SEO for T-shirt Shopkeepers.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial for an online T-shirt shop. To do it successfully one must apply many factors including but not limited to: Relevancy, Grammar, Validation, In bound links (one way and reciprocal), and Keyword Density. Assuming you took the initial steps of coming up with a great Shop/URL name, and researching the best keywords people actually enter to find your type of design and product, we will begin. Think of Google and the other search engines as Librarians and the internet as a library. The search engines and librarians spend all day organizing information. The websites are like encyclopedias and books. Therefore they should be written and organized as such with each containing similar counterparts so that the librarians know where to place them. The "Meta Info" is like the cards in a card catalog and the Author, Subject, Title search fields of online libraries. Now think about writing your site's copy and meta like you are writing a thesis or a professional article. You start with your opening statement or introduction. Next you have supporting paragraphs. Then you sum up and restate your thesis in the conclusion.The same rules apply here. In this case the supporting paragraphs will be your products and their individual titles (they get added as you add products to your shop). Try to use some jargon terms as that targets your audience. Let's start with the meta tags and title. In this example let's say you are selling Mexican and Cinco De Mayo Shirts and using Spreadshirt. That is a niche specific market therefore targeted to your audience. Just replace "MySite.com with your own URL and replace "myshop" with your shop. You will be responsible for the "Title", "Author" (your name or your site's name), "Copyright", "Description", and "Keywords" tags.

SEO the Shop Title Tag.

Titles can have your site name and often should. That is if you own your own printing press company with your own domain (Threadless.com for example). Otherwise it is a waste of a keyword space in the title. 'Print on Demand' sites often place their own brand in your titles either at the beginning or the very end. Technically you are considered a sub-domain of their main site and their name is shown as it is their privacy policy that is in place. Therefore, leave out your site name from the title when using a Print On Demand (P.O.D.) service. Titles are divided on a scale of 100%. If you have a 10 word title, then each word is worth 10% of the whole. With priority given to the words closer to the beginning of the title. In the above example "Mexican" sets the tone of your shop and "Cinco De Mayo" targets down your audience for your specific niche market. "Cinco De Mayo" would be 50% of the type of t-shirts you offer when Mexican is 100% of T-shirts you offer. "Cinco De Mayo" is a phrase listed in the keyword tag and therefore not read as individual words so it is 33.3% of the title, as is "Mexican" and "T-shirts". Stop words like "&", "or", "and", "of", and "the", really don't count as a percentage but take up character space. Grammar is important as you are optimizing for humans which is what search engines want you to do. Search engines do not like to include sites that are too general and 100% relevant as that is a red flag for spam or blackhat SEO techniques. So just putting "T-shirts" would not work and same goes for having just "Mexican". "Mexican T-shirts" could work even without "Cinco De Mayo" being included but you would miss out on a bunch of traffic looking specifically for Cinco De Mayo related shirts just from the phrase being excluded from the title. That leaves 50% "Mexican" 50% "T-shirts", 100% relevancy for "Mexican T-shirts" when read as a whole. Just use the title above but replace "Mexican" with another keyword like "Funny" and replace "Cinco De Mayo" with something like "offensive" if that is what you offer. Leave the "&" and keep "T-shirts" at the end. The "&" helps it to be read as a Wheel of Fortune style "before and after" technique. Aim for somewhere between 1.5% to 1.8% keyword density per keyword or key phrase for your entire shop's homepage. SEO CENTRO has free and very accurate tools to use. Typing in your main competitor's information and seeing their results will give you the idea of what density you need. Do not copy or steal their information as that is a crime called METAJACKING. Though there is nothing wrong with using it as a guide.

SEO the Shop Meta Description.

The first sentence or two of your site's content (written copy) should be copied to the meta description. Figure the first 15-20 words and about 100-120 characters total. Use the same keywords as the title along with some keyword specific examples that fall under those keywords. "We have lots of Mexican & Cinco De Mayo T-shirts like: Mexican Flag tees, Spanish Slogan tees, and Mexico shirts. You can even write your own phrase to celebrate The 5th of May with many of our quality designs by personalizing the slogan online before adding it to your cart." As you can see "We have lots of Mexican & Cinco De Mayo T-shirts like: Mexican Flag tees, Spanish Slogan tees, and Mexico shirts." is the text chosen for the meta description tag. "5th of May" is an variant or synonym for "Cinco De Mayo" which ideal to have, just as tees is to shirts and t-shirts. Since it is past the cutoff for the meta description I did not include it as a keyword.

SEO the Shop Keywords Tag.

No longer needed. Regardless here is the "how to". Now that you have your title and meta description, you can make your keywords list from the description. In the same order that they appear in the text. Like the title, the most important keywords are weighted at the beginning and the main keyword will be repeated in the footer later. This will give you a much more natural and organic density. The Keyword Meta-tag itself can and should be omitted as it is no longer used by the top search engines due to the ease of abusing the tag. "Mexican T-shirts, Cinco De Mayo, Mexican Flag tees, Spanish slogan tees, Mexico shirts,"

SEO the Shop Heading Tags.

At Spreadshirt for example if you leave your "Shop Name" blank in the Info & Meta section then your shop name will not show up as a Heading Tag and keep your shop name out of your title which is their default if you add it. These are not really needed in T-shirt shops within Print on Demand sites like Spreadshirt. But they are desired if you have your own site or company. Tags h1 through h6 with h1 being the largest and h6 being the smallest. You can make them all appear the same size using CSS files. These are mini titles like in a magazine or newspaper that help separate and organize content into subsections and categories. They indicate what the following section is about. Therefore, the title's keywords should be divided amongst the heading tags. Like the h1 tag would be "Mexican T-shirts" and the h2 tag would be "Cinco De Mayo t-shirts". The rest of the shops keywords starting in the h3 tag could be "Mexican Flag tees", then the h4 tag "Spanish slogan tees" and so on and so forth.
Relevant One Way Inbound Links.
It is important that you receive some relevant one way links for each pages keywords, not the just your home page. Specifc deep linking is what you want. If someone mentions "Cinco de Mayo" on their site about Cinco De Mayo, that person could turn that into a hyperlink to the Cinco De Mayo page of your shop with that phrase as the anchor text. It works like this. Consider GOOGLE's PageRank as method of weighing credentials. Think of it like this. Each person with a set field of study on their topic is considered specialized therefore an expert. Their website is their thesis as your site is your thesis. The more people that link to your site as reference give you credibility.  Each link is one credit or vote. Thus, increasing your PageRank each time someone cites you. Just linking to your homepage when you could target more specific crowds will result in less sales. It is good to have a lot of one way in bound links to your homepage but more as directories and general mentions. For example, if Carlos is a biker and he wants a cool Mexican T-shirt with the Mexican Flag he will search for the phrase "Mexican flag T-shirt" and possibly "Mexican flag biker T-shirts". If someone else has linked to either of your Mexican Flag shirt designs in context, you will get points for that key phrase and improve your ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPS). A little credit is given to the people that link to you as it is relevant to their topic, the higher a PageRank you each have, the better you will both score. You do not want links coming in from just links pages for a few reasons:
  1. No content or context to associate with the keyword or link.
  2. Placement on a links page effects PageRank if counted at all.
  3. If reciprocal linked, you cancel each other's votes out and only share traffic not PageRank.
  4. The more links on a page, the lower your credit from that Site's page.
  5. Traffic from these links will help with position but not PageRank.
Also, you only want to link out to sites that share the same traffic. Be it one way or reciprocal. People that go to site will be more likely to visit a site about Mexico or Cinco De Mayo than they would be about carnivals. So why link to something irrelevant and random as carnivals? It just lowers your credibility and therefore PageRank. It is okay to link to competition if they are willing? Sure you might lose a sale here and gain one there but should balance out if you offer great designs and products. You share the same audience, people that are after T-shirts do Trade links with other Shopkeepers and websites. This part is all about traffic and bringing in people specifically wanting T-shirts. Especially people that don't know what they want yet and are just window shopping. That concludes  the SEO for T-shirt shopkeepers. We hope this article helps.