It’s amazing how many decorated apparel shops fail to take advantage of the Internet’s growth in use for searching. People use the Internet to search for just about anything. This creates a great opportunity for you to grow your apparel business.
Here are some crazy facts I dug up on the Internet:
These sites have other useful Internet facts:
Google remains the king of search engines, accounting for nearly 80% of searches. Bing and Yahoo account for about 16% of the searches.
Importance of top of page ranking: If you’re in spots 2 or 3 for a keyword, e.g., “screen printing”, you can estimate that about 10% of the monthly search volume will visit your website. If you’re in spot 1, about 30% of the search volume will go to your website. I recommend shooting for the stars and going for spot #1. It’s the best investment you can make in your business.
So how do you get your business listed and ranked highly on a keyword searches, like “screen printing Houston”?
Google’s business model is to get your apparel business listed. They want you to be ranked for the right keywords. If you’re relevant, Google is relevant. Keywords are those words that describe your business. So if you live in South Florida and offer screen printing and embroidery, your keywords might be “Miami”, “Fort Lauderdale”, “West Palm Beach”, “screen printing” and “embroidery”.
One of the best free services offered by Google is Google My Business. By registering, it takes about 10 minutes, you list your business with Google and automatically create a Google+ account. Google+ allows you to showcase your business and get reviews. (We’ll come back to the importance of customer reviews later). Google My Business also offers a dashboard, at no cost, that allows you to see how much business it’s driving via listing clicks and views, phone calls, driving directions, etc. And it’s really easy to use.
Google makes their money off of AdWords. But you no longer do you need to be an AdWords pro to get good results. Make sure you have your business category is listed corrected, like “screen printing,” and Google pretty much knows what search words are relevant. I recommend a small daily budget, maybe $10, to get you started. Then use the service to see what’s working and adjust. The analytics and reporting is free too.
A couple tips on writing a good ad listing:
And Yelp is no longer for restaurants. According to some facts I found online, Yelp has 142 million monthly visitors a month. And people are searching for just about everything, including decorated apparel local businesses.
Local Yelp listing is free. Again, make sure your business information is correct. And the most important thing to remember about Yelp (and Google+) is get customer reviews. This will help get you listed high in search results, driving more business. So make sure your customers are “nudged” to provide you a review. One good tip is simply remind them via email, especially if it’s a happy customer. Putting a Yelp badge (which is available on their website) on your website is also a good idea. Or simply have a sign in your shop and provide incentives to your sales team to get great reviews.
Yelp also offers paid advertising. This can work really well but start small and expand if it works.
While the other directories are not as relevant as Google My Business and Yelp, they help with ranking. Nearly all provide a free service and all you need to do is make sure your business information is correct. YP.com and other directories also offer paid advertising, but I recommend starting with Google AdWords Express. If this works, then expand.
Here’s an example of a company using the three easy ways to grow your apparel business. We’ll not quite an apparel business, it’s my barbershop! But it’s the same principle. You’ll notice in the screen shot that The Barber Club in Pompano Beach ranks first in Google+, SEO and Yelp. This is how you grow your business in 2016. Wondering how they ranked so high? 118 customer reviews did the trick.
So how did the owner find the time to get this going?
I’ve got three answers for you:
There’s over 850 decorated apparel, screen printing and embroidery companies using ShopWorks OnSite business software. Most companies experience a huge savings in time using this all-in-one business management software to run their business better. 15% savings or more per employee is not uncommon. Now you could use this time to golf, spend time with the family, go fishing, or whatever you like. Or you could use this time to grow your business with great local search marketing. Get started with these three easy ways to develop your apparel business and think about what you could do with your extra time if you invested in streamlining your business operations.