11 Facebook Advertising Tools That’ll Save You Time and Money

11 facebook tools for digital marketing

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Your SEO Checklist: 4 Steps to Optimizing Your Website

​The goal of search engine optimization is to have the search engine spiders not only find your site and pages but also specifically rank the page relevance so that it appears at the top of the search engine results. The process of optimization is not a one-time process but requires maintenance, tuning, and continuous testing and monitoring.

Below is a broad four-step process for a strategy for search engine optimization. Use this as your top-level checklist.

Step 1: Target Market Business Analysis

Website analysis. Analysis of meta sets/keywords, visible text and code to deter­mine how well you’re positioned for search engines. For example, how much code do you have on a page compared to text?

Competitive analysis. Examination of content keywords and present engine rank­ings of competitive websites to determine an effective engine positioning strategy. Pick the top five results in the Google listing results to begin this process. Expand as necessary. Use tools such as Semrush.com and Keywordspy.com.

Initial keyword nomination. Development of a prioritized list of targeted search terms related to your customer base and market segment. Begin with this: What would you type into a search engine to find your business website or page? Then, ask your customers!

Step 2: Keyword Research and Development

Keyword analysis. From nomination, further identify a targeted list of key­words and phrases. Review competitive lists and other pertinent industry sources. Use your preliminary list to determine an indicative number of recent search engine queries and how many websites are competing for each key­word. Prioritize keywords and phrases, plurals, singulars and misspellings. (If search users commonly misspell a keyword, you should identify and use it). Please note that Google will try to correct the term when searching, so use this with care.

Baseline ranking assessment. You need to understand where you are now in order to accurately assess your future rankings. Keep a simple Excel sheet to start the process. Check weekly to begin. As you get more comfortable, check every 30 to 45 days. You should see improvements in website traffic, a key indicator of progress for your keywords. Some optimizers will say that rankings are dead. Yes, traffic and conversions are more important, but we use rankings as an indicator.

Goals and Objectives. Clearly define your objectives in advance so you can truly measure your ROI from any programs you implement. Start simple, but don’t skip this step. Example: You may decide to increase website traffic from a current baseline of 100 visitors a day to 200 visitors over the next 30 days. Or you may want to improve your current conversion rate of one percent to two in a specified period. You may begin with top-level, aggregate numbers, but you must drill down into specific pages that can improve products, services, and business sales.

Step 3: Content Optimization and Submission

Create page titles. Keyword-based titles help establish page theme and direction for your keywords.

Create meta tags. Meta description tags can influence click-throughs but aren’t directly used for rankings. (Google doesn’t use the keywords tag any­more.)

Place strategic search phrases on pages. Integrate selected keywords into your website source code and existing content on designated pages. Make sure to apply a sug­gested guideline of one to three keywords/phrases per content page and add more pages to complete the list. Ensure that related words are used as a natural inclu­sion of your keywords. It helps the search engines quickly determine what the page is about. A natural approach to this works best. In the past, 100 to 300 words on a page was recommended. Many tests show that pages with 800 to 2,000 words can outperform shorter ones. In the end, the users, the marketplace, content and links will determine the popularity and ranking numbers.

Develop new sitemaps for Google and Bing. Make it easier for search engines to index your website. Create both XML and HTML versions. An HTML version is the first step. XML sitemaps can easily be submitted via Google and Bing webmaster tools.

Submit website to directories (limited use). Professional search marketers don’t sub­mit the URL to the major search engines, but it’s possible to do so. A better and faster way is to get links back to your site naturally. Links get your site indexed by the search engines. However, you should submt your URL to directories such as Yahoo! (paid), Business.com (paid) and DMOZ (free). Some may choose to include AdSense (google.com/adsense) scripts on a new site to get their Google Media bot to visit. It will likely get your pages indexed quickly.

Step 4: Continuous Testing and Measuring

Test and measure. Analyze search engine rankings and web traffic to determine the effectiveness of the programs you’ve implemented, including assessment of individual keyword performance. Test the results of changes, and keep changes tracked in an Excel spreadsheet, or whatever you’re comfortable with.

Maintenance. Ongoing addition and modification of keywords and website con­tent are necessary to continually improve search engine rankings so growth doesn’t stall or decline from neglect. You also want to review your link strategy and ensure that your inbound and outbound links are relevant to your business. A blog can provide you the necessary structure and ease of content addition that you need. Your hosting company can typically help you with the setup/installation of a blog.

Finally got placed…

What is the feeling when we get placed from campus itself is beyond the imagination. As well as getting highest package among all placed student is like extra layer of cheeze . Feeling so much happy to be the part of my collage where i have learned more than the academic. Standing in mob and suddenly someone lift us to a great height is unexpectable 

Thanks to all those who are a pillars of my success building .

Top 5 Android libraries every Android developer should know about

​In the last year or so, Android development has really come of age. Android Studio with Gradle at its core is a dash of light after Eclipse. Besides that, there are quite a few open source libraries that we use on a daily basis.
Here is a selection of five of our favorite ones and a list of links where you can find others.

1. GSON

Gson is a Java library used for serializing and deserializing Java objects from and into JSON. A task you will frequently need to do if you communicate with APIs. We mostly use JSON because it’s lightweight and much simpler than XML.

// Serialize 

String userJSON = new Gson().toJson(user);

// Deserialize

User user = new Gson().fromJson(userJSON, User.class);

It also plays nice with the next library:

2. RETROFIT

From their site: “Retrofit turns your REST API into a Java interface.” It’s an elegant solution for organizing API calls in a project. The request method and relative URL are added with an annotation, which makes code clean and simple.

With annotations, you can easily add a request body, manipulate the URL or headers and add query parameters.

Adding a return type to a method will make it synchronous, while adding a Callback will allow it to finish asynchronously with success or failure.

public interface RetrofitInterface {

    // asynchronously with a callback

    @GET(“/api/user”)

    User getUser(@Query(“user_id”) int userId, Callback<User> callback);

    // synchronously

    @POST(“/api/user/register”)

    User registerUser(@Body User user);

}

// example

RetrofitInterface retrofitInterface = new RestAdapter.Builder

.setEndpoint(API.API_URL).build().create(RetrofitInterface.class);

// fetch user with id 2048

retrofitInterface.getUser(2048, new Callback<User>() {

    @Override

    public void success(User user, Response response) {

    }

    @Override

    public void failure(RetrofitError retrofitError) {

    }

});

Retrofit uses Gson by default, so there is no need for custom parsing. Other converters are supported as well.

3. EVENTBUS

EventBus is a library that simplifies communication between different parts of your application. For example, sending something from an Activity to a running Service, or easy interaction between fragments. Here is an example we use if the Internet connection is lost, showing how to notify an activity:

public class NetworkStateReceiver extends BroadcastReceiver

    // post event if there is no Internet connection

    public void onReceive(Context context, Intent intent) {

        super.onReceive(context, intent);

        if(intent.getExtras()!=null) {

            NetworkInfo ni=(NetworkInfo) intent.getExtras().get(ConnectivityManager.EXTRA_NETWORK_INFO);

            if(ni!=null && ni.getState()==NetworkInfo.State.CONNECTED) {

                // there is Internet connection

            } else if(intent.getBooleanExtra(ConnectivityManager.EXTRA_NO_CONNECTIVITY,Boolean.FALSE)) {

                // no Internet connection, send network state changed

                EventBus.getDefault().post(new NetworkStateChanged(false));

            }

}

// event

public class NetworkStateChanged {

    private mIsInternetConnected;

    public NetworkStateChanged(boolean isInternetConnected) {

        this.mIsInternetConnected = isInternetConnected;

    }

    public boolean isInternetConnected() {

        return this.mIsInternetConnected;

    }

}

public class HomeActivity extends Activity {

    @Override

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);

setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);

        EventBus.getDefault().register(this); // register EventBus

    }

    @Override

    protected void onDestroy() {

        super.onDestroy();

 EventBus.getDefault().unregister(this); // unregister EventBus

    }

    // method that will be called when someone posts an event NetworkStateChanged

    public void onEventMainThread(NetworkStateChanged event) {

        if (!event.isInternetConnected()) {

            Toast.makeText(this, “No Internet connection!”, Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();

        }

    }

}

4. ACTIVEANDROID

ActiveAndroid is an ORM for Android. It’s an abstraction over SQLite which allows you to communicate with a database on a device without writing SQL statements. An Object that extends ActiveAndroid Model can be saved to the database like this:

user.save();

which can easily replace a big SQL statement like this:

INSERT INTO Users (Nickname, Name, Address, City, PostalCode, Country) VALUES (‘Batman’,’Bruce W’,’Palisades 21′,’Gotham’,’40000′,’USA’);

An example of retrieving all users:

List<User> users = new Select().from(User.class).execute();

of which SQL counterpart would look like this:

SELECT Nickname, Name, Address, City, PostalCode, Country FROM Users;

ActiveAndroid is a nice way to remove a lot of boilerplate code used for working with databases. There are other open source solutions like GreenDAO and ORMLite

5. UNIVERSAL IMAGE LOADER

UIL is a library which provides asynchronous, out of the box loading and caching of images. It’s pretty straightforward to use:

imageLoader.displayImage(imageUri, imageView);

Although Picasso has a nicer API, it lacks in customization. With the UIL configuration builder almost everything can be configured (important for fetching and caching of really large images, which Picasso fails to do).

Good open source libraries will make your development a hell of a lot easier and faster. Popular libraries are often well tested and simple to use. In most cases you can easily import them into your Android Studio project from Maven. Add them into dependencies in your build.gradle file like this:
dependencies {

    compile ‘com.google.code.gson:gson:2.2.4’

    compile ‘com.squareup.okhttp:okhttp:1.3.0’

    compile ‘com.squareup.retrofit:retrofit:1.3.0’

    compile ‘de.greenrobot:eventbus:2.2.+’

    compile ‘com.nostra13.universalimageloader:universal-image-loader:1.9.1’

}

and after syncing you will be good to go to implement them into your app.

How to start your first seo projects

Part 3

OFF-SITE SEO

You started this when you registered your site and signed up for the yellow pages, business listing sites, and social media. Now you need to do several other things to get more backlinks. You will want to use a combination of:

List with the Local directories for Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Directory postings (see my tutorial)

Classified ad site postings (see my tutorial on Craigslist in the Tutorials section of this forum).

Article Marketing

Press release marketing

Blog commenting

Forum commenting and posting

Video postings. YouTube is not the only video site, you know.

A note on blog commenting and forum commenting and posting. Make sure you are contributing relevant comments and posts; if you don’t, you most likely will be kicked off that site. Make sure your comments are spelled correctly and are grammatical. I can’t tell you how many people can’t write plain, clear, simple English. I understand many people (maybe even you) are not native English speakers, but please, try to write in a way that others can understand!

A note on Paint. Paint is a basic picture editor found in most versions of Windows. Learn to use the version on your computer. In mine, I can:

– Convert JPGs, GIFs, PNGs, and BMPs to one another.

– Change the size of a file, including to exact pixels.

– Rotate and flip the images.

A note on text editors. There are more text editors out there besides just Notepad. Notepad is basic, and it comes with most versions of Windows. If you need more capabilities than what Notepad provides, try TextPad. You can get that at CNet.

CNet is a very useful site; you can download a lot of useful programs for free. It is the first place I go when looking for a program to help solve a problem.

Documentation: You will want:

33-1. A folder on your PC with all your SEO information in it.

33-2. A *.txt file with all your.

33-2-1. Listings for directories. Don’t forget to have the number of characters and number of words adjacent to the text of the listing. As you go along, you will need to rewrite your postings to fit the requirements of various sites; keep those here, too.

33-2-2. Your website URL; also include up to 5 subsidiary links for “deep link” directories.

33-2-3. URLs for your social media, business listing, and blog sites.

33-2-4. Basic contact information such as name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. Your fax number, if you have one, goes here, too.

33-2-5. Your keywords. Keep track of the number of words and the number of characters, the same way you did with you directory listings. You want both comma separated and space separated keyword lists.

Hey, John, why keep all these in one file? So you can access the data quickly and easily. After all, how many files do you want to have open at one time?

33-3. Your logo file, if you have one, goes into this directory.

33-4. A spreadsheet where you keep track of all your logins, postings, and rankings. You will want at least 5 pages:

– Usernames and passwords for various key sites, such as Google Analytics

– Directory postings

– Yellow Pages postings

– Other postings, such as for business listing sites.

On these pages, you want to keep track of the name of the site, its URL, your username, the password, the e-mail account you used to establish this account, any security questions and answers, and the date you listed with them.

Rankings. You want to see results from your work, so you will want to keep track of where you rank on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Now, let me tell you there are tools out there to do this work for you; however, they are only looking for ONE specific URL. As part of your SEO project, you will be listing with many different sites, from Google to Craigslist to the yellow pages. Frankly, you are less concerned about WHICH site generates traffic (or phone calls) so long as it DOES generate traffic.
You will want to keep track of:

– Date

– Google

— Keyword.

— Which site

– Bing

— Keyword.

— Which site

– Yahoo

– Keyword

-Which site

Under Keyword you will put which page you are on.

You will want to have at least 2-3 keyword phrases for which you are looking to rank your site.

Under Site you will put an abbreviation which says which site you are on. For example, I have had my listings come up, not just from my web site, but from Digg, Manta, Craigslist, MerchantCircle, and Yelp, among other sites.

Keep track of how many Google backlinks you have.

Keep track of your Alexa ranking, the increment between two days, and the 5-day moving average.

Keep track of your pagerank.

Complicated? No, not really. You can do all this in about 5 minutes a day or so.

Learning. SEO is an ever-changing field, so you need to keep up with the changes. Look on the web for some people who will send you e-mails, e-books, etc.; read them and keep them. Review them when your business is slow. Also, look for some forums where you can learn and contribute.

Tools. You will want to find SEO tools that fit your needs. Again, look on the web; there are a bunch of tools out there. Find a few and use them as needed.

TIME BUDGET

If you have experience with such things as web design, then you will be able to complete the project faster. If you are hiring someone to do it for you, then it will be faster (but more expensive). The more experience you have, the faster it will go; the more learning you need to do, the slower it will be. My experience shows:

Name, e-mail, get the URL, etc. (steps 1-8): 1-2 days

Register with the government: 1-2 days, depending on whether you need to drive to their offices or can do it on line or on the phone.

Basic web design: 1-7 days depending on your experience and the size of the site.

Registration with Bing, Google, Yahoo, DMOZ, Alexa: 1 day

Registration with yellow pages sites: 1-2 days

Registration with business listing sites: 1-2 days.

Social Media: 3-5 days depending on experience, number of sites you list on, etc.

Putting the links on your site, and linking each profile to the others: 1-2 days

Web site grading and tweaking: 1-2 days.

Off-Page SEO: Daily, 1-2 hours a day, until you take your web site down.

Hey John, how soon will I be up on the first page of Google, Bing, and Yahoo? Just a few weeks, right? Umm, no. It will take months. What I have outlined here are some “white hat” techniques. “Black hat” techniques are available, that do get you listed higher and faster; the downside is when (not if) Google finds out about it, your site will drop off the rankings, and may even be banned. Do you really want to risk that?

You will want to do the best job you can. I saw a stat the other day; there are 550 MILLION web sites out there; over 300 MILLION were started up in the last year. So you can see the competition is stiff. You can do it, but it is harder than it used to be, and the better you do youR job the easier and faster it will be to achieve your goal.

REMEMBER THE GOAL: First page of Google, Bing, and Yahoo so you can generate MORE INCOME! Good luck.

How to start your first SEO project

Part 2

WEB SITE STARTUP AND ON-SITE SEO.

Design and build your web site. You want to build basic SEO into this from the beginning. Ensure your Unique Selling Proposition is built in from the beginning.

DO YOUR KEYWORD RESEARCH AGAIN. You should have already done this as part of your due diligence, but you need to do it again.

Ensure all images have ALT tags.
Write a unique title for each page of your site.
Write a 150 character or less meta description.
Build about 2-3 different keywords into each page of your website. They must occur naturally on the page. DO NOT just put in your keyword 100 times! SEO is increasingly about relevant, original, quality content, which above all means GOOD WRITING.
WRITING: Everything you write on the web site or for you postings MUST BE:
16-1. Run through a spell checker.
16-2. Run through a grammar checker
16-3. REVIEWED. It is way too easy to miss something as simple as a missing word, or two similar words that do not interchange. Spell checkers and grammar checkers can only do so much. For example, if you misspell FROM as FORM, Word (or your word processor) will not catch it. There are several techniques to do this:
16-3-1. Put it to one side for a day or two, then read it again.
16-3-2. Read it letter for letter backwards. Weird, yes, but it works.
16-3-3. Have someone else read it for you. Address the questions they have in the document.
16-4. If English is not your first language, and you are marketing to native English speakers, have a native English speaker review it, if possible. Make the required changes. Remember, you are asking them to review your language usage so you can increase your sales. Pride of authorship is NOT appropriate in this case.
You will need to write longer descriptions, as well, for the business listing and yellow pages sites. See the Basic Directory Posting Tutorial I wrote (it is in the Tutorial section of this forum).
When you write a description, run it through the word count tool in Word, too (Tools, Word Count). Keep track of how many characters, including spaces, it is, as well as how many words. You will need this for directory postings later on. Keep this in a *.txt file; word processor files have a habit of adding strange characters which interfere with your work.
DOCUMENT! See Paragraphs 32, 33, and 34 for more details.
You will want to make an e-mail address on your web site for your listings and directory postings.
Review and publish!
Hey, I’m done with my on-site SEO, right? Uh, no. There is still a lot more work to do, amigo, but you could not do it until you had a live site.
Now you need to register your site with:
Google Analytics

Google Plus
Bing Webmaster Tools
Yahoo Local
Alexa

DMOZ

Don’t forget to upload your sitemap to Google and Bing. If you are using GoDaddy, it is easy to generate this. If not, just go to one of the many sitemap generating sites on the web.

Put the verification codes you get on your website and republish.

Now register your site with as many yellow pages sites as possible. Many will require phone verification, so have your phone handy! Even though this is technically off-page SEO, you want to get it done early, so people can start finding you.
Now sign up for as many business listing sites as you can. Start with Yelp, Merchant Circle, and Manta, and go from there.

Now you need to sign up for social media sites. You want to start with:

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

StumbleUpon

WordPress (or some other blogging site), if you don’t have a blog on your website already.

YouTube (if you are video-capable, or your business is video-friendly).

and go on from there.

Hey, John, wait a second. What does this have to do with ON-SITE SEO? Patience you must have, yes.

Once you have signed up for all of these (and you did keep track of your usernames, passwords, and URLs, right?), establish a way for people to comment on you without allowing them into your account. This will take a little time and some learning.

Once you have the appropriate URLs, then you want to put them on your web site. The easiest way is to have the icon on your web site. The easiest way to get the icons is to go to Google, Image Search, and look for an exact size. You want the icons to be mostly, if not all, the same file type (i.e. JPG or PNG). If you get them all the same size, it makes it look professional, and is easier than having to adjust the size in Paint. At least in GoDaddy, I can put a link in the image; when you click on it, it will take you to that URL.

When you do this, remember the goal of this part of the project: You want to make it easy for people to “like” you. So, put the icon and link for the social media sites, your blog, and your business listing sites on your site in a place that is easy to see.

Republish when you are done putting up the links.

Go to a website grading site, such as HubSpot or DIYSEO, and see how you did. Tweak as needed.

You are now done with the basic on-site portion of your project. However, you will want to ensure that each of the social media websites, your blog, and your business listing sites all link to one another. Basically, if someone goes to your blog, or your Facebook page, or some other site, you want them to be able to click on your icon and go right to your site, or your blog, or another social media site.

How to start your first SEO project

​PART 1

INTRODUCTION: When you are starting with your first SEO project, you may feel as if you have been told to empty the ocean with a teaspoon, there is so much to know and so much to do. Well, don’t freak out, it is not as bad as it sounds. You simply have to look at it as a series of tasks to be done. The U.S. military works this way; they look at a goal (say “Force the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany”) and break it down to what needs to be done, how they can do it, what resources are needed, how to get those resources, and budgets for money and time. You need to do the same.

There is one other thing to remember: SEO is marketing. Now, in the old days all you needed was a sign and a Yellow Pages ad, and you were set. SEO is not like that; it is much less expensive in money (if you do it yourself) than the Yellow Pages, but it is much more time-consuming.

GOAL OF THE PROJECT: Get on the first page of Google, Bing, and Yahoo so you can increase sales and GET MORE MONEY!

ASSUMPTIONS: This article assumes:

3-1. This is a new business.

3-2. You have done your due diligence, including, among other things, researched your local regulatory requirements and fees, done your market research, defined your Unique Selling Proposition, written your business plan, done your keyword research, researched your time and money budgets, and secured financing (if needed).

3-3. You have a small budget and are doing this yourself.

3-4. You are in the United States. If you are in another country, then some of the steps may not apply, or additional steps may be required.

3-5. You have a Wintel PC. If you don’t, you will need to find the equivalent programs

INGREDIENTS: You will need:

4-1. A PC with an internet connection. This needs to be as powerful as you can afford; this is your primary business tool, and you need to be efficient. A slow PC is not efficient. Again, your internet connection needs to be as fast as you can afford. You don’t want to go back to the days of the World Wide Wait; you want your connection to be fast so you can get more done

4-2. Firefox, or some other internet browser.

4-3. Word, or some other word processer

4-4 Excel, or some other spreadsheet

4-5. Notepad, or some other text editor

4-6. Paint, or some other picture editor

4-7. Knowledge of how to use Google, Bing, and Yahoo to find what you need.

PART 2:

BASIC PREPARATION

Your first step is to GET A NAME for your company. Sounds simple, right? Well, not exactly. You need to:

1-1. Write down about 25-30 names, preferably ones that feature your main keyword(s).

1-2. Ensure your name is NOT listed in

1-2-1. Google (ignore those outside your country).

1-2-2. Your local phone book.

1-2-3. The Fictitious Business Name listing for your city/county.

1-2-4. The Secretary of State’s office for your state, both the Corporation and LLC listings.

1-3. Basically, you want to ensure your name is available (NOT listed) in all these places. If the all your names are taken, try again, and again if need be, until you find a good name for your business.

Get a physical address. A P.O. Box or mail drop/license hanging service will serve. You will need this for billing and business registration purposes. Check the registration requirements at the federal, state, and local governments to ensure a P.O. box is acceptable.

Once you have a name, write down about 25-30 URLs with variations on that name. See which ones are available. Again, you want to include your major keywords, if possible.

Once you have chosen your URL, buy it through a domain registrar such as Yahoo or GoDaddy.

Research and choose a web hosting service. Personally, I use GoDaddy since they offer a template service with unlimited tech support. They are also rock-solid reliable; my site has been down for 20 minutes in 7 years!

Establish your e-mail addresses with Yahoo, Hotmail, and GMail. Why? You want these as logins for the analytics.

Get a fax number. An EFax account will work. It may be old-fashioned, but it is still a good thing to have.

Get a phone number. You will want something that Craigslist will recognize for phone verification. Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon cellphones work; MagicJack, MetroPCS, and Google Voice do not. Vonage SOMETIMES works, and sometimes does not.

Register your business with the federal (IRS), state, county, and city business licensing departments. This will eat up a large portion of your budget.

A 30 Point Checklist for Your Startup

​So you want to start a business – congratulations!  Once you get over the initial excitement, it’s time to break down the process of launching your startup into manageable chunks.

You might get overwhelmed with the sheer number of items on your to-do list. But not to worry; I’ve broken down this startup checklist into the primary tasks you need to do now, and those that you can defer until later.

What You Need to Do Now

Do the following tasks either before launch or during the early days of your startup.

1. Determine viability

Be brutally honest.  Your startup needs to be something you can make a profit doing or delivering.  Ask yourself: would you buy it? Run the numbers: will customers pay enough so that you can cover costs and make a profit?   Here is a list of 29 more questions to ask, attributed to noted investor Paul Graham.

2.  Create a business plan

It’s easy to convince yourself that you don’t need a business plan, but creating a business plan with financial projections forces you to think through details. Keep your plan a living breathing thing that you revisit and adapt regularly.

3.  Figure out the money

Most startups take a lot more time to get off the ground than you expect. Know where your living expenses for the first year will come from (savings, a job, spouse’s income, etc.).  If you need financing for the business start investigating as soon as possible.

4. Get family behind you

Spend time to make sure your spouse and other close family ‘buy into’ your startup.  You’ll have enough challenges without resistance from family.

5. Choose a business name

You want a name that will stick in your target audience’s heads. And it shouldn’t already be taken by another company. Do Google searches and use a corporate name search tool to see if the name you have in mind is unique. Check at the state and Federal level.

6. Register a domain name

Get a matching domain to your business name.  An AOL email address or a website with free hosting and a name like mysite.wordpress.com makes it seem like either (a) you are not running a real business or (b) you don’t plan to be around long.

7. Incorporate / figure out legal structure

Incorporating your startup can protect your personal assets. Talk over structure (corporation, LLC, sole proprietorship) with your attorney and accountant.

8. Apply for an EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) helps you separate yourself from your business. You’ll need it if you plan to incorporate your business or open a business bank account.  Plus, with it you can avoid giving out your social security number (an opening  to identity theft). EIN numbers are free; apply online.

9. Investigate and apply for business licenses

You may need one, if not several, business licenses for your startup, depending on your industry and where you are located.  Most licenses are at the state or local level.  Here in the United States, the SBA has a helpful business license and permits tool.

10. Set up a website

Get your website up and running as soon as possible. Today, it’s necessary for credibility.  Even if your product is not yet built, you can start with company information.

11. Register social media profiles

Getting set up on the major social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, to start) will make marketing on them later easier. Also, it’s important to reserve your brand as a profile name. Try Knowem.com to reserve the names.

12. Start your revenue stream

Start generating revenue as soon as possible.  At the early stages of a startup there is never enough money – resist the temptation to wait until things are “perfect.” Oh, and get your lawyer to create any customer contract forms necessary.

13. Rent retail or office space

If you’ve got a brick-and-mortar business, you’ll need to sort this out early. If you plan to run a retail business, pay attention to foot traffic, accessibility, and other factors that will affect the number of people that will walk in your store. EXCEPTION: If you don’t have a brick and mortar or retail business, then hold off renting an office as long as possible to avoid saddling your startup with lease payments.

14. Order business cards

As a startup founder, you’ll be doing a lot of networking, so order plenty of business cards. They are inexpensive enough that you can reorder them later if things change. Without cards you lack credibility.

15. Open a business bank account

It’s all too easy to use your personal bank account to pay for business expenses, but it becomes a gnarl to untangle later.

16. Set up your accounting system

Once you have your bank account set up, choose an accounting program. Start as you intend to go. Few things will doom your business faster than books that are a mess.

17. Assign responsibilities to co-founders

If you have one or more founders, it’s imperative that you decide who will do what up front. Put it in writing.  Co-founder disagreements can destroy your business.

18. Upgrade your smartphone and choose apps

As an entrepreneur you are going to be on the go – a lot. I can’t emphasize enough how useful a good phone with good business apps can be, in running your startup. Get a credit card swipe device to accept payments, too.

19. Find free advice

Your local SBA office, SCORE, and other small business resources can provide you with free advice, access to business templates, and other tools.

20. Consult your insurance agent and secure coverage

Depending on the type of business you’re starting, you may need insurance of one kind or another, like liability, workers’ comp, or health insurance, especially if you hire full-time staff.

21. Hire your first employee

Depending on the type of business you have, you may need staff from day one (retail) or you may be able to outsource to  freelancers, interns, and third-party vendors for a while (service and tech businesses).   Just remember, trying to do everything yourself  takes you away from growing the business.

22. Line up suppliers and service providers

Finding a good source of inventory is crucial, especially in certain types of businesses (retail, manufacturing). Beyond inventory, line up good reliable suppliers and service providers so you don’t have to sweat the details.

23. File for trademarks and patents

The best thing to do is consult an attorney early about the need for patents, especially.  Get the advice early. Then you may be able to defer filing for a while, depending on the nature of your business.

24. Work your  network

Reach out to former co-workers and colleagues, as well as friends and family. Don’t pressure them to buy your products or services.  Instead, tap into them for introductions and help with other things on this startup checklist.

25. Don’t waste time on“partnerships” 

Be careful about wasting time on “business partnership” discussions. Your business won’t be attractive to potential partners unless and until you start making headway. Focus your precious time to make sales and get customers.

26. Refine your pitch

You need a good elevator pitch for many reasons: potential investors, customers, prospective new hires, bankers.  If you can’t persuasively and clearly pitch your business, how can you expect key stakeholders to buy in?

27. Refine your product, and marketing and sales approach

As you go along you will learn more about the marketplace.  Use customer feedback to refine your product and service offerings, and your go-to-market approach.

28. Secure your IT 

Whether you’re running a tech company or not, you likely have sensitive data on computers and devices that you want protected. Protect it from intrusions and disasters.  Back it up!  IT problems can derail a fledgling company.

29. Get a salesperson or sales team in place

In many startups the business owner starts out as the chief sales person. But to grow you need a dedicated sales function, so you can focus on activities other than day-to-day sales.

30.  Get a mentor

It’s all to easy easy to work “in” your business rather than “on” it.  As Michael Gerber tells us in The E-Myth, we need to be working “on” our businesses if we want them to grow and flourish. A mentor who has succeeded in your industry can provide you with priceless advice and serve as a sounding board.

Your checklist might be longer than this, but organizing what needs to be done before you launch and what you can take care of down the road makes it easier to prioritize your tasks.