10 Simple SEO Tips For Fashion Designers and Retailers

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In the previous blog post, we chatted about what SEO is and why it’s important and worth paying attention to as a fashion brand. Now we’re going to talk about 10 easy ways to optimize your e-commerce website with SEO to drive more organic traffic to your site.

Trust me, I get it. Website analytics can be super confusing! What do all those numbers mean? What do all those terms mean? What’s the difference between unique visitors, visits, and pageviews? They seem like they should be the same thing!

Website analytics can be confusing, but they can also be extremely helpful when you want to know if Instagram is actually driving traffic to your website, where your audience is located, the percent of people that view your website from their phone or which product gets the least views. It’s helpful when you want to see if collaborating with that blogger actually increased your web traffic or paying for that Facebook ad was worth it and not just a waste of money.

If you’re using a website platform like Shopify or Squarespace they have analytics tools built into the platform that is super helpful however you may also want to consider setting up Google Analytics. It’s free and is a tool that will help you better utilize your time and resources.

You don’t have to become an analytics pro but knowing a few basics is definitely worthwhile for example:

To find out where your traffic is coming from -Find it under Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels -Not only can you get an overview of where your website traffic is coming from but in this report, you can also see how different traffic sources drive different types of engagement with your website.

To learn which outside websites (Instagram, Pinterest, press) bring the most traffic to your website - Find it under Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals

See which content is the most popular on your website Find it under Behavior > Site Content > All Pages By checking out your most popular content, you can see what your visitors are interested in and what they’re not interested in.

When Google and other search engines rank your website they take into account how long your website takes to load. Did you know that a 1-second delay in your page loading speed can cost you 7% of your e-commerce conversions! That’s kind of insane but when you take into account our fast-paced society it starts to make sense. The longer your site takes to load the lower your ranking will be. Ideally, you want your website and web pages to load in about 1-2.5 seconds max.

Having images on your website that have a large file size causes your website to take longer to load. If you’re saving an image in Photoshop, make sure to click “save for web” this will compress the image file size and help to keep your site loading time down. If you don’t have Photoshop, open your image in the preview app and click tools > adjust size and then adjust to a suggested image size.  You can check your website speed at https://gtmetrix.com.

Whether you’re writing copy for your about page, product descriptions, blog, whatever you always want to include relevant keywords. What are keywords? Keywords are words and/or phrases that people use when searching Google.

For example:
Womens fashion
Fashion blog
How to start a fashion blog.

Keywords are important because they help lead browsing shoppers to your website. If someone is searching Google for “little black dresses made in Portland” your website is more likely to pop up in their search if you’ve sprinkled those keywords particular keywords throughout your website.  

So, how do you know which keywords to include on your website? Like all marketing, it’s about knowing who your customer is and trying to think from their point of view. What kind of things would your potential customer search for if they were looking for someone that does what you do but doesn’t know you or your brand at all? If they were searching on Google, how would they find you?  You can also use web-based keyword tools that show how frequently keywords are searched. TIP: Try not to repeat the same keyword over and over trying to up your SEO ranking. Google calls “keyword stuffing” and it actually reflects negatively on your website ranking.

Most people upload images onto their website with the file name that either came from their camera like “DSC21981” or from their photographer like “XXbrandphotoshoot1.” However, instead of leaving the image with the original filename, optimize your images by renaming them with a descriptive and keyword rich file name before adding them to your website.

Why? Not only does Google search the written copy on your website but it also searches your images to provide the most relevant search results. Since Google can’t “see” your images it goes by the file name in order to know what it is. So, for example, Who What Wear posted a blog post titled, "Successful Women Wear This To Feel Most Powerful." Rather than keeping the image filename whatever it originally was they changed the image file to “successful-women-fashion” (I know this because I dragged the image onto my desktop to see the filename.)

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If you Google key words like "what successful women wear" or "fashion for successful women" their image pops up...which it did.

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Whether it’s an image for your homepage slider, your headshot on your about page or product photos, whenever you add a picture to your website or blog, make sure that they’re appropriately named with keywords according to the article or the page on your website.

Alt text is just another way to provide Google and other search engines with information about the subject matter of your images. In addition, when those with visual impairments or people using screen readers look at your website the Alt text describes what the image shows.

First and foremost, what is a meta description?! Meta descriptions are the short summaries/descriptions that appear under the page title and website address that summarizes a page’s content. Both potential customers and search engines use meta descriptions to learn what your website/web pages are about and why it’s relevant to their search query.

Here’s an example of Everlane’s meta description for their website.

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As always, when writing meta descriptions for your web pages be sure to use relevant keywords (however don’t use the same keyword multiple times). Try to keep your  summaries under 155 characters to avoid it getting cut off. When it comes to driving potential customers to your website, descriptive and interesting summaries with a good call to action tend to grab your audience's attention resulting in a higher click-through-rate which also helps with your websites ranking on Google.

Search engines want to share websites that have new, up-to-date subject matter. By adding new content you are increasing your odds of being shared. Adding your Instagram feed and or blogging regularly are good ways to do this.

A mobile responsive website means that you have one website design that automatically resizes to fit all screen sizes, no matter what device you’re using.  According to Google, more than 50% of all search queries are made from mobile devices which means you definitely want to make sure your website is user friendly when they access it from their phone or tablet. Most templates nowadays are automatically optimized for mobile but still double check to make sure your website looks good and your font sizes are legible from the desktop and mobile view.

An internal link is when you add a link on one page of your website that links to another. A really easy way to do this is to have a section on each product page that shows similar products. Even having customer reviews is a way to include internal links. Anything that links from one page of your website to another is great for SEO and keeping customers on your website. The percent of visitors that view one page on your website and then navigate off  is called your bounce rate. Example: Someone finds you on Instagram, clicks the link in your bio, visits the featured page and then clicks out without visiting any other pages on your website. Internal linking a great way to promote more of your products, and helps Google rank your website higher. Not to mention, statistically the  longer viewers to stay on your website the more likely they’ll make a sale and search engines EXTRA TIP: make sure all your internal links work and lead to the correct page. Broken links can reflect negatively on your site ranking. You can check your bounce rate via Google Analytics under the Audience > Overview tab

Make it easy for customers to find products by creating category pages that contain keywords that are useful for your customers.  

For example:

  • yourbusinessname.com/denim
  • yourbusiness.com/dresses
  • yourbusiness.com/outerwear 

Most entrepreneurs do this instinctively (good job, guys) but it’s still worth mentioning. Just make sure you don’t create too many categories and make sure you name them something generic and searchable. “Heavenly dresses” probably isn’t a well searched keyword.  

Action Steps:
SEO is one of those things that many entrepreneurs, designers and retailers know they should pay more attention to but don't because it seems super complicated so they avoid it like the plague. However, once you have a basic understanding and a checklist for what to do, it get a whole lot easier.

If you’re someone who struggles with self promotion SEO is a great because it helps do some of  the promoting for you. Additionally, if you struggle to find time or ways to promote your business, SEO is there to cover the void. Your website is your best employee and salesman. It's the only employee that works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, doesn't take a break for holidays or go on vacation. While you're filling orders, managing the store, sewing, designing a new collection, whatever, your website paired with the right SEO can be driving people to your e-commerce site and making you money.

Paying attention to your website's SEO is definitely worth it. If you haven't been doing anything so far, no worries. Dedicate some time each week to go through your website and update your pictures, add links, and keywords, etc to improve your ranking. Once you’ve done that, make a conscious decision to add keywords, file names, alt text, etc every time you add a new image or copy to your website. You may not be a web guru or techie but I’m totally confident you can make it happen!

Join the conversation. Did you find this post helpful? Do you still have questions? Share in the comments below and let’s chat.

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