Here at eTrader we deal with SMEs and their websites as our bread and butter. A website is the main resource required to succeed in virtually every industry and the garment decoration one is no different.

It is a difficult thing to get right – which is often what throws businesses off the straight and narrow and down two paths.

Firstly, a quick fix for their businesses, producing some sort of site online to merely get themselves operating online dealing with all the problems and glitches as they come. Secondly, the polar opposite over-complicating and over-working the wheel, a time consuming process which produces a flash modern website on the outside offering some sort of functionality but ultimately it is what it is.

A complex approach to building your website often leads to pitfalls (pretty much every step of the way) and forgets what the main purpose of the website actually is – TO SELL! 

The garment decoration industry struggles to find the fine balance between functionality versus design with customers often walking down either the first path or second path. Ideally, SMEs and business owners need to take a step back, remember the basics - I want my businesses website to sell, I want a functional website that actual sells my businesses goods.

It’s all about getting the basics right, making sure your business delivers online. Then the rest will come naturally whether it’s Responsive Design, Improving your User Experience (UX), revamping your website with new features, your site develops as your business develops. Our approach to it is to put your customers at the heart of the online experience, think what do they want from your business and how do we give them as simple an experience as possible.

Here’s a few of our top tips for Small Businesses looking to succeed online:

Make Ordering as Easy as Possible: A big gripe of ours we continue to preach!Sales are what keeps your business alive, make your customers shopping trip as straightforward as possible. Have them checked out in a few moments. See an example of one of our sites www.mygarmentfactorycardiff.co.uk to see how we focus on easy ordering.

Keep it Simple: Don’t over-complicate your website and burden your customers with features that bluntly delay your business selling online. Something the industry calls ‘Featurecreep’.

Personalise your Customer Experience: A huge point in the garment decoration industry, offering features to retain customers and keep them away from prying competitors. Offer potential large customers a personalised experience, private login, private shop and whatever it takes to secure the sale. Perfect for both B2B deals and B2C dealing with sports clubs, schools or any other club/organisation you can think of.

Going online doesn’t have to be Capital Intensive: Creating a website to do exactly what you want can be a very expensive process, especially in the garment decoration game (at least upwards of £10000). Product Data as far as the eye can see, an ordering process so complicated to produce effectively for your customers… but you don’t need to break the bank to make your businesses website work.

 

eTrader offers small businesses in our industry the simplest way to succeed online. For more information simply email info@etraderwebsites.co.uk or give us a call on 029 2075 5733.

eTrader Websites gives businesses the perfect opportunity to compete in the industry, marketing and sales tools aimed at generating new leads and potential new customers but most importantly tools to retain existing customers!

Why use Customer Shops?

Most of our customers deal with large customers from different backgrounds, organisations, businesses, schools, sports clubs and so on. These larger customers make up a large proportion of trade for SMEs in the industry and garment decorators are working hard than ever before to retain these customers as competitors put the squeeze on and undercut in an attempt to gain new business.

Our websites ‘Shop’ function allows your customers to have their very own bespoke shop on site. The shop function makes ordering as simple as possible and can have your customer checked out in just a few moments – Another satisfied customer!

Click here to view our How To: Create Customer Shops

A Two-Way Sales Tool

Both our website as a whole and our shop feature works in a two-fold way, with over 25 years’ experience in the industry we understand the demands of competing in the garment decoration industry. Your business should consider all its potential customers, how it can benefit new customers and how it can appease and retain existing ones and that’s what features like our shops do.

Your future business is safer than ever before using a private/public shop function. Simple to create, easy to use and a variety of options to make each customers experience bespoke we help take businesses online sales to the next level using our wide range of tools and online facilities.

Create personalised products to buy in just a few simple clicks….

eTrader makes ordering for your larger customers as simple as possible!

Retaining large customers couldn’t be easier, click here to view our simple video tutorial. You can have a shop set up in just a few moments!

For more information don’t hesitate to get in touch on 029 2075 5733 or email info@etraderwebsites.co.uk for more on how we can help your garment decoration business.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your businesses rankings on search engines for organic searches that your business wants to be found for.

How does it affect my Business? 

On average 69% of your websites traffic comes from organic searches online which accounts for a large percentage of most online businesses sales. Sites with good SEO & prominent rankings perform much better financially in the long term. 

 

How do I get my website to rank?

There is a combination of factors to consider when it comes to how your website ranks online. There is no set magic formula for SEO (as nobody will ever be able to pin down the exact algorithm) but here are some simple tips to get you on your way:

  1. Set up your Businesses Google Accounts Properly: Set up Google Analytics, Google Places, Google Webmasters for your business to best track your online businesses traffic.
  2. Keyword Research: Putting it simple think ‘What will I have to search for to find my business?’ Consider the level of competition for each term and pick out keywords to build your content around.
  3. Content is King: Create relevant content for your website's pages built around your targeted keywords. Creating content is time-consuming so work on it gradually starting with main pages and working towards the less important pages. For more on Content check out our Blog dedicated to it.
  4. Use Social Media: Not an obvious one, who’d have thought Social Media & SEO go together?! Businesses that use social media to good effect are much more likely to outrank businesses not using Social Media. For more on this click here.
  5. Blogging for Business: Sites that create high-quality blogs also stand a higher chance of ranking well in search engines. It’s also an easy way to both promote your business and build in some keywords. To read more click here...

Mobile-Mad SEO

A growing percentage of your website's traffic is coming from portable devices (smartphones/tablets). The latest SEO update from Google ‘Mobilegeddon’ focuses on mobile-friendly websites and makes it a bigger ranking factor than ever before. Websites with responsive design are more likely to outrank websites that are not mobile friendly. We wrote a piece on this recently and it proved popular... click here to see it for yourself!

One Final Thought…

SEO is a tricky thing for small businesses, our top tip is to plan a natural approach that works for you - you don’t have to waste £1000s with ‘experts’. Create a realistic plan/strategy that works for you & your business!

This week saw Google roll out what many experts are calling one of its biggest algorithm update dubbing it ‘Mobilegeddon’ (it is as epic as it sounds). Following on from the ‘Panda’ & ‘Penguin’ updates the latest algorithm for online success with Google brings more focus than ever on Mobile-Friendly sites.

With more customers than ever before shopping online using tablets & smartphones, this was an inevitable change that was going to be rolled out by the Google developers. Online retail trends in the past five years in all sectors have shown a gradual increase in website traffic & online sales from portable devices. It’s no longer simply a case of having a website, an online presence and hoping it takes care of itself.

What does it mean for Garment Decorators?

Your site must have the ability to operate across different types of platforms and ‘respond’ to each different device it is displayed on. Whether it is a PC/Laptop, tablet, iPod or Mobile Phone your website has to perform and be user-friendly to your online customers wherever they come from.

For small businesses, the effects could be massive; mobile-friendly sites are an expensive solution. The next few months online are going to be ‘eat or get eaten’, sites will need to adapt to survive in the Google habitat.

The go-to option for businesses seems to be ‘Responsive Design’, we have previously discussed this (in far too much detail) so for more of that just click here.

An example of responsive design. Mobile friendly (left) Webpage (right)

The latest update will have a huge effect and cause a stir on most online markets – the garment decoration one included. Being such a traditional industry, it is considered slightly behind when it comes to technology, so who knows how it’s going to play out over the next few months for print/embroidery businesses SEO.

Sites in our industry with mobile-friendly design are few and far between, so they will undoubtedly flourish. Whereas the majority of the businesses in our industry will be fighting with the rest competing for the remaining rankings available for their business, after all good SEO brings good rewards (financially, of course).

What if I don’t go Mobile-Friendly?

Mobile friendly plays a huge part in how Google ranks you online - the SEO performance of your site will struggle to keep up with the competition. With traffic & sales affected, businesses will all eventually switch over to ‘Responsive’ but the longer it takes the more difficult it becomes to climb back up to the top of the Google Mountain for all your businesses keywords. Click here to see if your businesses website is mobile-friendly.

Is your site fit to survive Mobilegeddon? Use Googles Mobile-Friendly Test

All is not lost just yet…

What we suggest it check Google Analytics – see what percentage of your websites visitors are on a mobile or tablet….

If it’s a low percentage (i.e. <10%): Keep an eye on it but there’s no need to hit the panic button yet!

If it’s a middle of the ground percentage (10-40%): Your business needs to adapt and get moving with a responsive site.

If it’s a high percentage (>40%): PANIC! You will need to get responsive ASAP or risk losing customers.

If you are not too sure about mobile traffic and Google analytics - Firstly, where have you been hiding?! Secondly, do not worry. Get in touch with us and we can help you and your online business!

With a brand new responsive option available for existing and new customer’s eTrader has prepared for Mobilegeddon.  Get in touch on info@etraderwebsites.co.uk or call 029 2075 5733 today to see how we can help you & your online business survive!

Following on from all things SEO the past few months, our latest blog gives small businesses and overview and insight into the crazy, weird and wonderful world of Digital Marketing. Our SEO, content advice and opinion blogs have helped point your business in the right direction in its online journey. But in our industry, we know it’s all about sales and online performance so we’ve put together a few little practical bits aimed at adding value.

Marketing Your Business Online Doesn’t Have To Be a Chore:

Many small business owners in the garment decorating sector are notorious for downplaying the importance of Marketing for their business, especially online. The industry is traditional, leap years behind other sectors; many businesses see it as simply setting up a site for their business and doing the occasional tweet or post on Facebook or Twitter. But what they don’t see is that everything online works together in a synchronized way. 

It’s all about collaborating… Online marketing brings together all aspects of your businesses online presence. Just put together your online content and keywords and mix that with your Blog & Social Media and the online/SEO world is at your feet. What we recommend for our customers is an integrated online strategy, covering all the bases.

eTrader Top Tips:

  • Understand Your Customers/Audience: Treat your online customers like you would treat your in shop customers. Nobody knows your customers like you… Online it shouldn’t be any different. Using demographic tools, such as Hootsuite Analytics or Google Analytics makes identifying your online audience easy. 
  • Research your Businesses Online Keywords: Know what your audience are looking for to find you, or what you want them to look for to find you. Plan your content strategy around your keywords and build your online presence from there. Use them in Blogs & Social Media and the rest is magic!
  • Develop a Social Media Plan: This doesn’t have to be a strict structure. But Social Media plays a wide role in SEO and developing your online image. We recommend a mix of the planned an unplanned. See our Social Media Blog for more on this.
  • Keep Up With The Times & Be Innovative: The internet doesn’t stand still. An amazing strategy one day may be wasted the next. Continuously work on new creative ideas to engage both current and new customers, try new things and keep up with current trends.

We know how difficult small businesses in our sector find operating online – It’s breaking tradition. The aim is to make it as simple as possible for your business to have all the tools required to help them succeed online, that’s where we’re happy to help.

We strive to offer our customers as much as physically possible (we want all our customers to get the best returns possible on their sites). This includes things such as auditing, ‘logmein’ sessions and optional Marketing Packs covering areas such as analytics analysis, social media analysis, content review & advice, keyword help and online marketing strategy advice.

We have all the bases covered when it comes to helping take our customers businesses forward.

For more information on improving your online business, all things Online Marketing, SEO & e-commerce in the garment decoration game don’t hesitate to get in touch!