The Internet Marketing List: 59 Things You Should Be Doing But Probably Aren’t

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Ian Lurie Mar 21 2008

Internet marketing is about lots of little things, not one big one. This list is half-list, half-procedure. If you go down these items in order it might give you a decent internet marketing plan for the next few months. If you have others, post ’em as comments:

  1. If you have a Flash introduction on your web site, delete it. If you don’t agree, try this: Shove your head into a bucket of water. Stay in there, not breathing, for 10 seconds longer than is comfortable. That’s what you’re doing to your customers. Delete it, please.
  2. Check the load speed of every page on your site. If any load in more than 10 seconds, fix it (2-6 seconds is far better). If your developer says they can’t, and it’s not your own network causing the problem, fire them. Here’s a good page load tester.
  3. Check your site for broken links. You can use a tool like Xenu. Fix those links. Do not pass this step until you’re done. If it takes your developer more than a week to do this step, again with the firing thing.
  4. Make sure you have a user-friendly 404 error page, not the generically nasty PAGE NOT FOUND message.
  5. Make sure you have a user-friendly 500 error page, too. A 500 error happens when some bit of database code you wrote late at night decides it’s had enough with this world, and takes your web site with it. That usually leads to something terribly informative like “500 Error Connection Timed Out”. Maybe you can do something better?
  6. Remove all inline javascript to a separate .js include file. That will speed up page load times and may help you with search rankings, too. Plus it appeals to code geeks like me, and we’re all that matter, right?
  7. Set up Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo! Site Explorer and Live.com Webmaster Tools. You’ll see your site from the search engine’s viewpoint, what folks use to find you, and whether there are any problems that might be hurting you in the search engines.
  8. Set up an XML sitemap, too. Check out Sitemaps.org for an overview.
  9. If you’re running an e-commerce site, hire a really good writer to rewrite all your product descriptions. Those descriptions matter more than you think.
  10. Get analytics set up on your site. You can’t do internet marketing without it. Actually, you can, but you’ll suck at it. I recommend Google Analytics. If your developer says they can’t install anything, well, you know…
  11. In that analytics tool, make sure you can consistently track conversions: Sales, or leads, or whatever else you want folks to do when they see your site.
  12. Get a HackerSafe or ScanAlert logo on your site. While I question their value, the search engines don’t. Nor do customers. That sticker can get you more search engine ‘trustrank’ and improve conversion rates.
  13. Put your full address and phone number on each page of your site, for the same reasons.
  14. Use Wordtracker, Trellian Keyword Discovery or something similar to find the top keywords that folks use to find your products or services.
  15. Now find the top ranking sites for those phrases.
  16. Who links to them? Do a “link:” search on Google, or use linkdiagnosis.comor Yahoo! Site Explorer to build a list. Now go out and get those links!
  17. If two years ago some SEO hack advised you to put 100 links at the bottom of your home page, delete them. They’re not helping you, and they may be hurting you.
  18. If two years ago that same SEO hack advised you to write title tags that read like this – “Wedding stuff and wedding things and weddings stuffs and weddings things with more wedding items and this is your place for weddings” – delete those too and write something that doesn’t sound like Elmer Fudd suffering a mental breakdown.
  19. If you have the same keywords in your keywords tag on every page of your site, search your feelings… Do you really think the search engines are that stupid? Change ’em, or delete the tag altogether. The tag doesn’t really help, and duplicating keywords across all pages can flag you as an SEO spammer.
  20. Write a high-quality meta description tag for each page of your site. That may not affect ranking but it’ll get more folks to click on your search listing.
  21. Make sure your site uses correct semantic markup. Your developer had better understand what that means. Don’t make me come over there…
  22. Get your site totally standards compliant according to the W3C code validator.
  23. At the same time, make sure your site isn’t hideously ugly.
  24. With those two items handled, you can now go to all the major XHTML and CSS site directories out there, which list lots of standards-compliant sites, and submit your own web site. If you get in, you get great links from great sites. Do not submit your site to any CSS or XHTML directories until you see a happy green report on the W3C validator. Doing so wastes your time, and the directory owners’. They’re liable to digitally tar and feather you.
  25. Comment on other folks’ blogs. That gets you attention from those bloggers. They may come look at your site, or just drop you a line, or they may do nothing for a while. But you’re building relationships you can use later.
  26. Do a press release a month. Chances are something cool happened. Did you hire someone new? Create a new product? Complete a new project? Win a prize? Brag!
  27. Get someone who can write to create that press release. Bragging doesn’t help if you sound like an idiot.
  28. Learn to use Google Reader. Subscribe to the top internet marketing blogs. Read them a lot. For a hint you can look at the AdAge 150 list.
  29. Go to Google blog search. Search for your own brand name. Then subscribe to that search result in Google Reader (you’ll find a little RSS link on the search results page). That gives you a quick look at what folks are saying about your company.
  30. Do the same thing for your own name.
  31. Then subscribe to who’s linking to you on Technorati, for the same reason.
  32. Go to local directories like Yelp! and make sure you’re listed. Hey, it’s a link, right? Plus it’ll give you one more place to manage your reputation.
  33. Be sure your company information is up to date in Google, Yahoo! and Live’s local search tools.
  34. If you’re a local business, ask your customers to review you on one of the local sites: Either on the search engines or on the other sites. This will boost your ranking in local search results. Beg, plead, bribe. It does require work on their part. And don’t worry if you get a few negative reviews, either.
  35. Start working on Yahoo! Answers. This is an opportunity to make yourself an expert, and get some links at the same time. Spend no more than an hour a week. Read Matt McGee’s excellent article on the subject to learn more.
  36. Invite people to subscribe to your house e-mail list. If you don’t have one, start one. This continues to be one of the most neglected facets of internet marketing.
  37. Make sure there’s an easy way for folks to sign up for that list.
  38. Remove any extra fields from your subscription form. All you need is their e-mail address.
  39. If you require registration during checkout, get rid of it.
  40. If you’re automatically opting folks in to your e-mail list, stop.
  41. When you receive customer requests via e-mail, answer them. Fast.
  42. Remember that house e-mail list I got you to start building? Starting sending out a quality offer to that list, once a month. See how it works. Keep testing different types of subject lines, creative, offers and such. Always strive to beat your last best performance.
  43. Now you’re ready for some real online marketing (yes, all this was a warm up). Create a landing page for the best offer you’ve got. Follow best practices. Read Marketing Sherpa’s Landing Page Handbook for the best information you’ll find.
  44. Create 2-3 headlines for that page.
  45. Write a few different versions of body text for the landing page.
  46. And finally use a couple of different images.
  47. Then use a multivariate testing tool like Google Website Optimizer (if the budget’s tight) or Widemile (if you want the best possible result) to test all those headlines, copy versions and images and find the best ‘recipe’.
  48. Create 2-3 pay-per-click ads on Google Adwords and/or Yahoo!. Point those ads at the landing page. Be sure to use whatever tagging mechanism your analytics software requires, so you’ll know which ad generates which clicks.
  49. Now start that test!
  50. Pick the 3 things you learned from that test, and apply them to the rest of your site. Did one call to action work best? Create a button to put everywhere on the site. One type of photography? Use that, too. You get the idea.
  51. Did conversion rates go up? Cool! Now make sure you’re earning a good return on those PPC ads. Increase your spend and broaden your campaign, always watching out for ROI.
  52. Now you can create landing pages for all those house e-mails you’re sending out. Since you already know which subjects work best, and which kinds of offers, you can start with a good foundation and find the best possible landing page.
  53. Borrow your neighbor’s DVCam. Put it on a tripod. Film yourself talking about one of your products, or explaining how to use one of them. Post it on YouTube and then embed it on your site. No, you’re not Scorcese. But it’s more exposure for you, in another venue.
  54. Are you still using Yahoo! Answers? I hope so. Don’t make me come over there AGAIN.
  55. Create a MySpace page for fans/hobbyists/enthusiasts/students of your product or service. Don’t brand the page that heavily. Focus on the type of product or service. Attract folks who want to know more. Then wow ‘em with your knowledge, and build a circle of friends. Now you can announce offers and such to them, too.
  56. Do the same thing on Facebook.
  57. Find any industry-specific social networks that are relevant to you. It’s easy: Go to Google and search for “‘your product’ social network”. Bet you find some. If you do, join up.
  58. Take all the cool stuff you’ve learned by testing offers, and newsletters, and keywords, and ads, and landing pages, and revamp your site. Then announce your new, improved site to all your customers, and subscribers, and MySpace friends, etc..
  59. Whew! You’re done. Congrats! Now, go back to step 1, and repeat the process. Because you’re never ‘done’.

Did you know I just published an e-book? Well, I did: The Unscary, Real World Guide to SEO Copywriting. Have a look.


tags : conversation marketing

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124 Comments

  1. I know one thing I should not be doing and that is reading yet another list post by a blogger. Just kidding :). But seriously you have pointed out many things that I knew I should be doing but am not. Thanks for the reminder. Now I have to just get back to work.

  2. Bambi

    There are some really good tips in amongst your list and some interesting links too….I like it ;)

  3. This is about the best list I’ve seen so far addressing the subject of Internet Marketing Strategy–also sometimes known as SEO. I love it.

  4. Ian

    Thanks Patricia! Although I’d say that there’s more to internet marketing than SEO alone. There’s stuff on this list about analytics, e-mail marketing, usability, etc.. SEO is part of internet marketing, but not all of it.

  5. That was an excellent list with some excellent resources and pointers. In particular the point on monthly press releases. Also pushes me to look further into yahoo answers.
    On an additional note I found this blog by using a completely new tool for me called Google alert,
    Simply put in your keywords and Google actually sends you trends that occur on-line with your chosen keyword. Another great pointer to aid in marketing your website.

  6. rohit

    thanks! very very useful… incidentally you dont have a ‘required’ star on the name and email – that pissed me off.

  7. Great list! Certainly covers all the basics and avoids anything ‘black-hat’. Whatever we call this field: SEO / SEM / Internet Marketing… it all comes down to basics – creating a useful resource for the people that consume what you offer.
    The only thing I’d add to the list is re-iterative testing during changes and the power of observing actual users of your site. Oh, and to check if your Grandma can use it and what happens when a person with a screen reader accesses your site!

  8. Nataliya Yakushev

    Excellent and very comprehensive list. For e-commerce sites I’d add social shopping sites participation. Thanks for putting it all together!

  9. Ian

    Great additions.
    The reason I call it ‘internet marketing’ is that it also includes stuff that doesn’t touch search engines, like e-mail.
    Re-iterative testing is as important as re-iterative design and analysis. And accessibility should be second nature.

  10. This is one of the web’s most interesting stories on Sun 23rd Mar 2008

    These are the web’s most talked about URLs on Sun 23rd Mar 2008. The current winner is ..

  11. You had me at #1. Flash intros make web developers feel cool, and they make everyone else feel impatient. The rise of broadband has turned the mouse into a remote control, and Flash intros give people a great reason to change the channel.

  12. I love number #1, very funny. I’m not quite sure about the Hackersafe suggestion. The the logic, the more the better. There are many products in this area, could any of them work and would combining them create a stronger trustmark? We have some folks on the business side who insist on having more than one subscription to such services because their SEO consultant has advised them to.

  13. Ian

    I’m not thrilled with Hackersafe and their services, either, especially after having seen them work. But for now they sure seem to help.

  14. Albert Johnson

    Regarding point 12:
    I have an e-commerce site with a remotely-hosted shopping cart. The transaction pages are, of course, encrypted, and “protected” by [a "protective shield" company].
    We’ve been getting mail from [the same "protective shield" company] encouraging us to purchase the right to use their logo on our content pages, where it would do utterly nothing for us or our customers. We also received mail from a “customer” who was irate that our display pages weren’t “protected.” We were unable to convince this person that this made no sense. After some investigation, we found that this “customer” actually had an affiliation with [the "protective shield" company]. Very uncool.

  15. Ronda

    I like this list. #28, in particular, was an eye-opener for me. This serves as a great source to start building relationships with fellow bloggers as well as stay abreast on what’s current in the industry.

  16. Some very useful reminder; however, “59 things” is a bit misleading, you should group them into related items and it would be easier to follow.

  17. Susan

    Great article with a lot of useful tips. Just need time!
    Thanks.

  18. Web Geek

    you are an idiot, while some of what you says holds true you have no understanding of technical issues, you are just a marketing cretin and you are clueless

  19. I feel like giving you a standing ovation. This is a seriously good list. One of the biggest problems is that although we may “know” to do all of these things, frankly, we let a lot of them fall through the cracks because there really is a lot to remember to do.
    I’m wishing I could print this list out on a shiny poster to hang on my wall. Since I can’t, I’ll just bookmark the page and come back to it as often as needed. My memory is terrible. Always good to have a little help.

  20. ms

    I’m really sick of people saying to delete splash pages or flash intros. People, do whatever you want. if you want an intro, keep it. Most intro pages are for legitimate purposes these days anyway.
    For example, with a movie site, one that is to pull you into a story, or a game site, or a site with a theme from you can use motion, sound to engage the audience, use flash intros. Last I looked HTML and blog frameworks, didn’t supply a way to do this, so flash is still king for that.
    Ignore this blog post’s author about deleting them. if they work, keep them, enhance them. If they don’t work for you, then delete them.

  21. Ian

    Sorry about that. I wrote this jammed into a coach seat flying home from Newark. It was very stream-of-consciousness…

  22. Ian

    Hi ms,
    Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I don’t mind pages that are 99% flash, or even 100% flash, IF THEY INVITE THE USER to participate or further the goal of the site.
    A classic ‘splash’ page has stuff looping around with no opportunity for me to do anything. And far too many of those lend absolutely nothing to the site or the marketing goal
    Movie sites, for example, are great. Movies are about motion, and nothing does motion online better than Flash.
    I don’t want anyone to think I’m a Flash-hater. I’m not.
    Thanks,
    Ian

  23. Ian

    @webgeek: Nice trolling.
    But, what you lack in capitalization you make up for with gross assumptions.
    I’ve been writing code since the early 1990′s. Including some pretty respectable web apps.
    While I’m not genius, I manage.
    Now, if only you could punctuate as well as I write code…

  24. Ian

    I don’t have a very high opinion of their sales tactics either. Fact is, though, that logo does have an impact.

  25. Thanks a million. Well written and pertinent.
    I’m not an Internet marketer myself but my punters want the best.
    many have asked me why I don’t have ads and other stuff on our site; well its just that our site is information for our clients rather than a direct money spinner.
    Thanks again. I’ll watch ou for your articles.
    The Baldchemist

  26. Madize

    Hi, I found these tips, tricks and pages very useful, so hope I can use all of them! Thanks for this article!

  27. nice list… only got to through the first half then got bored…sorry :( maybe that’s why I’m only half as successful as I think I should be…
    Cheers,
    Stuart Stirling

  28. Matt

    Good list, going through it over the next few days. You sure got a good amount of responses on this one Ian. :-D

  29. Great list Ian. I concur with you regarding the hackersafe logo boosting conversion rates based on ‘human trust’, but I am curious as to any research you have on the logo improving a websites authority or trust rank?

  30. Great list! I’m familiar with almost every point you mentioned but having them all in one place is a handy reference.

  31. ok I’m going to ask the painfully obvious, if those are recommended things you should be doing why are all of the links no-followed?

  32. Ian

    Because the links still work, and these tools/sites all already have all the rankings they could ever need. I, on the other hand, continue to labor in the cellar, and would like to move up some day.

  33. it’s your site to run as you please but IMHO this is one of the big probs with no follow. PPL get far too concerned about how google sees there site instead of linking the natural way would in the past.
    If you are linking to something “bad” or that you don’t want indexed use nofollow. If you are linking to something good don’t try to horde, save or conserve your pagerank. If other people see you as not giving the link love they might be more inclined to not link to you in a way that passes page rank.
    my two drachmas.

  34. Ian

    Point taken. I’m removing them now.

  35. I have to agree with #1..those flash introduction that is taking too much of your time really sucks..but I don’t why we still can’t get rid of them…I guess probably because they look nice but we have to admit most of the time they really are annoying…^^
    # 23 is funny but true..I just hope my site is not that hideously ugly..^^

  36. Ian

    Don’t worry. Hideously ugly means the site induces allergic reactions in a measurable percentage of the population. Symptoms include uncontrollable laughter, howls of disgust, an urge to throw your monitor, and a rising need to reach through the monitor and slap the site owner in the face.
    Your site inspires none of those and in fact looks pretty damned good to me.

  37. Holly

    No mention of alt-tags for images and a good footnote describing the same image? Works like a charm. O, and submit your site to Dmoz.org is another one. Great list though.

  38. Ian

    @Holly thanks those are great adds.

  39. Thanks for this list. I am fairly new to internet marketing and most of the articles I read continue to go over my head. This article is packed full of useful information, while still remaining understandable. Thanks!

  40. PoLR

    Great list and links, thanks – Stumbled :-)

  41. #57 appears to be corrupted?

  42. Ian

    @mgroves sorry I mis-typed the entity for a left hand single quote. Should look ok now.

  43. Fred

    I’ve been at this new business for just a couple of days here. I knew there was more to it than the-make-money-fast-on-demand-instant-cash URL gangbangers were telling me. I llke them love them want them but lets hold on and get the rest of the picture. All I’m trying to say is thanks so much!

  44. All good tips, and I am starting to work on some of the optimization. Thanks!
    BTW, have you checked the load time on THIS site?

  45. Rudy

    Great list! I’m launching a clothing line soon, and will be using many of these tips to promote my brand and its supporting blog.
    Found via Stumble

  46. Ian

    Alas, the load time on this site is a constant tooth-grinder for me. Since we switched to MT4 it crawls…

  47. Ian,
    A great list and some good ideas – bookmarked and sent to some friends.
    Best,
    Jon :-)

  48. Sweet resource. Stumbled.

  49. Thanks Ian. I read your ideas and thanks for being so simple. Since I am new to this SEO jungle and since I am trying to improve my site rankings I found your article very useful.
    I knew about Googe Analytics but you have shown a bunch of other free tools valuable to me.
    Thanks
    Guru Naganat
    gurun@dubinresidential.com
    http://www.dubinresidential.com

  50. Jason

    Get someone who can write to create that press release. Bragging doesn’t help if you sound like an idiot.
    LOL.
    Your list made me cry… with laughter, of course. Cracking, hilarious stuff! :lol:

  51. Ian

    Always happy to make someone cry :)

  52. Josh

    This list brought a tear to my eye. Well done, and I now feel wholly inadequate. I can sling Flash, but I am with you on the over-use of it. When used properly, it’s a beautiful thing. However, most uses of Flash are unnecessary.
    Thanks for your work on this list, and now I’ve got to get to work!

  53. Ed

    Good list, the suggestion of having a look at Yelp! got me looking into the yellowpages/goldenpages entries for my company.
    Yep, they were years out of date…
    thanks
    Ed

  54. Thank you very much, this is amazing, very helpful.
    I am already using some of them, and they are working! Great post.

  55. Normally I hate these kind of list posts because the author doesn’t know what they are talking about. This post, however, doesn’t miss on a single point! You have touched on seriously hot tips and anyone that applies this knowledge will be successful. Great work!

  56. Ian

    @justin Thank you! Glad to hear it’s helpful.

  57. Thanks for the great list, I made sure to save this one as a reference. Many things I know already but of course I have not done them all. If you have a few sites, and a job and a family, and a life (sort of), how does one find time to do all these things? I’m still trying to figure that out.

  58. Ian

    @Delusional As are all of us :)
    Best thing you can do is ‘delegate to abstraction’, as Warren Buffet once put it. I prioritize, finding the things that’ll have the most impact first, and then working my way down the list.

  59. This is an amazing post! The execution of this list should be a must for every website owner that is looking to build a business online.

  60. I lost count at step 39………… Anyway, that was a brilliant post and lazy internet marketeer(sounds like me) should get down to work

  61. Amazing Man !
    Its really very nice to read all 59 tips. I would like to add one more point that always speak out in social media site whatever new post you write. I personally experience very good response using this method. Thanks again I am stumbling it here http://lindsayhogan.stumbleupon.com/ so that my Stumbleupon group can read your post.

  62. Chris Hunter

    Hey, Ian,
    Some spamming moron thought it would be cool to copy and paste your entire post over on the Warrior Forum, claiming it as his own.
    Well, I just wanted to give credit where credit is due and say thanks for the great info. I learned several things from it and wanted to give you the credit for it.
    I’ve also made others aware of the fact that the OP stole it from here.
    Thanks!

  63. Hey,
    Your article was cut/paste (read stolen) by someone on Warrior Forum.
    Here’s the link to the forum post
    I just wanted to thank YOU for writing this article…even though I found it via the forum rather than your site.
    I thumbed it up on Stumbleupon just b/c it was good and I felt you deserved a little juice for posting a great list of things to do :)
    Cheers,
    Brad Spencer

  64. Wow! Now that’s a list.
    I think the problem starts when people get bad advice, and then add another layer of bad advice, and keep building on that.
    I’m willing to bet very few people have already done ALL 59 things before reading your list.
    Someone else mentioned the value of adding the ‘name’ field to an opt-in form, and I agree because it allows me to personalize each message.
    What I like about the list is that it looks not only at the customer experience, but also the marketing aspect as well.
    Thanks again for a great list.
    All the best,
    Michael Oksa

  65. KnuteSacto

    Number 53 may be one of the most important ones, if done very systematically, over and over again.

  66. D

    start thinking internationally!

  67. What a great list! You covered so many aspects of Internet marketing that people should know (and do) in order to be successful.
    Thanks!

  68. Steve

    Never heard of HackerSafe or ScanAlert, thanks for the heads up. This list is crazy insane! In the best way possible.

  69. A most comprehensive resource – kudos – two questions/topics:
    1) For those lucky enough to capture their brand name on multiple domains (widget.com, widget.us, widget.tv, etc.) which TLD should they go with and why? Should it always be .com?
    2) Again with all those domains and a single brand, what are the best practices for utilizing all those domains as separate landing pages around a single brand? How do you make it clear to the search engines that they are all pointing to the one brand/primary site?

  70. Ian

    @Steven I’d always go with the .com. It’s what folks will type in anyway, even if you show them widget.us.
    For your second question: It depends heavily on the brand and the situation. If you have multiple campaigns, it might make sense to use the other domains. For example, if you’re doing a lot of video, widget.tv is a great domain.

  71. Joe

    Excellent list there thanks for that.
    Bookmarked for future reference.

  72. I think it speaks volumes Ian on your list you’re still receiving comments and kudos over six months later.
    This is definately bookmarked and not just at Delicious.
    Cliff

  73. Awesome post. You deserve much better diggs than this. Dugg and send few shouts :-)

  74. I just found you on Digg. You’ve been Dugg and will continue to try and spread the word about you. Amazing job!
    Your feedburner link “Subscribe to my RSS feed for more marketing goodness.” was misread at first as GODness… equally true
    -Steve

  75. Allan

    What do you make of all the new developments from Adobe? They are claiming that they have worked in collaboration with Google and that Flash is now indexable by search engines. I don’t know how real this is but it would change your list a little bit.

  76. Ian

    @Allan It’s much ado about almost nothing. Adobe and Google ARE collaborating, but no improvements they’ve made so far will result in any significant improvement in Flash’s crawlability. And that’s not even considering whether Google can create a semantic structure based on Flash (which it can’t).

  77. Useful and extremely funny. I am constantly talking people out of Flash splash pages. As if the job’s not hard enough…
    I think I’m going to illustrate the first point in future meetings.
    “What’s with the bucket of water?”
    “Allow me to demonstrate how much your customers enjoy your Flash intro…”

  78. Margo

    I just love the way you write, quite cheeky :-)
    Oh, the info’s pretty good too, and thanks for that.

  79. This is a seriously fantastic list. I have already implemented half a dozen and will work my way through several may today. Thanks.

  80. I love the comedy in your first rule! It’s great to see that people still have a scene of humor in Internet marketing and I do feel like I’m drowning while watching flash intros! Great post! Bookmarked!

  81. If you allow I’m gonna share the link to your article with some friends, who are looking for the same information. We were discussing about this topic yesterday and I searched for infos about it on google. I’m happy about finding your article.

  82. Ian

    @Chris Of course, go for it.

  83. I’m a beginner when it comes to web design – and there are some really useful tips on this list (some I don’t fully understand due to my technical incapability!..)
    However, from a surfers point of view may I recommend the following tips too:
    1: If you have video on your site as a tutorial or ad etc, switch the autoplay off so we can adjust the volume before we watch it – excessive and unexpected volume can be very annoying..
    2: Rollover ads – it’s the electronic equivalent of the mailman kicking your front door in and shoving your unwanted mail down your throat, and if it contains video/sound, see above! – most sites I come across with this problem, I never visit again.
    3: I totally agree with holly with the alt tags – just don’t make em too long!
    4: If there is any flash media on your site (games/tutorials/etc), stick a preloader on it so we know what the hell’s going on, and a skip button, just in case…
    5: Flashing text and Marquee’s – If you use them, I’d suggest you put your head in that bucket of water, only for longer than 10 seconds.

  84. Thanks for this article. I am slowly working my way down the checklist and slowly seeing my website climb the Google ranks.

  85. indeed a good checklist for the more ‘hidden’ technical elements of a well maintained web site.
    bookmarked :)

  86. hey Ian,
    this is an amazing list,You covered almost all aspects of Internet marketing that every Online business-man should know,
    I also say that with Web2.0 (something that you don’t cover), communication and “build relationship” become an easy task. this is very important, coz today, with a “tone of scam” in internet, people now pay more attention, so no one will “buy” any stuff till he knows (this is why relationship is imporant) who is the owner of the stuff.
    thanks again Ian, this is very informative
    Anouar

  87. Really great list.

  88. Hey Ian,
    Great comprehensive list, which makes everything sound so simplistic for the noobies.
    I would extend 55 to include the likes of Twitter though.
    MySpace is so 2005…

  89. Nice long list.. very useful. Thank you for sharing it.

  90. AlexG

    Nice list Ian.

  91. Wow, a very well done list! And thanks so much for including all of the useful resource links. I’ll use this as a reference for both my clients and my own websites. (You know what they say about the mechanic who drives a run-down beater…)

  92. nele

    Some awesome list. It gave me some good stuff to think about. Just digged it!

  93. papababa

    I think sometimes it’s irritating for websites to have links that opened up in a different tab. Unless you think that the user is going to find the former page useful. If not, I think transferring under the same page will retain the user within the site longer.

  94. Great list… I wish I would of found an article like this when I started out blogging.
    Thanks

  95. The list of dos and dots are very comprehensive and enlightening. The problem is that how you follow them

  96. Hi Ian,
    I just bookmarked your outstanding post.
    The list is complete and comprehensive.
    Thanks for sharing your effort for this.
    The links are also very useful.
    I must agree to all of them.

  97. What a fantastic list, one I will keep.
    Number one is great and totally true, plus flash is something that does not help search engine optimization. It is like hitting a brick wall with search engine spiders.
    Love your blog, will be back.
    Mike

  98. That is some great advice. I agree entirely with number one. Even if the Flash intro has a “skip” button it still takes forever to load that. It’s just unnecessary.

  99. Hi There, thanks for the helpful list of tips you have shared with us all. I find intros and splash pages annoying too and for any user who has slow connection, the option to skip is essential, otherwise they may get bored and go back to the SE.
    I will bookmark this page for future ;)

  100. This is such a great article. I just Dugg it and sent it out to all of my customers.
    Thanks so much,
    Nate

  101. I have to laugh that you tell people to hire someone to write their press release but not their landing page…the one page that has the most potential to bring them money!
    Overall a great list though.
    Tracy

  102. This suggestion can be applied to EVERY SINGLE website that is focused on making money. However, most entrepreneurs are so focused on beautifool design, they forget that the design only has to be beautiful enough to convert.
    Not more, not less.
    You don’t need a long loading flash as your navigation bar. You don’t need some stupid sound running in background on your website. And YOU MUST make them feel comfortable with your website.
    Thanks for the list. Some people forget how important this thing is.

  103. Duncan

    Nice post! Great foresight on loading speed since Google mentioned they want to make the internet faster.
    Did I miss addressing canonical issues? 301 redirects, etc. If that’s not on there it should be.

  104. I am sure those who are honest about the linking will care how there site is seen on google vs. just sending out bogus links to nofollow sites and all without any care. that will just destroy a site but not many actually know that. Great list. Thanks for sharing.

  105. Great post with way too much info for one sitting (which is a good thing). I printed out the list and will read the second half when I get home. As for the first half, I really liked the progression of points #14 and #15. When you’re just starting out, it makes sense to track where previous successes have been.

  106. This list is brilliant!
    Some really good ideas and advice
    Thanks for sahring it with the masses!
    Cher

  107. Arif

    “If you have a Flash introduction on your web site, delete it.”
    Absolutely true. No one comes to a website like ebay to watch some fancy graphs. There are already many websites for this. Customers and visitors look for simplicity and the useful information.
    The list is great. No wonder why this one is so popular. Thanks.

  108. Haha! The first one was so hilarious I skipped the rest to comment before going on.

  109. Fantastic read, I’ll admit that I spat coffee on my keyboard after reading #1. Enjoyed reading and learned a lot. Thanks!

  110. Dena

    An extremely useful post Ian. I think every person who is remotely involved in internet marketing should read this…
    Oh and btw, i can never stress #22 enough. Getting a w3c compliant website is the least you can do tbh

  111. Tyme

    As for page speed, here is the catch. Some PageSpeed flags are difficult to clear.
    Catch #1: The CMS(s), such as Drupal, write many individual CSS files, and perhaps JS files; that number depending on the add-on modules installed. While they _sometimes_ can be optimized (if CMS setting is available to do so), you might be stuck with all those individual files. You cannot consolidate those individual module CSS/JS files, or you screw yourself for updates. If you minify your CSS/JS, you might sacrific annotations and clarity of code — at least to some degree.
    Catch #2: Google Analytics and other 3rd party apps code often triggers flag with PageSpeed.
    Best you can do is maybe 80% score, which is respectable for a CMS site, I’d say.
    In summary, not much to do about those things. So, don’t fire your web developer unless you know for sure that they don’t know what they are doing.

  112. Another great post. I will be taking your list and check my sites. I’m pretty darn sure I’m not doing everything on this list. Thanks again.

  113. I think if everyone started of with a bit of knowledge or could find some decent real online info like the list provided here you could make a good start online.
    The list is great and I am sure not all of us have implemented the whole list.
    I think number 2 has come more into the equation this year as well with Google appartently taking this into account when ranking websites.
    Thank you for the list, very informative.
    RP

  114. 1 thing you mentioned was guest commenting on blogs. One other good strategy to get your name and reputation out there in your niche is also to do guest blog posts on niche related blogs.

  115. Still very relevant more than 2.5 years later – that’s unheard of on the web! Nicely done. I’m still fairly new to SEO and this has been great.

  116. Great List! There is at least 8-10 things there I have not done. One thing I make sure of for SEO is too target no more than one keyword per page.
    Thanks for the post,
    Karn

  117. Qazaleh

    Thanks alot for these perfect tips that you gathered them.
    another tips that I recommend to you is : choosing some advertisement that are related to your field and be sure that they have a real background.In this way when somebody search a topic that related to these ads,he/she will connect to your site.

  118. Paras

    This list brought a tear to my eye. Well done, and I now feel wholly inadequate. I can sling Flash, but I am with you on the over-use of it. When used properly, it’s a beautiful thing. However, most uses of Flash are unnecessary.
    Thanks for your work on this list, and now I’ve got to get to work!

  119. Whew! That’s a pretty long list Ian. I almost gave up when reached number 31 :-)
    I am absolutely agree with you regarding flash intros on websites… doesn’t do any good to a website if one wants to get results.
    You sound pretty mean, but I guess one has to take their online business and website very seriously if they plan to succeed.
    Now, I’m going to go do the items that I haven’t done yet :-)

  120. Derek

    Wow. I thought I was doing OK but creating and managing my own site but after going through this list I now realize that I either need a webmaster or more than 24 hours in the day.
    Thanks for the eyeopener.

  121. WENDY

    You are hysterical. I love that somebody on the net actually has some personality! What great info, I’m really looking forward to implementing your plan of attack. (Also going to check out your book!)
    Thanks again for the great info and the giggles!
    Hope you have a great day!

  122. So glad I found your site using SU.
    Yes, a Flash intro is a prime indicator of Cluelessness. (Big C.) Reminds me of a year ago when I was out driving and saw a gorgeous new oondo building. Punched the URL into iPhone. Got a “you don’t have Flash” error. Yes, that’s right, someone constructed a $20 million building and let his web guy decide that anyone with an iPhone shouldn’t be allowed to find out more about it.
    They still haven’t sold any of the condos, though that may have more do to with the fact that on one side the view is of a gas station and the other is of a blank wall 3 feet away.
    Charleen Larson

  123. Eric

    Oy, lots to do. #58 definitely dates this list (what is this “Myspace” of which you speak?) so maybe we’re due a refresher? Thanks Ian!

  124. Kate

    Bam! There goes my afternoon. And evening, too, probably. I knew this would be a dangerous article to start reading, but thanks anyway – it’s like a roundup of all the “i really must get around to”‘s that have been meandering around my brain, plus some extra stuff I’d never considered.
    And you made me laugh too, which helps.

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