bit of time writing a really nice website intro for your home page, maybe talking about how happy you are that they are visiting, how great your services are, and the high quality nature of the jewelry you carry. Then below that intro you have some wonderful jewelry photos that's you're very proud of. The photos link right into your product catalog where you've even written snazzy descriptions that would compel someone to buy.
But do they click that beautiful photo? Perhaps not. Perhaps your bounce rate is unusually high at 80%.
You will probably have the worst nightmares about photography during your entire career with a jewelry website. Hiring a professional will cost more than the website design and programming, and taking them yourself often results in blurry jewelry with gray backgrounds.
Let's face it; good-quality photos appeal to users more than blurry, unclear images. In addition, bloggers, Facebook users, and Google+ users are more likely to link to (or share) a good-quality image rather than an ugly smudge on a gray background.
Other than linking and sharing, a crisp, sharp image will also appear better in a thumbnail version that Google will display in the search results, and therefore may be more likely to get clicks and visits.
Let's talk about buying shows, holiday inventory, and internet advertising.
We're right in the middle of the trade show season and every show you go to will have plenty of options for holiday inventory and new trends that could work in your store. What is the most important reason you select new inventory for your store? We'd love to hear your feedback on that.
We attended the JA show in New York City from July 26th to 28th and asked some very hard questions to many vendors both large and small. Today we're going to review some of our findings.
We tried to divide our time equally between small designers, new designers, and well established jewelry manufacturers. We asked all of them what marketing assistance they offered their retailers, specifically how each one would help the retailer add content to their websit... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Today we'd like to review some SEO basics about the product catalog of your jewelry website.
Because of our own recent experience and some announcements from Google over the past 12 months, it's time to review our previously published work.
On August 17-18, 2010, we held a live broadcast detailing many ideas for the design and structure of a jewelry product catalog. Some of those ideas will be updated in this brief Daily Gold Nugget.
1. High Word Count You need to have at least 300 words of text for each product item. Preferably we'd like to see you with 400 words. This is up from 250 words that we said last year. The total word count should include as many details about the item as you can think of. Details should include the construction of the item (prong count, width, diamond count, ctw) listed within the ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Good photography of your products is the only way you can sell your products online. Even if your website is ugly, good photography and good customer service will always sell jewelry.
However, there is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to your photography, and it has to do with the file sizes.
A typical jewelry product catalog will show a ring in 3 different sizes: 1. As a thumbnail on the browsing pages. 2. As a medium size image on the product description page. 3. As a large image when you want to zoom in to see details.
The lazy web programmer will use the same image for all 3 purposes, but there's a serious drawback to this. You would need to use the largest image, that is image #3, for all locations. Except that large image can be 600KB or more, and we've even seen images as large as 3MB.VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Photos and images can really spice up a website, well, that is they can spice up a website if they are done correctly.
Jewelry websites are especially vulnerable to poor quality product photos since jewelry photography is actually pretty tough.
We have a skewed opinion of jewelry photography, in that we believe it should be true to the item and not photo retouched. You don't want the customer opening their eagerly awaited online jewelry purchase to be met with disappointment because your photography was too good.
It's especially important to include some type of scaling comparison in your photography, like a coin or a pencil for example. Avoid using a real hand unless you actually hire a "hand model."
A professional photographer will charge anywhere from $25 to $200 per item photographed. It all depends on h... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Your website is the public face of your business online. During this recession we saw a lot of jewelry stores close, and as we shut down their websites we couldn't help but wonder if the sub par images on their site contributed to their downfall.
The photography on your site is very important. Particularly the jewelry photography for product catalogs. Images need to be high quality, "pop" off the page, show color and detail well and, most of all, they have to tell a story to the person who wants the jewelry.
Photos of your store should be sharp and present well. Photos of your staff should either be coordinated or show them at their normal work station (i.e. the bench jeweler hard at work). When it comes to photos of your product, we suggest getting a light box and learning jewelry photography. Otherwise, just ... 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