Tutor Tanith

Your CafePress® Section Description

Introduction

Using HTML in the section description

Supress the sidebar in just one section

Introduction

The Section Description is found on the "Section Info" tab of setting up your section. It is a very important part of your shop. You should have some useful content in every section description. Useful content would include text that will help your customers find your products. You have two readers to satisfy, the search engine, and the visitor. Search engines, or at least Google, works constantly to serve content to searchers. So whether they are more or less successful at this moment you can bet that they will be improving their ability to detect and rank sites based on how well they read to human beings.

Don't just list a bunch of products. Marry your description of what the designs are about to a product. Check the Google Webmaser guidelines to understand concepts such as keyword stuffing.

Not so good:

Agility shirts, tanks, sweats, tilles, mugs, prints, bumper stickers, journals and more.

Better:

From Agility t-shirts to dog agility bumper stickers and buttons these designs for the dog agility enthusiast show the fun side of this dog sport. The humourous agility sweatshirts are perfect for those cool mornings at the trial or try the new agility performance jacket for warm-ups after your run.

You don't really have to list everything because you want to avoid forumula writing. Using variations from one section to another will help you get different pages listed for different searches. If you use the same formula on every page then your shop may live or die based on the strength of just one page. When the text is very similar they will all weigh the same when comaring page text to search request. The search engine will then choose one, or at most two, matching pages. The search engines will consider all the similar pages to be "also" pages. They will display whichever page they think is the "original." The rest will not be displayed unless the search is refined (rewritten by the user) to eliminate the "usual" page or strengthen some other page. People tend not to rewrite their descriptions. That limits the range of pages seen in search results. If the one the search engines choose appeals to customers you have a winner. If not you may sink even though there are products that would appeal. So within each topic area vary which products you mention, and even how you spell them (tee shirt, t-shirt, tshirt).

You can get away with some forumla writing using your knowledge of how people search (hint, they probably search like you do). For example, in dog breeds people will naturally search for a particular breed. That means I could use the same formula for each breed because the change in breed name is a meaningful change to both the potential customer and the search engine. The search itself will differ, and thus how well a page matches will differ.

 


Using HTML in the section description

You can use just about any standard HTML in the section description. There is no requirement that a section contain any products. You can, therefore, use sections for other purposes.

  1. Your own customized "About" instead of the standard "bio" to provide information on you or your business.

  2. Create special product specific pages while still keeping the actual products in their original sections. That simplifies maintenance and ensures that only one product for each design shows up in the marketplace.

  3. Avoid creating maintenance headaches by using the section description with a redirect.

  4. Bumping into the section limits?

    • Link shops by using the section description to create "faux sections" that lead to other shops, either basic or premium. Just create an HTML table. In each cell of the table have an image that looks just like a section image (or is even perhaps actually showing the image from a section in another shop). Make each image a link to that shop or section of another shop. To the visitor it can feel like they are still navigating in your original shop if the link goes to another premium shop with the same look and feel. For more tips on merging two premium shops see the CP sidebar discussion.

    • Use the same concept when you have sections that can fit into more than one topic area. Instead of using up a section just to redirect the visitor put a "section table" at the top of the section using the section description. The section description will hold "faux sections" that link to the real sections elsewhere in the same shop. Below them will appear any real sections that belong in that topic area.

  5. Host contact forms to provide customer contact while reducing spam.

The section description box is tiny. It is easier to create and test your section description html on your local computer first. Use an HTML editor or a plain text editor. Just remember that when you copy the code only use the "body" - that is the code that is between <body> and </body> - because the normal structural head, title and body tags will already exist on that page.

See the information on Debugging Tables.

Check out some of the great HTML tutorial resources.


Supress the sidebar in just one section

You can supress the side bar by putting a style code In your section description that sets the sdiebar to not display:
<style type="text/css">
.sidebarbg { display: none; } </style>

         

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