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Jewelry ECOMM Tech

The Reason We Have Websites: Brand Authority & Trust September 03, 2018 (0 comments)

fgq-1.jpg It doesn't matter if you're a jewelry manufacturer, an independent designer, or a jewelry retail store. The #1 reason you have a website is to create brand authority. Brand authority. Trust. The reason you have a website is to create brand authority and to show your visitor that you're trustworthy. There will be some people who simply pop into your store to browse, especially if they're already a loyal customer. But how do you turn new people into loyal customers who aren't familiar with you? By bringing them to our website and showing them that you're the real deal. Your customer will essentially "interview" you quickly while browsing your website. Your website is your most important sales tool. In a matter of seconds, your visitors will decide if you're worth their time or not. Many jewelers think you only need an impressive website if you plan to sell online. But, that is backwards thinking. Your website is vital as long as your goal is to stay in business. There are a few things we can do to make sure your website instills the kind of trust needed to have someone buy from you, remember your products, or walk in your store.

1. Great Visuals

With all the fancy website platforms and types of technology available for your website, most of it is unimportant compared to having graphics that look great. Blurry graphics are a huge indicator to a website visitor that you don't have your act together. They expect a certain level of professional experience with the companies they're buying from. If you're interviewing website developers, don't pay attention to the fancy watch they're wearing to try to impress you. Don't get excited about big buzzwords they use. Just go to their company's website and see if they show a portfolio. See if their website LOOK NICE.  See if the websites they've made LOOK NICE. If they don't have a website that LOOKS impressive, its not going to work impressively. I promise. It'd be like if you went to a pet store to buy a new fish for your kid, and all the fish in the tanks were dead. You probably shouldn't buy anything from that store. Right? Of course. Graphics are the first thing your visitor is going to notice. They don't know what type of website you have or what cool technology and features it has. Your business should have a style guide. This is essentially a color combination, fonts, and more that you'll carry across everything you do. For example, always uses the same blue and yellow color combination in some way, and we use the Pt Sans font. On a simple level, your business should have some clarity on this. A big factor to your social success - especially on Instagram - is making sure your posts look cohesive. If there is a filter you like to apply, it should usually be applied to all your posts. The idea is to have everything you do look like one nicely presented package - from your website, to your social media, to your promotional materials. It should all look cohesive. It makes you look like you know what you're doing, it brands your store, and it lets visitors know they're in the right spot. The style guide is something you can work on with your design team. The top part of your homepage lends a big role in a visitor's trust in you. Often referred to as "above the fold", this is the part of the website that is visible before the user has to scroll down. You should be using this area of your homepage as your best first impression. Usually this will include the menu bar with a nice center "main" graphic. One big detail: make sure this top part of your homepage is crystal clear in the message you want to portray to your visitor. When a visitor comes to your site for the first time, do you want them to know you're a 60 year old, family run store? Or do you want to push your e-commerce message strong? Consider the top part of your homepage as your first opportunity to greet your customer with the message you want.

2. Great Content

Filling your website with quality content is how you get found online. Why? Because Google has automatic "crawlers" that go out and explore your website for key words and phrases to better understand what your website is all about. Without appropriate content throughout your site, Google simply won't rank you high. Considering that the vast majority of people looking for a jewelry store or brand will Google it first, you need content on your site. There are some great ways to format your content so that Google can best-understand your site, which will be an upcoming article. In the meantime, don't worry about these techniques. Just get some words on your site. Probably the easiest type of content to add to your site, blogging and making basic news updates about your store, new pieces you get in stock, etc will lend a lot of credibility to your website and Google will be able to learn what your site is about. Google gives extra attention to websites that are frequently updated, so this should be a priority. If you're looking to sell product online, you absolutely need great product descriptions on your site. But even if you're not selling online and are moreso trying to use the web to increase foot traffic, you should still have an online catalog of products with descriptions. Google doesn't know if you're selling online or not. It knows what you're talking about on your site. If you have 100 products with details about the stone size, material, brand, etc, Google will see these things and will know to categorize you as a jewelry store. You probably see a pattern here - put words about your store and products throughout your site. Hands down, one of the most important things you can do for your website. Clear, sharp photos will elevate your site and blurry photos will absolutely destroy it. We're not selling mortgages here - we're selling diamonds. Your visitors want to see the sparkle in the items you carry. If they're not excited about the jewelry from their photos, they certainly won't care enough to come into your store. Psychology certainly plays a factor in every purchasing decision on the planet. We should be using social proof throughout your website to show visitors you're trustworthy. Social proof can come in a variety of ways - testimonials are an easy one. You should also have a Facebook and/or Instagram feed on your page so people can see that you're active and a part of the conversation.

3. Great Experience

Your visitors need to have a stellar experience while browsing your website. The type of website platform you choose will help a little, but this one really comes down to having an educated and experienced web development team You need your site to load in just a few seconds. Visitor dropoff starts to happen when a visitor has to wait 4+ seconds to access the page. So naturally, your site should be fast. This has to do with your web hosting settings, website size, and website structure. I like to run sites through and aim for a B score or better. You should run tests to make sure your website is easy to understand and navigate. This starts with having a very clear navigation bar. Don't get fancy when labeling your buttons. Assume everyone visiting your site is a complete idiot and make it super simple for them. I think negative space matters a lot. Business owners get far too anxious to show as many things on a page as they can. In reality, this goes against best-practices. The more things you have on a page, the less likely someone is to take advantage of an offer on that page. If you give them too many options, they're going to get distracted. As a developer, I'm always straddling the line between adding nice visuals and making sure I don't add too much. Leave a little negative space around the various graphics and visual elements on your site. Let the site breathe a bit. It makes it much easier for visitors to find what they're looking for. Your website needs to work properly on all devices. This is typically called being "responsive". Your website needs to literally resize and restructure itself to look different on phones. Almost all websites today are mobile compatible. But they should also be responsive. For example, when someone visits on their cell phones, the site has the same things on it but they're moved around so that a cell phone user can easily scroll and see our latest news articles. It makes sure a visitor doesn't have to pinch and zoom in to read things with their fingertips. In the following picture, you'll see how a website looks on a desktop. Then, you'll see that on a cell phone, different parts of the site that were horizontal have now dropped under. Things aren't crammed horizontally. They're moved to "stack" so a cell phone visitor can see things big, clearly, and by scrolling. Everything we do online should be geared to demonstrate your professionalism and to make your visitors trust you. Your website is the place to start.

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