Threadless Artist Shop SEO and Tumblr

If you sell your designs on Threadless Artist Shops like me, you know how challenging it can be to get organic search traffic to your shop.

If you are not familiar with the issues involved in getting your content indexed by Google, please read my previous blog post on that topic and follow the instructions there before reading this post.

I just discovered an extremely valuable use for Tumblr in relation to getting more organic search traffic and improving your page rank.

One of the criteria Google uses to determine page ranking is the quality and number of links to your site. Any time someone refers to a page on your site from another site that is indexed by Google, that data is captured and used to determine how important your page is.

These links from other sites are often referred to as backlinks. The more and better backlinks your site has, the more likely Google is to show your products in search results.

If you want to be successful selling your designs on the Internet, you need your designs to be seen by as many people as possible. For this reason you need to do a lot of promotion on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Unfortunately most of these sites do not make it easy for Google to index your posts, so they are not very helpful for building backlinks to your content.

Tumblr, however gives you a subdomain for your blog and allows you to edit your html so you can link your Tumblr blog to Google Analytics and Search Console. This allows you to control how your Tumblr posts are indexed and use them to build backlinks to the products in your Artist Shop.

Another reason Tumblr is very useful for promotion is that on every Threadless product page, there is a convenient link to share the product on your Tumblr blog. This allows you to select the version of the product that has the most appealing image and post specifically about it on Tumblr with links back to the product page.

I have written another blog post about how you can use IFTTT to share from Tumblr to your other social media accounts here.

When you post from the product page to Tumblr, it is important that you add a link in the photo directly back to your product page. This is important because Google needs to have some context for images in order to determine what searches to show the image for. It's also useful because if the user clicks the image it takes them directly to your product page and not just an image of the product.

Where to add the url to your product page from the Tumblr popup.

Optimally for backlink purposes, your image would use the alt-text tag in html with a description of the product, but Tumblr does not allow you to edit the alt-text tag. Since we are not able to edit the alt-text, having the image's href tag populated with a url to the product is also helpful. This is also a good time to mention the importance of a meaningful title when you create a new product on Threadless.

The product page URL is created from the design title when you upload a design for the first time. This is why it's important to make your title as meaningful as possible. For instance, you might use a title like "Sarcastic Insulting REDDIT T-shirt" as the title. Google will get keywords from the title and description and in some cases from the url when you share a link.

In order to insure that your Tumblr posts are being indexed by Google follow these steps:
  1. Set up your Tumblr blog in Google Analytics as detailed here.
  2. Set up your Tumblr blog in Google Search Console as detailed here.
  3. Set up your sitemap.xml on Search Console for you Tumblr blog as detailed here.
It may take a few days to a week for your posts on Tumblr to start showing as links to your site on your Artist Shop's Search Console.

Any questions or comments? Let me know below.