Nobody has to tell you that, in the fashion industry, the more ways you can get your clothes in front of your target audience, the better — which is why your website is so important. When designed strategically, your website can become a 24/7 marketing tool. It can help sell your products, while also attracting more customers to your retail location(s).
What goes into smart web design? How do you create the kind of fashion website that builds business? Consider these five tips for creating a fashion website that’s far more than just a pretty face.
- Don’t just feature beautiful images; optimize them. In an appearance-oriented marketplace such as fashion, looks matter. Just as you design your retail location to be visually stimulating, you want to design your fashion website to impress customers, too. But before you build an aesthetically pleasing site filled with professional images of your clothes and other products, remember this: You also need to optimize your images for the most SEO power. How is this done? For one, always display images at the optimal sizes, appropriate for each webpage. Likewise, save images with “ALT tags” that use text to describe photos to search engines. This ensures that search engine crawlers understand what’s shown in the images, therefore helping Google, etc., to better direct online searchers to your site.
- Don’t just hope people find your site; build keyword-rich content to attract them. Search engine optimization (SEO) is about creating the kind of site that ranks high in search results. When someone searches for the kinds of clothes you sell, you want them to find your website easily and quickly. This is where content comes into play. The more high-quality, keyword-optimized content you produce, the more opportunities there are for search engines to “promote” your website. For best results, focus on long-tail (longer, more specific, less competitive) terms rather than fat-head (shorter, more general, highly competitive) keywords.
- Don’t just build for desktops; make your site responsive. A large percentage of today’s web visitors aren’t sitting at desks using personal computers. Most are on the go — in their cars, in waiting rooms, standing in line, etc. With so many visitors accessing your website via mobile devices, it’s vital that your site caters to a variety of viewing devices. A responsive web design provides a good user experience on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones — with adaptable webpages that display differently according to a user’s viewing device.
- Don’t just say your clothes are great; provide customer reviews to prove it. When someone is trying to make a buying decision online, customer reviews are a powerful motivator. Collect as many reviews as you can by allowing customers to provide feedback on your site. Then, incorporate these reviews throughout your site’s design, ideally on each apparel page. When a visitor is looking at a pair of pants, for example, and reads reviews about two other customers who loved them and bought multiple pairs, that’s a powerful marketing tool to help you generate more sales.
- Don’t list all products on one page; categorize your clothes. As tempting as it may be to slap all of your items on a “Products” page, that’s a terrible choice for SEO. Each product you sell is an opportunity to rank for a specific keyword. If you combine multiple products on a single page, all that SEO potential gets diluted too much. So, how can you better organize your site? Put your products in a clear hierarchy, giving each category its own page and each product its own page — with unique descriptions/information and keywords for each. This creates a robust site filled with opportunities to generate new business.
When you run a fashion business, the Internet offers a unique opportunity for drawing clients and promoting your products. The secret to using it effectively lies in your strategy. To help you make the most of the online experience for selling your clothes and accessories, follow the steps above. By building a powerful, SEO-friendly fashion website that ranks well in search results, you’ll have a site that’s more than just a pretty face — it’s an unmatched marketing tool.