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SEO - Can I brag a bit?

Joined: 11/28/2008

Well, as most of you know I have a Christian t-shirt website called http://www.SimpleLetter.com that I've been running for a little over 1 1/2 years. Being a webmaster by day, I've got a bit of experience doing various web development tasks and creating web applications. I have two roommates who are tech-savvy designers and naturally we got together and started up a christian company.

In my spare time, I've spent a ton of effort into learning and applying great SEO techniques and making my website one of the first to show up for clothing, apparel, or t-shirt related searches on all the major search engines. Finally, all that hard work is starting to pay off.

Let me start with the present...

As of the end of Feb 2005, our website is now in the TOP 10 in Google for the search prase "t-shirts" and in the TOP 5 in Google for the phrases "christian t-shirts", "christian clothing", and "christian apparel". Our hits have probably increased by 10x-15x in the past 2 months as this has changed. We sell about 1-2 t-shirts a day which is a huge jump up from the past.

"t-shirts" is an incredibly complex and competitive keyword as the first page of results have sites with THOUSANDS of Google backlinks compared to my site's measly 116. (Of course, I have many many more backlinks than that, you can use the tool here to check out the vast discrepancies between search engines: http://www.justintubbs.com/backlinks )

Before this time (late 2004), we were selling about 15 t-shirts a month, or about one every two days. Our rankings for "t-shirts" were in the 50's in Google, and for "christian t-shirts" we were in the low 20's.

Back in early 2004, we had several months when we didn't even sell t-shirts at all, and our rankings were in the low 100's for "christian t-shirts" and low 200's for "t-shirts".

What's my key? How did our site survive the SuperBowl 2005 Update ( http://forums.seochat.com/t22926/s.html ) on Google? I have no clue. All I can say is that my focus has SOLELY been on internal links that are related to my theme. I don't focus on content, page copy, keyword density, or even on individual <meta> tags for each page. Just get lots and lots and lots and lots of incoming links to your website. That honestly, is the most important thing I can say from experience.

Joined: 11/28/2008
Go you /smile.gif"

Go you /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

TJ SINGLETON

Joined: 11/28/2008
Thanks! Who knows where God

Thanks! Who knows where God will take this little ol' t-shirt business in the future... /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Joined: 11/28/2008
Congrats!

Congrats!

If you liked this post, you'll love The Open Source Ministry Forum
And, the Open Source Ministry Blog {

Joined: 11/28/2008
Excellent

Excellent

Well its time to head out
Gotta find my place to rest
Before the sun goes down
In the darkness of the west - Day Of Fire

Joined: 11/28/2008
Congratulations, and thanks

Congratulations, and thanks for sharing and passing or your tips to the rest of us.

CWM Post with Helpful Links for Web Design Newbies<

bob
bob's picture
Joined: 11/28/2008
Congrats. Great work.

Congrats. Great work.

Joined: 11/28/2008
i guess now is not a good

i guess now is not a good time to tell you about my new t-shirt company...

nah. jus' kidding. good job.

Joined: 11/28/2008
And a very competitive

And a very competitive category....Call me impressed!

Regards,
Scott

Joined: 11/28/2008
^ nice site tubbytreats, way

^ nice site tubbytreats, way to go !

Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists... my brothers and sisters, lets talk!

vpraise.net

Joined: 11/28/2008
Thanks everyone for your

Thanks everyone for your glowing compliments. It's been alot of work I won't discredit that, but certainly I'm still new to the whole SEO thing. There are lots of folks with years and years of experience that were hard hit by the changes in Google around the SuperBowl.

I guess I post this as an offer of my help/advice (for whatever it might actually be worth) to anyone who is looking to do the same with their own site. Rankings today don't come easy, and cheating your way to the top will get you "busted" eventually. But if you are willing to put in the time investment into finding quality link partners (and not just taking any link that is offered to you, or that you find) you can achieve really great results I am convinced.

For those reading this thread and wanting similar results, I will share that I use the old but reliable links program called Zeus. (You can find it here if you are interested in checking out their free demo: http://www.cyber-robotics.com ) It is NOT the best program out there probably (hasn't been updated in about 2 yrs that I know of), but when trained well can help you find lots of websites to choose to link up with.

Other than using that to find link partners, I simply try to keep my site clean, some parts are pure <div> CSS and others still use <tables> There aren't really any ranking differences between the two types of pages, and both get spidered just as often, so I think it's simply a usability argument to convert to CSS/<divs> As far as rankings go, you can dominate search engines by simply using <tables> and a neat and tidy external CSS or JS file(s).

Hope this helps you out! /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Joined: 11/28/2008
I am trying out that

I am trying out that software. /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

TJ SINGLETON

Joined: 11/28/2008
Great news, tubbytreats! I've

Great news, tubbytreats!

I've been a fan of your site since you posted the link here for critique. In my opinion it's one of the best designs any of us here at CWM are responsible for.

Keep up the good work!

Joined: 11/28/2008
It is a great site.

It is a great site. /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

TJ SINGLETON

Joined: 11/28/2008
Good job and congrats! (SEO

Good job and congrats! (SEO isnt easy)

itsrainin
itsrainin's picture
nice site, i like it alot,

nice site, i like it alot, the shirts are tight, i think i will order one next week. congrats.

Joined: 11/28/2008
polvero @ Feb 28 2005,
QUOTE(polvero @ Feb 28 2005, 06:23 PM)
i guess now is not a good time  to tell you about my new t-shirt company...

nah. jus' kidding. good job.

Did you see that Relevant Magazine has a clothing company now? Funny thing is that Cameron Strang has emailed us in the past about our business and how we approach marketing clothing with a Christian message, etc. It's interesting to see them unloading a huge store filled with products soon. They certainly have the readership base to support it! /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Joined: 11/28/2008
there is still an advantage

there is still an advantage in seo when comparing tables to div layouts.
web standards means using the right tags for the right content.

entire websites aren't supposed to be in tables.
plus, the lesser markup, the better the crawling.

the best thing folks can do, however, is right good title tags, and solid headline writing (using the correct tags).

other than that, i'm sure we have many other common tricks /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Joined: 11/28/2008
tubbytreats @ Mar 2
QUOTE(tubbytreats @ Mar 2 2005, 04:51 PM)
Did you see that Relevant Magazine has a clothing company now? Funny thing is that Cameron Strang has emailed us in the past about our business and how we approach marketing clothing with a Christian message, etc. It's interesting to see them unloading a huge store filled with products soon. They certainly have the readership base to support it! /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

I hope they're going to sell your shirts in return for the free advice! Cheek otherwise.

Joined: 11/28/2008
In my spare time, I've
QUOTE
In my spare time, I've spent a ton of effort into learning and applying great SEO techniques and making my website one of the first to show up for clothing, apparel, or t-shirt related searches on all the major search engines. Finally, all that hard work is starting to pay off.

sounds like a lot of work.....you managed doing all that?!!well, you deserve the rewards of your hard work......good show mate. /wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" />

QuickMX quick design
PostCard Printing Services
"image is everything"

Joined: 11/28/2008
TubbyTreats, please email me

TubbyTreats, please email me sometime soon. I want to talk to you and see if we can work out something on some shirts. I do not want to create a shop on my site, but I do have some people who will want to buy some shirts. I am wondering if we can work out something where you desing a shirt for me and have a special link on your site that people can go to to get the shirt. I could just link to that.

Anyway, I am really wanting to offer a shirt or two. If you are interested in trying to work out something, send me some info, or just reply here. Thanks, man.