Anybody who knows me, or reads my writings long enough knows that I'm a huge fan of checklists. I'll build a checklist for just about anything. In fact, I pretty much need a checklist for just about everything I do. It's the only way I can remember to do what needs to be done.

Now, I can remember to shower and brush my teeth most mornings (I sometimes forget on rainy weekends when I plan to stay indoors.) But when it comes to things that I don't do on an absolute daily basis, well, a checklist helps me to stay organized.

I won't give you another checklist in this post, I've already provided a pretty comprehensive series of website marketing checklists. But I was reminded the other day of the value of making lists.

Recently my team and I (mostly my team) have been doing a lot of cool research with some of the free online tools that are available. Every tool we find provides a different value and benefit. But we find we often use a tool on whatever site we are working on and then somehow forget about it as we move onto other tools and other sites. Eventually we remember and start working with it again but there is no consistency.

So what's the solution? Another list.

Not a checklist, mind you, but a list of tools, their functions, and the kind of information we can get from them. Sure we could bookmark all these tools, and we do, but sometimes you need more than that. I've got so many tools bookmarked but I don't visit even a fraction of them. This is where the list comes in handy. Not only does it allow us to make our own notes, but we can also prioritize the tools based on various factors.

But most importantly, the list helps us remember. When analyzing a site and trying to figure out what to do next, referring to a handy list of options is never a bad thing.

That's the value in keeping lists. You don't ever have to rely on memory, you simply look at the next item or available option and run with it. When optimizing your website, there is a lot of free information out there. Don't just read about what to do, start building a document of the ideas and processes you generate. Build a list of strategies and note whether they work or not, the overall value and success of each. Come time, you'll have your own valuable checklist you can post for the world to admire!

Note: I figured there would be more than a few of you asking me to publish my list of tools. Honestly, it's incomplete and not ready for prime time. But perhaps this SEO Tool Library will suffice. Now go make your own lists!

December 2, 2008

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.


Good advice for sure.

I have found that when I had a single site with no traffic life is simple.

But now I have many sites with a lot of complexity and I need a checklist or I forget lots of stuff.

It gets a little nuts when lists start referring to lists which in turn refer to lists...

For example: When I start a blog I have to do the following:
Pick a good theme
Go through each wordpress setting
Activate all plugins from my plugins checklist.
Setup all widgets from my widgets checklist.
Setup google analytics
Setup feedburner (there's a checklist for this)
Setup twitter counter
Setup ping urls (see ping list)
Setup advertising (see ads checklist)
Setup onsite seo (see seo checklist)
Create backlinks (separate checklist for this)
and on and on....

Checklists are a life saver for sure!

Great checklist! Thanks for sharing.

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reading your commentaries.I also run a blog that you might want to frequent and possibly
become a regular reader of.

I am VERY MUCH a list person. Much like yourself I have to use lists for practically everything I do if I want to make sure I get it done right. I loved your checklist posts and found a lot of value in them and have actually used bits and pieces of them from time to time.

The other nice thing about lists especially when it comes to the work you do is that it makes sure you're consistent. It's easy to forget the basics at times and having a list will make sure you hit even the simplest of things.

If I don't use a checklist, guaranteed something will be overlooked. These tools are critical for me in keeping errors and extra work down to a minimum - especially when working furiously to make a deadline.

While every project is a tad different, the commonalities are there. Using a baseline to customize is easy and pretty quick. As work progresses, I'll make notes of new things to check off as needed. If this sounds like extra work, I look at it as a sleeping aid!

And your checklists, Stoney, have alerted me to new considerations ~ thanks so much! Keep 'em coming!

Thanks for the checklist....

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