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How to stop burning money on PPC and Improve organic Traffic | A case study on SEO for jewellery website

Creating your jewellery e-commerce website is one thing and selling through it is another.Here is a detail case study on Bill’s jewellery e-commerce website. By Prashant Telang, Founder Director of TransPacific Software Pvt. Ltd.

The case study enumerates how through hard work and integrated approach results are achieved. It emphasis that SEO is not a quick fix solution; Rather a comprehensive approach consisting of efficient coding, quality content creation, inbound marketing, social media management and Technical SEO

I was surprised when Bill from Ohio contacted us after a year .

His email said "Prashant Help! I have put up my jewellery e-commerce website but for last 6 months unable to sell a single piece of jewellry. What can be done?

I do distinctly remember Bill. About 15 months back Bill had approached us for creating a diamond and jewellery website on Magento 2. We had a long email trail of communication with him with few skype calls. However, somehow Bill found our quotation high and opted for a low-cost offered by a Gujarat state based another e-commerce development agency. He even sent us a rejoinder calling us 30% expensive than the next nearest bid. Well we ended up not picking up the contract.

And now he is back again asking for our help. Not a problem.

My first response was to Thank him for reapproaching us and asking for his website URL with admin details to review. Bill's problem statement was " How can I convert visitors to buyers"

Start Walking before running: Is your website worth it?

When our engineers looked at the website it was slow as a snail. Its design was distorted on Ipad and we had a tough time making a test purchase. Shopping Cart seemed to be loading forever.
I checked with Bill again just to find that he is testing the website only on Desktop Chrome browser. He hardly cared to test it on other devices neither his developers.

The next step was to ask Bill to provide us with FTP and Database details so we could download the code for auditing.Bill promptly provided the same. I guess he portrayed me as a man on the white horse coming to his rescue.

When we downloaded the code we realised we are up against a mangled twisted code with tons of junk. I realised Bill has paid dearly for saving his 30%. The entire coding was horrendous patchwork. We decided to embark on the journey through a quagmire of code and get it corrected.(Of course, the other option was to reject the project or advise Bill to start from the scratch again but I accepted neither. )
After 17-18 days of hard work TransPacific's Engineers were able to clean up the code to a decent level and many of the bugs like currency conversion, responsiveness, browser compatibility etc were fixed.The website was now ready for further work.
Our end goal was to get some real sale from the website. So still a long way to go. Read on to see how finally we achieved it.

Most of the SEO firms have their writers do research on the web then rehash the articles/text run it through plagiarism checks if all ok proceed for Publishing. What they are essentially doing is round up content from already published articles and reproducing.I believe it's a lame attempt to trick Google algorithms.

Speed: Is your e-commerce website testing user patience?

Even after code cleaning up; Bill's e-commerce website was slow. We started with some basic optimization which included optimizing Image sizes , Bundling js /css , switching on Magento full page cache, pulling Jquery from CDN, switching on server gzip etc.
There was speed improvement but not as desired. We checked server configuration and it was good ( a VPS with 8GB RAM from Inmotion Hosting)
The next step was to start working on advance speed tune up which included switching on Magento query Profiler and analysis queries for optimization. , As the entire website was on HTTPs we activated http2 protocol and started pushing some assets like JS and CSS for speed improvement,

The result was website started scoring "A" on webpagespeed.org and GTmatrix Confident about efficient code and an optimum website speed we decided to move on

Trust: Can your website be trusted?

Jewelry and diamond websites have high-value items. A prospective buyer needs to have “trust” on your website.
Bill's website was on SSL but that was not enough ( TransPacific recommends Extended Validation (EV) SSL. .EV SSL adds a green address bar with company Name within URL which is a major trust factor.

In Contact Section. Bill had provided a contact form. We recommended having landline numbers and physical store address with Google Map location.
Bill also had memberships of various local jewellery organizations. We suggested Bill add the logos of these within the website footer. Not just the logo images but a real-time link which fetches Bill's membership details from these association websites (most of them have such a widget). Similarly, If you are an accredited member of BBB list it as well.

Further to enhance trust levels we advised Bill to get following policies custom drafted (not just copied from some other websites and names swapped)

  • Return Policy
  • Detailed About us with photographs of Founders and key staff members
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Visit Our Showroom
  • Shipping Tracking
  • Packaging
  • Shipping carrier and insurance
  • Product Reviews which are genuine and sourced from third-party review websites like TrustPilot. However, these were not available in Bill’s case as the website had not yet sold a single item.

Remember: buyer validates all these trust clues before buying anything. It's a part of building Trust Pipeline with your prospect

Merchandise: Is your e-store stocked with lots of inventory?

Now comes the most important part. If you don't have a great merchandise to sell what is the use of a super great looking website.
You need to fill your website with lots of inventory. Bill had only 40-50 pieces of jewellery with only one product image. For a visitor to convert to a buyer you need at least 3 images of the jewellery from 3 different angles. In addition, we strongly recommend interactive videos or 360-degree spinning images. Compiling these media assets is expensive and time-consuming but worth an effort.

Onsite Technical SEO

It took about 2 months to have basics rights on Bill's e-commerce store. Now It had a clean code, the site was fast with Good quality content and video. Now comes the technical SEO. Technical SEO, in short, is preparing your site for Google Bot by adding correct Meta tags including Title, user-friendly URLs, H1/H2/Bold text content, alt text for images, page canonicals, Site Map and so on.
We cautioned Bill that Technical SEO is a double-edged sword. If you do it wrong Google may dump your site.
Doing wrong SEO means: stuffing it with keywords, unnatural keyword addition, shallow gibberish text, text pulled out from other websites, and so on.
My strict instructions to our content writers are "Don't use Google or internet to do your research" instead do subject matter research through print media, news and most importantly the Client interviews. This ensures that we create fresh top quality content. Most of the SEO firms have their writers do research on the web then rehash the articles/text run it through plagiarism checks if all ok proceed for Publishing. What they are essentially doing is round up content from already published articles and reproducing.I believe it's a lame attempt to trick Google algorithms.

So we asked Bill to arrange for Skype/WhatsApp calls with him and his senior staff which Bill agreed to.
We had to start with Bill's interviews with our SEO specialists who identified the Technical terms in the industry, his geographical region of business and prepared a detailed client persona. Than we came up with a detailed content publishing calendar for next 6 months,

It took almost another month for TransPacific's SEO experts to embed Bill's website with correct metadata. We then did an automated audit of Bill's site on SEMrush to identify and correct any issues/errors.

Have you added structured data markup schema?

Adding structured data markup schema helps search engines to understand the context for example difference between a computer Chip and a Potato chip. Bill had no idea what we were talking about. Rather he was intimidated by the jargons. No need to get worried. There are good free schema markup extensions available for Magento (as well as all popular e-commerce frameworks). Extensions allow you to add markup data eg. Microdata, Jason-LD etc. As its too technical to explain check with your developers for more details.

Blog: Are you posting regularly with original content …

Bill had integrated Blog within his Magento 2 (there is an extension available for the same from MagePlaza) but the last blog published was 3 months back. That too was a generic topic like What are 4C's in a diamond.? It seems his staff had compiled the info from the web and created an 800 words blog. Such kind of generic write-ups hardly have any SEO juice; probably It will do some harm than good.
The blog should be like your "professional diary " You should pen your day to day experiences and knowledge which will help your buyers. For example: If you had a buyer who wanted to know " What are the Blood Diamonds and how to avoid buying these"
You may post a blog based on your knowledge and experience (avoid pulling info from the net) Google Algorithms give powerful positive signals to deep original content.
Keep blogging and have at least one blog in two weeks
Blog post should be original, informative and an ongoing effort
In Bill's case, he expressed his inability to keep blogging. So TransPacific Software's (TPS) specialist writers decided to take over. TransPacific writers create blogs through client interviews and first-hand research through News and print media. It takes time but worth an effort

Social Media: Keep Buzzing

Bill had half-a-dozen social media accounts for Business including. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Pinterest, Linkedin, YouTube all linked to his website. But Bill had not updated them for weeks.
Don't open a Social Media business account unless you can keep it up-to-date. I would suggest you go for only 2 or 3 social media accounts and keep updating them regularly with industry news, product updates and offers. For jewellery, Industry Go for only FaceBook, Instagram and any other of your choice may be Twitter. (Totalling not more than 3) But that's it. Keep it buzzing frequently.

Additional Tip: Geographics

Bill was based in Cleveland Ohio and his brick and mortar showroom was visited by buyers from all over the state including Columbus and Cincinnati. We suggested Bill have these key geographical areas prominently mentioned on the website.
It always helps with Local SEO. Jewelry e-commerce is highly competitive however there is a market for all. Dominating in a particular geographical region within Google search is important.

Finally, 4 months of hard work paid off. Bill's jewellery website is in the pink of its health. It's on the Google and Bings first page for some prominent keywords when user search from Midwest USA resulting in Bill getting some conversion and leads.

Currently, we have wired Bill’s website with Google Analytics, webmaster tool for actively monitoring the trends and keep making changes as required.

Any Queries ?: Contact US for email [email protected]

author: 
TransPacific Software