The Definitive List of 127 (mostly) Free SEO, Branding & Online Marketing Tips That Show You How to Quickly and Easily Boost Your Daily Visitor Count

Here’s the list of 127 tips. If you’ve got some great tips that aren’t here, feel free to add them into the comments!

The tips are broken up into:

  • Article Marketing for SEO/SEM
  • Blogging and SEO
  • E-Mail Marketing for SEO/SEM/Sales
  • More Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Webpage
  • Get Your Audience Involved
  • Social Media/Bookmarking/Internet Profiles
  • Building Trust and Developing Credibility
  • Branding and SEO
  • Powerful SEO Tips and Tactics
  • Site Design and Functionality
  • Website Content and Sales

Article Marketing for SEO/SEM

1.Start article marketing: The word is out! If you want traffic, you must be article marketing. Place articles on article sites, (and every other legitimate website that will allow you to post an article with anchor text linking back to your website.) This is all the rage in gaining desirable placement in organic search results. Some article sites only allow anchor text links in the bio box below your article while others allow you to place your keyword anchor text in the article content (much better.) 15 exceptionally popular article sites we recommend submitting to include:

Most of these sites allow anchor text either in the articles or bio boxes (check their rules).

2.Make effective use of article site bio or resource boxes: Many article posting sites have bio boxes. These are sometimes the only area in which you can inject anchor text and links. Many marketers only place a brief bio about themselves with a link to their website. Check and see how the bio or resource box appears on posted articles. Many times the box is not separated from the article and can look like the last paragraph of the article, as is the case on ezinearticles. If this is the case you can include the last paragraph of your article in the bio box and include your anchor text there. People have tendency to click on article anchor text far more than resource or bio box anchor text. This will increase the CTR (click through rate) of your articles. Note: If you do this, be sure your article will still meet minimum word count after you take away the last paragraph, as the text in the bio box usually does not count toward article word count.

3.Get quality articles: Cheap articles and poor content might get you a quick boost from the inbound links but in time, they will sink you. The search engines are only getting smarter as they scan content. Distribute only well written articles. There is a plethora of places you can find well written articles online. For instance you can use eLance or vWorker (formerly Rent a Coder) if you’d like people to bid for your work. These articles represent you and will be out there and visible for a long time as in “forever” so make sure they are of a quality you’re satisfied with.

4.You have to be consistent: Posting anchor text articles on websites once in awhile, works about as well as exercising only once in awhile. For an article marketing campaign to work, you need to be posting articles consistently. Every week is good and everyday is better. There are different ways to do this.

You’ve got the option of doing it all yourself. There is software out there that will help you (like Roboform and Unique Article Wizard) or websites that will do the submissions for you, such as Submit Your Article. Some of these options also help you modify the internal text of your article enough (without spamming) that it begins to get around the duplicate content penalties that Google imposes. Note that it *begins* to. You can count on Google getting smarter everyday and the best solution to that is to just distribute lots of really, really great articles.

Another option is to outsource the submission process on a project basis.

5.Repurpose your articles as fodder for social media sites: Use the content from your article-marketing campaign as posts on sites like Facebook and Twitter. You can use articles to create a “Tip of the Day” series, or post snippets from your articles to drive up your traffic on article marketing sites.

6.Post articles to as many quality article submission sites as possible: The key word here is quality, but if you want to get results from your article marketing campaign, you have to post to more than just one site. “Grade” article marketing sites based on the links they permit, their Alexa or Compete rank, the traffic they generate for your website, and their page rank. Any site that receives passing marks should be included in your campaign.

7.Write better headlines: The titles on your articles are the biggest factors in determining their popularity. Long titles that describe the benefits to the reader while incorporating target keywords work best. If you lack confidence in your ability to create killer headlines, take a cue from the pros. Study the most viewed articles in your target category and mimic the headlines used on these high-performing articles. The better the headline, the more they will get picked up, talked about and re-used.

8.Focus on one keyword or phrase: After you perform your keyword research, focus each of your web pages on one keyword or phrase. Your keyword or phrase should be in the page title and in the page content. The subject on the page should be relevant to the keyword. Then create articles with the keyword or phrase in the title, in the first paragraph of the article, and as the anchor text that links to your corresponding page. Although this is worth remembering, don’t sacrifice a really great title because you absolutely have to get a specific phrase into the title of the article. You’re better off having the keywords in there somewhere with a really great title.

9.Do a power keyword search: This free keyword search tool will generate all possible combinations of two separate lists of search phrases. Discover new phrases to promote your website. You can of course also use Google’s Keyword Tool. There is a great selection of both free and paid keyword and SEO research tools on Aaron Wall’s excellent blog, SEOBook.

10.Check the difficulty of keywords: This handy tool rates the estimated difficulty of ranking for any keyword or phrase. Additionally, you should be using your submitted articles to help you rank for long tail keywords. Sites like , and rank almost effortlessly in google for long tail keywords due to their exceptional link popularity.

11.Don’t let article “duds” just sit in cyberspace collecting dust – make improvements and resubmit them. Most article submission sites will allow you to edit and resubmit existing articles. If you have articles sitting on submission sites that get very little attention, go back and modify them! You may be able to improve your link placement for higher clickthrough or give the article a better title.

12.Turn on AutoTweet and harness the power of Twitter: Some article marketing sites are now making it easier to promote your articles on the Web. Ezine, for example, recently unveiled it’s “autotweet” feature. Enable autotweet and your new articles will automatically be blasted out to your Twitter followers.

13.Increase the power of your article marketing campaign with hosted content: Also known as advertorials, hosted content is an article written to be displayed on another website with high page rank that is optimized for your target keywords. The article then contains powerful anchor text links back to the author’s website. Many website sell hosted content space, but some may be willing to post your work for free because they recognize the need for fresh, original articles.

Blogging and SEO

14.Be active in the blogosphere: Search for blogs that are relevant to your business and start blogging! Offer valuable comments and build a great reputation. Keep your purpose in mind each time you write and remember words can work for you or against you. Choose your words carefully and read them back to another person whenever possible to verify that you are communicating exactly what you want to say. What you write will be there forever. Link back to your website as a resource (not just pushing your business,) whenever possible. If you can use anchor text, do so.

15.Pick your username carefully when you comment. Some blogs allow anchor text in comment’s and many do not. Whenever possible use your brand name as your user name – these are often hyperlinks. You can also use target keywords as your user name to take advantage of the opportunity to create an anchor text link. Just don’t make it spammy. A username like “Buy_cheap_blue_sexy_lingerie” is not going to make you any friends (well at least not the right kind of friends…maybe….).

16.Drill deep into your niche: The blogosphere is becoming crowded these days. To stand out, you must excel within your specialty. Choose a niche within your field that isn’t already being cornered by other bloggers, and then dominate that area. You can stand out by being the expert, rather than another spectator trying to play in a crowded field. Become the go-to guy or gal for a specific area within your market.

17.Mix personal experiences with professional discussion on your blog: Don’t make your blog center solely on your business – show off your personality to readers. Don’t be so unprofessional as to damage your reputation, but it’s ok to let your hair down and share personal tidbits with readers from time to time.

18.Reference yourself: Don’t only link only to other people – link back to your own articles, posts, and entries to remind readers of your previous work. New visitors may be unfamiliar with previous posts, giving you a whole new audience with whom to share your thoughts. Linking to your articles from blogs is a great way to get them to rank for keywords.

19.Take a cue from talk show hosts and bring in guest bloggers: You don’t have to be the only voice on your blog. Ask other respected professionals in your field to make a cameo on your page and share their thoughts with your readers. Your guests won’t be able to resist plugging their gig on their own blog, so you’ll get free publicity in addition to the free content!

20.Submit your blog to blog directories. 28 popular ones are:

21.Ping the blog directories. By pinging blog directories when you add new posts, you will cause the search engine spiders to index your site more quickly. Use Technorati or another program to automatically ping the blog directories when you add new content to your blog.

22.Recognize your peers: Once a week, recognize a leader in your niche for his or her contributions to the field. Take a moment to share an insightful article or column or congratulate a peer for an award or achievement. The recipient of your praise will likely link back to the entry, and may even return the favor with similar recognition in the future. If you mention another website in one of your posts, flick them an email to let them know about it. If they like what they read, they may also reward you with a link back to your post.

23.Enter competition sites for your blog: Visit sites like the Bestest Blog of All Time and enroll as a Premium Blog. The Best Blog has a “random blog” feature that will deliver visitors to members, and awards “Bestest Blog of the Day” recognition to a lucky winner each day. Winners can expect a surge of traffic, thanks to the kudos from the Bestest Blog of All Time. If you’ve got a great design or something else that sticks out about your blog you can also submit it to other sites where you’ll be judged on design, content etc and when you win daily, monthly or annual awards you receive kudos and more visitors.

24.Get people to comment: Get people to comment and link to your blog. Conversion optimization will build your blog. Get more people to subscribe by e-mail or by RSS. Add a “if you like this post subscribe to our RSS feed!” You should also hit people up to subscribe when they have commented on your blog for the first time. Try the comment relish plug-in for WordPress blogs or have a look at this list of useful comment plugins. I also like Disqus.

25.Change your comment link from “No comments ” to “No Comments yet, waiting for your thoughts!” This can usually be altered in the index.php template, under the comments_popup_link() (if you’re using WordPress).

26.Follow your participants: When someone comments on your site go to their website and leave a positive or valuable comment in return. This helps to encourage the behaviour on your blog as well as adding valuable content and feedback to others in your chosen niche.

27.Comment on related blogs: To help rank for your keywords check out Google Blogsearch, and post great comments on the top site for your keywords. Don’t forge the “great” part. We’re not talking about spam here.

E-Mail Marketing for SEO/SEM/Sales

28.Collect your visitor’s e-mail addresses: The common wisdom is that most visitors require seven or more “touches” in order to become a paying customer. If you don’t gather your visitors’ e-mail addresses, you won’t be able to maintain that critical contact necessary to turn the visitor into a buyer. Put an opt-in form on every page of your website to collect visitors’ contact information. Then stay in touch with your subscribers through an e-mail newsletter that updates them on special offers, events, and information. Perform a survey and find out what websites your customers own. Offer everyone on your list with a relevant website a free article for their website with anchor text back to your website.

29.Give out a free eBook: Giving away a high quality eBook can get you noticed, develop back links, and add to your email list. Whether you ask people for their emails in order for them to download the book or you give it away as a way of increasing your reputation – this is a great strategy. Some examples of this technique are the excellent eBooks from Colin Wright on Personal Branding and How to Be Remarkable.

30. Setup and Auto-responder: If you want them to give you their email address then getting a great auto-responder is useful as it automates a lot of the repetitious emails. There are plenty of great auto responder companies like ,,,,, or .

31.Promote your eBook and get more subscribers for your newsletter: Write reviews about your book and post them on article marketing sites and wherever you can. Use relevant anchor text to link back to your page with the free eBook. Other sites will also often link to a free product page. If you don’t want to do it yourself then a one-time investment to have your eBook created is worth every cent.

32.Create an e-mail eCourse. Some marketers are reaping in dollars and subscribers by using an eCourse as content for their e-mail newsletter campaign. Perry Marshall uses an excellent, popular 5-day eCourse on Google AdWords to attract subscribers and build his brand. Simply select a subject within your niche, and then develop a series of short how-to lessons for readers. Promote your eCourse by adding it to an eCourse directory.

33.Need more subscribers? Open comments on your page. Require users to sign up with a working e-mail address before they can post comments, and then add the names to your subscriber list (after asking them). Be sure to moderate your comments carefully – don’t let a reader post land you in hot water! The same idea works for user polls and surveys.

34.Host a contest and sign up entrants for your e-mail newsletter. Sponsor a caption contest, photo contest, or a random e-mail draw. Require an e-mail address in exchange for entry. Don’t forge the can-spam laws and always provide an unsubscribe option.

More Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Webpage

35.Use traffic exchanges: It’s true some traffic exchanges have gotten a bad rap and no longer have a huge impact on search engine results but this method can be a useful way to build traffic. Traffic exchanges can jumpstart traffic. Members visit other members’ websites, and everyone benefits. There are autosurf and manual methods. Manual methods require real people to visit sites. The main problem with traffic exchanges is that it might be difficult to find people in your niche and when people visit your site, they are often only going to be there for a split second so your landing page better have a great headline that grabs them and makes them stay longer. Sites like StumbleUpon have taken the original idea of a traffic exchange and made it more interesting and useful by providing a social media spin to it. If you’ve got a really interesting site, this will likely work well for you too.

36.Use press release power: Press releases will get your site into the search engines faster, build inbound links, spread your message, and bring you traffic. Learn how to write a killer press release. A press release that has been keyword optimized can get into Google news and boost your traffic. There are numerous free distribution services. While these will work, the paid services do get higher distribution and often better results. The other option you have (and which sites like AirBnB have used to achieve astonishing success) is to contact journalists yourself directly. There is an art to this but one way to do it is to piggy back onto other big newsworthy events in the local area that the press is already writing about. You can see how the AirBnB guys did it in this excellent interview with Andrew Warner from Mixergy.

37.Evaluate the free press release services. Press release distribution services range in price from free to several hundred dollars as with PRWeb. Some services do not allow links or anchor text in your press release. Use the services that submit to Google News. Use a service that works with news professionals.

38.Become a question and answer authority. Create a profile on sites like Yahoo! Answers and Wiki Answers and begin answering questions relating to your niche. Provide value-packed, high quality answers and include a link to your site as a reference. Becoming active in these popular Q and A communities will drive direct traffic and establish your reputation as an expert in your field. Bonus: Yahoo! Answers has a lot of clout with the search engines. Some answers, especially those with long tail keyword phrases, will rank in the search engine’s top 10 fast! Yahoo! Answers has millions of users and is a marketer’s dream. You can build a reputation as an expert in your niche. Answer questions relevant to your niche. Be original and offer your site as a reference when it applies.

39.Use coupons to promote your business and get links: Coupons can create inbound links to your website and coupon marketing attracts new visitors and turns them into customers. Coupons create motivation to buy and with a quick expiration a sense of urgency to buy NOW. Coupons create repeat business. When people feel they are getting a great deal they will come back to buy more. Make your coupons easy to read and understand with a time limit usually never more than a few weeks. Send coupons out to your mailing list of potential customers and get inbound links by posting your coupons on the big coupon collecting sites or any niche coupon sites for your market. See the top five coupon collecting sites:,, and

40.Advertise in eZines: eZines (digital magazines or newsletters) exist in almost every niche market available. Most eZines have highly targeted subscriber lists, making them a prime target for effective advertising. You may even be able to get a free advertisement when you subscribe to an eZine – just ask before you sign up!

41.Install “tell a friend” scripts: Help your articles, media, and products go viral. The ‘Tell A Friend’ method is a great way for visitors to create an email and have it automatically sent to their friends informing them about product or your site. This is so simple to use yet also neglected. You can also use the ‘Tell a Friend’ method in ebooks, newsletters, and software.

Get Your Audience Involved

42.Ask for criticism on your website: Many website owners do not want to hear anything bad about their website. You need to hear from visitors about your website: what they like and what they don’t like. Some feedback will be hard to hear and there are caustic people, but when you get criticism do not kill the messenger. Boil down feedback to the issue, not the verbiage used. Add a site survey form to your website and make it visible and easy.

43.Allow others to post articles on your website: Keep a flow of fresh content posting on your website. This will be seen as favorable by the search engines increasing your page rank and keep visitors coming back. You can get free articles from many other relevant website owners by asking. Let some of them know you will allow original quality articles with anchor text links on your website. Allow only one link per article and reserve the right to reject any article that does not meet your standards.

44.RSS: Make sure your website has an RSS feed icon and link for people to subscribe and get notified of your new posts and updates.Don’t forget you can promote your RSS feed as well.

45.Hit the viral marketing jackpot: Create something digital worth seeing, knowing, hearing, or wanting that can become viral. Viral is anything that is passed between users of e-mail, social networking, twitter, community networks, and so on. For example, you could post or release a comical how-to video on YouTube. Start letting people know in your groups, on your e-mail subscriber list, and in articles with a link to the video. When people start sharing your link with others your video could become a sensation. Even if this takes a few months to catch on, the traffic can be immense. Viral media can include audio, videos, eBooks, reports, pictures, emails, programs, surveys or quizzes, and even URLs. One popular viral video was the dancing baby.

46.Have a logo contest: Develop a logo that is easily recognizable and memorable. A simple design is often more memorable. Think about Nike. To get logo ideas and entries from multiple graphic artists use a service like 99designs. You can create a logo contest and ask for entries. Then pick the top five contenders, place them on your website and have visitors vote on them to get feedback. This is also another great way to

Social Media/Bookmarking/Internet Profiles

47.Start social bookmarking and networking by creating profiles on the top bookmarking sites. Keep your profile active with fresh content. See, Digg, Netscape, Reddit, Twitter, and StumbleUpon. Social bookmarking sites have varied audiences so you will attract more visitors at relevant sites. Something else to keep in mind about these sites, particularly Digg, is that if you’ve created a really fantastic piece of writing then provide your users with a way to Digg the article easily so they can tell other people about it if they want to. This can help your article or post spread quickly.

48.Start a niche social network about your brand and products or services. You can get started immediately with Ning. Other social networking sites include Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, hi5, Orkut, PerfSpot, Yahoo! 360, Zorpia Netlog. If you are not aware of all the ways social marketing can be utilized for your business, see this great list of social media marketing examples to see how some of the big brands are doing it.

49.Start a Youtube channel: Put your expertise to work and create a five minute how to video and post it on Youtube. Mention your url for more information at the end of the video. If you don’t have a video editing and screen capture program you can get Camtasia for a free 30 day trial to see how it works.

50.Join chat rooms: Yes there are still chat rooms that can benefit your marketing efforts. These discussion groups are often niche focused and can bring you targeted traffic and you can connect with people in your field as well as customers. With effective chatting you can create some “buzz” about your product or brand. Similar to social media, make valid contributions and develop your reputation. Google Groups is a good example of a very active ‘chat room’ (that works via the Usenet protocol).

51.Do you Squidoo? Squidoo is a social media site with 1 million “lenses.” Creating a lense is free. This is one of the 300 most popular sites in the U.S. Use it to promote your website, products, services or brand. Join the community at

52.Build backlinks from Craigslist: Craigslist has clout and is spidered consistently by the search engines. Post an ad on Craigslist with your link. You can use anchor text or link to an image (embed the url in the picture) hosted on your site. Make sure you follow the guidelines of the site.

53.Why Wikipedia: While it’s true that Wikipedia uses a nofollow code for links, though an entry with information about you, your brand, or product, can get you traffic. Wikipedia entries are often quoted and links made to sites referenced on other sites. It can be tricky to get your link onto Wikipedia unless you’ve got a really authoritative site though! Make sure you don’t spam it. Think about if you were reading the page you’re looking to put your link on, would it benefit you if you were learning about whatever it might be?

54.Comment at forums: Interaction with peers and consumers can be a powerful marketing tool. Start commenting at forums. Search for relevant forums and offer valuable input. Your comments can appear virtually forever.

55.Create a Facebook Fan Page for your business or website: Facebook has created a special type of profile just for businesses and organizations. Use a fan page to stay in touch with customers, share special news and events, and brand your product or service. You can title your Fan Page with your business name, or use a fun name to get more attention. For example, if you run a website that sells coats, you could title your Fan Page “Kay’” or “Staying Warm in the Winter.” Set up a winning facebook page for your brand,

56.Be consistent with your social media user names: Repetition is the single fastest way to brand a product or company into someone’s mind. Whenever possible, make your user name or avatar on social media sites reflect your website domain name (minus the www and .com).

57.Get your brand on Twitter. Twitter is an optional choice for followers meaning anyone who follows your messages chose to do so. Make sure you think about what you are twittering to your followers. Follow Twitter etiquette. Twitter valuable information and links to blog posts. Twittering is a commitment. Don’t start unless you are going to consistently twitter. Plan your brand’s twitter voice and create a custom Twitter background for your profile.

58.Find out what people are saying about you: Listen in on live twitter conversations and find out what people are saying about your website, business, or brand. You don’t need an account to listen.

59.Tweet your way to the top: A Tweet is a Twitter post of 140 characters or less that can help you run a viral marketing campaign, make announcements, and build traffic. Make sure your posts are valuable and relevant.

60.Monitor your tweet activity with the free program called Tweetdeck. You won’t have to log into your Twitter profile and Tweetdeck has a “group” feature to categorize your followers making Twitter much easier to manage.

61.Use the WordPress pluginTwitter Tools“, and with the Twitter app in Facebook your blog posts will automatically update to Facebook.

62.Use viral plugins for WordPress Viral traffic from Digg, Furl, and the dozens of other similar services are growing every day. If you’re a blogger using WordPress you will definitely want to check out these viral plugins for increasing the traffic to your site.

63.Don’t be a bore – give your friends more! If you’re using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about your business, make sure you’re not boring readers to death with the same old tired sales pitch. Post interesting facts, tidbits, and other information for your followers and friends. Provide value to your network, or else they’ll seek information elsewhere. You can read about (or listen to) how Laura Fitton used Twitter to massively grow her reputation and business via Twitter at this Mixergy interview.

64.Use Twitter hashtags. Hashtags are an easy way to catalog and connect tweets on any topic. Users can locate tweets on a subject and filter out unwanted incidental tweets. Hashtags are common for event organizers to keeping tweets in continuous stream. A hashtag is added to a word such as: #hashtag.

65. Use Tweetgrid as a good search dashboard for twitter hashtags.

66.Figure out your social media ROI. Most marketers have no idea where to begin to try and even estimate their return on investment for social media. There are tools for obtaining statistics for direct mail, e-mail marketing, Adwords, Adsense, websites/landing pages, SEM, advertising, and more. Social media can be far more vague. Make a plan from the beginning by placing a dollar value on your timer and on how much time and money you will invest. See: Want to Figure Out Your Social Media ROI?,

67. For more social networking strategy have a look through The 22 Step Marketing Plan, and Social Networking Strategy.

Building Trust and Developing Credibility

Your SEO and traffic campaigns will be fruitless without a destination that is credible.

68.Use real testimonials: Testimonials are great but only if they are legitimate. And as there are now many testimonials on websites, many obviously fake, people have become suspect. Add testimonials to your site that include pictures, endorsements, video and links to your customer’s websites whenever possible.

69.Display your privacy policy in a prominent place: Internet users want to know that their information is secure when they visit a webpage. Post a clearly defined privacy policy where visitors can easily find it – and then abide by your promises! Do not sell, share, or otherwise jeopardize the personal information of your visitors, subscribers or customers.

70.Use trust seals on your website: Trust seals show your visitors you are legitimate, as long as the trust seals come from reliable sources such as the Better Business Bureau. These seals can be memberships, verifications, and industry relevant. Boost your credibility and professionalism.

71.Stay on top of your virtual presence: Set up Google Alerts to notify you when new information is posted about yourself or your website, business name, or products. You will receive instant e-mail notification anytime new information is posted on the Web using one of your alert phrases. Whatever information is posted out there, if you always respond to the material then you’ll have more of a say in resolving difficulties and people will see you as a proactive person in general.

72.Push unflattering information to a back page: If there is a particularly negative post that just cannot be addressed then do your best to push the information further back into the search engine results. For example, if an unhappy customer writes a scathing report on a site, there is often no way to get the information removed, even if the original poster agrees to take down their post. However, you can use social media profiles, articles, and other websites to push the negative info out of the first page of results and bury it further back where fewer people will see it. Of course, you’re better of trying to handle it directly first. If both of these techniques fail you can publicly respond to it on your website, telling your side of the story…assuming you’re in the right of course!

73.Get an endorsement: Get somebody known in your industry or otherwise well-known to endorse your product or service. Display their picture and endorsement text, audio, or a video on your website. By obtaining a celebrity’s contact information or agent’s name, you can make contact and request a celebrity endorsement. Most people have websites where you can make a request or you can contact associations such as the Screen Actors Guild for actors. Plan an angle about why that person would attract the celebrity to endorse your product. Point out how they will benefit from good publicity. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a response. Be persistent and follow up. Branding is about delivering your business message clearly, connecting with people, making a memorable and favorable impression, motivating people to act and causing them to be loyal. Endorsements have a side effect of getting inbound links as people often link to celebrities wherever they appear on the web.

Branding and SEO

74.Check your brand availability before expanding your efforts: Find out how available your brand really is. Check your brand availability across the web using specialist sites and of course Google.

75.Branding with your new domain: The process of selecting a domain name involves a specific choice. You can use a keyword or phrase to assist your SEO efforts or a brand name that could be coined. Coined brand name examples are: Travelocity, Youtube, ebay, Facebook, and Myspace. If you already have a known coined brand name, the choice is easy. If you select a newly coined word for your brand, you will need to work to convey the meaning to the public and your market. Otherwise, you can use a term that is already being searched if you can find one available. For example:,, or The extension of .au (or your country specific domain) is also a consideration if you deal mainly with a local market. Search domain names:

76.Own your brand: Domain names are cheap so you should own your entire brand. Buy your domain name with each extension including .com, .net, .info, .au .org, .biz etc. Close the door on your competition and keep your brand from being diluted.

77.Use a Favicon: Short for “favorite icon,” a favicon is the tiny icon used to represent your site in the browser’s URL bar. Favicons are also used in bookmark lists and on the tabs in your browser window. Create a favicon for your website that uses elements of your logo and brand to reinforce your image in visitors’ minds (and when they are looking through their hundreds of bookmarks for your site).

78.Brand outside the virtual world: Your branding efforts don’t have to be limited to the Internet. You can begin branding your website or business in the real world by incorporating your brand into everything you do. Put your URL and logo on your business cards, letterhead, envelopes, or even your stamps. Include something with your brand emblazoned on everything you send. Hand out stickers, buttons, bumper stickers, pens, magnets, mini calendars, can cozies, or other small trinkets with your logo and web address. You can even promote your site while sitting in traffic using an InfoWindow.

79.Use your e-mail address to your advantage: Your e-mail address can be one of your most valuable branding tools! Whenever possible, use an e-mail address associated with your website domain – If you must use a free web-based e-mail on occasion, try to get a username that reflects your domain URL. People will usually take you more seriously if you’ve got an email address from your site.

80.Add your URL, tagline and slogan to your e-mail signature line: Don’t waste precious signature line space – use this real estate to brand your business. Every e-mail should include your web address, logo, tagline, and/or slogan.

81.Don’t forget the thank-you pages: Anytime a visitor completes a desired action on your page (i.e. makes a purchase, signs up for an e-mail newsletter, downloads a free product, etc.), they should be taken to a “thank you” page. The page should be relatively simple and uncluttered. Include a short thank you message, and display your logo and slogan prominently on the page. It can also be useful to let them know what step to take next. You’ve just had a visitor make some kind of commitment to you by filling in a form, odds are that they might make another one if it’s in their interest.

82.Be a drama queen for a day: Criticize the opinion of a well-known expert in your field, make a radical statement, or take the opposite side of the debate as the majority. There’s no need to be so controversial as to alienate everyone around you – a little drama goes a long way. Stirring up (harmless) controversy may lead to some negative attention, but the publicity might be worth the effort. Use with caution!

83.Pay attention to the “About Us” page: About us pages have been website staples for as long as the Internet has existed. Use the About Us page to provide important history on your business, contact information, and other relevant information. Instead of making the same generic About Us page that everyone else uses try something different.

84.Content thieves beware: Include a copyright statement at the bottom of every page of your website. Again, this is an opportunity to repeat your business name and brand it into the minds of your visitors. Post “Protected by Copyscape” banner on your website to let less than honest people know you will protect your content.

85.Rub shoulders (literally) with the big shots in your field: Attend conferences, conventions, and events relating to your niche. Go armed with a stack of branded business cards, and get ready to make conversation with the movers and shakers in your field. Many times companies give away special discounts and promotions for their services at these events, so you can brand your business and get free stuff at the same time. Visit their headquarters when possible. Post a story about your experience on your blog. An interesting story might get a links from the big guys (providing you send them a tip about your post.)

86.Sponsor a sports team: You don’t have to pay millions to have a stadium named after your business, but you can sponsor a local washers league, a children’s t-ball team, or a bowling team. Your business name and URL will be listed on the team’s T-shirts, in the published event results, and in advertising and marketing materials for the league. All the free offline promotion might be worth the minimal sponsorship costs…it depends on your customer market!

87.Give away free templates: Create (or pay for) templates for popular sites like eBay and MySpace and brand them with your site name and URL. When people use these templates, they’ll be advertising your brand for you and building inbound links back to your page. See sample creator sites: eBay templates, myspace layouts

88.Use a Gravatar: A Gravatar is an image or logo that people will recognize. Setting up a Gravatar is free, so get one now.

Powerful SEO Tips and Tactics

89.Know your SEO with Google’s Official Guide: If you are new to SEO this is the starter Google SEO Guide that will launch you into practice. If you are an old hand at SEO a review can be helpful. See 55 Quick SEO Tips Even Your Mother Would Love

90.Thinking about using a system like Six Sigma for your SEO campaign: Six Sigma is a principle of business management strategy, that was created by Motorola, Inc. Six Sigma establishes a standard method of defining and analyzing problems. Find out how it can help to systematize your SEO.

91.See the SEO experts: Aaron Wall’s introduction to SEO is a great start. Aaron is a well known seasoned authority on SEO and you can become a member at his website; SEOBook: for extensive SEO information and tips. You might also like to check out SEOmoz, Matt Cutts (a search engineer from Google) and Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land

92.Dominate the top spots for your business name: Create profiles on social sites such as Squidoo, MySpace, BlogSpot, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, and other popular domains. These profiles will quickly fill up the top spots on the search engine results page, allowing you to control the information other people see about your business. Use your url and keyword anchor text in your profiles.

93.Make sure your on-page SEO is done well: Although it’s more important to ensure that you’ve got your off-page SEO (the people who link to you) in place, you don’t want all that link juice which is being pointed at your site to go to waste. It’s vital to have your on0page SEO done well. There’s the short (but great) version or, if you’re really keen there’s the much longer version that delves into every little point.

94.Go local and get more links: Google your city name and the word directory (i.e. smalltown directory). Then e-mail the webmaster of each site that appears and request your site be included in the listings. You can also search for blogs, forums, discussion boards, and local websites dedicated to sharing community news and develop a presence on the sites you find. Again use your keyword anchor text in forums, blogs, comments, and bios whenever you can.

95.Consider Sponsorship: There might be causes online that you can sponsor. When you do sponsor a cause, consider asking them if they wouldn’t mind linking back to you as you should be proud of the sponsorship and, depending on the cause, they can generate a lot of traffic to their site which can then make its way to yours.

96.Check your page rank for specific keyword terms and how they change over time: There are numerous programs for free such as Rankchecker, that can do this.

97.Share the link love: Linking to other people’s content, blogs, and web pages is a win-win situation. Your readers will appreciate the helpful/funny/insightful information, search engines will like the outbound links, and the people you linked to might just link back.

98.See the number of back links your site has: At the search bar enter: “”. You will be redirected to Yahoo’s “Site Explorer” where you should see two fields. One box should have your website’s total number of pages and the other box should have the back links or inbound links to your site. The linked sites will be listed below. Watch how this changes over time in relation to your rankings.

99.Make directory submissions: Directory submission still exists and still works because this builds inbound links, with multiple directory submissions your site will get indexed faster, and you will get instant traffic from some of the directories. Be careful with this and only submit to directories where you’d be happy having your link. There are plenty of bad quality directories out there.

100.Go for geographic success: Rank on Google Maps by putting your brand or name there. The better you rank within Google Maps for your category or location, the better the opportunity for traffic. Just create or log in to your Google account and go to the “Local Business Center.” You can choose the maps you want to edit and provide information about your business. Utilize keywords about your location, nearby landmarks, and products. You can use as many as five categories; so do it!

101.Target traffic from Bing: Microsoft’s heavily promoted Bing search engine is refining search engine optimization somewhat. Basic link building campaigns are not enough to compete for page rank on Bing as their spiders don’t have quite as much juice as Google’s. Your article titles should directly correspond your keyword subject and include outbound links on the page. Make sure that when you’re researching SEO, you don’t neglect Bing.

102.Power your SEO efforts with Twitter: Use Twitter in your search engine optimization efforts. Many web marketers have ignored twitter because of the site’s “no follow” links. However it can be used to generate more traffic for your site and improve your branding by getting your tweets at the top of Google searches. Try this:

Use your keywords repeatedly in your Tweets (two or three times naturally in text)

Put back links to your Twitter page in a couple of other places that Google knows, like your own site or other social bookmarking profiles or in articles. With good tweets you will gain a reputation as an expert and while the links do not send visitors straight to your website, you will get brand exposure that results in more traffic over the long run.

103.Post “linkbait” articles and watch the inbound links build: Great content always earns attention and directly after that, links. There are lots of great resources for writing good linkbait pieces.

104.Read through Aaron Wall’s list: 101 Ways to build link popularity.

105.Make certain all the links on your site are functioning: Broken links will damage your clout with Google. Use a desktop based or link checking program to scan all the links on your page. Repair or remove any broken or outdated URLs.

Site Design and Functionality

106.Focus your website: When visitors arrive at your website they want to immediately see what they were searching for. Anyone arriving at your website should immediately see the purpose of your website. People are in a hurry, if you need a “skip this intro” option on your landing page you need to skip your site design and get rid of it. Keep your pages across your website uniform with the same template. Use your brand name and logo in the header of every page. When you practice SEO with a multiple page website, visitors will come in on every page. There should be an easy to spot “Home” link on every page.

107.Place important information “above the fold:” SEO is useless without an effective website. The expression above the fold is traditionally used to refer to newspapers, where important stories need to be displayed above the fold in order so that people can see the biggest stories when the paper is displayed in a coin operated machine. The same idea applies to websites. Put important content on the top section of your webpage so that users don’t have to scroll down to find it.

108.Check your site’s speed: Google has come out and said that page speed may feature in the rankings in the months to come so its time to think about page speed, not only from the perspective of your users, but also from an SEO perspective. There is plenty you can do to speed up the loading of your site. Run your site through a free speed check at GTMetrix as it uses Yahoo! YSlow and Google Page Speed to provide a simple method to find a few ways you might not have been aware of to quickly speed up your site.

109.Read Matt Cutts Google SEO blog: Matt Cutts is a Google software engineer and currently the head of Google’s Webspam team.

110.Add a sitemap to your website: The big three search engines now use a single sitemap format as the standard. Simply adding a sitemap to your page will increase your site’s page rank and improve your visitors’ ability to navigate around the page. Don’t forget to add your sitemap to Google’s Webmaster Tools. This helps Google find your sitemap.

111.Analyze your website’s meta tags: This tool will analyze your website’s meta tags. The keywords meta tag has almost no importance anymore (Google have said they don’t use it) however the description tag does still have some uses when other sites are referencing your site (Google included).

112.301 Redirects: Whenever you create a new URL structure for your site redirect the old URLs to the new ones. A 301 redirect tells search engines that the old page has moved to a new location. This will make sure that page will keep its position in the search indexes.

113.Tell your readers how to reach you: Post your contact information in a prominent, easy to find place on the page. Provide an e-mail address, physical address, and whenever possible, phone number to reach you. People trust websites more when they know a real human being is in charge. Making it easy for visitors and customers to get in touch will yield increased trust and credibility.

114.See how the search engines see your website: Spider your site with this free spider simulator.

115.Use professional podcasts: Add music to your own podcasts. Throwing some song from iTunes on your podcast is illegal. Get professional royalty free music. The Music Bakery Premium Beat Podsafe Music Sound Dogs

116.Check the age of any domain: The age of a website is a major consideration for search engine page rank. See how Google has dated your website or any site.

117.Be consistent: Your website design should maintain consistency from page to page. Consistency breeds familiarity, and familiarity leads to trust. Present links, headlines, and other content in the same manner on each page. Your website should look like a collection of like pages, not a smattering of random sites.

118.A picture is worth 1000 words: Adding graphics, pictures, and other images to your website improves its aesthetic appeal and helps illustrate important points. If you don’t have your own images to upload, use professional stock photos sites to find the perfect picture for your page.

119.Pick a personality: You have nanoseconds to capture a visitor’s attention. You are competing with a zillion other websites to make an impression. Is your website making an impression? Do people remember who you are and return? Why? Your website needs a personality. Whether it’s serious, humorous, in your face, sexy, knowledgeable, sincere, rebellious, or thoughtful, your website should follow a particular pattern. Your brand should be associated with a personality. You don’t have to limit your personality. You can create pages with different aspects of your website’s personality. Make your brand’s personality fit your business type. For example, a website touting expert knowledge does not need to be cartoon graphics unless the target audience is children. Make your website stand out. Use catchy headlines, giveaways, lists, and graphics to get attention and leave people with the type of impression you want them to have about your brand. Your personality choice should be portrayed in your content, graphics, and format.

Website Content and Sales

120.Give your company a tagline: Your website should have a catchy and memorable tagline to accompany its logo and slogan. Hire a marketing company to develop the phrase for you, or create one yourself. You can use social media sites and surveys on your own site to poll your visitors about which tagline works best to describe your brand.

121.Proofread your pages: Nothing destroys a website’s credibility faster than typos, spelling mistakes, or grammatical errors. Be sure to scan your pages for errors, and then ask a friend to do the same. Two pairs of eyes are better than one! You can also ask for visitors to leave comments if they spot anything.

122.Use a CMS (Content Management System) on your website to post your articles and keep them organized and easily searchable. WordPress is a free CMS / Blog tool that installs in minutes. With a little website building experience you can even incorporate a CMS into an HTML based website.

123.Add fresh content with comments: Your website needs fresh original content as often as possible, preferably daily, to keep visitors coming back and boost page rank. Get a program of fresh web content delivered to your website. Open your site for comments wherever possible. Most programs allow you to monitor comments so that you can filter out any unwanted text. You can also setup your CMS to automatically post new articles or content to your site that you’ve prepared earlier and then just scheduled for release. WordPress has this option.

124.Add bloopers to your website: People love to laugh at the mistakes of others. A good blooper page can get attention. Bloopers can be text errors, video bloopers, audio mistakes, resume bloopers, or any humorous bloopers that are relevant to your business. Make your bloopers anonymous, your purpose is not to embarrass anyone.

125.Give your web pages keyword-rich titles: Don’t allow pages to be assigned random strings of numbers. Set your content management system to enable keyword page titles that describe the content on the page. For example, a new page about Twitter marketing secrets might get the name

126.Learn to write for the Web. Web writing is different than other forms of writing due to the way this content is consumed. Most people “reading” webpages are really skimming them to identify the information they want on the page quickly. If you present your information in long, blocky paragraphs without breaks, readers will be unable to spot key points and information. Use lots of headlines, subheadlines, and bulleted lists to break up the page and emphasize important information on the page.

127.Make lists and publish them on your website: Lists are so popular there are websites dedicated to them. Add relevant lists to your site and market them. Need ideas?,,

Is there something we’re missing up there or some feedback you’d like to give us on this guide? Let us know in the comments!

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Ray_Atherton Date: February 23, 2010

Fantastic Post ! Well done. While a lot of businesses do not have time to apply these ideas themselves, it gives them an understanding of the possibilities and benefits. If more of our prospective clients read this blog before speaking with us, our job would be a whole lot easier. Keep up the good work.

Sydney Date: February 23, 2010

Some Great advice here. Well done for the list.

bigonshoes Date: February 23, 2010

Thank you for this information- So much work to do now.

Daniel Watson Date: February 23, 2010

This is a fantastic resource. Just about everything you need in one brilliant article. Thanks for making the effort to put it together and for being so generous in making it freely available. I will be poring over it for a number of days and making significant changes to my promotion and marketing efforts for both my blogsite and web site.

Wes Ward Date: February 23, 2010

Congratulations on a stella article. Very comprehensive and an idea starting point for newcomers to the web and a handy reference for experienced professionals too. Well done.

startlocal Date: February 24, 2010

Thanks for your comments Ray, we'll see if we can post more educational stuff!

startlocal Date: February 24, 2010

Thanks for the compliment Sydney, stay tuned for more :)

startlocal Date: February 24, 2010

There always is! One step at a time, I like Toodledo if you need a good To Do list app :)

startlocal Date: February 24, 2010

Thanks for your comments Daniel. If you have the time, be sure to check out some of the sites we link to in the article as well since there is some great advice to be found there. I particularly like the insights to be found in the interviews at Mixergy.

startlocal Date: February 24, 2010

Thanks for your feedback Wes!

carbonfootie Date: February 25, 2010

Great to see that some of our social media efforts are supported by the SEO experts. We are trying harder to get people joining our green community to slow down climate change.

Britta Bennett Date: February 25, 2010

Thank you so much for sharing. Amazing post, can't wait to spend a few hours going through it and checking out all the resources.

shivkumar Date: February 26, 2010

Many of my clients do not have a plan in mind when they first start out and this is one of the initial recommendations I make to them.I would also suggest that a SEO checklist be created and maintained on a regular basis. SEO should be considered as a part of site maintenance, NOT a “set it and forget it” tool.

startlocal Date: February 28, 2010

Great suggestion! An SEO checklist is a good idea. Checklists make it easy to get this done, particularly if you're new to the field. Also means you don't missing anything. Sounds like a good idea for a succinct upcoming article!

Hammock Date: March 1, 2010

Great list you have got there. Really covering a lot of info which is awesome. Thanks a lot for that. I've been making my way through the list over the last few days and doing my best to apply what I can to my website. Cheers, Mike.

Hammock Date: March 1, 2010

Oh and just to let you know your link to the online link check 'dead-link . com' ironically, is dead.. “Oops! This link appears to be broken”

Start Local Web Team Date: March 1, 2010

Thanks for letting us know! Ironic indeed :-) We've removed the link for now.

reactorr Date: March 23, 2010

I'd like to suggest a post I wrote for further reading about online branding


gabe Date: March 25, 2010

overkill on the linkbaiting tactic my gawd

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