2017 Digital Marketing Planning Checklist

Is your 2017 Digital Marketing Planning underway?

2017 is around the corner and very soon it will be time to plan budgets and strategy for the new year.  Knowing this, I've created a handy ebook guide that helps you evaluate your 2016 marketing, discusses keys for 2017, and outlines all the details in a checklist you can follow to help you prepare your budgeting and strategy for next year.

Things change all the time, and rapidly, online so it's important to stay current and my aim is to help you do that right here!

2017 Digital marketing planning checklist

In this episode of the halftime Mike podcast I dive into a number of the 20+ items in my forthcoming 2017 Digital Marketing Planning Checklist that will help you be ready for budgeting and setting strategy for your online marketing. Ready to dive in?

Listen Now:


Subscribe:  Halftime Mike on iTunes  | Android users via RSS  | Listen on Stitcher.

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2017 Digital Marketing Planning

You want to make more sales, grow revenue, and increase profits, so you’re regrouping and taking a long hard look at your online marketing as you look ahead to the new year.

But where do you start?

You know that the online world has grown tremendously in the past few years. It’s a key player for every business.

Can you be found online?

What social media networks should your business be on?

So where DO you start?

Right here…...Review your marketing strategies and channels to audit their performance and set goals to improve and adapt.


This checklist will help get you thinking and give you an actionable list to work through.

  • Review Website Stats for performance

Review your traffic sources and the top pages viewed.

Review how many leads you captured and how you captured them.

What is working well and what didn't? Do you have an understanding of the trends?


  • Run an audit of a competitor’s website

Use a free website review tool online to compare your site with your closest competitor above you on the search engine. How do you compare? Did you like content that they created? Did they take advantage of opportunities like social media or PPC? Do you see things that you could do better?


  • Is your website mobile friendly?

Review how Google sees your website. Google mobile site checker This is directly related to your Search Engine ranking on mobile devices. Google says over half of all searches are done on mobile devices. They don’t want to serve up a website that is hard to read or can’t be seen. A mobile responsive site will make your website uniform across all platforms, smartphone, tablet and desktop.


  • Take a fresh look at your website for end user experience

Browse your site from a phone and a tablet. Is it functional on these devices? Does it need to be redesigned to make it easy to use? Is it driving visitors to the main areas of the site  and capturing leads? What tweaks and changes need to be made to make your site mobile and tablet ready?


  • Run a website check to evaluate key site details

Use a website grader like this one from HubSpot to check load time, cashing and file compression, mobile capability and SEO factors.

Check for broken links and fix them. In WordPress there are plenty of plugins that will make this quick and easy or you can use a site like If you use this you’ll need to check each page individually.

Google factors in these type of “mechanical” details when they’re pushing out sites. If you fix any of these issues with your site you’ll be way above the competition.


  • Review your content

Content matters BIG TIME! Search Engines are looking for sites that have regular, new, resource rich content. Try to add 3 blog posts a month, between 600 - 1000 words.

Does your content appeal to the head and the heart?

Is it professionally written? (It doesn't need to be written by a professional, just reflect proper grammar and spelling.)

Do all content pieces (online and offline and external sites) include intelligent, meaningful Calls to Action (CTA’s)?


  • Optimize Titles and Headlines

Are your blog headlines capturing attention and engaging viewers?

Is your keyword in your title/headline/

Is your topic clear in your headline?


Use an image that conveys the message and feeling of the post

Label your image with your article title or your SEO keywords

Always add your article title to the alt text area of your image

If appropriate use captions

Optimize the size of your image for your website. If you don’t your image will take too long to load and impact your search engine rank.


  • Social sharing Buttons integrated

These buttons make it easy and quick for people to share your blog posts. Use them yourself to share your own blog posts.  This is typically a once and done install of social media icons so that each new page/blog post automatically has the social media icons you want on it.  The big keys to include are Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, and  Pinterest for starters.


  • A first thing visitors see when they get to the site is the lead capture (above fold on site) Free opt-in

This free opt-in offer is a simple offer of resource in exchange for their name and email address.  It should be prominently displayed above the fold or in a pop-up. When visitors request your free opt-in item that requires name and email address, give them the resource and then add them to a email list to get follow-up content (See #16 and #17 below).  Remember, it takes generally 7 connections with your business before a visitor is ready and willing to do business with you!


  • Offer signup to get new blog posts via email option (soft lead capture)

Before you have your free opt-in offer ready make sure you have, at the very least, a blog post subscription form. This will subscribe them for your weekly/monthly blog article and any newsletters or eblasts. Again, the best sofl lead capture options are pop-ups on the page.  See our Waftio tool for a pop-up to add to your website.


  • Set up Drip Campaigns from Lead Capture

Now that people have signed up and allowed you to market to them … do just that! Set up a series of educational and trust-building emails that builds upon your free opt-in item and puts you in front of your audience during the same time frame as a sales cycle. This will keep you top of mind and when they are ready to buy they’ll purchase from you.  You can provide content and then link to existing blog posts on your site to streamline work for your team.

All this plus a lot more in the full Digital Marketing Planning ebook!

Hopefully that helps get you started on the path. Want the ebook?  Click to contact me and I'll make sure you get added!


It's time to evaluate your 2016 Digital Marketing Planning strategies!  Are they working and what needs to change to help you sizzle in 2017?  Plan now using this checklist to help you review so you can set budget and strategy to succeed in 2017!

What's the next step you need to take to sharpen your digital marketing planning?

Catch my rant and unique angle in the podcast audio episode!

So what’s your key takeaway from this?  What do you need to do in the next 24 hours based on listening?

Share below!

Digital Marketing Planning Resources


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Why the Halftime theme Mike? 

I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn't. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.

That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!

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