When you’re in a consulting or service -based business model – especially in digital marketing –having robust processes in place is the key to have a sustainable business.
A systematic structure for tasks to obtain certain goals (set of marketing initiatives aligned with campaign objectives) is what prolongs businesses built in this ever-evolving field.
I’ve listed some of the most important web documents that somehow have helped us at Xight Interactive develop our own internal processes for Technical SEO, link building, content development and marketing, social media marketing, analytics and pretty much every strategy we’ve come up with within the inbound marketing realm.
So if you’re starting your own consulting agency, I strongly recommend the following guides, checklists and cheat sheets listed below.
Technical SEO Checklists, Cheat Sheets and Advanced Guides
This cheat sheet was originally developed by Danny Dover back in 2008, and is still continuously being updated by the awesome team at Moz. The extensive cheat sheet covers both basics and advanced practices in technical SEO, including:
- Important HTML elements
- HTTP status codes
- URL best practices
- Search Console
- Robot control syntax
- Social metadata
- Rich snippet optimization
- Implementing Structured Data/Schemas
- Targeting Multiple Languages
- Mobile Web Development and optimization
The chart created by the team from SEL is also being continuously updated every time something new comes up in Google’s constant update on its ranking algorithm. The table is comprised of ranking factors under specific metric categories such as:
Moz holds a bi-annual expert survey – wherein they collaborate with 150 search marketing professionals from all over the world to determine which ranking signals are significant when optimizing websites.
The study focuses and dissects extensive groups/categories of the ranking metrics that Google is possibly using within their algorithm – mainly to identify which ones carry the most weight:
- Domain-level, link authority features
- Page-level link metrics
- Page-level keyword and content-based metrics
- Page-level, keyword agnostic features
- User usage and traffic/query data
- Domain level brand metrics
- Domain level keyword usage
- Domain-level, keyword agnostic features
- Page-level social metrics
A comprehensive list of the major algorithmic updates (like MayDay, Panda, Penguin, Pigeon, etc…) changes made by Google in the past that had the biggest impact on how optimizing websites for search evolved over time.
This list is continuously being updated by Moz, where consultants can refer to when conducting site audits related to algorithmic penalties and possible disadvantages for search rankings and generating organic traffic.
An annual correlation study, headed by David Mihm, which discusses the most important ranking signals for local search optimization. This study covers different aspects of Local SEO:
- My Business signals
- External Local signals
- On-page signals
- Link signals
- Review signals
- Social signals
- Behavioral and mobile signals
- Personalization signals
- Negative ranking factors
The Site Edge did a great job on building this resource. This comprehensive guide has all the necessary details/information any search marketer will need for Local SEO audit, analysis and implementation.
Yet another correlation study in determining which ranking factors stand out in Google’s ranking algorithm.
Although, this study’s methodology is different from Moz’s – wherein SearchMetrics rely on the data they’ve accumulated using their own resources to analyze 10,000 keywords (300,000 ranking URLs).
This basically covers all the important aspects of on-site SEO (for both sitewide and on-page-level optimization), which also includes information on how important each aspect is for SEO purposes.
Aleyda has listed all the key actions to take when optimizing a website for International SEO in this infographic.
This checklist was published back in 2009, but is still very relevant to today’s optimization process. The checklist covers site usability audits for 4 different sections: Accessibility, Identity, Navigation and Content.
This web document lists all the major .htaccess rules. Another cheat sheet that’s also worth checking out is the one from The Jackol’s Den.
List of search operators you can use for refined Google search results, which search marketers can use for finding link opportunities, content research, site audits, and competitive analysis. Although this list hasn’t been updated since 2007, there are some other lists that contain other new search operators:
- Advanced Operator Cheat Sheet – by Webimax
- Content Marketer’s Guide to Google Operators (Cheat Sheet) – Wpromote
This reference sheet lists directives for RewriteRule, RewriteCond, Redirects, Server Variables, URL mapping, handling query strings, as well as security and authorization.
Created by Neil Patel and Sujan Patel a couple of years back – the comprehensive guide is composed of 9 chapters that details almost all the necessary techniques to effectively execute SEO in any type of website.
Other Useful Resources:
- Technical Site Audit Checklist: 2015 Edition – by Geoff Kenyon
- How to Rank: 25 Step Master SEO Blueprint – by Cyrus Shepard
- Definitive Guide to WordPress SEO – by Yoast
- Screaming Frog Guide to Doing Almost Anything – by SEER Interactive
- Guide to Rich Snippets – Microdata, JSON-LD & Schema – by BuiltVisible
- The Guide to Ecommerce SEO – by Geoff Kenyon
- Mobile Optimization: SEO Best Practices – by Moz
- DIY Site Audit Template (Paid) – by Annie Cushing
- The Ultimate Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet – by Neil Patel
- The On-Page SEO Cheat Sheet – by Neil Patel
- YouTube Ranking Factors – by Tony Edward
Link Building Checklists, Cheat Sheet and Advanced Guides
The title says it all. This list of link building tactics from Jon Cooper has almost every link acquisition method any search marketer will ever need to learn.
And if you’re really serious about learning more about link building, you might also want to check out Jon’s link building course – which includes a lot of practical advice and easy-to-follow guides on the key processes required to perform effective link development campaigns.
This infographic from Voltier Digital (which was acquired by BlueGlass Interactive back in 2012) had the biggest impact in my early days of my career as an SEO, particularly in better understanding the advanced concepts of link building.
The tips from this content from Voltier are pretty much applicable up to this day – which is why it belongs in this long list of useful cheat sheets.
Distilled’s Ed Fry (back when he was still an intern for the world-famous digital agency) did an awesome job in building this solid resource on creating viral link baits.
This extensive guide covers key processes in content development and promotion – from brainstorming, research and analysis, design & presentation up to publishing & sharing.
One of the better ways to master link building in a shorter period of time is to get access to all important information in one place. Backlinko already did many of us a favor by gathering all the high-value link building tutorials on the web – covering topic areas such as:
- Link building fundamentals
- Content Marketing
- Email Outreach
- Guest blogging
- Blackhat Techniques (to avoid)
- Google Penguin updates
- Link building resources
- Creative link building
- Case studies
A 12-chapter guide created by QuickSprout (with the help from Brian of Backlinko) – which focuses on advanced methodologies and processes in acquiring hard-to-replicate links.
A presentation by Ross Hudgens back from 2011, which had also made a huge impact to my growth as a link builder.
Other useful resources:
- Kaiserthesage’s Link Building Posts
- 44 Creative and Innovative Link Building Experts and their Strategies
- 33 links & how to get them – by Justin Briggs
- A model for link building: Beyond “Great Content” – by Ross Hudgens
- All links are not created equal: 10 illustrations on search engines’ valuation of links – by Rand Fishkin
- Point Blank SEO’s Link Building Blog
Content Marketing Checklists, Cheat Sheets, and Advanced Guides
This is a simplified list of action items that’s highly recommended to be implemented by content marketers on any content asset they launch.
The interactive tool includes tasks under the 3 major content development/promotion processes: from idea generation, pre-launch and post-launch period.
Driving traffic to newly launched content assets is the other half that makes content marketing a very effective channel for many brands. This interactive checklist will help you keep the most crucial part of your content marketing campaign on track.
This is a detailed guide from CMI on how to create buyer personas (specifically for content marketing purposes), as well as on how to map these personas to the buying process.
Another guide from CMI, that mainly discusses a 5-step content mapping process.
This free downloadable PDF copywriting guide lists 101 tips on how to effectively write copies for web, for better conversions and user activity.
This is also a printable web document from CopyHackers that can help guide you on how to edit your sales pages appropriately.
Other useful resources:
- The Skyscraper Technique by Brian Dean
- Competitive Content Analysis – by Adam North
- The Advanced Guide to Content Promotion – by BuzzStream
- The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing – by Neil Patel and Kathryn Aragon
- Readability Checklist by Roger Parker
- Content Marketing Distribution Template – by Michele Linn
- Editorial Calendar Checklist – by Jodi Harris
- How to generate better content ideas – by Kaiserthesage
Social Media Marketing Cheat Sheets, Checklists and Advanced Guides
The checklist was created by Sprout Social’s social media manager – Darryl Villacorta, which lists tasks that managers usually do on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis.
A 12-step check list written by Kevan Lee of Buffer.
This infographic provides the recommended image sizes for the most popular social platforms businesses use for social media and online branding campaigns (including image sizes for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Linkedin, and YouTube).
This presents the complete overview of the things marketers should know about the major social networking sites they want to invest their efforts on.
Michael Patterson of Sprout Social listed a 7-step checklist guide on how to make sure that your social media marketing campaign will have a measurable impact to the brand’s overall strategy (in terms of business bottom line and objectives).
Other useful resources:
- A scientific guide to writing great headlines on blogs and social media – by Leo Widrich
- The definitive guide to tracking social media metrics – by Kevan Lee
- Getting more social shares to your website – by Kaiserthesage
- How to calculate social media ROI – by Buffer
- Small business branding checklist – 99designs
Analytics and CRO Checklists, Cheat Sheet and Advanced Guides
This free PDF document by Robbin Steif discusses all the RegEx used in GA.
Michael King’s 13-chapter guide on implementing Google Tag Manager.
A comprehensive list of configurations for Universal Analytics created by Nicholas Blexrud.
From setting up, link tagging, filters, goal tracking, and to other ninja tricks – this cheat sheet from Portent got you covered.
A 12-point checklist from AcquireConvert, which was based on how the best websites in the world perform split testing and optimize their landing pages to convert millions of visitors into customers.
Other useful resources:
- Beginner’s guide to Web Data Analysis: 10 steps to success – by Avinash Kaushik
- Google Analytics Setup Checklist – by Smart Insights
- 91-point checklist for eCommerce Conversion Optimization – by Pancham Prashar
- Landing Page Optimization Checklist – by AcquireConvert
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments section.