T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 20 of 76 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,957 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been about the business of trying to create my site, and have been doing a lot of research here and other places about aesthetics, funtionality, etc., but one thing I just don't get is search engine optimization. I understand driving traffic to the site is key, but why is SEO so important to doing that? When I go to a search engine to look for something, I'm not going to go past the first few pages, because most of the time what I'm trying to find will be on those pages. There are so many different people and companies selling shirts and other clothing online, even if you get ranked pretty high, it seems that most people still won't find your site through a search engine. It would seem to me that link exchanges with related sites and things like that would be a better place to spend your time, rather than making your site so search engine friendly. I could be all wrong (and probably am). I've never created a site before. Could someone please explain the way SEO works and why it is so important?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
Comin'OutSwingin said:
why is SEO so important to doing that? When I go to a search engine to look for something, I'm not going to go past the first few pages
That's normal, and that's exactly why it's important.

I'm not convinced it's worth putting too much effort into, but then that may be because I haven't made that investment and seen that pay-off.

Ultimately it's important to people because they want to get to the top of the results though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,700 Posts
SEO is important because search engines are the number one way people find things online.

By making your site search engine friendly from the start (not necessarily spending months on it), you will have a better chance to get free sales from the search engines.

Just because there are other sites ranking well doesn't mean that you can't also rank well, especially for things that you offer that the other sites don't offer.

You may not rank well (right away) for "funny t-shirts", but if you sell a t-shirt of a duck smoking a cigarette, you may be first for "duck smoking t-shirt". If you're pages aren't search engine friendly, you may NEVER rank for the t-shirts on your site that are unique to your site.

So stick with the basics:

- Clean static looking URLs (no ? & if possible)
- Unique TITLE tags for each product page
- Descriptive TITLE tags for each page
- Good marketing text on your product and information pages.
- META Keywords and Description tags on all pages
- Easy navigation to all pages of your site

That kind of stuff doesn't take a whole lot of time and it can be a big boost to your sales if done right. Why turn away free money?

There are all kinds of "levels" of SEO, in my opinion. You can go on to start a link building campaign, pay to be in Yahoo, check out your competitors, read SEO forums like webmasterworld and pick up loads of info from "experts", etc.

But the basics is something every site should do (in my opinion). To me, it not only helps your SEO, it also helps People (good ol' fashioned humans) to use your site more easily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
SEO is critical. It is free advertising. I think that as much attention that you put into designing your t-shirts you should put into designing your website and ensuring that you are ranking in different search engines. Another way that you can drive traffic to your website is to purchase "hits". This is where you can buy a certain amount of traffic to your website. Paying more money to attact more customers is how your business will survive. You don't want one customer making one purchase. You want one customer making ten purchases over thier lifetime. Creating high customer value is the key. You need to do this by promoting to the masses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
Another thing to think about is not everybody searches in the same way -- in fact many people don't even know some basic searching techniques. (Funny T-Shirts vs "Funny T-Shirts" for example) Why miss out on any possible sale because of a poor SEO strategy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
And of course one thing that seems to be missing....the "ALT" tags. EVERY product picture, EVERY link on your site, EVERY little detail needs to have an alt tag. Search engines crawl through your pages code and if you pics don't have an alt tag for it that's more visitors that could be lost. Don't forget to write down EVERY single keyword you can think of that would describe your site...from types of shirts, categories, shirt material (i.e. cotton, polyester, 50/50, etc.). The more you can think of the better.

*HINT: look at the source code of a competitor's site for the keywords they use*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
The most important factor to your site ranking well in search engines, is relevant sites linking to your site. Sites with similar keywords/phrases, etc.

It's no good to have a site selling guitar strings link to your site if you're selling shirts with be-jewelled kittens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
SEO and Google Analytics

Well firstly this site is ace and most helpful, I am just starting to get into SEO after a year of not paying attention to it. I was wondering if you could give any tips about Google Analytics and how they relate to SEO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Myronallis is 100% right.

SEO is important to a point, but just remember it takes quality content first and foremost.
and while a random surfer who makes a purchase is great, you really want repeat and loyal customers.

just remember you can be number one in the search engine, but if people get to your site, it does not guarantee the sale....unless just ad generating income is your goal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
One thing I always don't understand about SEO is.....if your t-shirt site is built strongly and marketed strongly as a brand, like "Johnny Cupcakes" or "Old Guys Rule" or "Phat Rags", how are people even going to search for the brand name when they are not even aware such a brand exist?

In such situations, will SEO even help? SEO is useful only when people know what they're searching for first.

So, my question is: if I'm building my t-shirts around my own brand, do I need to do offline marketing to create awareness and then when people start searching for it online, then I do SEO?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
One thing I always don't understand about SEO is.....if your t-shirt site is built strongly and marketed strongly as a brand, like "Johnny Cupcakes" or "Old Guys Rule" or "Phat Rags", how are people even going to search for the brand name when they are not even aware such a brand exist?

In such situations, will SEO even help? SEO is useful only when people know what they're searching for first.

So, my question is: if I'm building my t-shirts around my own brand, do I need to do offline marketing to create awareness and then when people start searching for it online, then I do SEO?
Your 100% right...most people don't really search for things they already know....if I want to go to amazon.com, I just type it in....that also goes for mostly anywhere i surf.

SEO is mainly just to catch the surfer who will not know what they want at the moment...say would like to search for a new t-shirts, but not really sure or committed to what they will buy...but they do know they want to buy a new shirt....so most likely they will look at the first few sites in the search results page, which is why the hype is there.

Now the catch is to get them to buy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
do I need to do offline marketing

I'd say the short answer to that is - yes.

Google: Guerrilla Marketing (I'd put in a link, but there are so many sites now, you may want to just jump around and get ideas.)

Guerrilla Marketing is all about free and low cost marketing strategies - both conventional and on-line.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,070 Posts
I am lost when it comes to this as well. Not that I don't know the importance of it all. I just don't know how to do it effectively. I have a cubecart site and I find that doing keywords and tags and links are different. I'm not sure if you can go into the page and do them, so I do the best I can from the admin. control panel. I don't know much at all about PHP. I scared I'll mess my page up if I start tinkering around with it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,700 Posts
One thing I always don't understand about SEO is.....if your t-shirt site is built strongly and marketed strongly as a brand, like "Johnny Cupcakes" or "Old Guys Rule" or "Phat Rags", how are people even going to search for the brand name when they are not even aware such a brand exist?
That's actually an interesting question.

In those cases, people already know the brand, but they may not know where to buy the products.

So in those cases, those companies have built up their "branding" to such a high level, that people that are interested in their products are no longer just searching for generic terms like "t-shirts" or "funny t-shirts", they are searching for them in google by name specifically.

So people will type in "johnny cupcakes" or "old guys rule" in a search engine to find the official site for those products so they can make a purchase.

Ideally, that's where we'd all like to get to. Where customers search for us by name.

Those sites don't really have to optimize their sites to show up for those "brand name" searches, but to get *new* customers, they could still optimize for more generic keywords. "old guy t-shirts", "cupcake t-shirts", etc.

In the meantime though, those of us that are just starting out have to focus on getting new customers, since people obviously won't be searching for us by brand name yet.

To get new customers, you need to show up for those more generic terms. You also need to focus on other ways of marketing and branding your site so that potential customers link to you, people take notice of your designs, and hopefully gain some media attention.

Read the Seth Godin book "The Purple Cow" for examples and ways to do this (and the importance of it).

Also read this post I made a while back that goes more into depth about it: http://www.t-shirtforums.com/p143033-post2.html

I am lost when it comes to this as well. Not that I don't know the importance of it all. I just don't know how to do it effectively.
First place to start is to research right here in the forums. There are lots of topics that talk about how to do it and where to go to learn how to do it right.

A nice resource is google.com/webmasters . Straight from the source. They give you specific tips on how to rank better:

Creating a Google-friendly site

I'm not sure if you can go into the page and do them, so I do the best I can from the admin. control panel. I don't know much at all about PHP. I scared I'll mess my page up if I start tinkering around with it.
In cubecart, you don't have to mess around with PHP to edit the TITLEs and keywords.

There's even a module that can help you with making your cubecart store more search engine friendly.

If you google cubecart seo, you'll find lots of tips on how to do it (and probably step by step tutorials).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
It is critical like others are saying. The only search engines you need to worry about are the big 3 (Google, Yahoo, MSN) and you should understand they work differently, so you may rank well for 1 and not another.

I personally focus more on google than the others, its what most people use.

If you read around you will probably hear about 2 kinds of optimising, on-page and off-page. Both self explanatory:
on page are things on your website, good unique content, seo friendly URL's (such as this forum, notice the url for here is /ecommerce-site-design....The URL has been re-written to match the title of the forum). Make sure you include key phrases to your products on your website, find out what people search for by using things such as the google keyword selector tool and include those words on your page. Title Tags are very important to SEO, note the title tag is not a META tag. META tags are less important for ranking well in google, they have little effect, they may only be good for a human reading the description of your site when using google but it wont rank you higher. I believe yahoo puts more importance on meta tags.

Off page is building links. This is the hardest part, getting your links on other sites. What sites??? Relevant ones. People make mistakes thinking more links are better, but that isnt always the case. You want links on sites with high PR (PageRank) which are relevant to your website. A new Website about mobile phones to your t shirt website isnt going to help you much if anything. A link from a clothing blog or a t shirt website which is established and has PR will help. Make sure your anchor text is relevant.

Another thing, it takes time! :)


One thing I always don't understand about SEO is.....if your t-shirt site is built strongly and marketed strongly as a brand, like "Johnny Cupcakes" or "Old Guys Rule" or "Phat Rags", how are people even going to search for the brand name when they are not even aware such a brand exist?

In such situations, will SEO even help? SEO is useful only when people know what they're searching for first.
Because for example i may search for t shirts, i could find johnny cupcakes and i may like the site and next time i will remember it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
Thanks a lot, T-shirtman!
I guess the problem with SEO, is that finding the keywords is the most difficult part.
And making sure they're the right keywords and then focusing all your efforts on those is another thing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
Honestly, How does SEO help you when there are literally thousands of t-shirt sites existing, and popping up on the net every single day?

I would think that offline marketing, spreading the word, links back to your site, happy customers showing off their new shirts to their friends would be more realistically effective.
I would rather have 100 people visit my site because they know they want a shirt, then 1000 from searches and it happen by chance.
Maybe SEO i the way to do it, but I have never ever bought a shirt off-line because I found it in a seach engine. I have come across them on accident through links, saw someone wearing the shirt and asked them where they got it, or checked them out from on this fourm.
I may be completely wrong, but I think minimal time should be spent on SEO, just make it clean, easy to find, good keywords.
Then go hit the streets, bars, gyms, malls, events, concerts, etc......wherever your target demo hangs out and spread the word. Be fun and memorable, give them a shirt, buy them a drink, make them laugh, take pictures with them. These kind of things stick in your mind. If your a company hanging with people and making them feel important then they will remember and appreciate you and according to kharma will return the favor.

I remember when "Tag" 1st came out, I was at the beach in Florida with some friends, and "Tag" wasn't really all that well known. The "Tag" beach team came and hung out with us and played drinking games on the beach, the "Tag" girls proceeded to spray us down and flirt etc.......They made us feel important while having fun with us at the same time, later that week when I got home I went and bought some "Tag".

I would have never ever heard of them if it wasnt for their physical presence, and I am sure they got hundreds of new clients that week. So just some food for thought.
I think to be successfull in this business or any business, you have to get innovative, creative, do things outside the box, be remembered. Or you will be just like everyone else.
 
1 - 20 of 76 Posts
Top