Website Migration Checklist: The Hitchhiker’s Guide

Website Migration Checklist: The Hitchhiker’s Guide

This post was last updated by Zee Hoffmann Jones on November 2019

In online marketing, “site migration” is usually a phrase that makes SEOs, PPCers, site owners and stakeholders wince. Regardless of whether you think site migrations are real, we’ve all heard horror stories about sites that have gone through domain name changes and experienced a massive drop in traffic and visibility, and those that have suffered the same fate just by changing protocol. Whether you have acquired a domain, want to roll up your M-Dot site into a responsive design, or are moving from HTTP to HTTPS, it’s crucial to have a solid action plan to avoid traffic and revenue loss.

On this journey, we’ll cover some of the most important things to address pre-migration, during your migration and post-migration. We’ll share a list of tools our team recommends and even give you a free site migration checklist – to give your site the best chance of a smooth transition to your new destination.

Got an upcoming site migration?
Access the site migration checklist for free.

What is a site migration? Migration types and considerations

Before you rush off into the unknown, let’s start with the basics: migration types. There are many reasons you might need to migrate your site, but here are some common ones:

Mobile Migrations: M-Dot and Responsive Redesigns

Two main types of mobile migrations include m-dot roll ups (e.g. and responsive redesigns (e.g. redesigning your mobile experience from a pinch and zoom to one that fits various screen sizes). The main reason for these migrations is to create universal experiences of your site for all users, regardless of device type. This is especially important as Google’s index is now mobile firstBuilding a responsive site helps consolidate site authority and reduce development resources (due to having only one site to manage and update).

HTTP to HTTPS migrations

An HTTP to HTTPS site migration is getting rarer, as most sites are automatically built with secure certificates, like TLS and SSL certificates.  This type of migration is one where the domain remains unchanged, but a secure certificate becomes associated with the site and changes your site’s protocol to HTTPS. This certificate is a symbol of a safe and trustworthy site and explains Google’s push for domains to adopt the protocol. 

TLD Migrations & ccTLDs

Top Level Domain (TLD) migrations refer to changing the TLD of a site (e.g. changing TLDs from .com to .org). Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) migrations refer to a move from a country-specific TLD to a more internationally recognised TLD (e.g. to .com). These moves are valuable to website owners that are trying to target a larger audience outside of a particular country’s location. 

Rebranding/Consolidating Domains migrations

Rebranding is a type of site migration which occurs due to a change of name or brand acquisition. Like ccTLD to TLD migrations, this can involve moving a single domain or migrating multiple domains into one. As expected, involving multiple sites in a migration leads to greater risk for traffic and visibility.

No matter which type of migration you are looking to do, each comes with a shared list of dos and don’ts:

Do understand that looks aren’t everything

With the prospect of a new site comes the excitement of building something visually stunning. Do put your flair on the new site, but make sure this doesn’t come at a usability or SEO cost. This encompasses things like making sure your new design is accessible to special needs users and not exclusively relying on JS to load your site’s content. 

Do consider wider channels

If you’re changing your company’s name or branding as part of your site migration, it’s crucial that you not overlook your other digital channels: 

  • Social – This involves thinking about social platform bios, profile pictures and logos, names, trademarks and brand tone of voice. It should be relatively simple to update a social media account without interrupting your regularly scheduled posts, but if you need users to take action (i.e. follow a new brand name account) or not to take an action (i.e. if you don’t want your devoted followers to unfollow you when your account name changes), give them notice and follow up with regular “countdown to launch” reminders.

  • PPC – If you run Google Ads or other paid search, then this is a biggie. Make sure you update your final URLs to reflect the URL changes you have made in the migration plan. The last thing you want is your ads sending users to broken links or being disapproved entirely. Also, don’t forget to adopt the same tracking codes/UTM parameters to ensure that there is no break in reporting.

  • Offline – If your migration involves a name change/rebrand, you may want to take out advertising on billboards, local press and beyond (depending on your offering). 

  • External Domains –  Don’t forget to look back at previous domain campaigns/products that may have been supported by vanity URLs. Be sure to 301 redirect these to your new domain if they are still live or have earned links and social shares.

  • SEO – Organic traffic is likely to be impacted most adversely in the short term as Google makes sense of redirects and page changes that have been made. To prepare for this, plan to invest extra budget in alternative traffic sources such as increased email marketing, paid and social advertising.

Do get the timing right

Timing is everything. In the planning stage, it is vital to choose the best time to migrate by considering the following questions:

  • Is your site affected by seasonality? If so, when are these peak periods? Look to your website analytics tracking for these data (e.g. Google Analytics).

  • Who are the core team members that will be involved in the site migration? What is their availability? Are there concurrent company launches or releases at this time? Are any key stakeholders going to be out of the office around your launch date?

Take advantage of your analytics data to understand your business traffic patterns, and Google Trends data to understand overall user demand within your industry. Plan to migrate during quieter business periods when ample staff resources are available.

Do manage expectations

Migrations don’t always go according to plan; therefore, it is recommended to manage expectations early:

  • Agree on migration objectives. Why are you migrating? Is this a necessary rebrand? Is it time that you made your site secure or fully responsive?

  • Be clear about the amount of time and effort each step of your migration will take, and pad your timing estimates to account for delays and unforeseen blockers. Documenting firm deadlines and tight feedback turnarounds in one universal location (such as a shared work calendar, or project management tracker like Asana) will be crucial to keep the project on track.

  • Outline each team member’s role and responsibility in this migration and share it early on so that everyone knows what is expected of them. In addition to writing down each person’s expectations, include information around “impact” should their expectations not be met (e.g. if your SEO is unable to deliver mapped keywords by X date, what will fall by the wayside?).

  • Be clear about the potential impacts of migrating in both the short and long term.  Ranking recovery will likely take longer if your site’s domain name, URL structures and protocols are changing (and will be compounded if happening concurrently).

  • Share migration case studies with your stakeholders if you have them. If you need to convince others that this migration is necessary, examples of others who did theirs well will bolster your argument. 

Do agree on reporting format and frequency

Agreeing on what will be monitored and reported will provide you with accountability and makes sure that you are aware of what is important to measure; and what data is important to pull before launch. From experience, clients often request weekly ranking reports with keywords divided by category type (determined by the site), and page speed insights within the first few weeks of launch.

Although this list of dos and don’ts is important, we still strongly recommend you perform thorough technical audits before migrating, on your staging site, and on launch. This allows you to identify any issues that should be resolved to prevent trouble down the line.

Pre-migration: fuelling the rockets

Now we’ve thought about what’s in the abyss; it’s time to arm yourselves with information before you get out there. It is vital to obtain as much URL information about the legacy site as possible, for tracking, benchmarking and URL mapping purposes.  This can be gained by exporting data from the following sources:

  • Sites Analytics Platform – Export a list of every page that has received at least one (1) visitor in the last 12 months. This ensures that all traffic-driving pages are accounted for ready for the URL mapping process.

  • Buzzsumo – Export a list of all your most shared content. This is a great way to ensure that content that users have engaged with and continue to engage with are accounted for.

  • Screaming Frog/ Deepcrawl – Run and export a full crawl of the legacy site to gather a list of every URL that may need to be mapped. (If you have a separate M-Dot site or subdomains that you are looking to move, don’t forget to include these in the crawl).

  • Moz’s Link Explorer/ Majestic/ Ahrefs/ Google Search Console – from these tools, export a list of each legacy URLs that have external links pointing to them. By using each tool, you can ensure that you are casting the data capture net as wide as possible, given that each tool collects backlink data differently.

  • PPC Accounts – Export a full list of URLs you are using for your PPC campaigns. If you have PPC specific URLs, ignoring these could lead to broken links, a significant drop in quality score and even mass ad disapproval.

Once you have exported this data, it is time to combine lists, remove duplicate URLs and prioritize the most important URLs for redirection. You can use Google Sheets, Excel or Numbers to do this. Next, create a list of URLs for the new site. When you have a list of unique legacy site URLs ordered by importance and a list of planned URLs for the new site, you’re ready to create your URL redirect map.

Map each legacy URL to the new site URL on a one-to-one (1:1) basis where possible, rather than blanket mapping to the homepage or a category page, and ensure that this is done via 301 redirects. With some migrations, there will be an enormous number of URLs that need to be mapped. If this is the case, look for opportunities to use formulas and regular expressions to make the task streamlined.

Once you have created your URL map for the new site, it’s time to benchmark the performance of your legacy site. This will make it possible to measure current performance against your new site. Make a record of the following:

  • Site speed of the top traffic/revenue-driving pages using tools like WebPageTest, Pingdom, GTMetrix or Google PageSpeed Insights.

  • Rankings for your site’s most valuable keywords, across the products/services you offer. In order to effectively monitor keyword behavior and patterns after migration, be sure to categorize your keywords. 

  • Average monthly organic traffic and conversions per page. If you use Google Analytics, you can run a crawl of your site (using Screaming Frog or Sitebulb) and connect your GA account to pull these data for you. 

Now that you have your most important data, and your new domain confirmed:

If you aren’t using a staging environment to test site changes, stop what you’re doing and set one up now. A staging site is a great way to run through changes and settings before launch to understand the full effect of the changes made. Just make sure that it is either blocked in robots.txt and all test site pages have a noindex tag on them. Once this is done, use the staging site to:

  • Test every 301 redirects from the legacy URLs to their new locations;

  • Confirm that URLs present the expected information (e.g. meta descriptions, H1 tags, title tags; and.

  • Ensure all internal links return 200 status codes.

The migration: launch

Finally, you’ve finished your rigorous testing, you’ve set up your monitoring tools, and everyone and everything is in place for the big button push – launch that site!

Post migration: fighting the baddies and taking it home

You’ve thought about the journey, fueled your rockets and now you are in flight. Depending on the strength of your site, backlink profile and social clout, Google will begin crawling your site quite quickly; however, there will be latency in new pages getting indexed while crawlers discover and process these site changes. Regularly check search engine caches for important pages such as the homepage and top level category pages to identify when new URLs/page content are indexed.

Google Search Console checks

In the days after migration, Google Search Console makes it easy to monitor a site migration, including  messages and crawl error reports:

  • Alerts and messages – Check the Google Search Console inbox daily for any alerts or error messages that need to be addressed.

  • Indexation –  Compare the number of submitted URLs to the number of indexed URLs according to Google Search Console. These numbers may not be close together in the first few days, but if this isn’t improving in the second week after launch,  there may be errors that need to be addressed.

  • Crawl errors – Be sure to check GSC’s crawl error report daily for both the legacy and new sites. Within this report, it is important to pay attention to the date the error appeared and compare this to the date any changes were made. If you believe that the errors in the report have already been identified and resolved, mark all errors as fixed. If they are still an issue, the error will return, and it will be clear what needs to be addressed.

Site crawl

Beyond Google Search Console, software crawlers are great tools to monitor status codes, redirect chains, tracking codes and more. Using a crawler (e.g. Screaming Frog, Deep Crawl or Sitebulb), perform a crawl of the legacy site URLs to ensure that:

  • There are no temporary 302 redirects, or redirect chains present;

  • No valuable pages return 404 status codes;

  • Tags and meta descriptions have been migrated as planned;

  • Analytics tracking code is present on all pages (use the custom extraction feature to identify this);

  • No pages that you want to be indexed are being blocked by robots.txt or meta robots tags.

Update online properties

Make sure to update social media properties to reflect the site migration, even if redirects are already in place (e.g. update your site’s link in social bios). It may also be beneficial to update Twitter handles and brand pages. Both SearchEngineWatch and Moz provide helpful social rebrand guides for all the major social platforms.

Update your site’s most valuable inbound links

Where possible it is strongly recommended to contact the owners of sites that link to your legacy URLs. Although a redirect will already be in place, a linking root domain updating their link directly to the new URL will remove undesirable redirect chains and ensure that the maximum amount of link equity is passed to your new pages. More often than not, the sites will appreciate the update. Use the data pulls collected from Majestic, Ahrefs, Google Search Console and Moz’s Open Site Explorer to identify your most valuable inbound links and reach out.

Build new links to your site

It is important to build new links in order to replace some of the link equity lost from 301 redirects, and to create new paths for search engines to discover in order to crawl your site. As always, this is best done by creating relevant and useful content and promoting it to appropriate outlets. Evaluating the existing content you have via what performs well in terms of visits and engagement, and grouping these using a content matrix can help determine your next move.

Tracking and benchmarking

Once the new site has launched, you should  monitor and report on the impact of your changes:

  • Compare site speed and usability of the legacy site vs the new site for the legacy site’s most valuable pages based on the benchmarking data collected earlier.

  • Using your chosen ranking tool, monitor your pre. vs post-migration performance on a weekly basis. As tempting as it is, try not to draw any conclusions on positions for at least four weeks. It can take a while for Google to completely understand the migration that has taken place, and this is compounded by the size of the site, among other factors. Eventually, rankings should recover to their previous positions.  Since it is quite common for rankings to drop before recovering, make sure you communicate this transparently to your stakeholders so that there are no nasty surprises.

Final thoughts

TL;DR (too long; didn’t read): a site migration is a significant project that affects multiple digital channels and should, therefore, be performed with great planning and care. For the greatest chance of success, be sure to follow the processes in this website migration checklist, so you aren’t spending a large chunk of the post-migration period chasing your own tail.

Got an upcoming site migration?
Access the site migration checklist for free.

Remember to ask questions early, pull all necessary data with plenty of time, test and retest your 301 redirects before launch and consider the impact of site migration on wider channels. Migrating a site takes a lot of effort, but if done properly, the rewards can be plentiful.

Useful tools

  • Crawling

  • Link/ engagement intelligence
  • Site speed and performance
  • Rank checkers/performance monitoring

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Ultimate 2020 Content Marketing Checklist

Ultimate 2020 Content Marketing Checklist

Content isn’t ‘stuff we write to rank higher’ or ‘infographics’ or ‘long-form articles.’ Content is anything that communicates a message to the audience. Anything & Everything.
What is content marketing? Why is it important? Can a brand do without it? What do I need to do when creating a content marketing strategy? What are the elements of an effective content marketing plan? I answer these questions and more in this video.


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Social Media Marketing Agency Business Plan 2020 SMMA Checklist

Social Media Marketing Agency Business Plan 2020 SMMA Checklist

Social Media Marketing Agency Business Plan 2020 SMMA Checklist

Starting a SMMA without a social media marketing agency business plan in 2020 can get messy. Believe me after selling 7 figures in digital marketing services and dealing with over 100 clients I know a thing or two.

Grab Your social media agency starter checklist here:

Here are the 4 main things I discussed in this video for starting a successful SMMA business
Focus on One Skill Set For A specific Niche (Example: Facebook Ads or SEO)
Prospecting And Closing Clients (Check Out My Course Prospecting Kings)
Mindset: Execute and Take Action Daily Fo Growth
Scale With Real Systems

On My channel I will speak more about how to start a successful Social Media Marketing Agency and sell SMMA services to local businesses.

The SMMA business plan checklist and demo presentation is available through the link above.


🔥Lets Connect On Social:

👉How To Start A Social Media Marketing Agency 2020:
👉SYPHER Selling method for SEO, Lead generation and social media clients:

💰My full Social Media Marketing course is coming soon!
How To Start SMMA Blog Post:

Starting an SMMA business requires work. If you are willing to put in the work, focus on the four core pillars I speak about when starting a successful social media marketing agency and follow a basic business plan once it is more necessary than you will reap the rewards.


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Get an A for Accuracy With This Fact-Checking Content Checklist

Get an A for Accuracy With This Fact-Checking Content Checklist

Get an A for Accuracy With This Fact-Checking Content Checklist

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Content Marketing Checklist for Small Business Success 2020 (5 Tips)

Content Marketing Checklist for Small Business Success 2020 (5 Tips)

Content Marketing Checklist for Small Business Success:

This is a very important topic for anyone who has their own small business or is in charge of marketing a brand online.

We’ve created a 5 step content marketing checklist for small business success:

1. Start with a strategy

2. Decide on a platform for distribution

3. Choose a Medium that works

4. Create Valuable Content

5. Promote your content

Content marketing statistics from CMI show that 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach customers. And 86% of B2C marketers think content marketing is a key strategy.

So if the marketing experts are clearly taking full advantage of content marketing. Then we definitely need to be applying content marketing to our strategies and tactics as well.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the term ‘content marketing’. It’s the most cost effective, inbound marketing strategy that can help your business attract quality leads by consistently educating your target customers about your products or services while building awareness of your brand.

Side note: If that didn’t convince you enough, visit, where we’ll do everything for you!

We wanna encourage you to download our FREE content marketing guide, because it is layered with step by step solutions to creating content that is effective, valuable and impactful.

Don’t forget to join us again for our next episode all about branding.

Shan & Lacy. 🙂

Where to find our Podcast –

The Art of Visual Marketing
Apple Podcast:
Google Play:

#visualvybzstudios #shanicelinton #medicalmarketing

Visual Vybz Studios | Better Content = Better Results
Visit us online to learn more

Subscribe to our channel for more videos just like this and be sure to Follow us on social media for free tools and resources on how to help your brand grow and attract more business online.

Where to find Visual Vybz Studios:
The Art of Visual Marketing Podcast:
Instagram: @visualvybzstudios
Twitter: @visualvybz

Visual Vybz Studios is where business owners and entrepreneurs turn to get more brand awareness and visual engagement online with better content.

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Your Pre-Launch Marketing Checklist - 5 Steps to Success

Your Pre-Launch Marketing Checklist – 5 Steps to Success

Creating a new product or starting a new project is always overwhelming. Whatever it is you are starting, there are always lots of dots to connect, from competitor research to product development.

And while setting up a new site or creating a new (digital) product is quite challenging in itself, there’s at least an end to that process, which is almost encouraging.

Sadly, that’s not something you can say about marketing.

Marketing is never done: You always need to be on top of things, try new tactics, find new partners, etc., if you want your sales to keep growing.

While marketing a new project is always a tedious, never-ending project, you can at least make it easier and even scalable by developing an effective pre-launch marketing.

Pre-launch marketing has two main goals:

  • Build interest and buzz for the upcoming project
  • Pre-plan your future marketing by knowing who is helping you, who you are going to reach out to, which platforms are going to be more effective, and how exactly you will utilize each of your marketing channels.

Here’s your actionable checklist to creating an effective pre-launch strategy:

1. Build a Lead Generation Pre-Launch Landing Page

Any marketing strategy should always start here: Which page (or which site) is going to be the center of everything you do. This page needs to be hosted on your site. Never invest in marketing something you don’t own (like a Facebook page or a mini-site on any free hosting domain).

You need to be sure your page is always going to be there, no matter what. Third-party (free) sites go down and accounts get blocked (for any number of ridiculous reasons). So whatever you are marketing, you’d better 100% own and control that asset.

Setting up a pre-launch landing page is easier than you may think. If your site is run by WordPress, there’s a variety of plugins and themes that will let you set up a coming soon landing page with one click of a mouse. Many of those also come with a nice countdown timer for you to add to your landing page.

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Coronavirus and Your Marketing Event: A 14-Item Checklist : MarketingProfs Article

Coronavirus and Your Marketing Event: A 14-Item Checklist : MarketingProfs Article

“The show must go on,” but until when, exactly? What do you do when a calamity or crisis turns your conference, training course, or event upside down? Do you continue, cancel, reschedule?

That’s the situation I find myself in: In two weeks, I have a conference on my agenda with international guests. How do we respond to the coronavirus epidemic?

During our deliberation process, I created a list of tips that might help you if you find yourself in the same situation. I explain them in this article.

The steps in this list are in some logical order. The list is compiled with chronology in mind, but the steps you take can run simultaneously.

I’d recommend you first read the entire article; you can then quickly determine what to do in which order.

(Editor’s note: This article is based on the Dutch original; the English translation is by the article author.)

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Your Comprehensive YouTube Marketing Checklist from BuzzSumo

Your Comprehensive YouTube Marketing Checklist from BuzzSumo

You already know YouTube marketing is valuable – but how can you perfect your YouTube content strategy? It’s tricky: you want to upload videos that promote your brand, but you also need to create content your audience wants to watch and share.

Too many marketers make two big mistakes with YouTube:

  1. They don’t upload videos consistently.
  2. They don’t upload the right kind of video content.

People don’t visit the second-largest search engine and second-most popular website to shop, they hang out on YouTube to be entertained or educated. Here’s how to do it.

Your Ultimate YouTube Marketing Checklist

Follow the steps below to optimize your YouTube content strategy for more engagement and better results.

1. Choose KPIs for Monitoring YouTube Analytics

Before anything else, you’ll want to nail down your key performance indicators so you can track your YouTube analytics and watch your strategy’s performance.

Consider this: view counts are the YouTube marketing equivalent of Facebook reach. Watching your video doesn’t mean much if people don’t click links, share, comment, and embed your video onto other websites.

According to YouTube, its algorithm takes many factors into account when ranking videos – especially how long a viewer stays on its website after viewing your video.

The goals of YouTube’s search and discovery system are twofold: to help viewers find the videos they want to watch, and to maximize long-term viewer engagement and satisfaction: YouTube Help.

2. Figure Out What Kind of Videos Your Audience Likes

To create an effective YouTube content strategy, you’ll need to start with interesting and engaging content. BuzzSumo makes it easy to find trending and viral video content ideas.

Let’s say we’re working for a website that sells herbal supplements and essential oils. If we type “essential oils” into the Content Search and filter for video posts, we can see that doTERRA videos perform well on YouTube.

Buzzsumo doTerra results

Looking at the first result, we may want to consider making a video about how we source our essential oils and supplements due to the high evergreen score doTERRA has for their video.

We could also head over to the Facebook Analyzer to see what people are sharing. When we filter for video posts and sort by share count, lots of great content ideas appear!

Essential Oils Facebook Analyzer

3. Create a YouTube Content Strategy Calendar

Instead of creating a YouTube content strategy that builds on your blog post topics, create a unique calendar just for YouTube content.

Let’s look at the Facebook Analyzer results for “essential oils” above. We could create a calendar for three months with two videos each month:

  1. Top 3 essential oils for pain relief/5 essential oils to calm your nerves and clear your mind
  2. 7 cleaning products you can replace with essential oils/5 essential oils with antibacterial qualities
  3. Essential oils and kids: are they safe? /Funny essential oil comedy video about husband and wife

4. Perfect Your SEO for Better YouTube Analytics

Unfortunately, you can’t “set it and forget it” with YouTube marketing content. Take SEO into consideration as you upload your content.

  • Titles: Include a long-tail keyword and write something engaging. While YouTube analytics allow up to 100 characters, Google will only display 66.
  • Description: Grab attention with the first two lines and include a few keywords. Optimize below the “show more” for share links and a long-form description with a call-to-action.
  • Tags: Include specific topic and broad category tags. Include some tags your competitors use for related videos to improve your chances of showing up in the suggested videos.

Resist the urge to write clickbait titles.

Misleading, clickbaity and sensational titles and thumbnails impact viewer satisfaction and engagement. Viewers can and often do report videos that are misleading, clickbaity and sensational: YouTube Help.

5. Create Relevant Playlists

For YouTube marketing, think of playlists as the equivalent of categories on WordPress—they supply an extra layer of meta information for algorithms to read.

Create relevant playlists for each category of videos you plan in your calendar. Make sure to include a combination of primary and secondary keywords in the title and description, too.

Dane Golden of Tubular Insights recommends including a curated or user-generated playlist as well.

If people are making videos about your product, what you can do is create a regularly-scheduled “Fan video of the week,” and add that to a playlist of the same name. … Then you can tell that creator, you’re our video of the week, and they may even tweet about it or talk about it in another video.

MadFit YouTube Channel

Source: YouTube | MadFit

6. Take Your Thumbnails Seriously

YouTube is a visual platform. Thumbnails matter as much – if not more – than titles. 90 percent of the best-performing videos display custom thumbnails.

Again, YouTube takes clickbait seriously. The video platform recommends avoiding images that shock, disgust, or mislead your audience in any fashion. YouTube suggests checking feedback in comments to see if your thumbnails accurately represent the video content.

7. Give Your Brand’s Page a Makeover

Show YouTube that you care about your brand’s page.

  • Upload a new profile picture and cover photo that fits YouTube’s dimensions.
  • Include your social media links.
  • Link to your website or landing pages.
  • Write a thoughtful and long description with plenty of keywords.
  • Follow relevant channels to “tell” YouTube what you’re about.

As you watch your page come together, you’ll see why playlists are so important:

MadFit YouTube Playlist

Source: YouTube | MadFit

8. Create a Link Building Strategy

Links help drive traffic to YouTube which is good for the whole platform. Make sure to share your YouTube link on other social media platforms and embed your video into relevant blog posts.

YouTube is good at finding and punishing spam links, so make sure your link building is strategic and deliberate.

Find Trending Video Ideas Now

A valuable YouTube marketing strategy starts with interesting video content. Once you nail down a calendar with some topic ideas, it’s easy to optimize the finer details like SEO.

BuzzSumo can help you find interesting video content that your audience is already sharing with no guesswork. To help, we’re happy to offer you a seven-day free trial to get started with no strings attached. Start analyzing now!

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Slideshare Content Creation and Marketing Checklist

slideshareWant to make it on Sideshare? You should, it is one of the most under-praised yet powerful tools out there right now. Since LinkedIn stepped up and took it under their wing, it has even more social clout. Professionals that want to connect with other industry powerhouses should be jumping on board, stat.

The problem is that not many users know how to make it really work for them. Which is fitting, given how few understand how to use LinkedIn, either. It was a match made in heaven.

Luckily, it isn’t rocket science. You can learn to use Slideshare correctly through experience, trial and error. But to get you started, try this helpful checklist for both content creation and marketing your presentations on the platform.

Before You Get Started

  1. Know your audience. Who is it you are trying to connect with, exactly? Are these high ranking CEO’s in massive corporations? Peers in your industry? Potential employers? Potential customers? Because it is a versatile platform, it will have a versatile group of users. Target the right demographic for your needs.
  2. Ask what you have to offer. This is not a blog. You can’t recycle the same tired advice and have it take off because you gave it a snazzy name. You are among two major groups: experts and wannabe experts. So to be seen as valuable there you will have to give them something both high quality, and that they haven’t seen before (at least in the way you present it).
  3. Outline: Make sure you have a clear idea of what you are going to say in the Slideshare (I usually re-purpose the subheadings from my article to make the outline). Otherwise, you’ll waste lots of time moving the slides around.
  4. Decide on your slide number. This is important, because it is easy to get carried away when you go into creating a Slideshare presentation without some kind of guideline beforehand. Take a look at other popular presentations to see how many slides they average.
  5. Decide on the tools to create eye-catching slides. This used to be a big problem: Designing slides to make them memorable and eye-catching used to be a pain. These days we have a few tools that make our job much easier. Placeit is one of the newest Slideshow makers out there providing cool templates including those for social media and beyond.

Your Content

  1. KISS. The real challenge of creating a Slideshare presentation is cutting down your information into the simplest possible format, with the fewest possible words. You don’t want more than a sentence or two, or a small bullet point of information. You have to deliver all info in a rapid fire way. If it takes more than a couple seconds to get through a slide, it is too complicated.
  2. Design (Know your tools!) Most important thing: Make sure your slides are readable when they are zoomed out (that’s how many people will watch it through Slideshare). Having visuals, readable font and colors are great ways to make it more eye catching. Don’t clutter! Too many elements will quickly overpower the content itself, and work against you. Try to keep it clean and attractive, and make sure everything is relevant. If in doubt, stay away from images for anything but a cover background. Your viewer’s will thank you for not having yet another eyesore presentation for them to tolerate in order to get to your information. Here are great tools to create the presentation. Optimize!
  3. Use an essay format. A quick way to get your point across is to use an essay format for the slides. For example, you would start with a cover image with the title, then the next slide would tell them the points you will be making. Then each slide after explains each point. The final presentation slide will give your conclusion and tie it up nicely so there are no loose ends. The last slide will be your CTA, which we will discuss in the marketing portion of this post.
  4. Ask for feedback. Sometimes we can get blind to problems in our content because we have put so much heart into it. That is why third party feedback is so crucial. Ask a couple of people you know and trust what they think. Pick them for having different strengths; one for aesthetics, such as a designer; one from your industry to check over your information; one with no industry experience to see if the language and explanations are clear enough for a layman to understand. Don’t take criticism personally, but instead use it to inform any useful changes that could improve your content.
  5. Don’t forget the basic SEO. Like with any other content, search engine optimization is important if you want your upload to keep attracting organic leads. Use Text Optimizer to extract related concepts from Google search results and find which of those should be covered in your presentations as well as Slideshare upload description.

Marketing Your Presentations

  1. Direct people to other content. This is one of the single most things you can do in a Slideshare: redirect. Create links that open in new tabs and go to either other Slideshare posts, or other relevant content you think the viewer might benefit from/enjoy. Don’t overdo it, instead providing one to three. This one action can vastly improve your traffic and visibility.
  2. Create a CTA slide. As mentioned before, a CTA slide is an important inclusion to your presentation. It does not have to be counted as part of your slide count. Decide where you want to direct conversions: communication and engagement? Social media? Your website? Product pages? Your Slideshare profile? Don’t overcrowd the slide, but provide a few conversion efforts there, so you can make the most of your content.
  3. Embed your Slideshare presentations. This is a no-brainer. Your blog is a great place to embed Slideshare posts, as are guest posts from sites that don’t mind the redirect. Make sure you are promoting anywhere you can.
  4. Keep an eye on your analytics! Slideshare provides a limited but still useful analytics for free: So keep an eye on your best performing content and let your success guide you!

slideshare analytics

See? It isn’t difficult. Just follow the checklist above and before you know it you will have an awesome campaign running based around Slideshare content. It is one of the best ways you can use visual and rapid fire data to promote yourself and your brand. Not to mention a platform that isn’t as crowded as Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook.

Have any tips to add to the checklist? We would love to hear them, so share them in the comments below!

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