My friend Lisy is selling personalized cuff links on line: http://fingerprintcufflinks.com. They send you a kit with a putty that allows you to capture your children’s fingerprints. After you return, traumatologist patient Lisy crafts a pair (or 3) cuff links that forever capture your kids prints. She called tonight and asked me for some technical advice. I manage a tech team for a company that does a very large SEM (search engine marketing) spend, dosage physiotherapy which is not quite right for this company yet. I did jot down 10 quick things that she should try.
I probably forgot a lot of obvious tips, this so c’mon people, show me up in the comments.
10 Tips for Your Small Consumer Web Site: SEO, Buzz, and More
(in no particular order)
1.) Validate your HTML & CSS: Mostly good is good enough.
2.) Create good Meta tags: http://www.webspresso.com/metatag.htm Good <title> tags too.
3.) Start a blog on the site. Many hosting providers have a one-click way to install it at yoursite.com/blog. Link it to it from all pages. Write one or two articles a week about how things are going. Write posts about how cufflinks would be great for St. Pat’s Day. Ask customers to email their photos and stories and post those. I recommend WordPress with the Akismet plugin for comment spam.
4.) Add http://google.com/analytics code to all your pages so you can see how your efforts are doing.
5.) Host all the customer pictures and site pictures on Flickr. Add lots of tags. Link back to the site in the descriptions.
6.) Post your product on eBay every week with the Buy Now option. Link back the site in the eBay description.
7.) Join every social network you can as the site, create groups, get everyone you know to friend you. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites
8.) Get anyone you know with a site to link to your site. Here you go: An awesome gift idea, cufflinks with your kids fingerprints! FingerPrintCufflinks.com!
9.) Investigate an Amazon Store: the Individual account is transactional, while the professional is $39.99 a month. You could test for one month to see if it covers itself.
10.) Don’t astroturf (put fake comments on other sites) or send out form emails. Personalized emails to editors of shopping and gift blogs may get you a write up, though.
After all these are done and you’re selling lots of cuff links, consider Search Engine Marketing. You need to have good books and accounts. If you can determine your average profit per sale, you can use the Google interface to manage your spend to an Effective CPA for the percent return on investment you want. Jewelery, gifts, and kids are all rather pricey keywords, but you might be able to generate some traffic with some more long tail terms like “memento” or “french cuff.” You know, I think we should all get a beer to discuss SEM in person.