Stuller’s Ryan Koning on How Small Retailers Can Improve Their Websites

The sessions at Stuller’s annual Bridge conference for jewelry retailers have wisely been pivoting to small group consultations in recent years—setups that facilitate networking and create opportunities for one-on-ones with experts.

And among the most valuable of these small group seminars at Stuller’s 2019 Bridge conference last week was a session called “Digital Deep Dive,” which asked retailers to gather around tables to study and analyze each other’s websites.

There were a few speakers, but I sat at a table with three independent jewelry retailers led by Ryan Koning, Stuller’s user experience (UX) architect. Hunkered over a laptop, we clicked through page after page of the retailers’ websites together, talking about elements that were successful and ones that needed tweaks or upgrades.

Koning stressed the importance of streamlined design paired with easy functionality—and the idea of bringing the brick-and-mortar onto your digital site. Here are a few key tips he shared with the group.

Compare and contrast: “Take a market similar in size to yours, but not close to yours geographically, then see what jewelry store is coming up online first. Look at their website to see what they’re doing and to figure out why they’re successful [in search results] and in their market. Borrow the things that are working.”

Show and tell: “Showing a photo of the outside of your store on your website makes it look legitimate and creates comfort and confidence. It also helps people find it.”

Word search: “Make sure you’re adding keywords to product pages, so they’re also findable on search results. Include your store name, your city, and words and phrases that describe the products, like gemstone earrings. You don’t want to overdo it so it’s awkward, but it gives Google a better chance of matching the page with a search.”

Stuller Bridge 2019
Retailers at Stuller’s 2019 Bridge event in Lafayette, La.

Film it: “Some people only search for things on YouTube—even jewelry—so you want to make sure you’re including video on you site. It makes your site searchable on YouTube.”

Add-ons: “Expand your website’s main menu items to include specific things like ‘polishing,’ for example. Google loves to point queries to exact matches.”

Web helper: “Set up Google’s My Business—you get lots of analytics tools for free with it.”

Parts of whole: “If you’re making something at the bench, take photos of it in process, including a photo of the components before they’ve been assembled…. It’s great content for social media and your site.”

Top: Outside Stuller at last week’s Bridge event (images courtesy of Stuller)

Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine

JCK Magazine Editor