Hello X-carters! This is Mike White with babymonkey Studios and I'd like to share with you is on the subject at the forefront of many merchants minds, SEO.
I know, I know, you all have read volumes on this subject and if you are like me you are tired of it all. But I am not going to drone on about keywords or alt tags or any other boring stuff, I am going to talk to you about getting your customers and visitors to do your SEO for you, the type of SEO that takes on a life of its own and leverages the full power of the Social Web. I'm talking about RPS (real people "stuff").
Recently I watched a video that reinforced everything I know about driving traffic. The presenter was Wil Reynolds' and he was presenting to a group of search professionals at MozCon. You can watch the video here (it's about halfway down the page and slightly NSFW, he uses some strong language). After wading through Wil's colorful language, his message is extremely on point. Basically he is telling us to do things in the real world to promote our business, online and offline, and let our loyal followers shout out the glory of our site from the mountaintops.
We need to do Real People Stuff that attracts real visitors, real fans, and real conversions. Wil's presentation is entertaining, but he leaves us with few real world examples on how to implement such a strategy. That's where I come in. :-) We have to find something that our company can do that is worth sharing, something that encourages voluntary user participation in getting our message out.
Let me give you some examples. Rokenbok Toys was recently featured as a case study for Google's Video AdWords (see below). They took their toys and shot fun video stories for YouTube. Since the videos were engaging and told in a story format, parents showed them to their children and shared them around the web. Soon other people were telling stories and making videos using their Rokenbok play sets, and posting them online. It took some money and effort to get started, but now the effect is growing virally and the benefits will continue coming in for years. Perfect!
Imagine that you are a fabric company that allows users to customize their own fabric designs online. Fashion designers visit your site and build their perfect fabric using your super cool fabric designer tool and order bolts of their custom fabric which you produce and ship. How can we get organic traffic for free? Hold a contest! Setup a section of the site where users can create and save their unique patterns and submit them to the contest. After the entry is submitted visitors are allowed to vote on the entries, and the winner gets a free 10 yard bolt of their custom fabric.
Here is the important part: After an entry is submitted, you encourage the user to share the link to their contest entry on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Tell them to get the message out and get as many of their friends as they can to come and vote for their fabric, driving it to the top! Imagine the absolute flood of free links that would result, hyper active users would post the link everywhere, not only because they are proud of their creation, but also out of the natural desire to win.
I understand that these examples will not work for everybody, but hopefully they got your juices flowing and your thinking caps on. Find a way to do RPS to promote your site, and you may never have to tweak your Alt tags again. :-)
That's all from me for this time, thanks for reading. Please, let me know what you think and add to this discussion in the comments. See you next time!
About the author: Mike White (totaltec) is a proficient PHP programmer who has dedicated his (work) life to working with the X-Cart platform.
You can reach him at or at his site http://babymonkeystudios.com.