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Let's give it a bit more than 5 hours :D

Do you have any numbers of your current conversion ratio? Your site looks good overall (easy to navigate, loads pretty fast, etc).

Increasing your sales could come down to just good ol' fashioned advertising and marketing.

I see what you mean now about the ranking buttons. You do have a lot of them. I usually see one or 2, maybe 3. But 9 does seem a bit excessive. I'm not sure if that is hurting your sales at all though. If you think it is negatively effecting your pageload times or conversions, you may want to trim them down to the ones that actually send you decent traffic.

Not sure if it's a temporary cafepress problem or an HTML problem on your side, but your header doesn't seem to be showing up correctly in firefox (see attachement)
 

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in regards to the header...that's pretty much how it's supposed to look. do you think it needs to be changed in some way?
I guess it seemed a bit weird to have the page background showing through in the header where your logo goes. There's a big block and it makes your logo harder to read and takes the focus off the t-shirts (my mind is telling me that there's something special about that header space).

I think it would look cleaner with a black background similar to the cafepress/order by phone area right next to it. Your logo on a black background up there would make the header area less busy so people can focus on the cool designs below.

Just my opinion though. I'm interested to see what others have to suggest.
 

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but we always end up selling designs that i never think will sell so by only showing what i think are our best designs, i might be taking away future sales. (if that makes sense).
I think with CafePress, it helps because you can give customers a sense of variety. I've had that happen as well (with cafepress). Designs that I don't think are the "greatest" start selling all of a sudden.

My idea of "top quality" design is not always the same as my customer's, so I don't know if you have to limit yourself or only go for the cream of the crop every time with cafepess.

I don't know if there is a pyschological thing with being able to compare designs with others and decide which one is for you.
 

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Mask your cafepress url. You can probably find it somewhere in the domain forwarding options. This way....when you click on "burntees.com" the address bar wont say www.cafepress.com/burntees. It's pretty much a consistency thing to the viewer and like solmu said, you dont want someone to bookmark the cafepress store. What happens if you want to leave cafepress someday?
I don't think that would be a good idea.

I know that masking uses frames, which have caused lots of problems with CP shops when they try to mask the domain. In IE (default install), when you use a frame on a third party site, it doesn't allow cookies to be saved (which won't allow customers to add any products to their cart).
 

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that's correct...we do advertise as BurnTees.com and that just redirects to CP
If you are doing print or radio ads, you definitely want to use the shorter, easier to remember name (burntees). If you are doing a link based ad (adwords, banner ads, etc), you will want to link as deep into your cafepress store as possible.
 

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So people immediately encounter a product to purchase? (or immediately encounter the kind of thing they clicked through for?)
Exactly. If you are advertising a blue silly fish t-shirt, but when the user clicks the ad and doesn't get what they were expecting (either a page full of fish t-shirts, or a page full of silly t-shirts, or even worse, the main page), they have to take time to find what they wanted, and each extra click they have to make is another buying decision. Too many clicks and you've lost them.

Why do you prefer deep linking?
Most importantly, it works. If your goal is conversions and getting sales from your ads, sending them to the page with the add to cart button is the best way to do it.

I've tested this on several sites and invariably when I link to the product page instead of the homepage, the sales are MUCH better.

If you just want overall branding and traffic, then sending them to your homepage might be better.
 

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So you'd also use specific advertising (i.e. advertise the blue silly fish t-shirt, not the fact that you do silly animal shirts).
Yep, I'd try to be as specific as possible. You may not get the volume of searches that you'd get if you advertised for animal t-shirts, but you'll get much more targeted viewers and clickers of your ad. People that are more likely to buy.

Would this make a difference if you were paying per impression or per click-through?
Yep, if you are paying per click through, you want to convert as soon as possible. If you are paying per impression, you can try to appeal to a wider audience, but you still might want to optimize the ad to maximize the clickthroughs (since you aren't paying for how many people click the ad)

If you're paying for click through you want a specific ad, so that if someone clicks (and therefore costs you money) they're more likely to be a sale.
Correctamundo. Which helps you get a positive return on your ad investment (so you could theoretically run the ad forever and never lose money).

If you're paying per impression, would you rather use an ad that would appeal to a wider audience in order to have more chance of getting clicked, or still be specific because ultimately they're more likely to click through and sell?[/quote]

burntees said:
i was wondering that as well. any time i've tried google adwords, i was basically trying to advertise BurnTees. you think it's better to advertise a specific design that I'm selling?
There are so many competitors in the funny t-shirts market that trying to advertise your main page could be very costly.

If you are just trying to ramp up traffic and get people seeing your site, then sometimes paying that extra few cents can be a good way to launch a new site/product/idea.

Advertising a specific product makes sense (and cents) for a few reasons:
  • less competition for longer keyword phrases (the long tail).
  • less competition means lower bidding per click
  • sending a visitor who searches for oregon trail t-shirts, directly to your page selling an oregon trail t-shirt, is going to give you a much better chance at converting a sale than trying to get someone who is looking for "funny t-shirts" in general to pick from one of your many t-shirts. It's great to show up in the organic (free) search results for funny t-shirts, but if you are paying to be there, those visitors who aren't sure of what they want could be costly
  • If you find an ad that works for a phrase that less people are bidding for, you can basically run the ad forever and always be guaranteed a profit. It's just a matter of finding the right ad and making sure you are getting a return on the ad spend.
More information on long tail search here:
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/050314-164653
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html
 
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