By Alex Fetanat, GemFind
Contact this expert here.
The impact your website has on your store’s overall success is incredible. Learn some crucial tips for keeping your visitors happy and impressed.
The Customer Perspective
Imagine a potential customer finding your jewelry business online. They take a look at your website but after visiting your site, they decide to go with your competitor. You may be baffled as to why your site is turning customers away. After all, it looks OK to you, and it’s worked well since your best friend’s cousin’s nephew built it for you back in 2010!
But, looking at it from your potential customer’s point of view, this is what may have happened:
They landed on an old website that isn’t built according to modern standards. When they tried to view products, the pages didn’t scale properly on their cellphone, and they couldn’t find the information they were looking for about your services without zooming, pinching, and squinting repeatedly.
After failing to navigate the site, and with no phone number, contact email, or even pictures of the business in sight, they finally decided to leave the website, annoyed and frustrated – never to return!
You already know that not having a strong online presence is bad for your brick and mortar jewelry store, but having a website that scares people away instead of inspiring them to visit your store is really bad for your brand image.
Getting customers through the doors of your jewelry store is already hard enough without having a website that repels prospective buyers. In this post, we’re going to look at how a bad website can actually hurt your jewelry store – as well as what you can do to rectify that.
Why is having a Good Website Important?
You may be wondering why a good-looking, great-performing website is important to an owner of a brick and mortar business, and the answer is simple:
Do you remember those days when jewelry businesses relied mostly on brochures? Those pieces of paper represented their brand. They served as a vital sales tool. But, if a brochure was poorly designed with giant blocks of text, or if it was all beat-up and had coffee stains on it, it went from great sales tool to customer repellent.
Well, your website is the digital-age equivalent of that brochure.
If your site has a clean, attractive design and simple navigation that allows customers to find what they’re looking for, then it’s a great sales tool. But, if your visitors land on a cluttered site with a busy, amateur design – they are quietly going to click the ‘back’ button and look elsewhere (probably one of your competitors’ websites that is better than yours, even though they offer inferior services…)
Below, we take a deeper look at how an outdated website can hurt your business.
What makes a bad website?
1. Poor Design – Gives a Terrible First Impression
A bad website instantly hurts your jewelry business’s first impression. When potential clients are searching for your products or services online, that’s your chance to convince them that you’re the best option for them. But that’s going to be very hard to do if your site creates doubt and uncertainty about you and your brand.
Brand image is very important, particularly for jewelry marketers. Your site needs to be an extension of the image you project in your physical store.
People’s average attention span online has dropped to an alarming 8 seconds (even shorter than the attention span of a hummingbird), and if your site doesn’t grab their attention in that time, those people will likely click away.
Eight seconds isn’t a lot of time to read chunks of text on your homepage. They are simply going to make a snap judgment about your site based on its visual appearance and other factors that influence their first impression.
This means that if your site contains outdated content and images, if it’s hard to navigate, or if it’s reminiscent of those flash-animation websites of the early 2000’s (all of which we discuss below), then it’s going to reflect very poorly on your jewelry business.
The people who visit your site will leave with a negative opinion regarding the way you run your business. In their eyes, if you don’t care about your brand’s image online, your service must be lacking as well.
2. Slow Loading Pages – Hints at Poor Quality Service
Any deficiencies in your branded website reflect negatively on your entire brand. For jewelers, this can cause customers to take their business elsewhere. A website that loads slowly is considered by most potential customers as being indicative of poor service that doesn’t deliver good value for money.
The majority of consumers state that they would not return to a slow-loading website. Come to think of it, when was the last time YOU waited 10 seconds, or even 5 seconds, for a website to load? Probably never!
Most people online today expect landing pages to load within just 2 seconds or less. The good news is that if your website suffers from slow loading times, this is an easy issue to correct using online tools that highlight which on-page elements need to be improved.
3. Important Information Missing (or Buried) – Confuses Customers and Undermines Their Journey
When people come to a jewelry store owner’s website, it’s usually to gather information about the business or products. If your site isn’t clearly organized, or if you make visitors work too hard to find what they need, they will leave.
As previously mentioned, if customers can’t find the information they’re looking for on your site quickly and easily – especially your contact information – they’ll just leave and never come back. No one has the time (or the inclination) to dig into the deepest, darkest parts of your site pages in an effort to find what they’re searching for.
On the web, people expect easy, instant results. If your site is poorly laid out and can’t provide them with what they are looking for in just a few seconds, it not only confuses your customers, but also undermines their experience. You’ll lose those potential customers, AND cause irreparable damage to your business’s long-term growth.
So if your site has a lot of clutter, and important information isn’t at the forefront, then it’s time to change that.
Strategic use of elements like text size, whitespace, minimalism, color, and good formatting can help you highlight prominent information on your pages. This will also enhance your website design and guide your customer journey more effectively for better conversion rates.
Oh, and it also benefits your SEO as well – which brings us to the next point:
4. Poor or Thin Content – Negatively Affects your SEO and Rankings
If your website isn’t ranking well, it’s going to be hard for your ideal customers to find you. If it has poor or thin content, it means that in addition to not providing your customers with the information they desire, it’s also not optimized for search. Google doesn’t rank such websites well.
So if your site isn’t search engine optimized, you need to start implementing some SEO best practices such as:
- Creating high-quality content that your audience finds useful such as great product descriptions
- Using on-page SEO techniques to get your pages to rank higher in the search engines
- Building high-quality links
- Making sure content displays correctly on mobile devices
- And so on…
Google’s never-ending updates are nothing to fear, as long as your website publishes only useful, relevant content on a consistent basis. But if you’re using questionable SEO practices, then it’s easy to get dropped from the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
That’s not something you want to happen to your business website. Some marketers even joke that the best place to hide a dead body is on Google’s second page! That’s how much traffic you’d get. So if your site was built using methods that are outdated now, it’s time to make some changes.
5. Non-Mobile Friendly – Results in you Losing Mobile Users
Mobile-friendliness means that your website is designed in such a way that it conforms to, and renders properly, on whatever device size it is viewed on (desktop, tablet, notebook, iPad, smartphone, etc.) This is something that also plays a huge part in your website’s ranking.
If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, Google drops it in the SERPs. It’s surprising that in today’s world there are still sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. As a jewelry store owner, it’s important to consider the fact that consumers are accessing websites using smartphones more and more.
According to experts, websites that aren’t mobile-friendly or responsive lose out on 4 out of 5 potential customers. That’s huge! It translates to A LOT of potential in-store sales, and it means that you simply cannot ignore mobile consumers in your marketing activities.
You need to make sure that your site is responsive, and that text size and images display properly on all device types. Google provides a free online tool that you can use to test if your website is mobile-friendly or not, so you know what needs to be improved.
By now it’s obvious that: Bad/Outdated Website = Damaged Brand and Lost Sales!
The good news is that no matter what issue you’re facing with your website right now, it can be remedied. If you’re not an expert in web design, you can get help from knowledgeable professionals who will be able to turn your outdated site into a fluid, responsive website that will be integral to the growth of your jewelry store in our ever-advancing digital age.
Does your website need an update or perhaps a makeover? We’ve been designing and building jewelry store websites for nearly 20 years. Get your new updated website online and see the difference in sales.
Contact GemFind today to get started. 800-373-4373