Covid-19 has had a profound effect on the UK nation as a whole with many industries coming to a grinding halt. The garment decoration industry has not seen anything quite like it and yes it is difficult to see business picking back up, but inevitably it will.

While it is a great challenge for businesses trying to survive the pandemic it also presents a once in a lifetime opportunity to reset, re-charge and prepare for what awaits once this is all over.

From a Marketing perspective it firstly provides a chance to evaluate, analyse and review your existing strategy. Identify what is working and conversely what is not working, areas you would like to target, areas that are not being targeting effectively and work out how to get the maximum return on your Marketing budget. Your purse strings going to be tighter than ever before squeeze every bit of value out of your Marketing and plan accordingly.

With in-store promotions and local advertising grinding to a complete halt this frees up some budget to potentially look at your business’s online strategy

With website traffic being minimal it is the ideal chance to assess your businesses website, review it, work on any maintenance, updates and ensure it is full optimised and ready to go for a ‘re-launch’ when the time comes. 

Similar with other Online Marketing tools, look at things like Sponsored Ads on Social Media, Google Adwords and identify if there is opportunity for your business. Plan a strategy, budget and build all the key words ready to go live to your audience once business is fully operational.

You might think all this sounds a bit costly. Where will the budget come from with cashflow being tight, it is a great opportunity for a bit of Marketing DIY. Grow your knowledge, skills and carry out the review and analysis. Plus there is also a chance to broaden your skillset and carry out these ideas yourself learning on the go, familiarising yourself with Social Media channels, or testing our different pieces of software for CRM, Email Campaigns, Social Media scheduling and so on.

It is an unprecedented time that presents many challenges but the optimistic business owner the freed up time is a great opportunity to look at your business, think of where it was, where it is now and think of where you want it to be in a year’s time. Use the time to develop your skills and your business, time wasted is time lost.

Loading speed is how fast your website loads when a user search for it. Customers want their searches to load almost instantly and are not afraid to shop around online if your user experience is not quite up to scratch.

You might think to yourself - why is this important? How can this be helped? Why does it matter?

Well loading speed actually plays a part in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and how Google views and ranks your website. Recent studies show that Google considers loading speed as an important ranking factor when considering where to index your businesses website.

Recent Google algorithms focus pre-dominantly on user experience, they consider loading speed an important thing for search users. Pages with a slower loading speed will often have much higher bounce rates plus lower average page view time and lower conversions.


Test your businesses website loading speed using Page Insights on Google. If your loading speed needs improving work alongside a quality reputable web design designer. They will be able to help improve your sites speed with some of the below suggestions:

  • Enabling compression: Use a programme (Gzip) to compress the size of your CSS, HTML & Javascript files on-site. For images compress the sizes using Photoshop or other design software.
  • Reduce page re-directs: Every time a page directs to another page, the wait to find a search and page result increases. Ensure minimal re-directs as these slow down your loading time.
  • Leverage browser caching: Browsers store information every time a user visits your website. Set your ‘expires’ header for a year, this reduces the loading speed over time as it loads saved information and doesn’t have to load the entire page.
  • Improve server response time: Server response time is affected by the number of traffic your site generates, the amount of information it has to load plus the software and hosting package you use. Ensure the server you use has adequate space, the most up-to date software and deals with issues like slow queries and performance.
  • Optimize images: A simple but effective tip for improving your businesses website. Ensure images are a relatively small file size and correct format for loading up in an adequate time.

It's not!

One of the common misconceptions I come across from garment decorators is that they class a 'website' order as an order if the customer pays for it online. This is perceived as somehow different to somebody who finds you online and picks up the phone or emails, or visits your store to give you an enquiry or place an order.

It's all about choice for customers. 

If you've got an 'all singing, all dancing' website where customers are comfortable placing an order for their embroidered or printed clothing online, then great. Lots of them will and you should definitely make that option available to them. 

But if they give you an enquiry and you win the order by any other means then put that in your 'website orders' folder as well. 

A commercial website (brochure or e-commerce) is a sales tool first and foremost.

Make sure it looks professional, promotes trust and reflects the brand and values of your business, and of course sells something. Your homepage especially needs to do this, but equally important, it must be flexible enough for you to easily update with your latest offers, promotions, best-selling products, content, social media campaigns and so on.

Try looking objectively at your homepage, if you're not happy with it then it's unlikely your potential customers will be. If you want an idea of just how critical this stuff is online, I found this article 'a real eye opener': http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223150

Focus on marketing, your businesses biggest potential income generator. 

When all that hard work and effort you have put in to promoting your new or existing website starts to pay off and the orders, customers emails and phone-calls are coming in, whatever you do, don't send them back to the place they just came from (your website) to try again, 'cause they'll go somewhere else!

Making sure your website gives the best customer experience possible, and when you get to that dream position of how to handle all the orders then look at the rest of the stuff.

When is a Website Not a Website?

If you want a website that books the job in, does the proofing for you, creates the delivery note, sends the invoice, collects the payments and even makes the tea. That's not a 'website'! 

There's plenty of software out there that'll handle all that (maybe not the tea) and will serve you well. You can get it built specifically or integrate it with your website. We meet lots of people in our industry who tell us about how much time they spend on this kind of stuff, trying to do it themselves, trying to figure out how these systems work, attempting to upload a zillion products, worrying about whether they need to add more widgets or features to make it better for them. 

What about the customer? 

Excercise caution if you find something that promises to do it all in one, that's a tall order to be all things to all 'platforms'. 

What if you want to change your website? 

You shouldn't have to change your order processing system. What if you want to update your brand and improve your marketing or get a swanky new responsive website, you shouldn't have to change your proofing system or accounts package.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that this stuff isn't important, it is! But they are not the same and none of it will win you any business...

One last thought... 

Try setting up a new site from a website design company online, fully branded for your business to sell your embroidered or printed clothing. It will cost £10k+ and take months of planning and consideration.

For a sensible solution that helps businesses actually generates income get in touch on info@etraderwebsites.co.uk or call 029 2074 1663

We will happily chat to you and see if we can possibly help grow your business and its online presence.

In this weeks blog we have put together our top five ways we help print & embrodiery businesses with their websites.

We provide garment decorators the most comprehensive website for their business providing them a proven sales tool for their business. In no particular order here are five ways we help print & embroidery businesses succeed online:


We take the stress out of your hands and actually build your website for you. You need to focus your energy and effort on running your print & embroidery business and do not need to be wasting time building one yourself. 

Where our competitors offer a drop and drag website you build yourself we do the hard work and build for you. Save a considerable amount of effort & time and leave it to the web design company to actually build your website for you, we aren't just an off the shelf solution.


If for some reason you ever need to get in touch with us we are simply a phonecall or email away. We love to help customers with any queries they have and ensure we provide them quality, quick and reliable UK based customer support. 

You won't find us using a ticketing system or using a North American or Australian call centres!


We have 100s of brands available for customers to sell on their websites. Simply pick & choose what you would like on-site. You don't have to be tied in to any particular wholesaler or supplier, you sell exactly what you want to sell on your website.


Our easy to use online ordering makes winning business easy. Whether its creating a public/private shop for a repeat customer or using the easy to use four step process both your new and existing customers will find ordering quicker and simpler than ever before.


We don't stop once the website is built. Our team help you maximise your websites potential with in-store and online training in a number of areas including but not limited to SEO, PPC, Email Campaigns, In-Store Marketing, Blogging, Social Media and much more...

For more information on how eTrader Websites can help your print & embroidery business you can reach us on
029 2074 1663 or email info@etraderwebsites.co.uk

In our latest blog we have put together ten quick simple tips to help improve your print and embroidery businesses search engine optimisation (SEO) and help your business get found online. 

What's the point in having a website if it can not get found by your customers? More customers than ever before are looking online, shopping around for options and its crucial your business can be found for key searches such as t-shirt printing, workwear and so on...

SEO is essential for businesses looking to keep up with its competitors, generate new business and win orders both local and further afield.


With this in mind we have put together ten top tips to help improve your businesses visibility online:

1. Create/claim a Google my Business listing: Creating a listing for your business helps your business get found for local searches with minimum fuss. Google my Business provides customers a whole host of information including opening times, customer reviews, products and services you provide.

2. Add your business to credible online directories: Adding your business to relevant online directories such as Yell, Yelp etc is a straightforward way to ensure your business gets found online locally. Ensure these are kept, valid and up to date.

3. Ensure your website is indexed: Use Google Search Console to index your sitemap and ensure that Google bots scan your website. To check how many pages are indexed type site:yourwebsite.co.uk into Google.

4. Test your mobile site speed: There is a growing importance on  how websites perform on mobiles/smart devices. Speed is playing a larger part in determining how your site ranks, use Google Test My Site to check how your site performs, it will identify performance, areas to improve etc.

5. Make sure these is a page title in place: Ensure all your webpages have page titles in place describing what you do, these are the first thing Google bots scan on your page.

6. Use long tailed keywords: It would take a lot of time/effort to get found for terms like workwear, shirts, polo shirts etc so use longer keywords in your on-site content. For example, branded polo shirts, personalised workwear London etc.

7. Build content for people, not robots: You are garment decorators, print and embroidery enthusiasts. Write about your passion, your business, its products and services then hopefully it will naturally get picked up for many key terms. Often people write ‘out of shape’ content focusing on keywords which is not entirely customer friendly.

8. Create quality links: Inbound links are another thing to consider helping your page rank in search engines. Collaborate with customers, local schools, sports clubs, businesses and link back and forth to each other, creating an online shop/testimonials page is always a common method employed by garment decorators.

9. Start a blog: Create a blog for your customers sake, not for SEO purposes. Content Marketing at its finest, produce quality, relevant content frequently and Google will reward you. This can include things like latest news, case studies, latest news etc.

10. Encourage reviews: Ask customers to use Google reviews, this will help give your results more prominence in the search results.