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SEO Tutorial: Optimize Your Shop for Search Engines

What "KEYWORDS" to use

Using the right keywords is important when optimizing your shop for Search Engines. These are the keywords people are entering in Search Engines, and you want your shop to come up in their search results.

In case you're stuck, here's a check list to help you come up with the right keywords:

  1. Determine your target audience and list all the possible keywords they would use to find your shop.
  2. List all the keywords that describe your shop, designs, merchandise, occasions and gift recipients, to name a few.
  3. Be sure to combine top keywords such as gifts and top-selling merchandise with your keywords. (Example: "Find adorable Shih Tzu merchandise such as dog t-shirts, stickers, calendars, apparel and more merchandise for fans of this toy breed")
  4. Form these keywords into phrases/sentences/paragraphs that help tell a story about your shop so you will get indexed on Search Engines.
  5. Fill these phrases/sentences/paragraphs in various areas of your shop.

Below is a list of top keywords you can use in combination with unique keywords for your shop:

  • Gift idea
  • Gift
  • Gifts
  • Merchandise
  • Online gift
  • Baby gift
  • Gift shop
  • Holiday presents
  • Gifts for all occasions
  • Presents
  • Unique gifts
  • Personalized gift
  • Gift for her
  • Gift for him
  • Apparel
  • [Merchandise such as:] T-Shirts, Mugs, Calendars, Stickers, Sweatshirt

Where "KEYWORDS" go

The following are areas within your shop where you can add content to optimize your shop for Search Engines.

Shop Introduction:

  • Appears on your storefront
  • Describe your shop and the merchandise you're selling. Speak to occasion, gift recipients, etc. Use this to tell a story about your shop.
  • You can code this below the header, middle or footer of your storefront.

Shop ID: lekkerdesigns

Image Alt Tag & Title Attributes:

  • It is good SEO practice to use both Image Alt (more commonly known as Alt Tags) and Title Attributes in your images.
  • Use alternate text to describe images when images are unable to be displayed to search engines and the visually impaired.
  • Text window display with Title Attribute text will appear when you mouse over image (if there is not a Title Attribute, the Image Alt Tag text will appear on Internet Explorer).
  • HTML code for inserting Image Alt Tags (alt) and Title Attributes (title):
    < img src="ENTER IMAGE PATH HERE" alt="ALTTAGcopyhere" title="TITLEcopyhere">

  • For example

    < img src="http://www.cafepress.com/title.gif" alt="Brian Boitano's Youth Skate Program - get your Brian Boitano ice skaing t-shirts, mugs, and merchandise here." title="Brian Boitano's Youth Skate Program - Featured Design">

Shop ID: brianboitano

Section Description/Section Name/Section Teaser:

  • Section Name: title of the section and Image Alt Tag for that section image (see Love Cats image in the example below)
  • Section Name: appears in the bread crumbs for every subsequent section page ("Salon.com Original Art" in the example below)
  • Section Teaser: short marketing copy
  • Section Description: long copy to describe the section theme, designs and merchandise

Shop ID: salonstore

Section Name, Teaser and Description in your Member Account

Product Name/Product Description:

  • Product Name: title of your product and Image Alt Tag for that product image (see Retro Santa Ho Jr. Ringer T-Shirt image in the example below)
  • Product Description: description of your design

Shop ID: kippygo

Shop Title/Keywords/Meta-Tag Description:

  • Title appears in the title bar of the Web browser
  • Keywords and Meta-Tag Description: list hot keywords to describe your shop, merchandise, target audience, theme, etc. (not visible to public)

Things to AVOID

  • One of the keys to SEO is relevancy. "Spamming" your HTML or page copy with keywords and keyword phrases that are not relevant to your products may result in lower placements for your pages and, more importantly, provides a poor user experience. After all, if a consumer is searching for a specific product and clicks on a search results link expecting to find that item, think of how disappointed they'll be when you waste their time on a page which doesn't offer what they want. Keep your keywords and content relevant to the products you offer in your shop(s).

  • Success is in the "long tail". It's well documented that searches and clicks for very specific keywords, such as "Funny Pug Puppy T-Shirt", yield a higher conversion rate than those on broad keywords such as "Custom T-Shirt". Optimizing for these long tail keywords offers an advantage because they are laser-like focused on the exact products the consumer wishes to purchase, and competition for placements in organic search listings is generally less aggressive. Not only will you have a greater chance of achieving high rankings for these terms, but you will increase the likelihood that each click becomes a sale.

  • Avoid SEO scams. Any site, email, or solicitation which promises to "submit your site to 10,000 search engines" or offers "guaranteed first page rankings" is at minimum a misleading representation of the truth. There are only a handful of major search engine algorithms which drive 99% of all organic search traffic: Google, Yahoo, and Bing (from Microsoft). These are the engines which you should optimize for because they will generate the majority of your search-driven business. Additionally, no organization can guarantee rankings in the search engines because ultimately they cannot control the search algorithms. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and all other search engines constantly tweak and adjust these complex mathematical formulas to provide searchers with the most relevant and up-to-date results. Algorithms are often patented formulas whose inner-workings are closely guarded secrets. The best way to achieve results is to roll up your sleeves and adjust each of your pages as recommended, within the guidelines set forth by the search engines themselves.

Best Practices Resources*

Here are the links to best practices as provided by the search engines:

* Disclaimer: Hypertext links to other sites posted here are solely for the convenience of the CafePress.com Community. The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement, express or implied, by CafePress.com of the links, the web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. CafePress.com makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in the hypertext links or associated websites.