Online marketing is a business’s single biggest opportunity to connect with their target demographic, no matter what sector they operate in. Google provides around 40,000 unique searches every second, and social media platforms like Facebook have become ubiquitous in people's lives.
There are a lot of mistakes that small businesses make when it comes to online marketing and they are not always cheap. Let's have a look at the four most common mistakes and how to avoid them:
MISTAKE 1: Paying Too Much For Your PPC
When taking out paid adverts through Google AdWords, many SME's stick only to the most popular keywords. This is a good way to waste your money. If you aren't carefully curating your keywords and filtering out your prospects with negative keywords, you will be risking a much higher cost per click (CPC) than is necessary. For instance, if you were advertising your spring sale, you may get people looking for automotive suspension parts. Once they click on your ad, you are paying for it.
AdWords lets you use negative keywords to avoid paying for clicks that go nowhere. An experienced online marketer will have lists of negative keywords. They will work with you to find the keywords that can save your campaign from costly clicks that have no chance of a conversion. This reduces your overall costs.
Another technique that gets your PPC down is looking for keywords that apply to your niche, but aren’t common otherwise. Because the keyword isn't going to be widely sought after, you will pay a lot less for it. This ups your potential for a successful conversion, and knocks down your CPC.
MISTAKE 2: Misunderstanding SEO
If you are ignoring the keywords that work for you through SEO as a source of organic traffic, you are missing a big opportunity. The keywords that you identify for PPC can also be used to generate content that can, over time, bring a lot of prospects to your site organically. Not engaging in SEO is a mistake, but so is the opposite attitude of treating SEO as the be-all and end-all, as if being on the front page of Google were some kind of magic solution. Both approaches show a misunderstanding of what SEO does and how it overlaps with other branches of online marketing.
There is significant strategic overlap between AdWords based marketing and SEO content creation, and once you figure out what keywords and phrases get your business noticed, you can use them to have unique content created. When a prospect actively looks for your site organically the rate of conversion is much higher.
Once people latch onto content they love, your name will be getting passed around through social media shares without you spending a penny more. This is good exposure and will bring visitors to your site, so be sure to have a one click way for them to sign up for an email list. Offering them some more engaging content for their information is a great way to get them in your system.
Your web presence is the single biggest thing you have to define your image online, so your website has to be top notch. If you don't have a website that is optimised for mobile users, you are alienating a huge demographic. You also need to make sure that you site runs well, and doesn't lag when loading.
If you are doing all you can to have a good presence on a search engine results page, you need to make sure that you take advantage of that position. SEO doesn’t work on its own. You must provide a compelling call to action and a user-friendly web experience in order to convert the extra traffic into leads.
MISTAKE 3: Ineffective Content Marketing
Don't be put off by the potentially long time that you will have wait to see organic traffic from a content based SEO campaign. What is important is that you get a blog out there, or some other means of drawing clicks from Google, or social media organically. A huge mistake businesses make is either not to blog at all, or to publish the wrong stuff, or to not publish regularly enough.
While the cost to click ratio is a bit harder to gauge, once your blog content is live Google will feature it for free – so long as it is relevant to your core business and the keywords used by your target market. In this case, all you have to do is create interesting content, which addresses the genuine needs of your customers.
MISTAKE 4: Tinned Email Marketing
If gone about the wrong way, there is a risk to your image every time you send out emails to your prospects. You need to find ways to make your message as relevant and personalised as possible.
Applying the same content philosophy to email based marketing that you would apply to social media is a good idea. You want to share relevant content that people want to open when they see it in their inbox. While emailing is essentially free, the ability to annoy is ever present. So it should be clear that not all prospects on your list are going to respond to the same content. On your list you may have prospects from multiple sectors at different stages of the buyer journey. A one-size-fits-all approach will not only reduce the effectiveness of your email marketing but will also risk alienating many of your subscribers.
Know who your prospects are and what makes them tick. This is why we strongly recommend that you never purchase contact data for email marketing, and instead develop your own list organically. Once you have a list of subscribers you should adopt a segmented email programme using behavioural triggers and marketing automation software to make sure that people are receiving emails that they are going to like, and actually use. Make sure that you favour quality of content over quantity, and never be spammy.
Consider Professional Help
Some companies that spend money online get results, and some companies squander their resources fruitlessly. In the world of online marketing you get what you pay for, but only if you know how to buy it.
At JDR we specialise in content marketing, SEO, AdWords management, email marketing and social media management strategies. Working with an agency can help you avoid the common mistakes businesses make with online marketing and ensure your strategy delivers real value. Please get in touch to chat about a bespoke marketing plan that offers a genuine return on investment for your business.