By Brecken Branstrator
New York--Jewelers can boost where their website shows up in search results by focusing on things like quality content, natural keyword inclusion and social sharing.

In a session titled “How SEO Can Optimize Your Business” at the JA New York Winter show on Sunday, Brian Douglas, CEO and founder of, discussed what steps jewelers can take to help bump their businesses up in search engine results.

Search engine optimization refers to the process of optimizing the quality and volume of traffic to a website from a search engine.

According to Douglas, approximately 44 percent of online shoppers start by using a search engine. Additionally, 50 percent of all mobile searches are done to find local results, and 61 percent of those searches result in a purchase.

Not only does search engine optimization assist with the rankings of a business website in results, it also provides businesses with credibility when users see that it ranks near the top of search results.

In addition, SEO can give a business valuable insights into their customers, including what they’re searching, where they’re searching from and what technology they’re using, which can help stores adjust their marketing and tweak the design of the website as needed.

SEO can be divided into two types that businesses can tackle separately--on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page SEO refers to factors on a website that affect its ranking in results, which is easily controlled through things like quality content and maximizing keywords.

Changes in how search engines rank websites, especially Google, in recent years has led to less of a focus on “rigid keyword insertion” and more on the natural incorporation of the keywords on websites, Douglas said. This means that when a company decides what keywords they want to target and are trying to build them into the site, instead of “keyword stuffing,” as Douglas referred to it, they should focus more on making it sound natural and not overdone.

Along the same lines, there’s a new way that websites can be coded, using what Douglas calls “microdata,” to put tags around a certain part of a website to help search engines map the site. This helps them know where information such as the business address and telephone number are and also can include them in results.

Another important aspect for optimization is making sure that the website is providing high-quality content. Since today’s search engines now are smart enough to consider the context of what’s put on the site, it’s increasingly important that the content be relevant not only to the brand but also to what the user was searching.

Search engines also reward for “viral-ity,” Douglas said, so it’s also important that content is share-worthy and that readers and followers on social media will want to share it with others.

Off-page SEO, meanwhile, refers to the process of gaining quality links from other websites back to the target website. This can include things like company employees doing guest posts on other sites and industry forums and linking back, as well as other social accounts sharing the target site’s content.

Douglas said that in the end, companies need to know that they’re not going to see immediate results and need to “commit to the long haul” when it comes to SEO.

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