Make It Loud Blog

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Are You Making These Digital Marketing Mistakes?

There are times in business when our customers have moved on but business owners are stuck in the past.

Unfortunately, that’s the truth you discover even with a cursory look at the digital marketing tactics of a lot of companies, especially those in the small and medium sector.

Everyone knows they have to engage in digital marketing but are often confused when confronted with all the options. Eventually, without the help of a credible web design or digital marketing firm, they end up making expensive and time-consuming mistakes.

Although there are still holdouts, most businesses these days have a website because it helps legitimize their business as well as begin to pull in customers. Most business owners know that social media is important but don’t know how to make it work for them. They might have even heard of SEO but may not fully understand how that can help their business.

What most business owners don’t know is that every mistake they make with their digital marketing opens the door for someone else. Every customer they fail to convert will be converted by a competitor. Every impression they fail to make will be made by another business. It’s definitely a numbers game.

At Make It Loud, we routinely run into clients who aren’t aware of the cost of the mistakes they continue to make. We recently sat with someone who was still paying thousands of dollars a month for yellow pages advertising (We didn’t even know that was possible!)

Worse yet, she had no idea if she was getting anything from it or not

That’s the reason we have created this list. To make it easy to identify inefficiencies, here are 15 digital marketing mistakes that businesses need to avoid. If you or someone you know is doing this, just stop.

17 Common Digital Marketing Mistakes

1. No specific goals

Having no specific objective is one of the most common mistakes businesses make in their digital marketing. They don’t know whether they want to increase the number of site visitors or conversion. They don’t know whether the marketing objective is to build brand awareness or move users up the value chain.

Before you start talking to any web design company or digital marketing agency in Atlanta, you need to know why you’re doing it. Ensure that your goal is specific, time-bound, and achievable. “We want people to know about our business” is a bad example. Instead, try “We’d like to increase our site visits by 200% in four months.”


2. Vague audience segmentation

Some businesses target everyone and end up reaching no one.

Without an exact understanding of who you’re trying to reach, all your efforts will be pointless. All your other digital marketing efforts depend on how you define your audience.

The audience can’t be too generic. “Working women” isn’t a viable target audience. “Working women between 26 – 35 who’re interested in alternative forms of medicine” is better.


3. Slow websites

If your website is slow, so will be your business growth. If it takes too long to load, your visitors will leave and all your digital marketing investments will have been in vain.

There are several reasons why websites tend to be slow. Maybe you’re using the wrong hosting service or package. Maybe you have too many elements on your landing pages or too much animation or your video is huge. Whatever the reason, you need to sort it out and bring down your page load time.


4. Not Using SEO

Is there a business out there that can’t use more targeted traffic?

People are looking for the very solutions your business provides. It comes as no surprise that for your visitors to find your website, you need to show up in the search results. For you to turn up on searches, you have to utilize SEO. If you don’t, they won’t find you and nothing else will matter.

While you could go for promotions and paid ads, those won’t have long-term results unless you restructure your website. What you need to do is optimize your website for searches. It needs to answer questions that people are asking through search engines. It needs to have the required phrases, both short and long-tail, for your audience to find you.


5. Not being mobile optimized

More and more people are using their smartphones to visit websites and use social media. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile phones, they’ll leave immediately. So how do you know whether it’s mobile-friendly?

It’s quite simple. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and enter your domain to test it. If your site passes, that’s obviously a good start but just because it’s mobile-friendly doesn’t mean it actually looks good on mobile.

Go look at your site on your phone from the perspective of a potential client. Ask your friends to do the same and give you honest feedback. Chances are someone will give you the feedback you need.


6. Having no content strategy

For some businesses, content is what the bare minimum their website needs to have. With sections on “About Us”, “What we do,” “Our services” and “Get in touch,” they think they’re done.

At Make It Loud, we call it the “bare minimum strategy.” And it never works effectively.

For a website to do its job of attracting, retaining, and converting users, it needs to have a content strategy. It could include text, interactive sections, videos, audio, and downloadable materials including case studies and reports.

There is a lot a business can accomplish with an effective content marketing strategy.


7. No clear incentives

If you want to acquire users, you need to incentivize your prospects. If you’re selling products or services, this means that your website and social media pages need to offer exclusive rewards for their visitors and followers.

Once you have such a promotion, you need to advertise it effectively. Whether it’s through discounts or coupons, offering exclusive incentives will drive traffic to your site. You should also offer those to your existing customers to increase their loyalty.


8. Websites that are difficult to navigate

Even after getting visitors, your website may not be able to retain or convert them. A common culprit for that is poor website design. Users find it difficult to navigate and it’s challenging for them to find what they’re looking for.

The problem is that some business websites seem to be extensions of spreadsheets or presentations. What you want is a user-friendly design. This is especially true if you sell your products or service through your website.


9. Not having a blog

A blog is your chance to show your visitors that you know what you’re talking about, that you regularly keep up to date with what’s happening in your industry, and that your solutions are better than those of your competitors.

In other words, a blog is how you show your expertise with quality content.

But too many businesses ignore it. This robs them of the chance to refresh their content and build authority in their niche. Plus, this is an excellent way to add keyword-rich content to your website which is what SEO is all about.

The other side of this is when websites do have blogs and the last blog post was March of 2012. This shows your browsers (and Google) that you simply don’t care about updating your website.


10. No videos

Video is the fastest-growing form of content. The brands that do exceedingly well use videos to reach and retain their users. Why? Because they’re easy to consume and are exceptionally easy to share. Plus, they’re dynamic and can make any topic look interesting.

You don’t need to hire a production house to create one. All you need is your smartphone. If your website or social media pages don’t have videos, and by that, we mean videos you create, you’re opening up opportunities for your competitors.


11. Ignoring social media

It may seem strange but it’s true. Even now, some businesses willfully ignore the potential of social media. Sure, they may have a page on a platform or two but they never take it seriously. They have no content strategy, no consistency, and no plan of action.

This doesn’t mean that you have to be on all platforms. You should probably own your business name on all platforms for your own protection. Focus on the ones that your target audience uses and create value-added content.

It’s also important that posting on social media is a good thing, but you’re preaching to your choir. To really get traction on social media, it’s a good idea to consider paid search strategies as part of your social media marketing.


12. Not having an email newsletter

Every successful brand, business, content creator, or service provider has a successful email newsletter. That’s because email is one of the easiest ways to reach your audience regularly, increase your brand awareness, and direct traffic to your website.

It’s a great way to build a tribe.

It’s also an opportunity to show your expertise, give value to your users, and offer exclusive discounts. It’s just a fact that email marketing with previous or future clients can really work for many types of businesses.


13. No clear CTA

Communication without a clear call to action (CTA) is a sign of poor strategy. Just putting your phone number on your site isn’t enough.

If your website doesn’t convert, one reason could be that it doesn’t tell visitors what they have to do.

Importantly, you have to include that in all your communication in a coherent manner. Your social media pages or email newsletter should have a clear CTA that encourages customers to click on them and reach your site.


14. Not personalizing your communication

Your customer isn’t a unit in a dataset. They’re an individual with specific desires, preferences, and challenges. Your engagement with them needs to reflect that.

You should address them by name and tailor your communication and offers to their preferences. That will show them that you know them and value them.


15. Not tracking ROI

To be effective, you should know what’s working and what isn’t. For that, you should regularly track your return on investment (ROI). This is why it’s important to have an objective as that’s what you track against.

Using something like Google Analytics is simple enough to give you a place where you can begin to make data-driven decisions in your marketing.

If you decide increasing traffic is your goal, you can analyze site visitors. You can also figure out where they’re coming from by tracking your clickthrough rate (CTR).

 16. Not Choosing Your Marketing Elements Based On ROI

What’s your average client worth? That’s your first consideration when choosing your marketing elements.

Years ago, we had a client that we built a website for who sold cell phone holders at $19 each. They’re cool and I still own one to this day, but he came into our shop one day and insisted on doing Google Ads.

Until we walked him through the math.

Back then, the minimum monthly budget for a successful campaign was around $500/month, so we explained that if he did this, he’d start every month in a $500 hole and he’d have to sell 26.3 phone holders just to break even.

On the other hand, we had a septic and sewer company whose average client was worth $1000. At a $500/month budget, all he’d need was one client that month to begin to make money. At 2 clients, he’d be doing well, etc.

It’s important to consider what you’re spending vs what you can possibly make with any marketing venture. It’s the main concept behind maintaining a positive return on your investment.

15. Having A “Set It And Forget It” Mindset

It’d be great if there was a marketing element that we could just build, leave alone and it’d just go to work for us. While there are plenty of tools that help make marketing our business easier, it does require attention and consistency.

In short

Digital marketing isn’t about chasing the latest buzzwords. It’s getting the fundamentals right. Hopefully, with this list, you’re better prepared to understand whether your digital marketing is on the right track or not.

If you’re making any of these mistakes, it’s time to reach out to us for a free initial consultation. We’ll ensure that all your efforts pay rewards. That’s just what good business partners do.

author avatar
Cliff Tillery COO
Cliff Tillery, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer and SEO Director at Make It Loud which is a digital marketing firm located outside of Atlanta Georgia. More than 15 years ago, he started search engine optimization at this award-winning agency and has taught digital marketing skills to interns and new employees, business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center, and other groups.
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