With nearly 6 billion Google searches being made every day, it might seem like directing some of that traffic to your site shouldn’t be such a difficult task. More people than ever are using the web to find new products, services, and companies, but there is also more competition for this traffic. Business owners that are ready to enjoy a high ROI for their digital marketing campaign should take a look at these six common mistakes that must be avoided at all costs.
1. Setting Unrealistic Goals
One of the most common mistakes made by business owners is assuming that their digital marketing campaign is going to produce immediate results. What those business owners might be surprised to hear is that successful SEO campaigns that produce long-term results often require a minimum of six months just to get off the ground. Some strategies such as PPC campaigns and paid social media advertisements can be used to bring an immediate influx of visitors, but those that want to establish an unparalleled online presence must be in it for the long haul.
Every single business is going to have slightly different goals when it comes to developing a website. By considering what you would like your site to accomplish in the coming years and documenting those goals, you can make sure that your entire team is on the same page. Some of the most common goals include:
- Making a sale directly through the site
- Having traffic contact the company via the phone or in person
- Establishing a company as an industry leader
- Ebook/white paper downloads
- Newsletter sign ups
By establishing realistic, measurable, and relevant goals, you can guarantee that every dime spent on your digital marketing campaign is making a difference. Most business owners will want to speak with their marketing team at least once a quarter to take a look at their progress and make minor changes to these goals.
2. Using Second-Rate Content, or No Content at All
One of the reasons that so many businesses find it difficult to keep up with their competition online is because they have no clear content marketing plan. Content marketing is one of the most important tools that we have at our disposal to improve both traffic and conversion rates, but very few people use this tool effectively. Content marketing is the process of telling a story to customers in a way that will make them want to buy your product or service. This phrase is used to describe practically any useful, up-to-date, and pertinent information that is published on your website or linked to you anywhere else online.
Check out Birchbox’s blog titled “Ideas and Inspirations” and Intel’s blog “iQ” – both great examples of savvy content marketing. Note that content is uploaded weekly, sometimes more than once per week. Part of the goal with content is to be a one-stop-shop; this keeps customers on your site longer and adds value to the overall experience. Also important to note is the ease of navigation in both blogs.
For many businesses, however, blogging is still one too many steps ahead. Content Marketing truly begins with re-writing, editing, or building new pages for all of their products and services. Once this is accomplished, a blogging strategy can be implemented.
It is important to find a balance between long-form content that provides traffic with useful information and short-form content that is easier to digest. Having both types of content on and off your site will improve your search engine rankings and reduce your bounce rates. Some of the content that your business might need to produce includes white papers, newsletters, articles, blog posts, press releases, infographics, how-to’s, and reviews.
3. Failing to Track Your Progress
Without tracking and analysis tools in place, there is no way that you and your marketing team will be able to uncover what is working and what must be changed. Many business owners put themselves at a disadvantage right from the start by creating a site, producing content, and failing to track all aspects of their website. There are countless programs and tools that can be used to track the efficacy of a site, but most businesses will need to focus on just a few important metrics.
Getting an idea about where visitors are coming from, how long they are on the site, and how often they are converted into customers is generally where most specialists will start. This can be further broken down into unique visitors, repeat visitors, and specific inbound links that are bringing traffic onto your site. As your site begins to grow, issues such as bounce rates (the amount of visitors that immediately leave) will become even more important and give you insight into how efficient your website and marketing campaign has become.
4. Leaving Everything Up to Your “SEO People”
Having a completely hands-off approach to your digital marketing campaign can be a disastrous mistake in the long run. Everyone will need to rely on SEO specialists and their advertising teams at various points throughout this process, but business owners need to remember that their website or social media accounts could be the first and only touchpoints that they have with some of their customers.
These online campaigns are just one part of creating brand recognition and a “voice” for your company. Understanding at least the basics of these campaigns and being able to offer input is an absolute necessity as your web presence solidifies and becomes a bigger part of your operation. Striking a balance with the marketing team will allow everyone to stay on the same page.
5. Ignoring Mobile Optimization
The numbers on mobile web use are astounding with over 7 percent of all adults who own a smartphone being completely reliant on these devices for internet access. Even consumers that use multiple devices to access the internet often have their tablet or smartphone with them a vast majority of the day (and night).
Mobile optimization is a phrase that is used to describe the process of making a site easier to access and navigate through a smaller screen and slower connection. There are a number of different ways to do this including creating a secondary mobile site or by ensuring that the current site is responsive. Having a site that is filled to the brim with media or does not scale correctly to smartphones and tablets could cripple your mobile traffic numbers. At the very least, it is important to make sure that the site loads quickly and mobile traffic can easily move to the next conversion or touchpoint no matter what device they are using. Google already announced last February that there would be an update to their search algorithm that boosts mobile optimized pages in searches done using a mobile device. They even provided a handy “mobile-friendly test” page that allows interested parties to check whether their site is indeed seen by the algorithm as “friendly” at an individual page level. Check out our SEO page’s results below:
Now check out the home page for the official 1996 Dole/Kemp Presidential Campaign website:
As you can see, there’s quite a bit of feedback that can be used to move towards mobile optimization, but for many, a complete redesign to a responsive site may be easier than attempting to fix the old one.
6. Not Using All of the Tools at Your Disposal
Picking just a single one of these tactics or tips is not going to create a successful website. You and your marketing team must consider all of the tools that you have at your fingertips to create a truly extensive online presence. This might begin with some basic optimization strategies such as creating a long-term content production plan and improving the layout of your site, but those few steps are only the tip of the iceberg.
You will need to continue expanding your operations and take advantage of social media accounts, PPC campaigns, traditional forms of advertising, and local directories. Instead of compartmentalizing each of these tools, you should take some time to consider how they all interact with one another and how they can be used to improve your ROI. Even steps that seem inconsequential such as posting new blogs and articles to your social media accounts could make big differences in the long run.
Final Thought: Making Real Changes to Your Online Marketing Campaign
This process might seem overwhelming at first, but a successful campaign often relies on just a few basic changes to your marketing strategies. First, you must focus on the user’s experience from start to finish. If your site is not designed with the user in mind, then all of the other time and energy invested into these campaigns will be for nothing. You will then need to have analysis tools in place to find out what is working and when it is time to make changes to your strategies. The final step in this process is to make sure that your traffic is landing on easy-to-navigate pages with a clear call to action. When all of these different strategies finally come together, you will quickly find just how powerful a digital marketing campaign can be.
Ready to start putting these best practices into practice on your site? Get in touch, we can help!