May '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Kelly "Rags" Ragland is the owner and operator of Rags to Stitches Productions, a holistic advertising specialty company that provides a range of services, from Web design and development to customized ap- parel. Read his blog at INTERNET STRATEGIES B Y K E L LY " R A G S " R A G L A N D 42 || P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 1 6 T oday's keyword is, keywords! These extremely topic-sensi- tive terms are critical components of website content that connect messages to search engines so they can, in turn, provide users with relevant desired results. But, how do business owners know which exact phrases users are plugging into search engines in an effort to find products and services? Furthermore, how can apparel decorators refine and tweak keywords in order to rank at the top tier of displayed search results? CASTING A LINE Keyword strategies are a lot like fishing––only there's a goalie in- volved as well. You're casting out toward coveted high placement in the search engines in an attempt to hook as many interested con- sumers as possible, but there are defenders in the way who must be convinced that your bait is "good enough" to let pass. These Inter- net robots (bots) access websites and retrieve documents for search engines. Bots are machines, and those who have created and main- tain said machines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.), like to change up how bots judge that tossed bait at any given time. Last spring, Google greatly changed the way its bots would deem search word worthy of consumers, based solely on whether or not a website was mobile-friendly. If users were performing searches on a mobile device, Google decided to only provide re- sults that were optimized for mobile viewing––the right bait for the right catch. This whopper of a decision forced many busi- nesses to finally address the personal device phenomenon to avoid becoming irrelevant in online searches by offering a mobile version of their website. In addition to designing websites that finicky robots find at- tractive, keyword strategies also apply to anything and everything Fishing With a 'Net A Little Word Play Goes a Long Way

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