No one wants to make online marketing mistakes when promoting their business: it’s a sure fire way to waste money, and miss out on leads and new customers. Here is a list of very common online marketing mistakes made by many small businesses – read on and make sure you’re not guilty of any of these.
Mistake 1. No Online Marketing Strategy
If you don’t have a clear plan of action your online marketing activities are likely to revolve around sporadic promotions of your latest offer – nothing more. But having a well thought out online marketing strategy to follow will ensure that your business maintains a strong online presence 365 days a year.
Mistake 2. No Competitor Analysis
However great you think your product is, if you haven’t compared it to the competitors’ you could be in for a surprise. What if it is almost identical to a market leader? How on earth will you persuade people to purchase from you? What if it’s double the price? Having a detailed understanding of your competitors and the market place is a crucial requirement for successful online marketing.
Mistake 3. Amateur Website
We are assuming that all small businesses know that a website is absolutely essential nowadays. However to save on costs too many ask a mate of a mate to knock something up in a week. The result? An amateur looking site that gives a terrible first impression to any visitor landing on the site. You have blown your credibility completely.
Don’t cut corners. Think of your website as a long term investment and pay a professional to develop it.
Mistake 4. Slow Loading Website
Web page loading speed is a ranking factor – slow loading websites will not be shown high in the search results listing. Furthermore people expect websites to load quickly – those that take longer than 4 seconds to load see a massive 25% abandonment rate, whereas fast websites lead to customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Mistake 5. Not Optimising For Mobile Devices
Google wants mobile users to have just as good an experience online as desktop users – not surprising since nowadays more people surf the web on a mobile device than on a desktop. Consequently it is planning to move to Mobile First index, sometime in 2017
“Eventually our algorithms will primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site.”
It’s more important than ever to ensure the mobile version of your website is optimal.
Mistake 6. No On-Page SEO
Many small businesses don’t appreciate the importance of optimising their web pages for the search engines using on-page SEO. This is not complicated, but consists of a logical way to explain to the search engines exactly what your web pages are all about, by using focus keywords in the page url, image file names, image alt text, headers etc.
It is also enables you to craft the SEO title and description (as shown in the organic search results list) so it is unique, compelling and descriptive.
Good on-page SEO is a must for a well ranking website with a result listing that encourages people to click.
Mistake 7. No Local SEO
Essential for all businesses who want to attract people locally. If you’re not listed on Google My Business, your company won’t show on Google Maps results. If you haven’t claimed your business listings on local business guides (think Yelp, Yellow Pages etc) you’re missing a trick. You should also investigate the major citation data aggregators of local business data.
In short – getting your business listed on all local business directories is going to help you get found online.
Mistake 8. Erratic Social Media Presence
Social media adds credibility to you business – if managed well. If you post/tweet something once in a blue moon it’s not really worth it. Choose the social media platforms where your target market hang out and make a concerted effort to engage with them. Show your human side (staff photos / attendance at exhibitions etc), tell your brand story and respond to any comments asap. With time and effort you will start to understand the type of content that resonates with your audience and can build on that.
Mistake 9. No Paid Advertising
As with traditional marketing, you are going to have to put your hand in your pocket at some point. If things are going well, you’ll start to get referrals by word of mouth, but to reach out to people who have never heard of your brand, paid advertising is the best way forward.
We recommend two powerful paid advertising options
- Paid Facebook Advertising
- Google Adwords
Both of these have powerful targeting and remarketing options – in fact there are numerous options so you need to fully understand these systems before you embark on an advertising campaign if you want to see a good ROI.
For more information about these options, read our Facebook blog
and our Adwords blog “Using Google Adwords Keywords To The Absolute Max”
Mistake 10. Not Analysing Data And Modifying Approach
It’s essential to monitor the effectiveness of all online marketing activities you undertake. A key tool to master is Google Analytics, which provides incredibly detailed information about your website traffic, where it originated and what people do once they land on your website.
For social media, you need to track the engagement of all of your shared content, and if you run paid Facebook or Adwords campaigns, you’ll be checking advert reach, clicks and conversions at the very minimum.
Once you have all the data available to you, you need to use it to define your future approach. For example:
- If most people bounce right off your website upon arrival, it’s a clear indication that your website isn’t matching what they want.
- If no one clicks on your Facebook ads, it would seem that either you are targeting the wrong audience, or your visuals/message don’t appeal to people
Only when you have all the data to hand can you decide on the next steps forward.
Having put the spotlight on these 10 online marketing mistakes, we hope that you can identify those that you are guilty of, and take steps to rectify the situation!
If you need help with any element of online marketing, feel free to contact us for a no-obligation chat.
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