Most Common Online Marketing Mistakes

Okay, so we’ve talked about email marketing mistakes and lead generation mistakes.  Let’s take a look at some common online marketing mistakes.  Clearly a broad topic, this is a mere sampling of many possibilities, but my hope here is that these will keep you from a few of the biggies – those mistakes which seem to plague many who venture into the online marketing world for the first time.  I would urge you to contact us with questions about any of these mistakes.

Lack of analytics
Generally this is a result of one of two things.  The marketer either neglects to set up analytics (on a website, for example), or worse, simply refuses to make use of analytics that are already in place!  Today the online marketer has at his or her disposal a wide variety of analytics tools and software.  The range of things one can accomplish through analytics is invaluable; statistical tracking, revenue tracking, forecasting, communication, and goal setting are a few examples of analytics tools which can help streamline online business efforts.  Do not talk yourself out of using analytics because you are intimidated by the thought of having to learn how to use any particular analytics software.  The investment of time will more than pay for itself.  (If you need help with this, please do not hesitate to contact us – we would love to help!)

“All I need is a website, right?”
It may be laziness, lack of understanding of the online marketing world, or the intimidation factor mentioned above, but all too often we encounter successful business owners for whom this mentality is a reality.  Do not fall into the trap of believing that tossing a website up online will automatically earn you business.  It’s true that many times the first question you get asked about your business is, “What’s your website address?”  It’s an assumption that you have one.  That said, when they hit that site, if it is outdated, unattractive, difficult to navigate, or just doesn’t have well-conceived content, the visitor will leave as quickly as they came.  You don’t need to spend a fortune on your website.  But, keep in mind that most first-time visitors will base their impression of your company’s competence and professionalism on how they view your website.

Misusing SEO
Search engine optimization is often overlooked or overused.  When designing, maintaining, and improving your website, effective use of SEO is essential to an established and effective web presence.  If you find yourself reciting the mantra from the previous session, the importance of SEO has eluded you.  Content tailored to the search engines is the way you’ll improve your ranking, so do not overlook it.  That said, make sure that your content is conducive to your audience, and do not spend so much time/money on SEO that you neglect your other marketing duties.

Lack of planning
The Other IBM – Catapult – TV Ad

IBM put this commercial together several years back which reminds me of the approach of many companies new to online marketing.  When in doubt, spend money.  This is less common in the current economy than it may have been five years ago, but this attitude is an example of how many online marketers try to resolve a lack of planning.  Doing market research, setting goals, developing a marketing strategy, and contingency planning are all part of succeeding in the online business world.  You wouldn’t walk into a business meeting with a prospective client without having done your homework on their business model, their market share, how you can best meet their business needs, etc…  Yet many set up a website, visible to everyone across the globe, without giving any thought to their online strategy.  Don’t make this mistake!

Lack of flexibility
The world of online marketing is constantly changing.  The search engines are always updating their algorithms, new online communication media are popping up, terminology is shifting, and what’s hot today may be old tomorrow.  Be willing to adapt your marketing strategy!  This doesn’t mean that you have to revamp your website every couple of days, but you should keep abreast of effective marketing techniques and what is working for other businesses online.

The topics here cover a lot more ground than we have time to really unpack in this article.  This is merely an overview of the various ways they can manifest themselves, and there can certainly be a great deal more to these mistakes.  I hope that the illustrations provided give you a good overall picture of what to avoid.  As I’ve done several times throughout this piece, I’d urge you to contact us if the online marketing process seems too daunting, if you have any questions about these or other topics, or if you’ve made any of these mistakes with your marketing.  It’s never too late to right the ship and to make your business thrive, and we’d love to help!

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