SEO Evaluation: The Best Screen Printing Websites - Guest Post: Jupmode's John Amato

Sales and Marketing

Before you read...

Printavo is simple shop management software. We help you streamline your business, keep jobs moving forward and your team on the same page.

Scheduling, quoting, approvals, payments, customer communication, automation and more. With Printavo, you’ll work smarter–not harder.

Editor's notes:

We wanted to share this interesting and informative post from Jupmode's John Amato about our recent article, The Best Screen Printing Websites.

Jupmode is a clothing brand and print shop from Toledo, Ohio. They've used search engine optimization, blogging, and visual content to boost their visibility and reach new audiences.

John took a deeply analytical approach and applied his knowledge of SEO to share insights into what makes a site truly successful. His conclusion? It's not branding, but discoverability. He's got the data to back it up.

Don't hesitate to reach out to John with any questions or comments.

Read on – it's worth your time.


Printavo recently shared a post titled, "The Best Screen Printing Websites: 9 Inspired Designs". In the article they break down what they deem to be the best websites in the screen printing industry. 

printavo best screen printing websites

Printavo has done a great job over the years writing helpful, informative articles related to the screen printing industry. As a company that provides simple shop management software (which we use), they provide great value to their customers and prospective customers with their insights into the industry through tours, interviews, and videos of screen print shops and owners, suppliers, and manufacturers across the country.

Why SEO matters

In this post I'm going to respond to their article by evaluating each of these websites by SEO (search engine optimization) metrics. I believe that SEO metrics are a more objective measure of the success of a website than branding.

We live in a world where search is king. The value of search is that it shows intent. When someone searches for "screen printing near me" or "custom shirts near me", it's an indication of a transactional search that is seeking information on where to order custom screen printed apparel in the area they live.

Regardless of how you define your sales funnel, if someone is actively searching for a screen printer, they are a warm audience. They are taking a nonlinear path down the funnel from intent to awareness to (hopefully) purchase. This search alone makes them a potential customer - but only if you show up in their search results!

The data behind search is stunning. Reading through these search statistics from Ahrefs shows the importance of search:   

  • 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. (BrightEdge)
  • 0.78% of Google searchers click on results from the 2nd page. (Backlinko)
  • 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search. (BrightEdge)
  • 92.96% of global traffic comes from Google search, Google Images, and Google Maps. (Sparktoro)
  • SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media. (BrightEdge)
  • 90.63% of pages get no organic search traffic from Google. (Ahrefs)
  • The top-ranking page gets the most search traffic only 49% of the time.
  • Generally speaking, the more backlinks a page has, the more organic traffic it gets from Google. (Ahrefs)
  • 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day. (Think With Google)

My argument that searchability is more closely correlated with success is based in my belief that SEO provides more value than branding. The importance of brand has been diminished by the utility and prominence of online search. 

"Branding" versus SEO

It doesn't matter how visually impressive or on brand your website is if you don't get enough traffic to it or optimize for sales. In fact, some of the largest ecommerce websites in the world (Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, eBay) are not known for their branding. They win by driving traffic, making the ordering process simple, increasing conversations and upsells, implementing subscription models, and creating loyalty, among other things. 

The task of selecting the best screen printing websites is daunting. The first challenge is simply the size of the screen printing industry. There are so many companies in our industry, it makes narrowing down the list to just nine quite difficult. For example, when I perform a Google search of screen printing near me I get 17 results just in the Toledo Northwest Ohio area. With Toledo being a mid to small size city, it's safe to assume there are hundreds just in Ohio. If we expand the definition of screen printing companies to promotional products or marketing companies and embroidery companies that offer screen printing services, the list grows even more.

Among all of this noise in our industry, success lies in driving people to your website, providing them the information they need, and making it easy to order or begin the ordering process.

Ranking screen printing websites

My evaluation of the websites included on the Printavo list will consist of four data points - domain authority, linking domains, inbound links, and ranking keywords. These figures are provided by the free tools from Moz.

Domain Authority: Predicts a root domain's ranking potential relative to the domains in our index. Use this score to compare your likelihood to rank above that of your competitors.

Linking DomainsNumber of unique external linking domains. Two or more links from the same website are counted as one linking domain.

Inbound LinksNumber of unique pages linking to a target. Two or more links from the same page on a website are counted as one link. Inbound links are hyperlinks from a page on the web to a page on your site. Search engines use these to understand content and to gauge the importance of pages and websites. 

Ranking Keywords: Number of keywords for which this site ranks within the top 50 positions on Google US.

The graphics below compare the websites that were compared in the original Printavo article. Even though we weren't included in that post, I added us in the info below to see where we stack up.

Also, you'll notice that Custom Ink was not included in the graphics. That's because when they were included in the charts they skewed the scale so much it looked like everyone else was at zero. Their numbers are still included in the breakdowns, but I left Goliath out of this one for the sake of clarity.

Domain Authority (Rated on a scale of 0-100)

Domain Authority: Predicts a root domain's ranking potential relative to the domains in our index. Use this score to compare your likelihood to rank above that of your competitors.

Industry Print Shop: 29
Campus Ink: 25
Envision Tees: 19
Printed Threads: 26
Real Thread: 41
Barrel Maker Printing: 25
Trust Print Shop: 21
Custom Ink: 73
Jupmode: 32

Linking Domains

Linking Domains: Number of unique external linking domains. Two or more links from the same website are counted as one linking domain.

Industry Print Shop: 182
Campus Ink: 109
Envision Tees: 129
Printed Threads: 136
Real Thread: 1,500
Barrel Maker Printing: 236
Trust Print Shop: 181
Custom Ink: 23,800
Jupmode: 196

Inbound Links

Inbound Links: Number of unique pages linking to a target. Two or more links from the same page on a website are counted as one link. Inbound links are hyperlinks from a page on the web to a page on your site. Search engines use these to understand content and to gauge the importance of pages and websites. 

 

Industry Print Shop: 2,700
Campus Ink: 3,100
Envision Tees: 3,500
Printed Threads: 731
Real Thread: 7,600
Barrel Maker Printing: 1,500
Trust Print Shop: 5,300
Custom Ink: 1,300,000
Jupmode: 33,200

Ranking Keywords

Ranking Keywords: Number of keywords for which this site ranks within the top 50 positions on Google US.

Industry Print Shop: 109
Campus Ink: 264
Envision Tees: 370
Printed Threads: 60
Real Thread: 7,100
Barrel Maker Printing: 323
Trust Print Shop: 142
Custom Ink: 86,800
Jupmode: 622

Understanding the data

While looking at these figures might feel a little like deciphering a foreign language, it's important to understand and quantify them in order to improve and track progress.

Looking at the screen printing websites above, the numbers are fairly consistent. 

The two outliers to the list are Real Thread and Custom Ink. Custom Ink makes a lot of sense because they are the largest online supplier of direct to consumer screen printing in the industry. They advertise a lot, they've been well established online for years, and the gap between them and everyone else is sizable. It's no coincidence that they rank so highly in these categories.  

Real Thread has fantastic SEO results for a company their size. If these numbers are any indication, they are well on their way to establishing themselves as a major national player. While I don't know their exact roadmap to success, I do know that their investment in their blog has paid off. They've written a lot of content rich blog posts about the services they offer, questions people have about screen printing, artwork, and the ordering process, and topics adjacent to the industry. Their blog is super effective as a top of funnel strategy that ranks well in search results and acquiring backlinks. 

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Beyond those two, there is a fair amount of consistency among the results. It's a small segment of the screen printing industry, but it shows that those that invest in SEO for their website are more prominent and successful businesses (and vice versa). This is, of course, based off of assumptions about their business (equipment, employees, clients, etc.) and not knowledge of their sales, mission, or experience.

This evaluation isn't to say there isn't value in branding. It's important to have a web presence that customers are attracted to, enjoy using, and shows your authentic personality. 

How to improve your SEO

If you are interested in improving your SEO, the two resources I use the most are Ahrefs and Moz. They both offer free accounts with great information.

Ahrefs has a tool that tracks your numbers on an ongoing basis. Moz has a similar dashboard with keyword and link research. Moz also allows you to check competitor websites (up to 10 a month on the free plan). They both have chrome extensions that allow you to see search data when you Google a term or phrase.

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In addition to Ahrefs and Moz, it's a good idea to:

  • Start a blog
  • Create content that people link to
  • Check your Google Analytics and Search Console
  • Set up your Google, Bing, and Yelp Business profiles
  • Publish customer reviews
  • Do some keyword research

It could be the difference between you appearing before your local competitor in search results. 

I hope this post is helpful and presents a different perspective on the definition of success for a screen printing website. If you have any questions on SEO, I'm not an expert but I love talking about it. Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments.


Next Post: 5 Ways to Drive More Sales to Your Print Shop

About Printavo

Printavo is simple shop management software. We help you streamline your business, keep jobs moving forward and your team on the same page.

Scheduling, quoting, approvals, payments, customer communication, automation and more. With Printavo, you’ll work smarter–not harder.

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