During the early days of the Internet, online marketing was only confined to writing, publishing and promoting content regardless of the quality. Changes to Google’s algorithms, the addition of various marketing channels such as social media networks, and a general trend toward better quality content has caused online marketing to evolve along with the very medium it is anchored in.
The advent of new tools, the refinement of existing ones to provide better online experience for end users, and other progressive changes have made the online marketing sphere more dynamic and competitive. Thus, to be successful in an online marketing campaign, you must be able to capitalize on many, if not all, possible means to reach out to as much of your online target market as you can. This entails shifting your strategies accordingly in order to grow and strive in a world of almost constant updates.
However, no matter how much time is devoted to the business of progress, certain online marketing mistakes can still be committed—mistakes that could and should be avoided as much as possible. Listed below are some common online marketing mistakes to be avoided in the coming years.
1. Not having a long-term plan
A business doesn’t have to be big or tangible to qualify for a plan. Therefore, if you are serious with putting up a business online, you must figure out how it’s going to work, what are the resources needed, and what are the things that you want to achieve.
You must also consider making a long-term plan. Imagine where you want yourself and your business to be in five, even ten years from now. Having a plan not only allows you to identify how to reach your goals; it also helps you keep track of your success.
2. Not putting up a user-friendly site
One of the common blunders done to a business website is putting everything on it, including the ones that you don’t really need (read: irrelevant ads). These lapses can make your website look unprofessional, and such judgments can translate to lesser traffic and income.
What you can do is make a list of things that you think an efficient website should have. When you’re done, study how you can apply these things to your own website. Make sure that you cover all the bases like the services you provide and your complete contact details. In addition, make sure that your website can be easily navigated regardless of the browser being used.
3. Not being proactive enough
If you think that the “Contact Us” button at the bottom of a page is enough to look inviting among users, don’t be surprised if your online marketing strategy isn’t working.
Users have limited and varied attention span, so it is important that your website has different offers, landing pages and calls to action. Make your website more substantial by providing recommendations, encouraging discussions, and promoting linking and sharing. You can even give freebies once in a while in order to increase user activity and involvement.
4. Not focusing on anything else other than traffic
High traffic doesn’t always translate to income; hence, it isn’t the only thing you should be watching. You should also pay attention to details, such as purchases made, and what you can do to increase sales and popularity.
5. Not amassing e-mail addresses
While it is convenient for some people to just “Like” you on Facebook or “Follow” you on Twitter, some still prefer to receive updates via e-mail.
For your customers’ convenience, place a sign-up box somewhere in your website and invite users to subscribe to your mailing list, RSS feeds, news update and possible promos. You can also give them the option of unsubscribing, but should they do so, go the extra mile by asking for feedback.
6. Not knowing where your leads come from
You are probably familiar with the adage involving counting chicks and hatching eggs. This principle can be applied to Internet marketing such that your website’s traffic is a small detail to focus on when compared to actual buying clients. Once you assure that your website’s traffic is healthy, concentrate on other important things like converting the number of visitors to customers.
7. Not studying your web analytics
Your website’s analytics say a lot about your site’s visitors—how many they were, in what countries they were from, and how long they stayed. Spend an ample amount of time studying your web analytics and how you can use it to make your website more user-friendly and efficient.
8. Not knowing your competition
With the Internet being virtually boundless, you can just imagine how many businesses like yours are trying to make it big online. While it is easy to simply ignore them and busy yourself with your own website, why not learn from them instead? Identify who your competitors are and study how they are faring in the Internet marketing business. Visit their websites and observe the areas they are good and weak at
9. Not looking far enough
In many situations such as in the business context, becoming complacent could put you in danger. Trends in many kinds of businesses constantly evolve to continuously give customer satisfaction.
Hence, you too should not stop improving your website. Stay on top of the game by updating yourself with the latest developments in the industry, and study how you can utilize them in your own website.
10. Not utilizing viral marketing
One of the ways you can market your website conveniently is by having other people refer you to their network. Trust plays a key role here, since you can’t expect customers to refer you just like that.
Assuming that your website already has good content, encourage users to refer you to their friends and colleagues by giving them the option to e-mail your articles or share these in their social media accounts.
11. Not keeping up with the times
Technology is like your brain—it doesn’t stop working even when you’re asleep. The trends you might be using right now could be obsolete tomorrow.
Therefore, it would be wise to keep yourself abreast with the latest online marketing breakthroughs. Although it is alright to stick with tried-and-tested methods, you should also accommodate the new ones and learn if you could merge techniques.
12. Not putting education into action
Learning a lot about online marketing, or anything else for that matter, is futile if you don’t apply it and turn it into something useful. Aside from studying information on online marketing and related topics, take the time to actually apply what you have learned by testing them. If, by any chance, you can’t risk doing it on your website, you can put up a blog and test which among the things you learned actually work.
13. Not holding on for long
It may be a cliché, but putting up a business is like planting a tree. You don’t plant a seed today and expect it to bear fruit overnight. Many businesses, virtual or otherwise, have failed because its owner is too impatient to reap the harvest.
Prevent your business from suffering the same fate by exercising your patience. Sometimes, it takes more than quality content to make Internet marketing effective. Half the time, it’s your values that will keep you aligned with your goals.
With the Internet changing as fast as the release of the next hi-tech gadget, it becomes inevitable for the online marketing landscape to shift accordingly. Online business owners should then bear in mind that to thrive means to constantly update their strategies.