Need a good checklist for your website design and marketing?  Sunday Media can help with a website audit and a redesign depending on your needs. Here is a comprehensive list of things every website owner should consider when making a website both user and Google friendly to ensure that your site is easy to find both by machines and human beings.  See the lit below, then contact us for advice on the best channels to use in your marketing campaign.

Home page

  • No splash page
  • Instant page identification
  • Provides overview of site
  • Site purpose is clear
   

 Domain name & URLs

  • 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

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

Site logo

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

Design considerations

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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
 
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

About Us page

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

Checkout process

  • 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

  • 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

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

Forms and errors

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

 

 

The key to most online marketing is to get a conversation going with your potential and existing customers. Social media is like a big cocktail party; in order to network you need a good ice-breaker. Think about Twitter as one of the great ice-breakers in this online party.  So how do you get people to engage in meaningful conversations?

You can start a conversation on Twitter in many different ways, but they all come back this: be yourself and find the right tone to engage with people you want to get to know better.

In this post I’ll explore some easy ways to start Twitter conversations.  You’ll see just how easy it is to take this first step in networking on Twitter in fewer than 140 characters at a time.

Here are 13 great tips to better network with people on Twitter:

#1: Discuss What You Know: Publish Useful Tips or Facts, Daily

One of the first ways you can contribute to the conversation is to share useful information. This is always welcome when it’s given from a fresh perspective.  And it’s a great way to grab the attention of the people you want to reach.

Cyndy Hoenig offers about five PR tips a day… Notice how she used the word you in this tweet to grab readers’ interest.

#2: Retweet to Acknowledge Others

RT = Retweet in Twitter parlance. You basically hit retweet to share and acknowledge other peoples best ideas. Why not add a comment at the same time and add more to the conversation? Simply being social is a great way to get people to notice you and begin making connections.

Jonathan Saar is simply being social.

#3: Reach Out With Follow Friday

Although Follow Friday (#FF) has been around a while, it can still be  a good way to initiate conversations when you put a little thought into it.  Just put #FF in a post of Friday and see what happens.

#4: Answer Other People’s Tweets

Another easy way to engage people is to respond to others’ tweets. Whether it’s a question or something that grabs your attention, try to respond in an authentic voice. People recognize sincerity and are more likely to respond to it.

Janice Campbell shows us how natural conversations can be on Twitter.

#5: Respond When Something Grabs Your Attention

When responding to something that interests you, show it.  Show you care about what people have to say.

Cheryl Garrett adds a personal touch to her professional Twitter presence.

#6: Introduce Yourself to New Followers

Give your new followers a personal welcome that shows you care about getting to know them better.  Some people do this in the public Twitter feed and some people prefer introductions in direct messages.  Find out what’s best for your audience.

#7: Introduce Yourself at Twitter Events

You’ll notice people following live events on Twitter with a hashtag.  When you attend your first event on Twitter, don’t get distracted by the tools and forget your social manners. Remember tointroduce yourself to everyone. And why not follow up personally with a few of the other attendees after the event? This is a great way to meet new people with similar interests.

#8: Let People Know When You Add Them to Your Twitter List

As you add people to your Twitter lists, give them a shout-out to let them know.  Everyone enjoys this small sign of recognition.

#9: Ask For Help

Many other people on Twitter are also looking to engage in meaningful conversations.  Make it easy for others to respond to you and tell them what you are looking for.

Daniel Casciato uses Twitter to find sources to interview for his articles.

#10: Say Thank You

You’ll find many different reasons to thank people on Twitter.

Notice how Amy Porterfield is connecting with this person on both Facebook and Twitter.

#11: Say Thanks When Others Add You to Their Twitter Lists

The people who add you to their Twitter lists are often good connections because you share similar interests.  Reach out to thank them and introduce yourself personally.  You can use auto-responders to thank people and add information that can lead to new connections.

#12: Ask Questions

Questions work wonders on Twitter.  With a little thought you can come up with great questions to find the people you want to engage with on Twitter.

Katie Fox asks a specific question to engage conversation of interest to her.

As you can see, it’s easy to start conversations on Twitter.

#13: Use Direct Messaging to break through the cluttter

When you DM another person on Twitter, they are more likely to see and respond than they are to a random Tweet.  Direct Messages tend not to get lost in the clutter and are a great way to reach out to others.

 

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