Possibly the most challenging part of selling jewellery online is getting traffic to your website.
With brand new websites, this is even more of a challenge! This is because it takes time to build trust in your website and for search engines to understand that your site isn’t spam. You will also likely have little to no following on social media that you can drive to your website.
That is why you need to learn a bit about digital marketing so that you can make your online store successful. To help get you started, I created this short guide on basic SEO and Social Media Marketing.
Before I get started, I do want to say that I am not a digital marketing expert but over the 7+ years I have been running websites, I have learnt a few things that have helped drive traffic to my sites and hopefully you will learn a thing or two from this post.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
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 bit of a complicated science but fortunately there are complete websites 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 it is all things that you can do on your own website.
Much of the onsite SEO you will do will revolve around the content that you put on your website and when do this, 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 and this falls into two main areas:
- Copy – This is all of the text that you put on your site, whether it is product descriptions, blog posts or any other information. All of this text can be read and interpreted by search engines to understand what your website is about.
- Images – Pretty self explanatory, this is any image you put on your site from your logo to product images. These can also help you get visitors to your site, Google Image Search is one of the world’s most popular search engines!
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 a good free one is googles keyword planner.
It is not the most accurate or in-depth tool but it does give you a good starting point for seeing if there is any demand for the kind of content that you will be producing. The tool will also provide you with keyword ideas and search volumes 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 18ct 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.
It will take some time but you will soon start to develop a list of keywords and phrases that you can use in your content.
But how do you put this kind of research to use on your site?
Content – Product Listings
When you are selling jewellery online, one of your main forms of content will be your product listings and you want to use these to their full effect.
Unlike blogs posts, you generally don’t put too much in terms of copy so you want to keep it as concise and information rich as possible but you don’t want to keyword stuff your product pages as search engines don’t like that.
Above is a sample product page that I created, now this isn’t perfect but it does help to illustrate my point. The copy that I have included in the item description accurately describes the product but also includes many of the keywords that I would want this product to rank for, such as:
- 18ct White Gold Diamond Eternity Ring
- 18ct White Gold Diamond Half Eternity Ring
- White Gold Handcrafted Diamond Eternity Ring
- 18ct White Gold Eternity Ring Jewellery Quarter Birmingham
There are many more keywords and phrases that this product would rank for. I have also included some words that will help to sell the product by evoking some desire and emotion, this is very important as facts and information alone won’t encourage someone to buy.
Jewellery is a none essential item and no-one needs it so you have to make them want it. The combination of good quality images and well written copy will help you do this.
Now it does depend on the ecommerce platform that you are using as to how much space you have on the page to put copy. Some platforms like the one in the picture above, only have space for a small item description.
When this is the case, you want to keep the paragraph to 2-3 sentences and then list the most important information in a few bullet points. This makes the information easy to digest for the person reading it.
Other platforms will allow you to have a small description like the one above and a full description that is below the image. In this case, you want to use the short description in the same way and then use the full description to add more information as long as it is relevant to the product.
In the full description you don’t want to overload your visitor with big blocks of text, instead keep it simple. Use small paragraphs and bullet points to make the information easy to read and consume (similar to how this blog post is laid out!)
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 and will have a positive impact on your SEO
- 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.
You will come across the term meta data or meta information when ecommerce platforms are talking about the SEO features that they offer. But what does this mean?
Well meta information is broken down into four main categories:
- Title – this is the title of the page
- URL – the address of the page
- Description – a short description of what they page is about
- Keywords – a list of keywords that the page should rank for
The three important ones here are the Title, URL and Description as search engines no longer take note of the meta keywords because a common practise a few years ago was to do ‘keyword stuffing’ to try and boost the page up the rankings. So search engines stopped paying any attention as to what you type in the meta keywords box.
Above is an example of what this meta information looks like in Google search results. The title gives you an overview of what the page is going to be about and the URL is a shortened version of this. The meta description gives a brief summary as to the kind of information that you will find on the page.
It is always worth filling out the meta description, although there is a lot of debate about how useful it actually is as sometimes search engines will display content from your page if they feel it fits the search query better than your meta description.
The majority of platforms will allow you to create a sitemap of your site. This is a list of all of the different content on your site and the way your content is structured such as categories and sub-categories.
This sitemap can then be submitted to search engines to tell them what information you have on your site. You only have to submit your sitemap once and it will automatically update whenever you add or create new content.
When you submit your sitemap to a search engine, it will send out crawlers or spiders to begin indexing your website so that it will start to appear in search results.
To make it easier for these crawlers, you want to create internal links between the content on your site as it will make it easier for them to go from one of your pages to the next.
For product pages, one of the best ways to do this, is to have related products on the page as you don’t want to include any links in your product descriptions.
For other pages on your site such as information and blog posts, text links are great ways to link from one to the other.
Another benefit of Internal Linking is that 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.
Whenever you change a URL or delete a post, product or page, you want to create a 301 redirect. This helps to prevent people coming onto your site and being greeted by Page Not Found as this only results in people clicking straight off your site.
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirection and search engines will soon understand that the original page is no longer active and that you have created new content to replace it.
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.
When you are starting out, getting traffic to your new site is one of the biggest hurdles you will face. While SEO is great and it is something you want to be doing to your site, this can take time to see results. In the short term, social media will be one of the best ways to generate traffic!
Social media is a great tool for driving traffic to your website but you need to putting the right effort in the right places. I developed my own strategy for getting the most out of social media and I am going to let you lucky people know about it!!
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing is one of the buzz terms in digital marketing and it basically involves promoting your business via a single or multiple social media platforms to drive traffic and hopefully business to your website.
Now there are many agencies out there say they will generate your business X and Y from platform A or B. But you can do Social Media Marketing yourself and below I am give you a short introduction in to how you can start doing this.
Choosing Which Platform To Use
There are a whole host of social media platforms to choose from, including:
As you can see, there is a lot to choose from but I have developed a simple strategy that will allow you to find out which platforms are best for your business. Now it will take some effort on your part but it will be worth it in the end.
Before you start this, make sure that you have some kind of analytics software on your site that allows you to track where your visitors are coming from.
Then, sign up to a number of these platforms, ideally as many as possible and then you want to post the same content to each platform on a daily basis. Do this for a month to 2 months and then go back and analyse your data and you should be able to see which platform:
- Drove the most traffic to your site
- Had the best conversion rate
- Audience grew the most
You will then be able to decide which platform or platforms deliver the best Return on Investment (ROI) for your time. This is much better than putting all of your effort into one platform just because everyone else says it is the best.
Now you know which ones work best for your business, you can now focus all your social media marketing efforts around these platforms. It is worth spending a bit of time, reading up and learning how to market properly on these platforms so that you are getting the most out of them.
You also want to be active on social media so that your business is front and centre, now you can over do it so don’t be spammy! Instead, post good quality content on a regular basis and don’t always be trying to sell your audience something.
If you are working on a piece, show some during shots and almost tease your audience as to what it will look like when it is finished. Give them an insight into you and your business, so that they feel a connection with you and that there is a real person behind the account.
Building an audience is one thing, turning that into business is another!
That is why you want to encourage interaction in your posts, even simply down to asking people to comment. The thing is, people need prompting to do things and it is especially true on social media.
Do notice that when you are watching a YouTube video, they always ask you to like the video and subscribe to the channel? The reason for this is that if they don’t prompt the viewers to do that, then a large proportion never will. The same goes for all of social media!
Posting great content on social media is often not enough to get them to click through to your website, instead you need to prompt or encourage them to do so. Simple calls to action such as click on the link below to see our full collection, will result in more people clicking through to your site. Some of these views will result in sales.
You also want to be active within your and replying to comments is one of the best ways to do this. It shows other people that you have taken the time and care to reply, especially if you answer questions. You can also encourage this type of interaction by posting questions on your social media, to start with you probably won’t get much response but the more your audience grows the more interaction you will get.
Should You Do Social Media Competitions?
One of the things I see done regularly is small businesses running social media competitions to grow their audience. You have probably seen something similar with the line:
- Like this post, tag three friends and share this post to enter
While on the surface, this does seem a great way to grow your social media presence. The main issue with this can be that you aren’t building an audience that is really interested in your business or products, they just want the chance to win something for free!
Now while some of these new audience members might generally have some interest in your business. But one of the general trends is that you get a short term boost in numbers that will fall off once the competition ends.
For me, I would personally prefer to put that extra bit of work in and build an audience that has grown organically that could benefit my business, rather than a load of people who just wanted something off me for free and have no intention of ever buying from me!
So that brings me to the end of this post, you may have noticed that I didn’t include anything about paid marketing such as Google, Facebook or Instagram ads and that is because I have never personally used them and only have a basic knowledge of how they work.
But I hope you have learnt something from this post and it has given you and idea of how you can start marketing your jewellery business.
The marketing is the most challenging part and will take some time to learn and refine the process but if you stick at it and keep trying, it will pay dividends in the long run!