Possibly the most challenging part of running an online jewellery business is getting traffic to your website. If your website is brand new then this is even more of a challenge! The reason for this is that search engines don’t trust your site, it needs to decide whether your site is genuine or spam. It takes a while, on average 4-12 months depending on your niche, for this to happen. Over time though your site becomes more trustworthy which means that they are more likely to show your content in search results.
I do just want to state here that I am not a digital marketing expert but there are some strategies that I have learnt over the years that have helped drive traffic to my websites. While the majority of things I talk about in this article may seem aimed at ecommerce sites, you can also use and adapt the strategies if you have a jewellery blog or business website.
What is SEO?
The term lots of people have heard of but few understand! SEO means Search Engine Optimisation and the result of doing this well is that you appear higher in search results. The reason why you want to do this to your website is that organic traffic converts better than any other type of traffic. This is because people are actively searching for solutions to their problem or query. This is called warm traffic as they are already engaged in finding a solution and when your website provides the answer, it is easier to convert them from a visitor to a buyer.
The problem is that SEO is not the easiest thing to do, even professionals only have an idea of what works for SEO as search engines don’t reveal what goes into their search algorithms. I have had a few people say to me that they have been advised to improve their SEO but have no idea where to start.
SEO is a complicated science and there are complete website dedicated to helping people understand and improve their knowledge on the subject. ahrefs.com is full of great articles for anyone who wants to learn about it more in-depth. There are two mains parts to SEO, onsite and offsite and I will do my best to explain them below.
Onsite is the aspect of SEO that you have the most control over as you control what you put on your website. When doing your onsite SEO you need to balance between creating content that pleases search engines but also works for human visitors. Creating content that only pleases search engines, usually has a negative impact on user experience which results in fewer conversions.
As I said above, onsite SEO all relates to the content you put on your website. This includes any copy such as product descriptions and images, ranking well for images can yield good traffic and is often overlooked. When creating copy for your website, you want to aim it towards your target market and include keywords that search engines will pick up on.
When you start planning your content, you want to have an idea what people are searching for. There are lots of keyword tools out there but the best one is googles keyword planner. You can do unlimited searches and how I use it is I search what I think people might put into google and it will then give you approximate number of searches a month and how much competition there is for that result. It will also give you similar search terms and the figures for those as well.
Ideally you want to find results that have decent search volumes but low competition as it will be easier to rank for these. Gearing your content towards keywords that have high competition will take far longer to rank for. In my experience going for search terms even with low monthly search terms and competition has yielded good traffic as these are generally very focused searches. Here are a couple of examples:
- Diamond Engagement Ring is a very very competitive but ranking well for this is not a guarantee of good conversion rates. This is because this is quite a broad search term and people searching for this are probably in the early stages of planning to buy one. They are more likely to be researching styles, metals and stones at this point.
- Handmade White Gold Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring is a far more focused search term. People searching this are warm as they know what they are looking for, they just need to find the solution to their query now. Ranking for this is going to be easier than ranking for Diamond Engagement Ring and will likely yield better results. Search terms like this are often called long tail keywords.
But how do you put this kind of research to use on your site?
Content – Product Listings
Content is definitely a buzz word when it comes to SEO. There are many forms of content, this articles for example is content and search engines will crawl this article and decide if it can be used to answer peoples search queries. When it comes to ecommerce, your two main forms of content will be your product listing and images. In your product listing, the first thing that will be introduced to the customer will be the product title. Be careful not to keyword stuff your title, instead you want to write them organically, similar to the long tail keyword above. A well written title will encourage the searcher to click through to your web page.
Once you have them on your web page, you want to use your description and images to sell the product. A description should evoke desire and emotion as this is what causes the majority of people to buy. You want the description to be no longer than a paragraph in length, it is not a blog post! I always found listing to important bits such as metal, hallmark, size etc below the description in bullet points the best, plus it is easy for the visitor to find the info.
One of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make is that they don’t make the most of their images. Yes, you may have high quality, beautiful images but are you getting the most from them? Two things you should do with every image are:
- Name them properly, ring1.jpg is of no use to anyone. handmade-1ct-solitaire-diamond-engagement-ring.jpg is much better. Naming an image properly helps search engines to understand what the image is.
- Use the alt tag. This is where you describe what the image is and it helps search engines to know what the image is about.
I always try and name my images and write the alt tag similar to the product title. This way you are ranking the image for the same query as the web page. You can get lots of visitors from places like google images.
Content – Blogging
A great way to drive traffic to your site is by adding a blog. But can you use a blog for ecommerce?
Absolutely! Creating blog posts is another way to answer peoples search queries and when done right you can convert luke warm visitors in warm or hot ones. Let me explain…..
Sticking with the engagement ring example. Say someone searches for are handmade engagement rings better. This person is doing research into engagement rings and if you have a blog post explaining the advantages of handmade rings over cast rings. You are doing two things, you are giving them information that answers their question and you are showing them that you know what you are talking about. Use the blog post to plant a seed, include some images of handmade engagement rings you have done and explain your process to make a handmade ring. You can also link to any related articles you have written.
One bit of advice though is don’t be over critical of things, for example slating cast rings doesn’t come across well, instead give the advantages and disadvantages of both. Also don’t use it as a sales pitch, blog posts are there to inform, not sell.
Once they have read the article, not only do they have the answer to their question but they also know that your business makes handmade engagement rings and have seen what you can do. Three things usually happen at this point, they leave and never come back, they save the article and remember you for later or they contact you about getting a ring made.
Search engines use crawlers to index your website and creating internal links helps them to navigate your site. Internal links also have SEO benefits, each page of a website has a level of authority and by linking to another web page it is saying to search engines that the page has some useful, related content. Don’t over do internal links though as web pages only have so much authority and having too many links on a page negates the benefit of that link. Only use links when they are relevant, such as linking to another post or a product relating to that post.
The main offsite SEO that you can do is building back links. This is similar to the links mentioned just above but they come from other websites. When it comes to building back links, you want quality over quantity. A link from a website that has good authority, such as newspaper website or popular online news or information site such as Forbes will be better than lots of links from unknown websites. Which is why you shouldn’t buy back link packages from companies, lots of links from poor quality sites can have a negative impact on SEO.
Getting good quality back links can be difficult but there are a few things you can do to try and get some.
- Has your business been mentioned online anywhere? Maybe a local newspaper or trade publication. If so contact them and ask if they can link your business name to your website.
- Similarly, if you have won any awards. Ask if they can link you to your website.
- Offer to do guest posts or be interviewed for websites that are relevant to your business. Ask for your site to be linked to when the post is published.
- Comment on any relevant blog posts. Never be spammy though, always add something with your comment then put a cheeky link to your own website.
3 & 4 will probably give you short term boost in traffic but the long term benefit of the back link is what you really want. Back links have a snowball effect, the more your business gets talked about and linked to, the more back links you get which leads to more people talking about it and so on.
As I mentioned at the start, there is so much you can do when it comes to SEO and what I have talked about here is only a fraction of it. But just doing these few things should have a positive impact on your rankings over the next few months.
I will be honest, I have never done this so can only give you brief overview of what it is and how you can use it. With paid advertising, either spend a lot of time learning how to do them or get a professional to do it because if you don’t, you can lose a lot of money with no return.
With Google Ads, you tell google how much you are willing to pay in order to get someone to click through to your website for relevant search results. If you bid enough then google will promote your pages and you should see a boost in traffic and if done right, some of this traffic will convert into sales. Google Ads also have a prominent position in search results as you can see in the image below, so you effectively jump to the front of the queue.
But organic search results still deliver better conversion rates that paid traffic.
As I said, I don’t know all that much about paid advertising other than the basics of how they work. If this is something you are interested in pursuing then there is loads of information about it online from people who do it professionally.
I hope this has helped to give you and understanding as to what SEO is as how it can be beneficial to your website and business. Even if you don’t want to do this yourself and outsource it to a specialist company, you still want to know the basics so that they:
- Don’t bamboozle you with technical jargon
- You can understand some of the work that they have done to your site
Another point to note is that SEO is constantly changing and evolving, just like every other technology so it needs to be an on going thing for your website.