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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Alright, so I managed to build a t-shirt business with a decent amount of designs: www.cuush.com
But now that I've done a little advertising on Google and Overture, I'm shot down in flames!

I got plenty of targeted traffic (and lots of click fraud - but that's another story)...
NO sales whatsoever, very little wandering past the main page, and maybe TWO people actually added the product to cart (and then abandoned it).

Admittedly it was only about 500 visitors between the two search engines, some of which were fraudulent...
but damn, what is the average conversion ratio for t-shirts? Is PPC even viable?

I've been a web designer for years, I've got experience with online marketing and tracking my results...
I know the rules of web design and e-commerce - ie) I tested the site with music "on" and music "off" - no difference.

But this is just brutal...
Either my site has major useability flaws, or my designs just suck, or my price is unreasonable...or what?

I need some serious insight here...
I've been staring at this for so long I can't see the problems anymore.

Brutally honest comments welcomed!


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290 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

Nice designs Rhonda...not my cup of tea, but I appreciate the quality!
Makes me want to wear one, which would probably raise some questions with the family!

Anyway, I'm just surprised... 0:500 is terrible from my experience.
I've built over 20 PPC campaigns in competitive industries (for ugly sites) and I've never seen ratios that low.

I can't help but wonder if my theme is just too obscure,
of if something about the site design is just not working to pull people in.

One thing I've been able to see through tracking is that most people don't scroll down...
I already knew this, but I thought I had enough enticement to motivate.

Anyway, I hadn't gotten any outside opinions on the useability of this design yet...
after the initial shock of this PPC gutter I figured it was time.

And with that said, excuse me for posting this in the wrong forum.
I noticed afterwards there was a site review section.

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290 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

batfink said:
I'm not so up on the ppc and stats and things. But from a viewer point of view, how would I find you?
R, don't get me wrong...I haven't done any other marketing yet.
I have an enormous list of places to network, ads to buy, listings to post, etc.

But I start with PPC because it's (usually) a solid foundation for any business.
I expected to get 70% of my sales directly from Google Adwords.

So to answer directly...
you would find me on Google (or Yahoo) when you search one of the 1300 t-shirt keywords I was bidding on.
(I turned the account off a few hours ago to evalute the stats and site, so you won't see my ads right now).

If people searching for "retro t-shirt" or "motorcycle t-shirt" ARE finding me and NOT buying,
then I have to wonder what the problem is with the site or the designs.

Which is why I asked for brutal opinions...
I need people to really piss on this site so I can get an idea of where the potential problems may be.

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290 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

DFras said:
the one thing that just backed me up, was the color purple against the white background. Hated it.
Now that's interesting...
I've been so focused on the idea of the classic purple buddha,
I didn't even think that it may be too much for the average surfer just walking in the door.

I'll test that for sure. thx Darrell

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

badalou said:
...then there is little 12 year old Dan out there with his buddies sitting in a room clicking away.. wow.. look at these awesome shirts.. someday when I get a job I want to buy some of these.. click, click, click!
LOL, your probably right on that one...

It just seems like there are a lot of other sites I've watched steadily advertise on Google and Yahoo for almost a year now.
They must be doing something right...but, they sell funny saying t-shirts that you see on everyone else's sites!

How many websites have I seen a "Get Your Tickets to The Gun Show" shirt ...and they call it their own original humor!

I used to hear of rival t-shirt sites suing each other for copyright infringement on humor designs a couple years ago...I don't think they do that anymore. You just can't go to court over an "iPoo" t-shirt joke...it's stupid to try.

I have plans to market other avenues, I've just had really great success with PPC in the past...
I'm disappointed at the way traffic is just flowing through my site like water, it just feels like something isn't right.

I dunno...I think PPC will have to go on the backburner until I can gain some footing.

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290 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

BURNTEES: I know, it's a limitation of the shopping cart vs my design.

I'm gonna chop this site at the knees and go shamelessly sparse,
skip the user experience and just give them the fodder they're used too.

I read somewhere a while back...
ugly cookie-cutter e-commerce sites work well because people are used to them.
I never thought in a million years it would work better than a custom site tho.

This experience is ridiculous so far...I had an easier time selling pr0n online!
(Which happens to be VERY hard to sell, contrary to popular belief.)

SOLMU: Yeah, since my entire theme is music based...it made sense.
I want people to hear what they can have for FREE if they buy a shirt.
Besides, all the music is faded-in slowly.

I'm getting more people wandering through the site now, but nobody is adding to cart...
honestly, I think they're just checking out the tunes on each page. dammit.

T-BOT: At this point I could get by with 10...

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290 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions people...
I take all of them as solid ideas and plan to do some acid tests (no pun intended).

That's the beauty of PPC - it doesn't cost much to run tests. Too bad I didn't run them sooner!
(What's that? The sound of ego getting in the way...yup!)

Anyway I realize it's a tough market, but I feel like there's a bigger problem here.

You've given me some perspective and I think it's time to systematically dis-assemble my original plan and find where the problem is.
Even if it takes me all the way back to a plain white page! LOL

I'll update this thread if I discover something with this current site...
otherwise I'll be posting a new site for review, if it comes to that! :rolleyes:

I just got stuck in such a focus block, I didn't even think about things like lowering price, changing bells & whistles, etc...
all your suggestions have got me back on track now.

< J >

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290 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

It's not hard to generate free traffic, it's just time consuming.

All you need to do is build respectable link trades with reputable websites.
Which means doing a little research on many websites, choosing the ones that are "on your level", or just above...
and then ask them to trade links with you...one at a time, with a personal email.

Even bribe them with a free t-shirt maybe (if they really outrank you).

Then over time (if you've got your basic site SEO in place) the search engines will pick you up and rank you highly,
based on your reputation among other relevant websites.

It's about a simple as it gets...
and about as time intensive and "long-term plan" as it gets.

That's why everyone overlooks it, because it's the last thing you really want to do...and the only thing you really SHOULD do.

Remember back in the internet day when cheezy link-trading was all the rage?
Well, now 2/3rds of those sites are Google behemoths! DOH!

The only problem I have with link trading is that it always feels like your asking for a h*nd-job from a stranger! :eek:

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290 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
Re: Pissing Party...review my site!

Solmu said:
OH F***! Which window is that?! CLOSE THEM ALL! CLOSE THEM ALL!"
That's sooooo true...
considering I've been there myself, I can feel that.

Ken Styles said:
It actually makes me want to go and imporve and change some things on my site!
Thanks man, but beware...my site isn't exactly a cash cow. LOL.

Anyway, I'm working like mad to chop out the bells & whistles and run a straight consumer test...
strictly focused on the sale with minimal user experience. (what made me think people would want anything more? haha!)

We'll see...

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290 Posts
Appreciate the suggestion, but the price is $20 normally...
$14.99 was a test I did a few days ago, which didn't work.

The problem with the site is most likely too much reading, music (can turn a pot smoking [person] into a non-buyer through negative association) and too many options...
people are ultimately lazy consumers, especially people searching for a cool shirt to buy. They want it quick and easy.

Rodney had a lot of good suggestions as well as quite a few other on the board here, I'm working through the site now to clean it up.
And now considering the solid response I've gotten from anyone that's seen the shirts (online and off), it's obvious the site features are the catalyst.

I should probably change the link on this thread so people don't see the work in progress...but hey, I'm lazy too. ;)

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I just tried too and the link I clicked said it couldn't find you. Will try back later. Good Luck 2 U. UBNICE
This thread is like 2 years old...
we've changed our site (and commerce engine) three times since.
It's not for display as we get too much junk traffic from the link, it skews our stats.

My advice, your site doesn't have to be nice...it just has to work.

Your designs have to be nice tho. ;)

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