In this episode Dan interviews Jeff Gregory & Adam Levine, of CustomInk.

CustomInk does above $200 million in ecommerce sales, of which organic search plays a big part. The site is ranking for 50,000 terms on the first two pages of Google, 25,000 of which are in the first five positions. They are in position one for many one and two word phrases such as “tshirts,” “t shirts,” “t-shirts,” and “custom tshirts.”

In this interview we dig into their SEO and ecommerce philosophy, including site home page design, site architecture, keyword research, understanding user behavior, product conversion pages, blogging, and content distribution.

If you run an ecommerce site and you want to rank your site, learn from these pros. Nobody does it better.

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Dan: Hi everybody! This is Dan Kaplan and welcome back to the Getting More Leads and Sales from Your Website podcast. I am really, really excited today to be talking about eCommerce SEO with two Industry Leaders, Jeff Gregory and Adam Levine of, a T-shirt company doing $200 million all through eCommerce from their website.

They got about 40,000 plus pages in their site. And organic traffic is responsible for a significant portion of their revenue. They are, as I said before, absolutely dominating in Google and in their space. We are going to be talking today about some of the techniques that they have used to get them sales in the poll position.

So let me switch my camera over to you guys. You are in Fairfax, Virginia?

Jeff Gregory: Fairfax, Virginia

Dan Kaplan: Fairfax, Virginia, right.  Say hi to everybody. If you could start us off guys with just a little bit of an introduction as to how you got your start, how you got to be where you are. Give us a little bit of your background so we know who we are talking to.

Adam Levine: I am Adam Levine. I am a search engine optimization specialist at CustomInk. I originally started here in 2007 so I have been here about seven plus years. That is a very long time for my first real gig. I actually came to CustomInk on a whim.

I was originally going to finance and started out to pursue that path and found CustomInk on a priceless ad that said, “You want to wear T-shirts and sandals to work?” and I said yes.  So, I started in sales and service and I did sales and service for about four years. I then moved over into the search field when I was pegged for project work and so I was seeking to move away from sales by the head of the sales at that time and ended up doing some link building project work which I did pretty well at.  I did a little free link. We tried to acquire links through email and through various other channels and then when my current boss Jeff came on board, I got hired as the SEO Specialist and that is the role I have been for the last three years. That is me.

Jeff Gregory: My name is Jeff Gregory and I lead search marketing efforts here at CustomInk. I joined the company 2011. The company was already doing really quite well in search engines and I just brought an approach of let us keep a white hat as white as possible. Let us do the right thing by the customer and apply Google Webmaster Guidelines, create the great content, and trust that the rankings will come, and we’ve managed to climb higher. So that is where we are at today.

Dan Kaplan: Good. That is great. Thank you for the introduction guys. We are going to take a look at some of your stats first. I am going to share my screen so our users can see some of the effects, the really powerful work that you guys have done so far.

So here we are. We are taking a look at my screen and we are just going to get a little bit of stats on CustomInk and how well are you guys are doing. It looks like 15,000 search terms and you are ranking four on the first few pages of Google. Looks like you have about 25,000 plus terms and you’re in the first five positions.

That is really impressive. But what is even more impressive is what these terms are. If you look into the SEM Rush Rankings, I could see the word T-shirts you’re in position one, the word shirts you’re in position one-50,000 search a month for these terms. Koozie is position one, T-shirts with no space is position one, customized T-shirts. All the variations of this search phrase you are absolutely dominating. 1.8 thousand referring domains and 18,500 backlinks, really, really impressive work guys.

I would like to dive in to this a little bit and figure out and have our listeners hear a little bit how it is you got there and are maintaining these positions. So I am going to switch the camera back to you guys so our users can see you and maybe you can tell us a little bit about your philosophy to your approach to SEO.  I know also you do a lot with rigorous research analysis. Would you just give us that high level view before we dive in with some of the particulars?

Jeff Gregory: Sure. The high level is simply believing in doing the right thing for the customer throughout the website and trusting that the rest of the pieces will fall into place by following the Google Webmaster guidelines and then just creating content that people will find useful. Focusing heavily and rigorously on doing that work through every phase of the site as well as the company.

Dan Kaplan: What do you mean by focusing on the customer? Can you give us a deeper dive into that?

Jeff Gregory: Sure. It means that whenever we are making changes or writing copy out on a particular page keeping the customer in mind, not trying build pages or write pages just to rank for the search engines. It is about trying to have a customer service attitude and trying to help a customer in every phase of the way in that sense.  The core of what we do as a company is provide great customer service. For us SEOs, we are really fortunate in that and it is just taking that aspect of it and applying it to every aspect of the site from landing page, to conversion to email, to everything and making a great quality experience. And you can listen to a mad cuts over and over again. I mean that is what they will say to do, right?

Dan Kaplan: Right. Let us actually dive into some of that with your home page. I am going to share my screen here and we will take a look at your home page. Why don’t you tell us how you applied that philosophy to “optimization” of this page? I know that in your words this page was not optimized. What do you mean by that?

Jeff Gregory: Well, what I mean by that is that it was not what would be traditionally thought of as SEO-ed. We did not tweak the copy or manipulate the copy in ways to rank for our core phrases. It was not a precarious task when we designed the page.

In some sense it was not knowing what was going to happen because a lot of those rankings that you just showed to the audience, we had prior to the redesign of this page.  When we redesigned this page, it was core in everyone’s mind that we cannot lose any of our rankings. But the experience was this was a cross department effort between marketing, eCommerce, and PR. And we had to allow everyone to do their work.  Essentially what I did was brought them together and educated them about the core phrases that drive the traffic. And told them that I believe that a great design, great copywriting, and SEO are not adversaries but they go hand in hand with the customer in mind.

What are people looking for from us? They are looking to make their own T-shirts, right? They are looking to design their own T-shirts. They are looking for custom T-shirts. Surprisingly not, those are the phrases that we ranked for.  You just mentioned that are the core to our business.  So, I just repeated those phrases in a meeting with them over and over. I sent it to them in an email as well and then I said, not in a too cavalier manner I said, “Design it as you see fit. Make it the best page possible for users with those phrases in mind.” That is it.

There were no strict guidelines of make them make a title this length or this much copy or include this frame, this long and this many times. And so they did it. They loved it.  We worked together great and they watched this page that has increased quick view rate and it has reduced bounce rate. It has done so many things for the company and had no negative impact on SEO whatsoever. Rankings are all intact and some might say improved a little bit.

Dan Kaplan: That is great. Did you do 301 redirects when you launched the new site? Did you redirect every individual page or did you let Google try to figure that out?

Jeff Gregory: No, this was just a homepage redesign.

Dan Kaplan: So the interior of the site had not changed so much?

Jeff Gregory: The interior of the site did not change. This was just the homepage. I am glad that you brought that up because unlike most eCommerce sites, we are heavily, heavily dependent on our homepage. We do not sell products. We sell a service for the particular products that we offer. We are a custom printer.

So our homepage accounts for somewhere to be able to have our natural search traffic and sales because we are actually head term heavy. Again, T-shirts, custom T-shirts, make your own T-shirts. Our homepage is the page that ranks for those and so redesigning this page was the key because this is our front door, our brochure, and everything. It does a lot of heavy lifting for us.

Adam Levine: We still had that foundational pieces prior to the redesign that were in there–the standard SEO best practices that they met, the logo in all texts, and everything. There was not much need for any additional push. Especially based on what Jeff’s philosophy is, “Keep what is working is working and have the designers do their part and the copywriters do their parts as well.”

Dan Kaplan: Good. I know that you mentioned that 50% of your traffic and your sales come from your homepage and that is where your head terms are ranking but I know also that you have a pretty extensive architectural hierarchy here of your products and your product categories.

Can you talk to us a little bit how this site was laid out? I just went to the products and I went to T-shirts and I see all this T-shirt groups. I go into a T-shirt group like short sleeve T-shirts and I see a page that had the list of individual T-shirts. And I noticed also that you have a page for each individual product. And each one of those pages is optimized.

You have a good breadcrumb chart. You have a clear header. You got your key phrase in the header but also you have not a lot of content actually on each of these pages. It is just enough to describe what it is – an overview, a paragraph, maybe a bulleted list. It does not look like you are taking the approach of more copy is better. But you do have a very organized hierarchy at least for your product pages here. Can you tell us a little bit about how that structure works to benefit your SEO?

Jeff Gregory: Sure. I believe it is critical to organize it properly and label it properly. It gives users a clear path, the breadcrumbs come to sale and as if they land on this page, I know where to go.  I can go to the short sleeve section, to the T-shirt section.  And, it also signals Google to the algorithm what we are trying to do that you will see in the breadcrumbs and the URL, you are going to see T-shirts mentioned everywhere. Again, that is part of doing the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

We are doing the right thing by the user, but we are also labeling everything in as much detail as possible. And so you will see all these signals are pointing back to T-shirts where we ranked number one for which is just surprising in some respect but because we are tagging everything and labeling everything accordingly. And also again, it also creates a level, a hierarchy, the sense of what we do to be the most important.

Dan Kaplan: I think also what is important here is a concept that you guys have done in addition to creating a product page. I will scroll down here a little bit here and click on the custom apparel page. Talk to us a little bit about this. You have done a lot of work to understand user behavior and how it is that people search for your products and it turns out they do not search for the product themselves.

They search in other ways. I would love to hear how it is that users search for your products and what it is that you did in the architecture of the website particularly this custom apparel section, to get the pages and the phrases to be in line with search behavior and how that has benefited your organic traffic?

Adam Levine: With the way that it is structured at the bottom of the page, we have a footer that’s filled with links that are related to the different groups and events. And somewhat took the products that we offer because just like what we said, we do not just have customers searching for a particular product like a T-shirt. I mean they are and they are getting to the homepage but then we built out these landing pages that are geared towards let’s say that was basketball.

There is a wide range of keywords out there for basketball T-shirt, basketball jersey, all different types of keyword research that we found. There are always these different teams, sports, events that we can target with landing pages and then apply the best practice as an SEO for those pages.

Obviously labelling them, what their key term on this custom apparel page and then once you get to like the basketball jersey’s page, there will be a footer that will link to the related athletic pages. And by having this custom apparel page one level away from the homepage, we are passing that page rank to all of these pages. So we find that to be an important piece in helping us rank as well.

Dan Kaplan: Just for the people who are listening to the podcast and are not able to view the video, I am going to read off a couple of these categories; basketball jerseys, cheer sweatshirts, custom snapbacks, dance tank tops, gym tank tops, rowing sweatshirts, soccer jerseys, sports tank tops, and workout tank tops.

And this is great because when you click on any one of them I will click soccer jerseys, when you click any one of them, you are brought to a very interesting page. I find it interesting. There is not a ton of content on here. You have maybe a header and a paragraph that sort of describes your soccer jerseys. You have a nice image here. You’ve got a bulleted list. It is clear to me that you are differentiating yourself from the person who is searching for a soccer jersey like a team jersey, Manchester United Jersey for example or DC United Jersey. What are you doing here that is helping to serve the client?

Jeff Gregory: Part of what we recognize in looking at the segments as we call them, they are searching with their activity or their event in mind is that they do not think necessarily custom when they search that when they are searching for soccer jerseys along with the people who are looking for professional sports jerseys. Interestingly, the search sounds like its people who are looking for the professional looking ones but it also includes the custom people.

So, we wanted to create a page that we could make it clear to people who are searching that this is not the page you are looking for if you are looking for a Manchester United jersey. We do custom soccer jerseys. And so we created that with the picture as well as the copy. You could see right at the top. If you are looking for something else, you are in the wrong place. You know that if you are looking for soccer jerseys for your son’s team, you are in the right place. And then we give you a little bit of a copy so you will know that you are in the right place. You know that we can do it for you and we can give you some options. We have the jersey’s link right there. If you want to go a little bit cheaper, we got T-shirts. And then we will also throw in some supportive apparel in case you wanted that.

But as far as copy, we do not feel the need to stuff the page or overwrite with copy because people would identify. They are searching for these phrases; they are looking for soccer jerseys. They are not looking for content about soccer jerseys. So we are just trying to do what we think is best for the user; get them what they want as quickly as possible.

Part of that too is that we know we believe in what we do and we believe that we’re good at what we do and we can help them. And we know that they are looking for this and so we are just trying to tell them, “Hey we are here. We can help you.”

Dan Kaplan: Good. And it looks like you may be targeting on this page, custom soccer T-shirts or custom soccer jerseys because that is the converting term but if you rank for the more generic, broader soccer T-shirts or soccer jerseys, hey great.

Jeff Gregory: Correct.

Dan Kaplan: It is not going to hurt because when the people land on your page, you are clearly telling them what you got to offer. Very good. I love it. To me, this architecture is just endlessly fascinating the way that you set this up to be in line with search behaviour. I feel like it is benefitting you guys.  It is not just that you have this product pages, you also got these category pages that are really set up to be in line with the way people search for stuff. I think it goes back to your philosophy about serving the client. I know you guys also have a blog. In addition to the pages that you are doing, let us talk a little bit about your approach to blogging and how you use this to drive more leads and sales.

Adam Levine: Sure. It started actually when I came in board. CustomInk had a blog and they were trying to use it for search but it was not really getting any traffic. It was good content but it was largely inside baseball. It was all about what was going on inside the company and things that we were interested. We are trying to share ourselves with people but that is not what people are interested in or what they were searching for. I came at the blog from a search lens and a content lens which was let’s create content that is useful to our customers. It took us a few months for us to figure out what can we put on the blog that is useful, what the customers want, what do they need outside of their T-shirts.

Prior to my arrival, we had some success with some pages focused around team names for some of the high profile sports like football. So we looked at that and realize that there was an appetite for this. And it was not as easy as slapping together a few names. Part of doing right by the customer was let us make the best list.  Let us just throw together a few names because there are certainly sites out there that are doing that that we compete with now.

Our goal was, let us create the best list of team names so that when people come here, they can either take one from this list. But generally, what we are trying to do is inspire them to make neurons fire so that they can go, oh, memories matter. Alliteration, I can do that, or I can play on this word.

And sure enough we just discovered that there was this huge universe of people that whenever there are people getting together and forming a team or any kind of group, they want a name. And also they are looking maybe for a slogan to put at the back of their shirt. So we just started cranking out posts as much as we can find. Right now our editorial calendar is filled out through late next summer because we got a bunch of people who are looking for team names and slogan content.

Dan Kaplan: Again it is user-centric. You are not promoting your product, you are helping your prospects and your users make their lives better. You are helping them with good quality helpful content. And it is going to lead to a sale because if you are helping them with team names, it is only a click away from making a purchase to put that team name on a T-shirt, right?

Jeff Gregory: You nailed it. I mean is it counterintuitive or is it sly? I do not which one it is because I know as an SEO, at the back of my mind, I am hoping yes, that people will buy from us. Well, yes. The point is to give them something. Call it Polyanna call it whatever you want. What you give you get and so that is the intention behind this.

Dan Kaplan: This is great, I love it. I love the design idea, the do it yourself last minute Halloween costumes using custom T-shirts. It is an idea and if somebody sees that, they will say, oh, I will buy that. That is great.

Jeff Gregory: Some of them remember us, some of them do not but to your point, this thing, the blog it drives sales. The conversion rate is lower than specifically targeted pages but it does quarter to a low of half a million dollars in sales a year. And that is with any hard calls to action. We are not trying to sell people here. We are just sharing content.

Dan Kaplan: We are going to talk about some of your winning blog posts a little bit later on when we get to that discussing your promotion of your content. But I know that you also do some targeting of micro segments; paintball teams, charity walks. Talk to us a little bit more about how you go about understanding how users are going to use your product and then setting up that editorial calendar.

Adam Levine: Our marketing team has divvied up these different groups on our site and we try and find that best content for them. We started out with the bigger teams like football, baseball, and soccer. We mined some of the names from some of our user generated content, from customers who have worked from us that we find to be funny or creative names. And then we also come up with some of them on our own. Turkey Trots slogan is one that we are looking at right now. We put that up. We are a few weeks away from Thanksgiving. People are going to be running around Turkey Trots.

We have come up with some slogans that are related content for something they may put on a running or long sleeve T-shirt or sweatshirt. Whether they take that and just make that their name, that’s their prerogative. If they want to order shirts from us like what Jeff said, that is great too. We also find the blog and opportunity to link from and to other posts that are related, and to products to help with page rate as well. But most of it is really geared towards that providing that good content geared towards whatever that particular group is searching for.

Dan Kaplan: Great. I know of something else you do is that you have a couple of real home runs to some of your blog posts. This one you are telling me about, Free Steven Slater, that guy that sort of went viral. Tell us a little bit about the approach on that one.

Jeff Gregory: Actually that was not a blog post. That was a customer’s design. But it is a great example of part of our philosophy as a company and  what we precede to be was to make everything as shareable as possible on our site. Every product shareable, everything a customer does, give them the opportunity and encourage them to each step of the way to share it. I know that is something that seems to be second nature now with the Facebook popularity and everything else. But I still visit sites today that I do not think they do it very well at all.

But the nature of our business also lends to that, people are creating their own designs and sharing them. So we encourage people that whenever they create a design on our site to share it. And sometimes the designs they create attract attention and generate links for us.  The example you showed was Free Stevens Slater.  Someone created a T-shirt calling for the release of an airline steward who kind of lost it on the job one day. And it was capturing headlines for a few days. And one of those stories, there was even stories about it that mentioned, “Oh there is even a shirt being created called Free Stevens Slater,” and all the links including from some major news sites when to this page.

Dan Kaplan: This is great because we can get in to the idea of promoting your content to obtain links. And I know that you made a shift recently, right? When you came on Jeff, you told me that you made a shift from going out and trying to acquire links to what?

Jeff Gregory: Attracting links. It does not mean that it is entirely passive. It is just that to me it is more of a mind-set shift. Instead of trying to go out there and get people to link to us which is more of asking people to link to you. It is about running the links from them and doing the things that people would want to link to, creating great content, creating things that people would want to link to, and share.

For example, if we see someone write about us in an article we have done, we reach out to them and say, “Please link to us.” If they did not link to us, they did not link to us. We tried to do the things that now people would link to. It does not mean that we will not promote the content. We will promote the content which some people might interpret as trying to acquire links. But we are not asking anyone to link to us.

Dan Kaplan: So let us take this as sort of a little case study here, the hundred most iconic T-shirts of all time, great piece of content. Will you walk us through with this thought process, the creation of it, and how you promote it to obtain from what I understand, a considerable amount of links?

Jeff Gregory: Yes it did quite well. The genesis behind it was in addition to the stuff that we were doing on the blog is how we create a fun content that’s focused on what we do. The other content was slogan as a teammate is great with people who are pretty funnel.  They are not necessarily aware they want T-shirts yet but how do we create that central piece of content, the best piece of content in our industry? What would it be about? T-shirts. How do we do that? It took us a while to get there. What could we do? The easy go to and my brain goes there frequently in search, in content is the top ten list. And so, they will go the top ten is this kind of shirt. The top ten is that kind of shirt.”

But then I realized that the top ten does not quite have the power that we want as a leader. It did not quite give the customer what they want. It was a little fluffy and so then we dabbled with the idea of 25.  Then we took it a little bit higher. And to make it fun and a real piece of content or represent who we are, we had the entire company vote on this list. Not only vote on this list, but we asked them to submit nominations because to be honest, I was only able to come up with about 25. And then Adam was involved and a couple of people were involved and we got it to maybe 35. We were like, “Oh man, we cannot even do a top 50.” So we asked the entire company to get involved.  At that time we had at least 300 people and so we had everyone submit all their ideas for the most iconic T-shirts. And by the time we were done, we had a list of a 160 or 150. And then we pared that down and had the whole company vote, created this list.

Adam and a guy name Michael Grunston got together and wrote some great copy around it. And so everything about the project was genuine and centered around what we do which is T-shirts and bringing the people together. We brought the whole company together and we are getting the people together to make a conversational piece.

Dan Kaplan: I have to tell you, I love the three wolf T-shirt. It is one of my favorites. To those listeners, if you have not seen the three wolf T-shirt, Google it or go to Amazon.

Jeff Gregory: Yes, I think there is a link to the entry. It is still going on. And that is the beauty of this piece, is that it is nostalgia, it is historical, and it is commentary. I think you and I were talking about it that if you create a top ten, it is a cool list. If you create a top 100, then it is a resource. It is something that you can go back to.

Now I think that is something that we may need to update over time as more T-shirts become popular but I think we established ourselves as the place to go to for this list. We promote it as part of our 100th T-shirt birthday. Another reason why we went with a 100, we were hoping to get a 100, and it quickly became the most popular piece of that promotion. We earned links from Refinery 29, MTV, Parade Magazine, LA Times, CBS Morning News, and some French design websites – I think they liked it but I do not really read French but they sounded that they like it. Wrestling websites that we were talking about, the wrestling T-shirts that were in there. It generated conversations. It generated memes. We had create a competition using these shirts to create mocks of these shirts. It is creating great content just to share.

Again, it is counterintuitive but it works because this thing not only did it generate links which helped improved rankings which is part of the reason why we rank number one for T-shirts. There are no calls to an action. When I am trying to sell anything on this page, we are just sharing but people remember us. They come back to us and they buy from us.

Dan Kaplan: And you even have a couple of links with really good anchor text too from some major news publications right?

Jeff Gregory: Yes, links that people would dive in. When you want there are links that people use to pay for top dollar for. We got links that were the exact anchor texts was just check out these T-shirts. I do not even know how to put a dollar sign at that but those who have been on SEO for awhile know what it is worth.

Dan Kaplan: Imagine it helps you to be number one for T-shirts.

Jeff Gregory: Absolutely, it is a big part of it. And that was from the site like The Guardians or one of the major newspapers.

Dan Kaplan: Great. Just to wrap up this link building discussion, this outreach discussion, you have done a little bit of seeking links from legitimate sources, directories, competitors, looking to do competitive link analysis. You haven’t completely abandoned that right? That is what, 5% of your effort? You are not really focusing much on it.

Adam Levine: It is not really us being desperate anymore. I mean I feel that a luxury of us being a growing company, we’re able to get links as we grow. We do not really need to push for it that way. I think this is especially a great way to attract links. It is just providing that great content.

It is so cliché. Like I said to you earlier, I said that every conference all the time but it is true. If you derive something that someone wants to read, it is interesting, you should be able to get links out of it. And you need good writing skills and some good photography I would say but it is not really much of an effort.

Dan Kaplan: Great case study. All right. I am going to switch the camera back to you guys now. Let us wrap up with your approach to your research and analysis. I know you guys are very rigorous about you constantly digging to understand user intent.  You try and work hard to understand who are coming to your site, why and how. Tell us a little bit about this approach and how it has benefited you.

Jeff Gregory: Sure. Well it is essentially digging through webmaster tools and our internal tools. We just pay attention to what people are searching to land on our site. Generally, we have been doing this a while; we’ve narrowed the phrases that work already. We keep an eye on them, we monitor them and make sure that they are performing the way that they are that they’re healthy. But from the rest of the time, we spent digging at what are the new phrases, how are people phrasing things that we are not aware of.

A great example and we have not talked about-is tank tops. There is a growing portion of the country that in college they call it some frat tanks. We had no idea and so we talked to our merchandising team, we met with them; we started talking about some keywords that we have been seeing and they were like, “Oh frat tank? Yes, that is pretty popular.” So they created some content focused around frat tanks. We started ranking with frat tanks and it is getting almost as much traffic in sales as regular tank tops.

So it is digging into the keywords to keep asking the question of how should we be phrasing the content and writing the content. What are people looking for? And where can we help? Not every phrase do we deserve to be there in terms of the ranking because we do not offer what they are looking for. But knowing that we have a great product, and great customer service, and a great company, anywhere where we feel like someone is searching for something that we can offer them, we want to be there.

Another area I would like to mention, we were looking for people looking for soccer shirts and family reunion shirts that we did not really consider more generic phrases. People are looking for blue T-shirts. We assumed that they just want a blue T-shirt. But we kept digging and we kept seeing it popping up occasionally. We finally looked in to it and dug into it and realize that not the majority of people looking for blue T-shirts, but a legitimate enough percentage of them are looking for custom T-shirts that are blue. So we should create content for them. We said, “Hey are you looking for blue T-shirts for your group?” And so we created pages around that without staying on top of it, looking at it again and again, and questioning ourselves, we would not have been ranking for those.

Dan Kaplan: That is great. And everything comes back to that philosophy that we talked about at the beginning of this conversation about serving the client.

Jeff Gregory:  Yes.

Dan Kaplan: That is great. You have a real rider to help you steer your ship. I think that is phenomenal and clearly a key to your success. That is really great. All right, Adam and Jeff, you guys have been really, really good to talk to. A lot of really good, helpful, and useful information but if you could be so kind, I am going to ask the question when I end all these conversations with what is that one piece of advice? Can you tell us one thing that we as digital marketers should be doing and thinking about to really improve our leads and sales? Adam, do you want to go first? I know that you have each one thing to share.

Adam Levine: One of the things that I learned from Jeff he was my mentor at CustomInk, is be a true white hat. Do not look for the tips, the tricks, and the game in the system or the algorithms. That is not what it is about. You want to provide good content to the user. It takes work. It is not easy but you just keep that white hat on and do not go to the dark side and focus on game.

Dan Kaplan: Good. How about you Jeff, what do you think?

Jeff Gregory: You said one thing, but I wanted to say two. But I want to start with optimize your business first. Meaning, what you talked about and what we try to live up to, we do not do it perfectly but it is to optimize the business with the focus on the customer. Provide great customer service throughout every aspect of the business. And it will show itself in the work.

One of the things that we did not touch on but you saw, Steven Slater, was that if we treat our customers well, they generated links for us. We attract links just because people like us. And then it shows throughout the content. And everything that we do naturally creates quality and creates value because we are focused on creating a great customer experience. And so that is what I mean by optimize your business. Get everyone involved. Get everyone on board create a great customer experience. These things will flow out of that.

And, invest in content. I do not know if I used the word counter intuitive but a lot of times it can be counter intuitive to invest on something that does not directly lead to sales but from a search standpoint, it absolutely will and warm up.

Dan Kaplan: Good, all right, great. Great advice guys, CustomInk. You guys rock and to all of our listeners out there, check it out, Get yourself a T-shirt.

Thank you again. Until next time everybody. Thank you for listening. Do me a favor and go to and subscribe. We will send you an email every time we got a new one up. Thank you alot guys. Be good.

Jeff Gregory: Thank you Dan.

Adam Levine: Take care.

By / Published On: January 8th, 2015 / Categories: Blog, Marketing Strategy, Pay Per Click, Podcasts, PPC, Remarketing, Search retargeting /

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