Online marketing encompasses such a wide variety of practices that it is hard to master them all. When you are just starting out, it may seem like all you ever do is make mistakes.
Some mistakes will just slow you down, but others could completely derail your progress and keep you from finding the success you need.
Here’s an overview of the top 10 common digital marketing mistakes to help you learn what you need to know before you make the mistakes yourself:
1. Not Setting Goals
How will you know that your marketing strategy is successful if you don’t have a goal?
Setting a goal sounds like common sense, but it’s astounding how many people have none. Most people just want to “do better” or “make money” as their goal. But how much money? Or better in what way?
You need to have a specific goal in order to create a marketing strategy that gets results. Your goal shouldn’t be to make money but rather to increase your sales by 5 percent for the year, or something similar.
2. Setting Unrealistic Goals
Maybe you do have a goal, but maybe it is unrealistic.
For example, maybe your goal is to increase your sales by 50 percent. If your sales were $10 last month, that goal might be completely realistic. But if your sales were $10,000, that goal might be too far out of range (unless your timeline is 10 years).
Make sure you set a realistic goal on a realistic timeline. Stretch a little, but don’t make your goal out of reach or you’ll risk becoming disappointed and quitting.
3. Failing to A/B Test
Your marketing campaign may show some gains, but it is not meeting your goals. What’s happening?
If you aren’t A/B testing, you won’t really know. You can make some guesses and hope to get lucky, but if you want to get results in the least amount of time and with the least amount of money, you will conduct A/B testing to get to the precise source of the problem.
4. Relying Exclusively on Keywords
Keywords only tell you one part of the story about what customers need when they are searching.
Intent-based signals tell you more.
A keyword like “puppy diet” lets you know someone has a puppy and is concerned about eating issues. However, you don’t know if the person has a sick puppy, a large-breed puppy, or a puppy that has been weaned early. Intent-based signals will look at other behaviors to get that answer.
Using tools like In-tag from CodeFuel will help you display the right content to the right customers using these intent-based signals.
5. Over Optimizing Your Site
Many marketers think that putting a lot of keywords on their site will help them rank higher.
What actually ends up happening is you over optimize your site and get penalized.
It is important that you use keywords on your site, but you must do so appropriately. Use the keywords in the right places and with the right density.
6. Not Investing in Paid Search
Organic search is great because it brings more visitors to your site without actually having to pay anything.
However, organic search campaigns can take months to get the results you need.
Paid search campaigns can help you get that visibility much faster. You will have to pay, but you’ll also get much more sales and conversions as a result.
7. Overlooking Mobile
Mobile users are quickly overtaking desktop users.
You must have a version of your site that is specifically designed for mobile users. Different aspects of your site have to be redesigned to suit the smaller screen and the different ways that mobile users interact with the site.
You can’t rely on responsive design. You need to develop a site specifically for mobile, or you need to invest in a dedicated mobile app (or both).
8. Not Building an Email List
Many marketers will tell you that the money is in the list.
Your email list can help you connect with visitors again and again, turning them into long-term customers. Your email list is like a captive audience of interested parties, so make sure that you put a lot of resources into building your list and then use it often.
9. Ignoring Partnership Opportunities
Many people treat other businesses as their competition — their enemy. In reality, your competitors can also be your allies.
Look for ways to partner with your competitors or with other businesses in your niche to help both of you grow. You can find ways to align your products or services so that you meet the needs of the same target audience. You can take advantage of each other’s marketing efforts to reach more people.
10. Not Hiring Help
Digital marketing is such a consuming job that you just can’t do it all, and neither can a small staff.
You either need to hire an outside firm to handle your marketing, or you need to grow a marketing department within your own company if you have budget enough to cover it. Dedicated experts can help you get the results you need so that you don’t waste time or money on failed strategies.
You can’t always avoid mistakes, but a little education can help you avoid making the most common mistakes. Avoid these common mistakes to get more from your marketing campaign.