Retro Design Eye Candy

vintage design vintage font

Sometimes I fall into an internet rabbit hole. Such as this morning. I went from reading about the latest SumoMe plugin (which you should really check out if you want easy call to action tools) to drooling over the retro fonts and designs of Retro Supply and Hoodzpah Design Co. Wherever my vintage aesthetic functions in my brain exploded today.

The problem I often see is that retro design, print or web, is usually very kitschy and played out. Rarely do I find designers that have a unique perspective and sophisticated aesthetic that still rings true to decades past, especially mid century styles. I mean really – how many more atomic/rockabilly/50s diner crap can we withstand? As I’m looking to get DebutanteClothing.com more mobile friendly so that Google doesn’t disown me and give the logo a little Botox, I’m definitely looking at these two companies.

Feast your eyes on these artists! Send them some love.

vintage design vintage font

Does Google Hate Authentic Vintage?

Online ecommerce shops are in an uproar, and rightly so, over the unfair high ranking on Google for sites that pay for Google ads. You would think it logical that they would rank high on Google Shopping, but the unfair part is that they rank higher on the regular search engine. Quite the monopoly no?

In fact, the European Anti-Trust Union has filed a complaint against Google. So how does this affect vintage dealers?

EcommerceBytes, a site I highly recommend if you are an ecommerce site, published a letter from a concerned vintage etailer.

We belong to a group of small sellers that deal in vintage clothing and there’s been extensive conversation about an immediate drop in sales for all of us that occurred simultaneously with a major Google algorithm release last year. The drop in sales appears to be correlated to highly reduced visibility for authentic vintage offered by small sellers.
Searches for vintage now yield either “vintage style”, “vintage inspired” or reproduction vintage that is mass produced by larger manufacturers who can afford to fund Google results. For instance, a search for “vintage dress”, aside from Etsy, yields only reproduction vintage websites on the first page of results.
So I decided to do a bit of keyword research.
Keyword search tool results for vintage dress

Keyword Search tool

I did a general search for the keyword phrase “vintage dress” and the above results is what I got. You can see that searches did fall significantly between April last year and December. Which is when dealers were noticing a big drop in sales.

keywords for vintage clothing
I then did an ad group search for vintage dress and found the above keyword phrases. Interestingly, vintage clothing is the highest searched keyword phrase in the group of ad words, with the highest competition.
So I followed up with a Google search for, you guessed it, “vintage clothing”.
Results:
1. sponsored sites were above the fold
2. local vintage shops were listed next
3. Nasty Gal vintage page, Etsy’s vintage clothing, and Levi’s vintage clothing (in that order) followed
4. Google News related to vintage was next
5. one local vintage shop, one vintage fair, and vintage inspired stores followed that
6. authentic vintage sites did not show up until page 3
I’m not sure what this all proves, but here are my takeaways.
  • it makes sense that Google would want to sell sponsored posts – as long as it is clearly marked as law requires
  • the top ranking pages (NastyGal, Etsy, and Levis) make sense. They are huge sites with huge following. Google is all about popularity and organic traffic.
  • the local vintage shop that showed up on page 2 makes sense because Google is keeping track of my geography
  • the vintage fair also made sense because the first piece of content said “vintage clothing” and it’s a long running vintage fair (longevity)

As vintage dealers, we need to start understanding that content and its corresponding traffic is king. When your content isn’t sufficient, then branding and brand loyalty are going to have to be just as spot on.

For many years, I was on page 1 of Google for the key term “vintage blog”. I was blogging several times a week. I have also been blogging under Debutante Clothing since 2005. Lots of good, keyword rich content and longevity were enough to stay at page 1. Since then, Google has also added a popularity factor aka brand loyalty. And it makes senses. So many were keyword stuffing and doing all kinds of funky stuff to rank high on Google. What Google wants is relevance. My site did take a huge dip in part to the new algorithm but mostly because I took a long hiatus from Debutante Clothing.

I feel that as long as Google is transparent about which sites are on top because they have paid for prime placement and which are sites are really worthy of being front and center, all’s fair. We’ll see how the UK complaint plays out.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences! Comment below.

January Content Calendar is HERE!

Welp the holidays are over and it’s time to start planning a stellar year for our businesses! I have so many things coming down the pipeline that I really don’t have time to whip up last minute blog posts or IG updates. With listing and customer service, who has time. The January content calendar is going to be a savior for me!

January Content Calendar For Vintage Businesses

If you are in a time crunch like me, be sure to get the calendar this month. There’s even a surprise holiday in January you’ve probably never heard of but fits right in with your vintage business!

Trust me – I know how hard it is to sit and write out some blog posts, or think of clever tweets, or intriguing Instagram or Pinterest posts. But social media are the road signs to your sales site. Let’s conquer social media for our vintage businesses in 2015!