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Hi, I just happened across your site while getting ideas for my wire wrap gemstones and sea glass.

The fact that you give away information, don’t insist personal information, has bought my business already.

To add to the joy (yes, I’m prone to hyperbole but I’m absolutely enchanted with your business model), you add stone treatment information rather than burying it somewhere.

It’s very important to me to be able to tell my customers the what’s been done to their stones, the quality, source and composition of the gems they buy.

I believe I’m the only vendor to have the FCC and AGIA disclosure booklets available at any festival I’ve attended.

You have a customer now and, if OK, I will use your page on stone treatments, with proper attribution of course, as a handout at my next festival the end of this month.

Brightest blessings,

Liz

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Stone Treatment Codes

(B) block
(D) dyed
(E) enhanced
(H) heated
(I) irradiation
(M) man made - synthetic
(N) natural
(O) oiled
(P) pressed
(S) stabilized

Secrets to Selling Jewelry Online Part Two

Search Engine Optimization for Jewelry Sites - Part Two of the Series on Secrets to Selling Jewelry Online
 
 

SEO, secrets to selling jewelry online

Search engine optimization is knowing the rules on how search engines look for information once someone has asked for it. It also includes how different search engines rank pages to decide which pages to show first.
 
This article is written with the intent of cutting through all the information out there on SEO and simplifying what to do with your jewelry site at least as a begining. There is a great deal of more advanced inforamtion out there once you start researching.
 
The rules for SEO have changed a lot over the years. There use to be tricks and special knowledge people needed to change their meta tags etc. The search engines have evolved to think more and more like real humans do.
 
The websites that show up for people higher on the search pages these days are those that meet these criteria:
  • They have the exact information you are looking for.
  • Other people have found the site useful by staying on the site once they have gotten on it.
  • Other web sites have linked back to that site proving it has information that is valuable.
  • The content is rich, unique and changes often.
  • The site is discussed and shared in social networking forums.
 
That pretty much sums it up. There is no quick tricks anymore to getting ranking. A good strong website with great information will rank higher.
 

There are specific things to know that will make your site strong and giving you a better chance of getting ranked high. Actually there may still be a few tricks that work but the search engines hate them so if they finally figure out a way to filter out the sites that use them then your site may get black listed from the engines so we won't even discuss those. I will go over these points that do work one by one.
 
 
They have exact information people are searching for.
 
I ran into this when suddenly my websites traffic went through the roof. When looking at who was coming onto the site and how they found me I noticed that they had all been searching for Imperial Cushions. Maybe Oprah had one on her show that day, I don't know. Needless to say they stayed for one click and that was it. I quickly learnt that I needed to be specific and say "Imperial Jasper Cushion Beads".
 
Search engines do not see the whole. They only know what a picture is by what it is labeled as since they only read words. I figured out promptly that if I labeled my Imperial Jasper Cushion Beads in their photo, in the title of the description, and in the description I would have a much better chance of getting the right person to the page. I also thought about how I personally do searches. My hunch is that I would be looking for an exact bead. I might want 20mm cushions that are mostly green. It is important to have those words in your descriptions. Some would argue it is better to keep labels more generic so more people will come to your site. I am personally of the mindset that if I have someone come onto the site and they don't see what they searched for then I just frustrated their search and it may leave them with a feeling of frustration towards my site as well as them being a one click wonder which could hurt my rankings.
 
Over the years I slowly changed my focus on how I write descriptions. I use to show a picture of garnets, tell the size and some descriptive information a buyer may need to know. I did not write for the search engines benefit and not many people were finding me. Now I first think what the client needs to know, then I think of the people searching. I add the word "beads" to everything. In jewelry it is important to write "Opal Sterling Wire Wrapped Hand Made Ring" even though the picture obviously shows a ring. The search engines can't see that. In the photo description don't just say #10, it needs to say "Hand made artisan wire wrapped sterling and Australian Opal ring made by Szarka" when the photo is saved to your computer and again when you upload it to your site if you have that option. The number of search words available on the page for search engines just doubled increasing the likelihood of getting people to you.
 
 
Other people have found the site useful by staying on the site once they have gotten on it.
 
Google tracks site popularity. If everyone who comes to your site after finding you on a search looks at one page and then leaves Google will assume it is not relevant to the query (search terms) the person punched in when they found you. The next time someone searches the exact phrase you may drop down a line in the search engines. That is what happened in the Imperial Cushion query and, thankfully, my page visits dropped back to normal in a few days.
 
Keep your visitors there. How do you do that? Make a site that is so rich, intriguing and full that they will stick around awhile (which also increases conversion) and click a few pages. Have articles that interest people in your demographic. Be sure to fill out your site with a FAQ, an About the Artist, a blog or links to an off site blog, show your process, your work area, etc. . .  The more you put into your site that is relevant and interesting to your clients the higher it will show up in the engines. Make it an experience people will enjoy and they will think more highly of you and your product and that will lead to better conversion (turning a looker into a buyer).
 
 
Other web sites have linked back to that site proving it has information that is valuable.
 
Link backs are vital in the search engine rankings but not all sites are created equal. Websites are ranked in popularity. If a very popular site links to you it may be worth (lets just say) 10 points. If a site that is just known to post links like crazy trying to play a link back game to scam the system might give you a count of -2. It will actually work against you.
 
Now none of this is known for sure. Google and other search providers keep their process of deciding how to place sites in their engines a secret so people can't just trick the system but people who have studied this extensively see patterns and think this is how it works. If you and a friend decide to link back and forth to one another the commonly held belief is that they cancel each other out. If you are going to do links with people make it a three way link. I place your link in my client's blog, you link to my bead store. That way we both get a link "point" in the search engines since it is not a direct link back and forth.
 
You do not want to end up being one of those sites that looses rankings by having a large number of irrelevant links just because you traded with a bunch of sites. Offer links that are important to your clients and that improve the experience of being on your site. Check out our links section if you like. I find I refer to it at least a few times a day when I respond to emails from client's so I know the links I have are useful.
 
How to get people to link to you is a bit harder with this way of working on SEO. The trick is to have things on your site people will link to. Think about the places and sites you have linked to and why. Create content that people will share and hopefully those people will share and so on.  Viral marketing is a great way to get discovered. Also having relationships with people and doing good deeds goes a long way to getting linked to. Be a good Internet neighbor and link to people who you respect, like, and your clients and friends would also like to hear about.
 
A quick note on blogs. I created four blogger blogs when I first started selling online. I was told for years that it was vital to move those blogs onto my website to increase my SEO. I started the process many times but just kept putting it off. With the new programs google is using having the blogs now so connected to my site (with many links back and forth) it exploded my SEO. It ended up being the best thing I could have done for my business. Get a blogger blog and fill it often with relevant content and any links to relevant pages on your site and watch your SEO rankings go up.
 
 
The content is rich, unique and changes often.
 
Google and other search engines also keep track of how often content changes and if the content is unique. A lot of "make money quick" web builders would put up sites that were carbon copies of other sites or of blogs, news articles etc. I have found 4 sites so far out there on the web that feed my blog straight onto theirs. They do not show up in the search engines so it sure isn't working for them. Search engines found a way to check for that and unless your content is unique you will be penalized by loosing ranking.
 
Search engines also keep track if there is new content. If you just build a page and let it sit search engines will assume it is not relevant any longer and your ratings will drop. If your site is dynamic and changes often with unique content you will show higher. Be careful copying information for your site. When I see three or four sites with exactly the same words describing something all of them loose credibility for me since they obviously only copied and pasted. I continue to search for unique content. Google thinks the same way.
 
Google now offers search options of the "last hour" "latest" and many people use those features. You can find them under the more options tab on the left of your Google page.
 
 
The site is discussed and shared in social networking forums.
 
Google now has a place on the bottom of their page where they show people who have answers to your query that show up in your social network. Lets say you are looking for mascara. You will get three paid spots at the top of the page, a list of places that show up high in search engine rankings, and at the bottom one or two results from "people in your social network".
 
Google realizes that you will be more likely to do business with people you know and like and maybe you didn't even know that person sold mascara. Showing up there means you need to have that person who is doing the search connected in your social network either by having their email address in your Gmail account, as a friend on Facebook, as someone who is following your blog and more. As the web creates more and more connections in the social networking arena this will become even more important to get out there and get connected.
 
To test your sites ranking check out this program. It also gives you great advice on how to improve your SEO in a number of areas I didn't cover. If you search around their site and sign up for their newsletter you will get some great ideas and advice.
 
 
If you would like to be informed of new articles on this subject please sign up for the newsletter.
 
Please contact me with questions or insights and I will use that information to flesh out future articles and include any pointers in this post (with a link to you so please provide one). ssszarka@gmail.com
 
 
 

**Contributing authors are noted and linked to in the articles they wrote. All articles are copyright. You can reprint these articles as long as the original author is sited and a link to their site and this website is included. The name Magpie Gemstones must be used as the hypertext.

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