I love when my packages come from India. The anticipation of what’s inside makes me to want to rip them open. Not such an easy task, however. Parcels from India are boxes, sometimes metal and other times plastic, that are wrapped in much packing tape – so much so that the box material cannot be seen. After the taping, the box is then wrapped in a natural woven fabric with the edges being folded in neatly as if wrapping a present and then hand-stitched closed. The finishing touch is wax stampings along the seams. I’m not sure if customs will send me a bill. The package never appears to have been opened.
This was a very exciting parcel to receive as there are new stones that I have never worked with before, the first being the blue mystic topaz gemstones shown above. Mystic coatings have been around as long as I’ve been beading with my first mystic stones being pink topaz. Traditional mystic topaz was of no interest to me as they were so heavily coated – reflecting deep dark purples and teals with a mirror like finish – ok for some, just not for me. These newer mystics are more translucent adding color and dimension in a way similar to that of pink topaz. The color above is also known as “Paraiba Blue” Topaz and it is created by coating white topaz.
Other gemstones shown are Pink Amethyst, Blue/Green Fluorite, and Grapefruit Corundum (another new one for me). I await one more parcel and then I’ll begin designing. I can hardly wait 😉
I use Google Analytics for my website. When I first put up my website years ago I had the simple counter on the front page. Although informative, it really was more entertainment than anything else. Today, there’s probably alot I can do to improve my website based on the info I get from Analytics. Lets take a look at the results:
The chart above compares the results of one month to the previous one. The blue line is Feb/Mar and the green line is Jan/Feb. The dots represent each day and when I hover over one, I get the number of visits for that day. Total website visits for Feb/Mar were 1959 – a 3.93% increase from the previous month. Total pages viewed were 7310, and the average number of pages per visit was 3.73. These last two values decreased from the previous month.
The chart also shows a bounce rate of 52.17%. Bounce rate is the number of people that came upon your site but it wasn’t the result they wanted so they left. To lower this number I need to hone in on what I’m selling in my content and thus limit the rate of error. Average time spent on the site was 2:01 minutes – adding more visually interesting links to each page could increase the amount of time people spend on my site. Of the 1959 visits, 81.3% of them were new visits – first time from that address.
Interestingly, when I click on the report for the map overlay, I learn that over the course of two months, my visits came from 81 different countries! The darker green the area on the map, the more visits from that region.
Another important section is the traffic source overview or how people found my site – via the search engines, via links from other sites, or directly using my web address www.dianabostany.com. The fact that most of my traffic comes from search engines emphasizes the importance of SEO or Search Engine Optimization. If I link to more websites, I may increase that value over time. I am beginning to see that SEO is a job best left to the professionals. Mostly because there are so many jewelry websites on the internet.
Because I have Analytics tracking most of my pages, I get a chart of which pages are visited and how many times each. This lets me know what pages are of interest to my customers and how new pages should be tailored. I’ve also used this information to eliminate pages that don’t get enough visits. Even tho eliminating pages may eliminate valued content, in the end, it can also reduce website maintenance.
Notice that more people visited the jewelry extender page rather than the front page of my site. The reason for this is how my site ranks in the search engine for that particular word/phrase. The higher I rate in the engines, the more likely people will find that page of my site. For example, if you do a google search for pink tourmaline briolettes necklace, you will see that my rank is #2 out of 15,400 results. However, if you search just for pink tourmaline necklace, the number of results grows to 204,000. Where am I ranked? I’m #98 on the 10th page of the google results. Still pretty respectable when you figure there are 204,000 results. However, that’s really not good enough since people generally look to the top 10 and mayyybeee the top 20 results.
So how can I get more people to come to my site to buy more jewelry than extenders? Optimize for beaded jewelry – seems obvious. The difficulty is that right now, there are 2.2 million results for that phrase. Bottom line is, if you’re thinking of starting up a website to sell your beaded jewelry designs, make sure you focus some of your energies on SEO – or get a professional to do it for you.
Much time has passed since my last entry and much has happened. A couple weeks ago my computer had started crashing so I ran spybot, cleaned the disks and defragged. Then Adobe Photoshop no longer worked so I unloaded it and reloaded it – when it asked for the update I went to Adobe and downloaded that and the software still won’t open a photo. So, I found Gimp on the web and have been trying to learn a new photo editing system – not an easy task.
Recently I did a jewelry show. Doing your first jewelry show can be a blog posting in itself but I won’t bore you with the details. It took many hours of preparation, cost about $200, and I sold one necklace. I’ll chalk it up to a good experience and take comfort in knowing that at least now I have everything I need to do another. Here are some display ideas.
I’ve been working on a consignment for special occasion jewelry – necklace with matching earrings using Smokey Quartz, Chocolate Pearls, and Gold. The look I was going for was romantic yet bold. Romantic because the brocade jacket the customer would be wearing had a lovely portrait collar – reminiscent of Queen Elizabeth. And bold because the jacket had a large portrait collar – what do ya know? Scale is very important. I was lucky to have in my stash some huge heart shaped briollettes.
Last Thursday, I suffered a second degree burn while cooking dinner (don’t worry, I’m not going to post a picture). It’s surprising how fragile we can be. The burn, which is the size of a grapefruit and caused me to seek medical attention, was extremely painful and had I not had Tylenol with codeine, I don’t think I could’ve slept a wink. The next day wasn’t as bad as I’d thought but the next few days . . it was difficult to do many things I take for granted – like taking a shower – didn’t want to get the burn wet; doing household chores or making jewelry – it was painful to do just about everything as the entire burn throbbed most of the time. To end a long story, I’m much more careful about lifting the cover off of a boiling pot on the stove.
Last but not least, I opened an Etsy store. Why have an Etsy store when you already have a website? This will have to be another post.