The world of online marketing can be overwhelming, especially for those business owners that have only focused on traditional advertising up until this point. It can be a lot of information to absorb and naturally, mistakes are going to be made.
There are so many segments available, from blogging and content marketing to search engine optimization and paid search marketing. Sometimes knowing what to avoid can help make the transition easier, and that is what we are going to attempt to do. The following five mistakes are commonly made by businesses just start an online marketing campaign. Hopefully this will help you avoid these common mistakes and transition into a successful effort that results in a nice healthy ROI.
1. Not Having a Blog
Not having a business blog is putting you at an immediate disadvantage. Your business should be blogging on a regular basis. Publishing new content not only gives your website visitors something to constantly engage with, but it also creates one more indexed page that can now potentially show up in the search results.
Each time you publish new content you are telling the search engines that your website is being updated. When they see that you are constantly adding new content it causes them to crawl your website more often. They see it as an active website, and a potential source of useful information.
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New content can also be used to turn more visitors into leads. You can direct traffic to specific landing pages within the content, as well as specific product pages if you are trying to go for the conversion immediately. You need a blog, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be blogging.
2. Using a ‘Dirty’ Email List
You have to make sure that your email marketing is CAN-SPAM compliant, so you should only be mailing individuals that have requested to be added to your marketing list. Purchased lists are often not opt-in lists, and this can get you into trouble and it is going to result in a high bounce rate and a very poor overall email campaign.
There are several mistakes responsible for poor email marketing performance, but focusing on deliverability is the first step. Pay attention to how responsive your list is, and separate your list into groups based on their open rate and whether or not they click on the links embedded within your email messages. This data can help you target your readers with the best offers. You might want to mail less responsive list members less frequent than you would those that open everything you send and click through to your website.
3. Ignoring Measurable Data
Many business owners dive into online marketing with the same approach that they used with radio, print and TV advertising. It is very hard to directly measure the effectiveness of those advertising channels, but thankfully online marketing can show you very detailed performance reports with plenty of data.
It is important to use analytics to see where your website traffic is coming from and set goals to see how that traffic is funneling through your website. You can literally pinpoint the traffic and referral source for all of your leads and sales. While it used to be difficult to determine what sales cam from TV, what ones heard the radio ad, and what ones came in through a print advertisement, online marketing allows you to know the precise source of the conversions.
There is so much data available, yet so many business owners simply ignore it. This is due in part to not fully understanding it or not knowing that it is available and how to utilize it.
4. Not Optimizing & Making Changes Based on Data
As mentioned above, there is so much data at your fingertips. The worst thing you can do is not make changes to improve your campaign based on that data.
If there is a traffic source that clearly isn’t producing results then eliminate it. If there is a source that is producing a high percentage of conversions then you need to allocate more of the campaign spend there.
The numbers do not lie, so use them. Don’t be afraid to make changes in order to improve your effort. When you begin to optimize your campaign using the information and data points available you can really start to see your return increase. Online marketing is a constant process and requires ongoing optimization.
5. Expecting Overnight Results
It is important to understand that there are no overnight solutions, except for paid search marketing, which can literally have your ads showing on the top search results immediately. Content marketing, search engine optimization, and social media marketing can all take some time to ramp up. You have to build a solid foundation and build from there, and while there are marketing agencies that like to throw around outrageous timeframes just remember that quality (and long lasting) results take time.
Online marketing can deliver amazing measurable results when done correctly. This isn’t to say that older and more traditional advertising methods are dead, because they still work to some extent. Avoiding these little mistakes can help you launch a more successful online marketing campaign that delivers a positive ROI.