Pump Up Your Website With These 25 No-Brainers

<span class="drop_cap">T</span>Whether you’re new to online marketing or a seasoned veteran, it sure is nice to see what others consider important when setting up or taking over the online marketing for a business and its website.

Below is my Top 25 list of things to do from Day One.

It’s a simple list and knocking them out is not really that hard after you’ve done each once.  So don’t let it intimidate you.

Start with the simple ones and move from there!

  1. Implement Web Analytics!
  2. Setup Google Webmaster Tools
  3. Setup Google Webmaster Tools for www and non-www
  4. Track 404 Errors – Pages Not Found
  5. Create 301 Redirects for pages not found
  6. Exclude yourself from Web Analytics (Google Analytics, Adobe Omniture SiteCatalyst, etc.)
  7. Create a mobile version of your site using MobiSiteGalore
  8. Test your page load times using Page Speed
  9. Create HTML, XML and geo sitemaps
  10. Archive your website using SurfOffline
  11. Audit broken outbound links  using Xenu Link Sleuth
  12. Use a trackable phone number
  13. Create robots.txt
  14. Implement Hcard
  15. Redirect non-ww to www
  16. Redirect index.html to /
  17. Claim your business on Google Places
  18. Create a favicon.ico for your website
  19. Confirm your website’s IP address is not blacklisted
  20. Add alt tags to your website images
  21. Validate the HTML used on your website
  22. Claim your business on Yelp.com, CitySearch.com and JudysBook.com
  23. Set up Google Alerts
  24. Validate Browser compatibility
  25. Set up site search within Google Alerts
  26. Set up a globally recognized avatar (gravatar)

My list is actually much longer than this, but these are my top 25.

Do you think they’re right?
What did I leave off?

Tell me in the comments below.

New Google Analytics Tag – Faster, Better, Stronger

Google AnalyticsYesterday, Google announced their new Google Analytics tag to speed up page loads that will become the default code snippet provided for profiles.  This is right in line with Google’s new obsession with page speed.

Google Analytics New Asynchronous Code Snippet

While the new Google Analytics tag is very light, if you start to add a lot of scripts to a site like I do, they start to add up.  Allowing for the asynchronous loading (separate processing) of the tag your webpages will load that much faster and therefore the code snippet will not penalize your site speed nor your visitor’s experience.

I recommend you go back to all of your Google Analytics-tagged pages and change them out to this new snippet.  Likewise, you really need to look into the load times of your webpages.  It could be hurting your rankings.

Web Page Load Speed – Don’t be a Slow Norris

There are more and more articles being written lately about how page load time (page speed) will impact your organic rankings. (Search Engine Watch & Search Engine Land)

For those interested in knowing more about how they are currently being measured and how to improve it, go into your Google Webmasters Tools. Assuming you’ve already verified your domain, beneath Labs you will find “Site Performance”.Google Webmaster Tools Menu

A recently acquired client of ours displayed the following performance data.Website Performance OverviewThat is not an impressive 4 month trailing average to say the least. Every day came in above (peach area) the acceptable page load times expected by Google (green area). To resolve the issue you need to pull back a few layers of the onion and interrogate each of the offending components. Google recommends PageSpeed. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you have the hustle and time it will break down exactly which of your page elements are slow and also offer advice on how to solve the problem.

This is Google’s attempt to speed up the web. By demoting sites that have poor performance it is announcing to those webmasters that speed is important to users and if they want to rise in the rankings they need to consider the user experience in relation to speed.

Don’t miss out on this free tool set to keep you ahead of the game before your slow site continues to fall!

SEO Factor – Page Speed Is Rising

There are more and more articles being written lately about how page load time (page speed) will impact your organic rankings.  (Search Engine Watch & Search Engine Land)

For those interested in knowing more about how they are currently being measured and how to improve it, go into your Google Webmasters Tools.  Assuming you’ve already verified your domain, beneath Labs you will find “Site Performance”.

A recently acquired client of ours displayed the following performance data.That is not an impressive 4 month trailing average to say the least.  Every day came in above (peach area) the acceptable page load times expected by Google (green area).  To resolve the issue you need to pull back a few layers of the onion and interrogate each of the offending components.  Google recommends PageSpeed.  It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you have the hustle and time it will break down exactly which of your page elements are slow and also offer advice on how to solve the problem.

This is Google’s attempt to speed up the web.  By demoting sites that have poor performance it is announcing to those webmasters that speed is important to users and if they want to rise in the rankings they need to consider the user experience in relation to speed.

Don’t miss out on this free tool set to keep you ahead of the game before your slow site continues to fall!