Last updateTue, 21 Jan 2020 10pm

Brad Simon

Internet Marketing Strategies: Online stores 101

Selling jewelry online can be a highly profitable venture or the biggest waste of time and money you have ever spent. The difference is generally in the approach you take in developing your online store. If you think that because sales are slow in your store you'll take a few days and put pictures of your jewelry on a website and the sales will start flowing in - forget about it. It just doesn't work like that.

Internet Marketing Strategies: Link Strategy

Links to your website provide two important benefits in getting customers to visit it. The first is if any of your potential customers are visiting the website that hosts your link they may see it and click through to your website. The other benefit is that Google and other search engine spiders will see your links and the more links into your site that you have the better page rank you will receive and the better chance your website will show up in searches which will help get more customers to your website.

Your inbound links are the single most important factor in determining your site's rankings. But not all links are created equal. Some have the power to dramatically boost rankings, while others can actually drag your rankings down or even get you penalized. Links from some websites could be 10, 20, or even 100 times as valuable as other links.

Link Exchanges Don't Work Anymore

In the past if you wanted a link to your website you simply exchanged a link with another website and you both would have a new link. Today, search engines are smarter and are actually penalizing websites for link exchanges. What search engines are looking for today are One-Way In-Bound Links coming into your website with no links back to that website anywhere on your site. When the search engine finds such links on your site it thinks this must be an important website and gives it higher page rankings.

Linking Triangles should also be avoided. This is where website A links to website B and B links to website C and C links back to A. Search Engines are smart enough to find such linking schemes and can penalize your website if you participate in them.

Another linking scheme that you need to know about and avoid is a new style of link exchange being promoted widely on the Internet today. This is where website owners will contact you asking for a link to their website from yours. In return, they will give you a link from a different website of theirs. You link your website A to their website B and then they link their website C to your website A. They explain to you that since their two websites are not connected in any way the Search Engines will not see it as a reciprocal link and will not penalize you.

They are telling you the truth in that respect, but what they fail to mention is that you are linking your valuable website to theirs giving them a lot of link juice. And in return they are linking some low quality website to your site which provides little if any value to you.

Anchor Text

Anchor Text is the actual clickable part of a link that is made up of words typed out on a webpage instead of a button or other graphic. These are a great place to put Keywords on a webpage. For example, you may have the words "Diamond Engagement Rings" in text in the side bar on your home page and those words are linked to the page on your website that shows Diamond Engagement Rings.

Keywords in Anchor Text Links tend to be given more weight than regular copy. Search Engines give a lot of extra value to the destination page, if that page is optimized for the same Keywords that are in the Anchor Text.

The extreme value Search Engines place on Anchor Text Links was demonstrated a few years ago. If you did a search in Google for the phrase ‘More Evil than Satan Himself' the top ranking website was Microsoft! The phrase ‘More Evil than Satan Himself' did not appear anywhere on Microsoft's pages much less in any of the important places we have discussed for including Keywords. So why did their website come up in the searches? The sole reason was because a number of websites put that phrase in an Anchor Text Link on their website linking to Microsoft.

A more recent example of the power of Anchor Text Links is a contest among several Search Engine Experts on the phrase "Coolest Guy on the Internet". The idea was to see who could get their website ranked the highest for that search phrase without including the phrase on their website. For a while these websites lead the search result pages for the phrase.

If someone could get a website ranked #1 in a search for a phrase that did not appear on their website, but just in an Anchor Text Link, imagine what you can do if you use Anchor Text Links in combination with other Keyword optimization techniques.

Do not use the same Anchor Text on every website. It would look very unnatural if every website that linked to you used the very same words. Changing the word order of your Keyword Phrases and using synonyms of your Keywords are the best way to add variety to your incoming Anchor Text Links.

This is one of the larger benefits to having your Keywords in your Domain name. If the website linking to you does not use text as a link to your website, your URL already has the Keywords built into it and you automatically gain an Anchor Text Link from the URL text link.

The enormous boost that well placed Incoming Anchor Text Links provide your website is the main reason that most successful Internet Marketers do not have just one website. Having multiple websites that you control spread out over the Internet gives you immense power to dominate Keyword Phrases in the search results.

Deep Linking Strategy

To maximize your links to your website and to receive the optimum value from search engines you need to employ a Deep Linking Strategy. Having all your links on the Internet pointing to your Home Page does not look ‘natural' to search engines. Links to your Home Page are not nearly as effective as links to a page deep in your website that pertains to the same subject matter as the web page from which the link originates.

Deep Linking simply means having links to specific pages deep within your website. For example having an Anchor Text Link for the keywords "Custom Design Jewelry" to your website would be good and much better than other type links. However, having that same Anchor Text Link, linked to the page on your website that tells about your Custom Designed Jewelry is by far the BEST type of link you can have on the Internet today.

The same is true with links from videos. Videos linked to your website are starting to out perform many other types of links. But again, links from videos to your Home Page are not nearly as effective as videos linked to a page deep in your website that pertains to the same subject matter as is playing in the video. For example having a link from a video about diamonds to your website's home page would be good. However, having that same video linked to the page on your website that tells about your diamonds is by far a better link and will help you get a better page rank.

For more information on marketing your store on the Internet, getting higher search engine rankings, or using the Internet to keep in touch with your existing customers go to www.Internet4Jewelers.com.

Internet Marketing Strategies: The power of Viral Video

In an earlier column, I wrote about using online video as an effective yet inexpensive method to market your store. This past Christmas Season we saw one jewelry company who put this advertising media to great use.

I'm sure by now most of you have seen the video "Beware of the Doghouse" produced by JC Penny. If you haven't go to www.BewareOfTheDogHouse.com and watch it. This hilarious video tells the story of guys getting in trouble with their wife or girlfriend because they bought thoughtless gifts.

A website was created with the same domain name as the video. Then a YouTube account was created with the same name and the video up-loaded to it. This was very powerful! If you search on the Internet for ‘Beware Doghouse', the first two listings are the website and the YouTube video. There was also an account created on Meta Café with the same name.

I have no idea how many people went to their website, but over 800,000 viewed the video on the YouTube account and over 400,000 viewed it on Meta Café. But that isn't the end of it. This video went Viral! Other YouTube users pick up the video and played it on their account. Others posted it on various video hosting websites around the Internet.

All totaled this video received well over 2 million views just from the free hosting websites, and that doesn't include how many watched it from their own website. Plus J C Penny added a nice feature where you could warn your special someone that they could end up in the doghouse. Guess what? J C Penny made a fun way to get the e-mail address of men all across the US who have a wife or girlfriend who wants jewelry for Christmas. They even have a place on their website to send him to the doghouse if he did not respond properly (by buying jewelry).

J C Penny made buying jewelry fun with a viral video and an interactive website, all the while compiling the Jeweler's Dream E-Mail List.

Tips For Making A Video Go Viral
  • First and foremost you need to come up with an idea for your video that is either funny or has an un-expected twist at the end. These are the 2 types of videos that have the best chance of going viral. This is the hardest part of the whole campaign. Get this down and the rest is a breeze.
  • Tell your story in a way that doesn't look like an advertisement. The "Beware of the Doghouse" video was excellent at these first two points (which is why over 2 million viewers saw it). It was a humorous story and you did not know it was an advertisement until the last few seconds.
  • A little controversy never hurts. Videos that tend to be controversial have a better chance of going viral. But be careful with this! A few anti postings help create a buzz about your video and cause more people to want to watch it. However, you don't want more posts about your video that are negative than positive. Controversy can help but it is better to avoid it, than to go too far.
  • Create a short video. Videos under 2 minutes have the best chance of going viral and 30 seconds to 1 minute is the best. A longer version is fine for your own website, but you need short clips to post on the video hosting websites so they are quick to view and easy to share.
  • Create a series of videos instead of just one video. Releasing a new episode each week, or a couple of episodes a month, gives your viewers a reason to come back and watch your ad again. Instead of having just one video sent around the Internet, you could have 5 or 6 of them. Plus viewers on YouTube and other video hosts can subscribe to your videos and receive an e-mail from them each time you post a new video.
  • Create a website with the same domain name as your video series. Then you can collect e-mail addresses and send out auto-responders. Today websites are cheap! Domain names are $10 a year and hosting accounts are $8 a month or less. A simple interactive website that shows all the videos or a full-version video, collects e-mail addresses, and sends out auto-responders is easy to create and not very expensive. Don't shortchange your video campaign. Have a website related to the video to send your viewers to after they watch the video.
  • Submit your videos to ALL of the free video hosting websites. Sure YouTube is by far the biggest one out there and Meta Café is in the top 5, but there are over 50 video hosting websites that will accept your videos and play them for no cost to you. I don't understand why anyone would go to all the trouble and expense to create a video and then not submit it to at least the top 25 or 30 websites that people go to see videos. Sure, someone may eventually post it on several other websites, but why wait. Post it on all of them to be sure you receive the broadest audience.
  • You don't have to spend a lot of money on video production. The Internet is different than television and the movie screen. Viewers on the Internet tend to be leery of big budget, slick 5th Avenue advertising. A video that isn't so polished and has more of a homemade feel to it has a better chance of going viral.
  • Add geographic qualifiers such as your zip code, city and state to your website and in the information posted with the video on the free hosting websites. Your video can still be seen by the whole wide world, but by doing so you will target your geographical area in all local searches.
  • Once you have your video posted, share it on Facebook and other social media websites, blog about it, and send an e-mail with a link to the video to your entire mail list. Once you get the ball rolling, others will follow and soon you will see your video going viral.
As you can see using the Internet and creating Viral Videos is easy and inexpensive yet an highly effective means to market your store. Plus creating a humorous video for your store will be the most fun you ever had creating advertising.

Brad & Debbie Simon are owners of Internet 4 Jewelers, www.Internet4Jewelers.com, where they teach retail jewelers how to use the Internet as a marketing tool to drive more traffic into their stores and to stay in touch with their existing customers. They also provide affordable Marketing Services, including video creation and submissions, to those who are too busy running their store to do it themselves. For more information please visit www.Internet4Jewelers.com.

Internet Marketing Strategies - Keywords the key to Internet success

Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into a search engine in order to find a website offering the information they are looking for. The search engine uses the keywords to decide which webpages to deliver in their results pages. That's why Keywords are crucial to your online marketing. Choose the right ones and use them in your website correctly, and you can rank well on Google, Yahoo, MSN or any other search engine. Ignore them and your pages will rarely be found.

Online Video Marketing

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million!

It's probably no surprise to you that the Internet is one of the best places to promote your jewelry store. However, what may be surprising is the best place to do that online promotion is YouTube!

That's right. YouTube, that website with all the crazy videos posted by teenagers and humorous home movies of the grandchildren, and other video hosting websites like Yahoo Video and Veoh are some of the BEST places to advertise your store and the brands you carry.