It’s time for another website review! In this series of #BadassCreatives website reviews, I’m taking a peek at a few of your websites in order to help all of you better understand some things that are common SEO and user experience issues. My hope is that you might be able to learn from somebody else’s experience, so that you can improve.
Today I’m going to be looking at Erin’s website, Dramatique Designs.
Her website built on Weebly. She said she feels like she’s done so much work with it on SEO but she’s having trouble making sales directly from her website. She sells great on Etsy but she eventually wants to operate only on her own website.
Let’s take a look and let’s see where there might be some room for improvement.
I’m starting by looking at the Google search results for Erin’s business name. You can see that her Etsy shop does rank first, followed by her personal profile on Etsy and then her website.
In this particular instance, this is something that’s going to be really hard to overcome. Usually a company’s own website will rank first for its brand search term. Your brand is your brand name.
If I search for Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola’s website is probably going to be the first thing to turn up in search results. But sometimes certain websites like Facebook or Etsy that are really big, popular websites with a lot of links pointing to them will rank really highly and sometimes they can outrank your own personal website.
That’s going to be an issue that I think you’re just going to have to account for. It’s going to be the way it is for the most part. In this particular case it’s just going to be really hard to overcome it. That’s something to be aware of. I do want to hop into your Etsy shop because I know you said you sell really well on there but you don’t feel like you’re doing as great on your own personal website.
I see you’ve got your banner, you’ve got your logo and your tagline, “Hippie, bohemian Up-cycled clothing and accessories.” You’ve got quite a few sales and quite a few favorites.
It seems like people are indeed finding you via Etsy and buying stuff from you. You’ve got 69 items listed as of the date of this recording. You got some really cute stuff, it’s all very one of a kind, up-cycled, including some fingerless gloves and some cool up-cycled sweaters. I feel like I have a good feeling of who you are as a designer.
I would say though that my gut impression, which I’m going to guess without seeing your actual stats on where your sales are coming from, is that most of your Etsy sales are probably coming through Etsy’s own internal search engine. I’m going to guess that most people that are searching for this type of one of a kind up-cycled clothing are either finding you via in person events that you might do around your home town of Portland, Oregon, or they’re probably searching for maybe “fingerless mitts” or “fingerless gloves” on Etsy and then looking through all the different search results that come up from all the different makers and then finding yours and they like the way that yours look the best. They then order from you directly on Etsy.
That’s my guess as to what’s happening. If that’s the case, if people are searching for these very one of a kind, handmade, recycled products and they’re turning to Etsy first to search for them, that’s a search behavior that is going to be kind of hard to change.
I also have a feeling that when people look for up-cycled clothing, they’re not actually searching that term: “up-cycled sweater” or “up-cycled clothing” very much. I think that “up-cycled” is something that we as artists and makers use but that our potential customers probably aren’t using that language.
We need to match our language to the language that our customers use. For you, I think words like “hippie clothing”, maybe “bohemian” or “boho clothing” or “hippie sweater” or “hippie accessories” or something like that. I think that that’s going to be more in line with the kind of language that your ideal customer is using if they’re searching online for clothes or accessories.
Let’s hop over to your website and see once people have found your website, what is the impression that you’re making? On the home page of your website, right now, to me it feels like there is a lot going on.
When I looked at your website on my phone, on a mobile device, it’s a little simpler because this main font becomes a much simpler, more standard web font.
On your homepage there is an image based banner. Just FYI anything that is based in an image that has words in it will not be readable by a search engine without further optimization. If your graphic has words overlaid on an image that were created by something like Photoshop or Canva, the search engines are not going to be able to read those words.
For example, this image on the homepage says “dazzling accessories, whimsical clothing, perfect for you.” You’ll need to add into your alt text and your title text of your image when you upload that image to your website. People can read it but Google’s web crawlers and the other search engines can’t actually read these words without some extra help. That’s something to keep in mind. Now I’m not sure if you intended the navigation to be in these three lines like it is. But the way it’s laid out now is different than most website experiences that shoppers are used to, which is typically where it’s all on one line. I would recommend trying to keep this as streamlined as possible.
Also, I think the length of some of these links is part of what’s making it drop on to extra lines. I don’t think that you need to have “Dramatique Designs” written out in the “About” link. Same with “Shop our whimsical designs”, I think you could just have “Shop” and have it go directly into your shop pages or maybe even flip it and have your home page be your shop page so that people can get right into the products.
Sometimes when people design their own websites, especially when we as artists or creatives design our own website, we can sometimes want to do all the bells and whistles and we want to get just as creative with our web design as we do with our actual handmade products.
While I definitely want you to be very creative, I think that when it comes to web design sometimes simpler is better. You can see as I keep scrolling down there’s a lot of different colors, there’s a lot of fonts and font sizes and there’s a join our VIP club and follow me on social media. Then there’s also a map of Portland, and while I am not super familiar with Portland (I’ve been there a couple of times and I love it, it’s a great town), this looks like it might just be a generic map point. I’m going to guess that this isn’t exactly your address, so I’m not sure what purpose this particular map serves. It might kind of be an unnecessary feature that you might be able to remove.
Let’s hop in to your shop page. This feels much more like your Etsy shop feels. I can immediately see the actual types of products that you have. I would definitely like to have more of this type of information and these links where I can click directly and start shopping more.
I would like to see this as the first thing when I get to your website instead of the video and all of the text information on your home page, that isn’t super helpful if the main goal is to have people buy your products. I would like for your visitors to start seeing your products immediately when they first get to your website.
Let’s click in “up-cycled clothing.” Again, I think that if you want to start targeting words more like hippy clothing, boho, and maybe some of the types of music festivals your customers might attend, like Burning Man. Maybe that’s something to target in your keywords and your product descriptions.
I think this “up-cycled” keyword is something that you’re using a lot. I think its fine to still include that but I think that right now it is the main keyword phrase that you’re trying to lead with. It’s even in your URL up here. You’ve got “up-cycled clothing.” I think that to focus more on the hippie aspect and think about who the people are that would be buying and wearing this clothing.
Think about what terms they would use if they were searching for your products. This gets back to their search behavior. I have a gut feeling that the people that are searching for this type of clothing, it’s going to be hard to find them directly via a Google search. They’re probably going to be much more likely to find you first via your Etsy shop, right? So I’d be curious to know what types of things you are doing to get your people who have purchased from you once via your Etsy shop to then next time purchase from you over on your website.
Are you offering any sort of special incentives? Do you include something in your product packaging to offer some sort of special offer or free shipping if they order via your website next time instead of via your Etsy shop? I would think about letting people discover you via your Etsy shop or maybe via a local craft show in Portland that you do. Have that be the initial point of entry and then think about how you can move them over to purchasing directly from you via your website next time.
We want to think in the terms of a lifetime value of a customer. It’s going to be much easier to keep getting that same customer to buy from you again and again than it is to have to find new customers all of the time.
You’ve got a lot of one of a kind stuff. I’m going to guess that you probably have some of those return customers who come back to you for different one of a kind items all the time. Think about how you can transition the people who are finding you elsewhere and then get them over to purchasing via your website.
How can you incentivize them and get them to come over here to buy on this second or third or fourth time?
Check out my course, DIY SEO for E-Commerce. It’s an e-commerce intro to search engine optimization for artists, makers, and #BadassCreatives. It’s only $49, you get lifetime access, and it includes 10 short videos, plus some bonus materials, that walk you through all of the basics of search engine optimization.
I make it really easy and specific to you, my #BadassCreatives. It’s very easy to follow, and you’re going to learn a ton. You’ll have lifetime access, and you can also ask me follow up questions via a comment system inside of the course.
I hope you’ll check it out!
Mallory Whitfield created MissMalaprop.com in 2006 as a place to share her favorite cool stuff, handmade products and indie finds. Throughout her journey as a creative entrepreneur, Mallory has worn many hats, including blogger, visual artist, upcycled clothing creator, performance artist, jewelry designer, craft show vendor, creative strategist, speaker, teacher and consultant to other small business owners. By day, she specializes in SEO, content marketing and social media strategy as Content Analyst at FSC Interactive, a leading digital marketing agency in New Orleans.
Do you believe that art, creativity, innovation, and kindness can change the world? If you answered “Heck yeah!” then this is the podcast for you.
Badass Creatives is hosted by Mallory Whitfield and features marketing and business advice for creatives, as well as interviews with a diverse range of handmade artists, performers, makers, and creative entrepreneurs.
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