Navigating the web as a business owner or marketing director can be challenging, and everybody makes mistakes or misses out on opportunities from time-to-time. But when we don’t learn from these “oops” moments, well, that’s the tragedy to avoid. Here are 20 digital marketing mistakes lots of businesses make on a regular basis. And if you learn to avoid these errors, you can improve your results and get a leg up on the competition.

1. Ignoring Mobile

Back in 2007, websites on mobile were a cute novelty. But that’s an eon ago in internet terms, and whether you expect it or not, 2/3 of your website visitors are likely on mobile. They also now expect a great mobile web experience, so if your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you (and your prospects) are missing out.  Are making this digital marketing mistake? Use this free test from Google to see if your web page is mobile-friendly. Test your site.

2. Holding Out on Discounts

Sure, you worked hard on determining your overhead and production costs and set your product/service pricing with great care. But “everyday low (or otherwise) prices” don’t always win new customers or retain existing ones. Reward your customers with sales, promotions, loyalty benefits, and coupons. And they’ll reward you back with their loyalty. This digital marketing mistake can be fixed with easy to use loyalty program apps. For WordPress sites, here you can find a list of loyalty plugins.

3. Not Blogging

Not blogging is one of the biggest digital marketing mistakes you can make. Blogging is a great opportunity to share important information, news, and updates about your business, generate new and fresh content for your audience and Google. Blogging also helps establish your brand as an expert and thought leader, and create original content to share on social media and other channels. Blogs bring traffic to your site and keep people coming back for more. Of course, to accomplish this the content must be high quality—and it’s ok to use outsourced writers as long as they are consistent with your brand under your supervision. An outside professional writer sharing your inside voice is far better than poor quality content generated entirely in-house.

4. Shunning Social Media

“We don’t use social media so why should our company?” That all-to-often comment misses the point entirely. Where are your customers? If they are on social media, then your brand should be too. Do you have to be on all of them? No—pick the most important, and the ones you can consistently interact with and manage, and do it well. Fixing this digital marketing mistake will also help in your sites SEO efforts.

5. Avoiding the Visual

Think your brand or company doesn’t have anything visual to show customers? Video not for you? Again, who are your customers? How do they consume information? Don’t forget to capitalize on what is visual in your company with video on your website, Facebook, YouTube, etc., and remember that the single most eye-catching element in pictures or video is a human face. Direct-to-camera communication, Facebook or YouTube live sessions, and other video offerings from your brand can be a significant connecting point for customers and prospects alike.

6. Overlooking Data

How much revenue was generated from digital marketing efforts in your company this year? What was the gross, and net profit? What was the ROI? What are your top lead sources? If you can’t quickly access that information, you have no way of knowing what channels and tactics are working for you, where you should divert funds, and opportunities that should be considered. Digital marketing is highly measurable, and you should take advantage of it. If the metrics and their meaning aren’t clear to you, consider hiring a digital consultantfractional CMO, or marketing agency to help you track the most relevant data and decipher them.

7. Using the Shotgun Approach

“More” is not always better, and “all” is really not sustainable. If your marketing is a shotgun approach—“let’s just target them all!”—then it’s guaranteed you’re wasting money. Digital marketing is not only very measurable but in many arenas highly targetable. Make the effort to know your customers—and your ideal customer—and aim for that persona(s). Better qualified traffic is a smaller pool of people, but a higher ROI with plenty of room to grow with those truly interested in and in need of your product or service.

8. Leaving Comments Hanging

When you get comments on that blog you set up (you did, didn’t you?), do you engage in the conversation or just leave them hanging? Comments are evidence not only that you’ve got readers (excluding spam, of course… but you’re monitoring and filtering that out too, right?). So it’s very important to interact with those real-live readers to build and maintain ongoing relationships with them. Plus, as a bonus, it’s great for SEO. Even if you’re not getting a lot of comments on your site, don’t forget to stay on top of comments on your social media pages and profiles. In fact, often people will share articles on social media and keep the conversation going there. They’re still talking about you but in a different venue. Be part of the conversation.

9. Letting Your Website Be Slow

It’s hard to remember the days of dial-up internet when waiting for a website to load still felt magical because it was faster than anything we’d seen. But today we’d pitch a fit before the squeal of the line finished making its connection. Now, with mobile-first and broadband connections, don’t disappoint your visitors with a slow website. It’s not only a bad user experience (one which could make them leave and find a competitor before your site even finishes loading) but is part of good technical SEO.  Do you need help fixing this digital marketing make? Get a free health score check here and identify areas that need to be improved. 

10. Spamming

If you’re using email marketing to onboard and nurture customers (you are, aren’t you? More on that later), use caution in how often you send emails. You want to stay in front of your customers but keep it relevant and timely. Keep an eye on open rates and unsubscribes. If customers are ignoring you or removing themselves from your list entirely, reexamine your tactics and fix this digital marketing mistake.

11. Missing Out on Conversions

Is your website bringing in good traffic? Great! But are visitors converting to customers? If your conversion rates are low and bounce or exit rates are high, examine the quality of your landing pages, shopping funnels, and conversion/checkout pages. Also review your site for technical problems such as speed, script errors, and visibility on various screen sizes and browsers.

12. Underestimating Abandoned Shopping Cart Opportunities

Do you think of abandoned shopping carts merely as missed opportunities? Or do you see them as another chance? Track abandoned shopping carts and reach out to potential customers. Reminders, coupon codes, and even surveys can help recapture sales and improve your buying process.

13. Forgetting About SEO

Reports of the death of SEO are highly exaggerated. Remember to stay on top of search engine optimization, algorithm changes, technical needs, and good quality content—or work with a professional who can help. Google makes algorithm updates almost 9 times per day. Stopping SEO efforts is a digital marketing mistake that is very costly. You can learn more here, A History of Major Google Algorithm Updates from 2000–Present

14. Being Impersonal

If you grew up in an era where business communications were formal and “professional,” it might make you uncomfortable—especially if your business is B2B—to be more personal, and sometimes even casual, with customers and prospects. But ultimately, transactions are person-to-person, and today’s consumers want to interact with real people.

15. Discounting the Value of Email

Email has not gone the way of the dinosaur. In fact, it stands out in a noisy and crowded digital space and often has the highest ROI of any marketing mix. It’s robust, customizable, and can be very powerful with numerous automation strategies. Don’t leave email out of your customer nurturing. In fact, once you’ve acquired customers, email is one of the most powerful approaches to retaining them, increasing their loyalty, and providing them benefits for being part of your organization.

16. Using Weak Calls-to-Action

When visitors arrive at your website, what do you want them to do? It should be obvious (call you, fill out a form, make a purchase), and if it isn’t, then go back to the drawing board and create clear calls-to-action. I see this digital marketing way too often. 

17. Being a Lone Ranger

It’s tempting in a small business to try to manage all the tasks of marketing, but chances are you got into business in order to meet a need with your product and service, rather than for the sake of marketing, social media management, and all the work that goes into promotions. Recognize your strengths and where you need additional resources and assets, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

18. Not Setting Measurable Goals

What do you hope to achieve with your digital marketing? If your list contains words like “more” or “lots” or “any,” then it’s time to sit down and put numbers both on where you are now and where you want to be in a certain time. Goals that can’t be measured are goals that will never be achieved.

19. Failing at Customer Service

Great companies can get terrible reputations if customers have a bad experience with your customer service department. Customer service management and representatives must be on the same page with marketing because they are brand ambassadors whether they want to be or not. Choose your team carefully, take good care of them, and empower them to go the extra mile for a happy customer.

20. Treating Your Website Like a “Field of Dreams”

No, if you build a website, traffic doesn’t automatically come. By all means, build a great website, but don’t just leave it there. Promote it, advertise it, and drive traffic to it. If you build it, get it out there to qualified prospects, and bring them home to convert to customers—thenit will be your “Field of Dreams”!

A lot goes into a successful web presence and digital marketing approach. Overwhelmed? Concerned about making marketing mistakes? Check out our free website audit to see where you stand or give us a call to discuss your needs.

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