From my and my company's background experience, a 101
list of web marketing tips, ideas and best practices. I tried to
cite as many websites and other respectable reading sources as
(emphasizing technical specifications)
1. Don't use sitewide links. They are highly
deprecated in the latest algorithm changes, and may even lead you to
a penalization of your website's SERPs. As a measure of precaution,
I recommend a maximum of one sitewide (no matter the number of
pages) for every 40 to 50 unique links from 40 to 50 unique
domains. 2. Use the title and meta description tags as wise as
possible. They are your best choice
of avoiding supplemental pages. Try to make each page
with it's own unique title and description, and never repeat more
than 2-025% of the title and description tags content on different
pages. Use a limited number of characters (810) in the title tag,
and put the most important of them, relevant to each page, at the
3. Read my previous post on 14 search marketing
questions, asked by Digitalpoint members.
4. Try to use H tags (1,2,3 etc) at the topmost
possible location in the pages of your website, in the source order,
and NOT visual order.
5. Don’t be a Copycat. Don't write news or posts just
to have something for the big Google. Nowadays, duplicate content
filters are continuously evolving and even if you gain something on
the short term you will loose it later. Try to be innovative.
6. Use a pen and paper. Always have an agenda and
a pen around. Note down every crazy idea you think of... Most of us
have truly great subjects to write about, but during the day we
forget, busy with other issues. I always note my ideas. At the end
of a day, I am amazed to see a 20 subjects list to write about,
versus 1 or two that I can come up with at writing time.
7. Suggest "related websites" in your website’s Alexa
information page. That will bring some traffic.
8. If you want that early search engine boost, don’t
just buy a new domain and invest $10K on the website design and
development. You are better off buying a 5 year domain and investing
$5K on the website. Age matters a lot and it will matter good years
from now on.
9. If you own a website that contains 80% Google and
you are always on the lookout for new content/news to write about,
please and I mean PLEASE read Ionut’s Google System. He’s still a
student at a University in Bucharest (I live in Bucharest, so I have
to meet him soon) and he can write all those stuff about it. Imagine
him 10 years from now. He’s great on finding every bit of
information, bug, unreleased service or any other thing about
10. Try to build other websites that revolve around
your primary niche. Use them to better market and infuse brand and
traffic into your primary website. I’m not talking about building
scraper websites. Build quality content ones, and invest money and
time and work hours in them. But in the end, just make them a
vehicle that you will use to better market your primary website.
11. Use Google’s, Yahoo’s and MSN’s(that’s the
Moreover ping server which will ping MSN) sitemap services. Not only
that it will provide you with invaluable server and website data,
but it will get your pages in their index faster.
12. If your website is in DMOZ, and Google and MSN
(Live.com) show the DMOZ title and description, and that doesn’t
work for you (most of the time, the DMOZ information for your
website sucks) just bypass it and use your own ones. MSN and Google
both support this function.
13. Don’t ignore Google’s, Yahoo’s, Live’s and Ask’s
image search functions. Most of the times, you can get a higher
traffic from the image search engines then from the usual search,
especially if you have a content rich website. Just a reminder for
you: use the title attribute on links that surround the images, and
use the ALT attribute on the image tags themselves. Also, always
remember to rename your images with relevant descriptive words (a
maximum of 4 words works best).
14. Have a look at the websites I read (Bloglines),
and subscribe to their feeds. Read them regularly.
Advertising and Affiliate
15. If you use the Adsense, YPN! or adCenter
contextual ads on your website, try to optimize them. Don’t just
insert them in your website and leave them. Work with them, change
the position, the ad layout, the colors, the content around them.
And remember, that at least for Adsense, the ad that’s placed in the
highest position possible in the source’s order, will yield the
highest income per click.
16. Use affiliate programs once
your website has started to receive some quality traffic. Depending
on your niche, affiliate programs are a much better way to convert
your traffic, then all the other advertising methods like contextual
networks, banners, links etc. Commision Junction is a
good way to start your research.
17. Effectively lead your readers
to your MDA (Most Desired Action). That may be a newsletter box, a
banner, an Adsense etc. Place your MDA right below comments, or in the left/right sidebars, or
in the header. Experiment. Analyze. React.
an affiliate system for the services products you are offering. Let others
do the PR and sales job for you.
RSS & Newsletter
19. Don’t trust yourself only in
RSS feeds. A lot of users are “oldschool” and prefer email newsletters. Always
offer this option.
20. Another good newsletter
tactic is to offer a periodical email digest with the top stories in
a certain period. A week, a month etc. Maybe some of your visitors missed a few
21. Research Robin Good’s Best
Blog Directory And RSS Submission Sites (Part 2 and+ Part 3 available
too) and market your RSS feed in all those websites. Don’t know what
an RSS feed is ? (if you don’t, you’re either a moron,
or you should fire someone).
22. Not only submit your RSS feed to different RSS aggregators, but learn
to market it. Analytics Marketing Techniques
23. Pay attention to your
website’s statistics. Install a good analytics tool like IndexTools
or Google Analytics. Not only the absolute numbers and statistics
(like total users/total visits) count. Try to go deeper and analyze the navigation patterns, entry/exit rates and
pages, the new /returning visitors ratio etc.
24. Continuously monitor your
server stats, referrers and logs, and try to respond to links and
articles that reference your website. That shows dedication and
it’s another way to market your website indirectly.
25. Survey your visitors (you
need a free user account to read this article). Learn what your
audience and demographics are. Strive to improve your readership towards
your website’s business goal. Constantly resurvey.
26. Research your market and
always be up to date with your competitors. What their prices are,
where do visitors go, is the site designed for success ? Look for
things like quality code and content, internal/external linking,
keyword density in content and links, pages indexed, Google
Pagerank, quality titles, headers, site layout and design,
conversion process, site load time, dedicated host, what new services they
develop and announce etc.
27. Learn to increase your leads
28. Trial and error Trial and
measure: raise awareness of your products and services, convert a
visitor into a registered user and/or paying customer, persuade exiting customers to make further business, developing
loyalty. Brand and Visibility Marketing
29. When commenting a post or
story in another website don’t spam: “OMG that’s uber cool”, “Nice
post” or something like that. Instead, try to make your comments in
a professional way, show what you liked/disliked/agreed/etc,
cite other sources, give examples, bring pertinent arguments etc.
Remember, comments are an important part of a post/article. Over 60% of the readers
will also read the comments.
30. Try to associate your name or
your website’s name/brand with the big boys on your niche. Regularly
comment their articles (don’t spam) and from time to time make
reviews of their post on your blog/website.
31. Starting your website from
scratch, always sucks. Seek out other websites/companies in your
industry and try to establish a relationship with them. Try a mutual
partnership and/or services recommendations. Don’t try to email/ fax
your direct competitors.
32. Brand and paint your
employee’s uniforms and your company’s cars with your logo and
website address. This is especially useful if you have a lot of
cars. It’s massbranding and it will get people, thus future clients in your local area accustomed and comfortable with
your logo, website and business.
33. Put your website address, on
every possible internal piece of paper or communication device,
including, but being limited to business cards, letterheads, invoices, newspaper and/or other print ads,
yellow pages advertisements, receipts etc.
34. Always identify yourself with
your visitors, especially if you own a publishing website/weblog.
Always have your editor name written for articles and it’s best to have a profile too. A picture,
a contact method. Social Media Marketing
35. If you ever want to write
something that will end up on any of Digg’s, Reddit’s, Netscape’s,
Newsvine’s (etc) frontpage, write about how to get on their
frontpage, about Firefox, Wordpress or Apple/Mac. No matter what you
write about those, people love them and you WILL get on the frontpage,
unless it’s un utterly stupid article.
36. Pay close attention to
Stumbleupon. It’s a great alternative social network. Install their
toolbar, and if you write a good post, submit it in their system. Be
faithful and fairplay with the other members, help each other, and
add friends to your account. Ask other members to review you if they
liked what you stumbled upon. StumbleUpon traffic had the highest
converting ratio (at least for me), in comparison to Delicious, Digg or Reddit users, which seem to be
RSS and AD blind.
37. Whenever you have the belief
that digging your articles will yield you an increased CTR on your
Adsense ads, RSS subscriptions, comments or any other kind of added
benefit to your website, you are wrong. I can sustain Davak’s post
80%, except the Alexa part. Digg users do use the Alexa toolbar or
plugins that count as the Alexa toolbar. But you won’t notice any increased CTR’s, comments or clicks, no matter
the traffic gained from a Digg.
38. Reward helpful and valuable
users by promoting their work on your homepage, or develop a rating
system. Invest 5 minutes of your time to send a quick email or note
telling them you appreciate their help.
39. At least once per year, ask
your visitors what do they think about your website’s content. What
would they want to read more ? What new facilities should you offer them ? 10
reasons to survey your visitors.
40. Be humble. Don’t forget where
you started from, even if you are a professional in your field. No
one can be an authority in a certain
category if others don’t link to/recommend/interview/blog about.
Link Baiting, Link
Building and Research
41. Write controversial content
that will selfgenerate links and discussions/comments. Pick on
wellknown people, criticize loved websites or
42. When starting your website,
try to gather a few links from already established and trustworthy
websites. Stop trying to get your link on websites that are 2 months
old like yours. Pay a directory submission in Yahoo!, BOTW,
Webxperience!, Skaffe or other well known directories. Paying for a
directory submission almost guarantees you a faster response time.
DMOZ is an excellent way to start but you can’t get your way in fast
and with money, so it’s best to
43. Build links slowly, to avoid the sandbox. Slowly can mean 510 gained
backlinks per month.
44. When you research websites
for IBL’s possibilities, don’t be fooled about high PR pages. What
you need is Trust, not a high Pagerank. How can you tell if a
website is an authority website or not ? Just find 5 titles of 5
articles on that website and search those phrases in Google. If the
website appears on the first page, then it’s a quality website.
After that inspect some of it’s backlinks, and try to see if the
website is involved in dubious link schemes or has IBLs from irrelevant and spam websites.
If it doesn’t, you’re OK to go.
Remember, what you need is Trust,
and traffic. Not Pagerank. 45. A good link building strategy is to
comment or participate in discussions or content on other websites
in your industry. It’s not enough to have good articles/content. The
world has to know about them. Make connections/relations with other
jounalists/bloggers/entreprenours in your niche, comment their articles, and links will come by themselves, with
46. Create posts/articles that
help your visitors and attract natural links. “5 tips to …”, “25 easy ways to make …. better” type
of articles are the best you can write.
47. Write stories/articles in the
most highlyranked websites of your industry and link to your website
from the article. I am not talking about article directories, but
industry websites that accept content contributions from members. (like ThreadWatch or WebproNews, for
48. Are you in any good relations
with an US faculty/university ? Kindly ask them if you can
contribute with something, and request a link from their websites.
.edu and .gov links are supposed to carry a little more weight and
authority then regular links. An excellent post in SEOmoz on
ten ways to earn an .edu link
49. Do you write in forums ?
Always put your link in your signature, and try to write a few
attractive words too, to increase the likelihood of clicks on your
links. Many forums like Digitalpoint or V7N, have a latest blog post function. If you have a feed, always use that functions (tip:
it works with any feed, not just blogs).
50. My best advice for gathering
a LOT of easy links is to create and release free templates for any
widespread, free CMS system out there. Wordpress, PHP Link
Directory, Joomla, Mambo, Typo66, Drupal, etc. You are not a
designer ? Hire one to build you some templates. What’s the benefit
? That small “template by X” in the footer of the template, that
will reside in all the websites that use it. The more functional and
beautiful the template is, the more people will use it. Colleen,
from Kalina Web Designs as well as Chris from Pearsonified come
highly recommended by me and others. It’s not worthwhile to tell you that I too have a design company. We’re
too expensive for your ass ;)
51. If you are interested about
Pagerank rather then relevancy, whenever you submit to directories
or other websites that accept links, try to search the most relevant
page with the highest PR, and submit to that. Keep the relevancy
pretty high on your list though, otherwise they will reject your website for
sure. I would and will.
52. Viral marketing, word of
mouth, tell a friend schemes can get your server on fire in hours.
Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals
to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for
exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence. I guess this Threadwatch article
about a MiniCooper AD will tell you more.
53. Ask friends or colleagues in
your industry, to review your business website. If you have high
profile friends, then you are sure to bring a high traffic and
increased authority impact to your website.
54. Build a funny 404 page that will make your visitors laugh
a bit and maybe will attract some links.
55. Don’t overlook linkbaiting:
Organize a contest, adding a competitive element to it and offering
a prize, post a very cool and funny post (usually a video or a
cartoon or something that everyone would understand
visually), ideally related to your industry etc.
56. Take a 6 months/1 year
college class and get a personal page on the
university’s .edu domain. Prices are usually cheap
Corporate & eCommerce
57. Issue press releases for your
website. No matter the field, a well written press release can not
only improve your marketing strategy and gain a few inbound links
and link bait from other websites, but can lead to journalists that
will cite your company in their offline/online magazine as well as in online news websites
like Google News and Yahoo! News.
58. If you have a company or
product presentation website, try to provide multilingual pages. Helps for ranking in different localized search
engines and user experience …
59. If you have local conferences
or shows, that relate to your industry attend to them. Go yourself,
or send an employee. Make business connections, friends, discuss
daily issues, socialize. You wouldn’t imagine how much that will help
you on the long run.
60. If you sell products or
services on your website, regularly offer discounts or promotional
coupons. That will not only increase sales and visibility but will
attract links and stories, especially if you are a well known
company. Issue a press release each and every time you offer that
discount. Journalists and news search engines like Google News usually pick up the press release
if it’s written correctly.
about how much information is on the Internet; your credit card,
your home addresses, your personal letters by email. etc.), a FAQ
section, a Help section or any other functionality that will bring your website closer to your visitors,
increasing authority, trust and revisit rates.
62. No matter your writing skill,
read a few pointers about how to write a professional press release
(excellent 21 pages ebook on the new rules of PR local mirror) and
try releasing a free press release at PressBox, Free Press Release,
PrLeap, iNewswire, 24/7 Press Release, PR.com, PR Free or
ClickPress. After you’ll see the benefits, hire a professional press
release writing service and do it by the book at PrWeb, PrNewsWire and/ore other
global, more authoritative PR distribution services.
63. Read the PccPolo 101
marketing tips (local mirror) and the United States Small
Business Administration 100+ Marketing Ideas.
64. Your customers are always right!
65. Thou shalt remember that not
only Google has a Bible: The 10 Commandments of Marketing (you need a free user
account to read this article).
66. Personalize your company’s cars license plates
67. Optimize your website’s
shopping cart and watch how your average order size increase and your cart abandonment rate decrease.
68. Do you have a company or
corporate website ? Build a blog for yourself. Blogs are a common
way of internal company communication as well as a good source of PR. Clients and possible clients feel close
and can interact with your team, online.
69. Do you blog ? Pimp your blog
with social bookmarking tools, a Feedburner account with the FeedCount option activated
to show your RSS subscribers.
70. If you have a blog (but not
only a blog) take full advantage of Technorati. Technorati offers
you the chance to submit 20 tags relevant to your blog, when you
create your account, and start to claim each blog/website. Don’t let
that stop you. Use Technorati tags, tailored for each post
individually. Technorati pages rank extremely well, and it’s a great
source of traffic, so it’s best to use it to your advantage. Watch
how PrWeb uses Technorati tags in every press release, to it’s
advantage. The advantage is that your specific article will show up in searches of
each of those tags.
71. Whenever you write a post on
your blog, or an article in your publishing website, or a press
release, try to think search too. Research with Overture and
Wordtracker (if you have an account), what are the best words to use
in your title. They tend to help a lot, because the title usually is
used in the meta description and URL too. That will boost
your page a little in the SERPs.
72. Plan your blog’s start. When
starting a new blog, it’s important to realize that every detail
counts. Don’t start with a default theme and ‘hello world’ like
posts and then ask for links. Try to start with 23 good written subjects. Always plan
ahead and write today, tomorrow’s post.
73. Always link from your blog.
Link to as many quality websites as possible. Don’t be afraid to
“spread your PR thin” or some other BS like that. Link to good posts
of people, link to good newspaper articles, and most importantly,
link to relatively unknown blogs/websites that feature a good
original story. In most cases that will yield you some free PR. Most
other websites (like PrWeb or blogs etc) have trackback plugins so they’ll
feature your story in their comments.
74. Read Quadzilla’s 9 rules
about blogging (disregard rule #10) and Seth Godin’s how to
get traffic for your blog post.
75. Have a blog ? Always ping
update services. Here are the Update services I use for this blog
(For Wordpress, they are located in Options/Writing/Update
use the Bloglines, Technorati and Google Blogs pings to update those
services immediately and not wait for services like Pingomatic to notify them hourly.
Design, Content, Accessibility and Usability Marketing
76. The quality of the layout and
design matters. Don’t release an ugly, badly design website. I would
rather wait to do a much better design and release the website
afterwards. The same situation for websites that are already online.
Got an ugly design ? Redesign the website. It’s proven that a new,
more beautiful and accessible design for a website strongly increases the likelihood of bookmarking, revisiting, and
subscribes to the feed and newsletters.
77. Write with the user in mind. A BAD post example is like writing
a long citation of another blogpost/
authority site, and actually
writing no opinion of your own. Try to add your own analysis and
views of the subject. No matter how many other websites blogged or
wrote about a story, they will never write the same post as yours, with
the same pro’s and con’s.
78. Spell check your content.
There’s no other big mistake for a publishing site than users
criticizing the misspells. Take those extra 2 minutes to check the spelling
errors in Word or even Google.
79. Try to get your readers to
comment and to involve themselves with the subject at hand. Uses
phrases like “I’d like to know what you think?” / “I’m waiting
your suggestions about …” etc.
80. If you can’t write good
stories, don’t. Hire an experienced publisher to do the writing for
you. John Scott hired Peter Da Vanzo to blog for V7N’s blog. Not
because John can’t, but because he’s not the writing geek and
because he wanted a professional blog. That does the job well for him and that can do
the job well for you too.
81. If you have a website where
people can pay online for products, make the job easy. Put a BIG
button or text, use multiple processors like 2CO, Paypal etc. Don’t
hide the payment link in some footer or sidebar space. Make it
visible. If you don’t have your own shopping cart, then let the
visitor know that he will be redirected to a 3rd party
website, to complete the payment process.
82. Make sure the website is
consistent in look, feel and design. Nothing is more disturbing to a
visitor/customer than feeling as if they have just gone to another
website. Keep colors and themes constant throughout the site. And
yes, this is a marketing tool too. You DO want your visitors
to come back right ?
83. If you have a content
website, try to keep your posting frequency regular. If you decide
to post 1 post per day, then post 1 post per day, every day, every
week, 365 days/year. So what if it’s Christmas ? Just don’t make
your posting habit irregular. Today 1 post, tomorrow 5 posts, 1 week
no posts etc. That disturbs visitors and that will hurt your RSS
subscribers and newsletter subscribers numbers.
84. If you just invested a lot of
cash for a beautiful Web 2.0 design and layout (Web 2.0 hotties and
how to design Web 2.0 style), why not make the best of it ? Make
sure that it’s a valid XHTML and CSS layout and submit it to the hottest CSS galleries around the world like CSS Beauty,
CSS Import, CSS Remix or CSS Vault.
85. Always personalize your email
responses, newsletters, invitations and any other material that ends
up at your existing or possible future clients. Never send a bulk
message. Most of the current clients get offended by such messages
and the future possible clients will just ignore them.
86. Send out a “thank you” email to all existing customers and alert them about
your plans for the next year.
87. Add interactivity to your
website. Visitors need to have a communication highway one way or
another. If you still haven’t included a commenting system, a forum,
a blog or other interactivity systems to your website, do it now.
Always ask questions from your readers and try
to involve them in your world.
88. Create an (extensive)
glossary of terms in your industry, like Aaron did for his industry:
search engine marketing. That will set you apart and will make you
an authority website in your niche.
89. Create powerful antispam
blocks for your website. No one will trust your authority if your
website is full of spam. Use a Captcha module, or a math module,
asking visitors to identify a string or to do a mathematical
calculation before their comment gets approved. According to
Akismet, 93% of (blog) comments are spam. Loren Baker’s Search
Engine Journal got hit with 850.000 spam comments since he installed
Akismet (thanks for the info Loren).
90. Put the accent on visitor
experience not traffic. Traffic is useless if you can’t convert it
into paying customers. A visitor experience optimized website with 500 visits/day can bring you twice the
income then an unoptimized one with 10.000 visits/day.