The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!

Posted on Posted in Internet Marketing

Marketing a website isn’t particularly difficult. It’s usually just a matter of knowing what to do, how to do it and having the skills and time to get it done. With that said, marketing a website isn’t particularly easy either. There are so many factors and variables in play that at any given time that the job can be quite overwhelming. Obviously I can’t address the issue of whether or not you have the skills or time, but I can help you out with the “what to do” piece of the puzzle.

I’ve always been a lover of checklists, especially when it comes to getting things done. Especially when it comes to remembering what things need to be done! So over the last several years I’ve been putting together checklists for all kinds of things pertaining to website marketing.

Below is my master website marketing checklist covering over 400 specific items over 23 topics. These topics include things such as website development, SEO, usability, accessibility, etc. This list doesn’t cover any “how tos,” which are essential ingredients to successful online marketing, but sometimes you need to first know what to do so you can then discover how to do it.

For the sake of brevity, I have kept each check point to its briefest form providing very little explanation. I don’t cover why any particular item is included, how important it might be, or what it even means. This is just the checklist in its rawest form.

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll provide some additional explanation and insights to the lists below. And since this list is always a work in progress, any additional thoughts and insights are welcome. I’m always adding and removing things as I see fit. Which brings me to one more note: many items are included here based purely on my own preferences and by no means constitute an absolute truth or necessity.

Domain name & URLs (click heading for additional details)

Short and memorable
Uses Keywords
Used in email addresses
Uses Favicon
Site.com redirect to www. version:
Alternate Domain redirects
Home page redirect to root
No underscores in filenames
Keywords in directory names
Multiple pages per directory
Registered for 5+ years
Multiple versions:
.com
.org
.net
.biz
Hyphenations
Misspellings
Product names
Brand names
Type-in keywords URLs

Browser issues (click heading for additional details)

Visible address bar
Fully functional navigation tools
Visible status bar
Site works in multiple browsers
No browser hi-jacking

Site logo (click heading for additional details)

Displays company name clearly
Isn’t hidden among clutter
Links to home page
Unique and original
Use tagline consistently across site

Design considerations (click heading for additional details)

Instant site identification
Crisp, clean image quality
Clean, clutter-less design
Consistent colors and type
Whitespace usage
Minimal distractions
Targets intended audience
Meets industry best practices
Easy to navigate
Descriptive links
Good on-page organization
Easy to find phone number
Don’t link screen captures
Skip option for flash
Consistent page formatting
No/minimal on-page styling
Avoid text in images
Font size is adequate
Font type is friendly
Paragraphs not too wide
Visual cues to important elements
Good overall contrast
Low usage of animated graphics
Uses obvious action objects
Avoid requiring plugins
Minimize the use of graphics
Understandable graphic file names
No horizontal scrolling
Non-busy background
Recognizable look and feel
Proper image / text padding
Uses trust symbols
Works on variety of resolutions
Works on variety of screen widths

Architectural issues (click heading for additional details)

Correct robots.txt file
Declare doctype in HTML
Validate HTML
Don’t use frames
Alt tag usage on images
Custom 404 error page
Printer friendly
Underlined links
Differing link text color
Breadcrumb usage
Nofollow cart links
Robots.txt non-user pages
Nofollow non-important links
Review noindex usage
Validate CSS
Check broken links
No graphics for ON/YES, etc.
Page size less than 50K
Flat directory structure
Proper site hierarchy
Unique titles on all pages
Title reflects page info and heading
Unique descriptions on pages
No long-tail page descriptions
Proper bulleted list formats
Branded titles
No code bloat
Minimal use of tables
Nav uses absolute links
Good anchor text
Text can be resized
Key concepts are emphasized
CSS less browsing
Image-less browsing
Summarize all tables

Navigation (click heading for additional details)

Located top or top-left
Consistent throughout site
Links to Home page
Links to Contact Us page
Links to About Us page
Simple to use
Indicates current page
Links to all main sections
Proper categorical divisions
Non-clickable is obvious
Accurate description text
Links to Login
Provides Logout link
Uses Alt attribute in images
No pop-up windows
No new window links
Do not rely on rollovers
Avoid cascading menus
Keep scent from page to page
Targets expert and novice users
Absolute links

Content (click heading for additional details)

Grabs visitor attention
Exposes need
Demonstrates importance
Ties need to benefits
Justifies and calls to action
Gets to best stuff quickly
Reading level is appropriate
Customer focused
Benefits and features
Targets personas
Provides reassurances
Answers WIIFM
Consistent voice
Eliminate superfluous text
Reduce /explain industry jargon
No typo, spelling or grammar errors
Contains internal contextual links
Links out to authoritative sources
Enhancing keyword usage (SEO)
Date published on articles/news
Web version of PDF docs available
Consistent use of phrasing
No unsubstantiated statements

Content Appearance (click heading for additional details)

Short paragraphs
Uses sub-headings
Uses bulleted lists
Calls to action on all pages
Good contrast
No overly small text for body
No overly small text for headings
Skimmable and scannable
Keep link options in close proximity

Links and buttons (click heading for additional details)

Limit the number of links on a page
Avoid small buttons and tiny text for links
Leave space between links and buttons
Avoid using images as the only link
Link important commands
Underline all links
Accurately reflects the page it refers

Home page (click heading for additional details)

No splash page
Instant page identification
Provides overview of site
Site purpose is clear
Robot meta: NOODP,NOYDIR

About Us page (click heading for additional details)

Adequately describes company
Shows team biographies
Shows mission statement
Up to date information
Note associations, certifications & awards
Links to support pages:
Contact page
Investor relations
Company news
Registration info
Job opportunities
Newsletters
Link to social media profiles

Contact Us page (click heading for additional details)

Easy to find
Multiple contact options:
Phone
Fax
Email
Form
Chat
Customer feedback
Street map
Hours of operation
Final call to action
Multiple points of contact:
Customer service
Tech support
Inquiries
General info
Job applications
Billing
Management team
Ad-free
Form requires only essential info

E-Commerce considerations (click heading for additional details)

Mini-product basket always available
Displays payment options:
CC
Paypal
Google Checkout
No multiple paths to dupe product pages
No tracking IDs in URLs
Exclude shopping cart pages
No (or nofollowed) links to secure pages
Keep secure cert current

Product pages (click heading for additional details)

Visible calls to action
Clear contact info (phone #)
Consistent layout
Clear pricing
Show additional fees
Clear product presentation
Show shipping cost
Show availability
Provide delivery options, details
Estimate delivery date
Link to site security info
Return / guarantee info
Allow “save for later”
Related products & up sells
Clear product image
Describe images
Enhanced multiple image views
Product description
Product details & specs
Product selection options
Customer product reviews
Product comparisons
Printer-friendly option
“Add to cart” close to item
Secondary “add” button at bottom
Standardized product categorization
Clutter-free page
Provide International pricing
Provide product search
Emphasis brand quality and trust
Compare to offline competitors
Short URLs with keywords

Basket page (click heading for additional details)

Obvious checkout link
Product descriptions
Product image
Show availability
Updatable quantities
Ability to remove items
Link to products
Product price
Payment options
Promos/vouchers explained
Link to security
Link to guarantees
Show delivery costs
Show delivery date
Allow gift options
“Continue shopping” link or options
Show contact information
No advertising/upselling
Don’t keep personal info w/o authorization
Shipping questions answered
International shipping
International address forms

Mini baskets (click heading for additional details)

Make new products added obvious
Link to full basket page
Allow removal of products
Show order total

Checkout process (click heading for additional details)

No hidden fees
No pre-registration
Keep checkout process short
Show benefits of registration:
Faster checkout in future
Access to order history
Check order status
Saved for later information
Access to special promotions
Personalization
Joining a community
Show checkout progress meter
Effective after-order follow-up
Receipt / Confirmation:
Printable
Emailed
Thank you message
Order number
Order date
Items purchased
Expected delivery date
Payment method
Cancellation policy
How to cancel
Return policy
Address return costs
After-sale guarantees

Login & My Account pages (click heading for additional details)

Easy to find login access
Use security protocols
Provide security assurances
Link for new registrations
Outline account benefits
Reclaim lost password option
“Remember me” option
Link to privacy policy
Logged-in status is clear
Account info change access
Confirmation of change info
Links to financial info
Transaction history
Invoices
Balances
Payment methods
Choose method of delivery:
Text email
HTML email
Snail mail
Overnight
Etc.

Help and FAQ pages (click heading for additional details)

Avoid marketing hype
Allow Help search
Provide printable text
Link to additional resources:
User guides
Product support
Customer support
Downloads

Forms and errors (click heading for additional details)

Flexible entry requirements
Allow for tabbing between fields
Proper tab order
Clear field labels
Text label above field box
Only require necessary information
Minimal instructions
Instructions above field
Friendly error output
Errors obviously indicated
Errors describe remedy
Errors provide contact / help option
Preserve data with errors
Provide pre-selected choices
Don’t overdo choices
Note required fields
Progress indicator
Progress navigation
Remove navigation
Link to privacy information
Final info verification check
Confirmation/thank you page
Stack fields vertically
Proper use of radio buttons
Keep “submit” close to fields
Field boxes adequately wide
No “reset” or “cancel” buttons
Autocomplete=off as necessary
Buttons denote action

Site search (click heading for additional details)

Located in top-right corner
Search not case sensitive
Properly labeled as “search”
Link to “advanced search”
Forgiving of misspellings
Shows similar products
Shows related items in results
No “no products found”
Provide refinement options
Provide alternate spellings
Provide links to relevant pages
Show search string in results
Don’t place results in tables
Display exact matches first
Display close matches second
Bold query words in results
Display titles with descriptions
No more than 20 results p/ page
Option to increase result p/ page
Link to additional results pages

Privacy and Security pages (click heading for additional details)

Present info in easy to read format
Make information easily scannable
Provide section summaries
Identify information types collected
Explain how cookies are used
Explain how user information will be used
Explain how info will be protected
Provide additional protection tutorials
Link to these pages in footer
Provide links to contact info

Site map (click heading for additional details)

Keep information current
Link to site map in footer
Linked from help and 404 pages
Provide overview paragraph
Provide intro to main sections
Visible site hierarchy
Descriptive text and links
Link to xml sitemap in robots.txt file

Srinivas Katam

Do you need help growing your business? Srinivas Katam is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Consultant with over 200 successful SEO and Social Media client engagements completed. I’ve worked with brands across the world as a digital marketing consultant to deliver revenue growth from content-focused inbound marketing campaigns. He has been partnering with companies like yours for more than 13+ years to provide more traffic with better results. He is an Innovative Marketer who specializes in digital marketing, specifically in social media, SEO and online strategy.

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