Since I’ve been working in online marketing for over 26 years now, I’ve seen well-meaning business owners attempt to do their own marketing and fail miserably. Moreover, their failures and mistakes were 100% preventable had they asked an expert for help.
Did they want to save money? Did they think they could understand the technology? Were they duped by snazzy sales pitches from salespeople who promised them fast results then didn’t deliver? Were they victims of hackers? Did they want to help out a friend or relative who really didn’t know what they were doing?
Whatever the reason for the mistakes, they happen. Unfortunately, it usually takes a while to uncover them and by that time, a lot of money and effort went down the drain.
How to Make Sure You’re Getting Your Digital Marketing Right…
Understanding what to do and what NOT to do could be the difference in your wasting time, effort and money or INCREASING SALES!
Your profiles on the social media networks are part of your Online Reputation and Image. Also, there is a purpose to doing all this: Sales! Whether you’re selling services or products, that’s the bottom line.
When you don’t see sales after diligent marketing efforts, you need to start wondering, “What am I doing wrong?”
Every time I do a free consult and I review a business’s website, blog and social media profiles, I see the SAME MARKETING MISTAKES over and over again.
There’s no reason why you can’t learn how to do it properly and your marketing will be effective.
General Online Marketing Mistakes
- Not setting SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
- Diving in without a written strategic plan. You wouldn’t go on a long road trip without a map or some plan as to where you’re going to stay or how long you’re going to drive. The strategic plan outlines how you will accomplish your goals.
- Attempting to do it yourself without properly learning how to use the tools. Sure, you can post on Facebook, but do you know how to market on Facebook? You can use Word, but do you know how to use WordPress?
- No written tactical plan. The tactical plan outlines how you’re going to implement the strategy.
- No content strategy. Without strategy, content is just noise.
- Not knowing your audience. It is crucial to know what your target market’s pain points are and what interests them.
- Not crafting the right message for your audience.
- Not investing in your own assets. Your own email list, blog, website, video, graphics, etc. On any other platform, whether a free blogging site or social media, you’re just borrowing the space there. You don’t own it. You have to follow their rules and they can change them at any time AND use your content as they wish.
- Not checking your analytics on a monthly basis. Keep doing the same thing expecting different results – that’s insanity. Check to see what’s working and what’s not working. Besides your website, each social network provides analytics for free. They tell you follower demographics, which posts got engagement, even what’s the best time to post.
- Not being human. You can automate a lot of the media, but you still have to be social. Don’t ignore people. If you put your call-to-action button on Facebook to “Message Us” then don’t monitor Facebook Messenger, that’s bad customer service. Moreover, it’s a lost customer.
- Not committing to social media long-term. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Posting once a week will accomplish nothing. It has to be a daily task.
- Not having a logo! It’s all about branding.
- Inconsistent branding. People need to know who you are and what it is that you do at first glance no matter where they find you. You have 7 seconds to catch someone’s attention online.
- Ignoring your social media accounts. If you have a link on your website to your social media networks, you better be posting regularly! Nothing looks worse than after clicking on a link, I see the last post was months, even years ago! Ignoring your social media once it’s set up is just as bad as not having it at all. You also have to monitor comments and mentions.
- Forgetting to have fun. It’s about being social and connecting with people. Be friendly, have fun!
- Focusing on quantity over quality. It’s your online image. Everything you put online should be of good quality.
- Hiring an intern or student to do your social media marketing. Just because someone knows how to tweet or post on Facebook doesn’t mean they know how to market on Facebook. You need to understand how it all works so you can supervise the person. Don’t trust someone to have total control of your business’ online assets and you get locked out or are clueless to if what they’re doing is right or not.
- Trying to learn how to market on social media by reading a book. The problem with books is that they are obsolete the moment they’re published. The networks are constantly changing.
- Grabbing pictures off the Internet without permission from the photographer. You must only use “free-use” graphics and pictures or make sure you give proper attribution to the photographer. A lawsuit can be costly – usually between $500 – $5000. I like Pixabay for free graphics.
- Posting the same thing over and over. Don’t be boring. Get creative.
- Not taking the time to learn the culture and the lingo. You don’t want to look like a newbie even though you are. Check out my Glossary right here!
- Making it all about you. It’s about them – your target market. Serve don’t sell. Don’t just post your stuff! It’s not about selling. It’s about sharing. Share other people’s content of interest to your target market. They are thinking, “What’s in it for me?”
- Not building relationships. It’s about people-to-people (P2P).
- Not realizing that some people just aren’t that active. However, passive users still watch, read and listen. Again, your analytics will tell you where the visitors to your website are coming from.
- Not monitoring your brand and name on the social networks. If someone has a problem, they may use social media to get your attention or to voice their frustration. Diffuse the bad & encourage the good. If someone says something good, thank them! Also, make sure any automated posts are posting correctly with pictures and links.
- Not responding in a timely manner. You can’t ignore people who message you via social media. It’s like turning your back on someone who speaks to you a networking event.
- Too many selfies. It’s not all about you. Sure, you can do some fun pictures every so often, but don’t overdo it.
- Expecting followers to flock to you just because you’re there. Unless you’re a celebrity or have hired one, building a following takes time – up front! Develop a strategy to reach your target market by providing the content they want.
- Posting irrelevant content. Stick to your topic, field or industry. Yes, you may share related content that would be of interest to your target, but make sure it’s relevant. Keep business and personal separate!
- Not optimizing bios and about sections. What are your major, relevant keywords? All your bios, pages, and about sections should have keyword-centric descriptions otherwise, you won’t be found. Use the free, Google Keyword Tool.
- Not realizing that each network has its own search engine. Google is not the only search online. Each network has its own, powerful, internal search engine. Optimize to get found.
- Not using hashtags for exposure. Hashtags work on all networks — even LinkedIn and YouTube! Use them with your major, relevant keywords strategically and consistently for branding.
- Not proofreading everything before publishing or posting. This is your online image. OK, you can get away with the occasional typo, especially if you’re on a mobile device doing a quick post on social media. However, there’s no excuse for bad grammar or spelling errors, especially in a blog post or your profile bios.
- Not posting quality graphics. There are enough free graphics tools out there so having fuzzy, cut-off graphics are not excuse. It’s your online image! AND don’t grab one with a watermark! That’s stealing!
- Not having calls-to-action (CTAs). You need to tell people what you want them to do. This is how you build your email list. Use marketing automation.
- Not realizing that people log on at different times of the day. Something posted at 8 am is probably not going to be seen by someone logging on a 3 pm. Use a scheduler. Check your analytics to see when your followers are on and the best time to post.
- Selling not sharing. Actually it’s SERVE don’t SELL! Don’t share just promotional posts. Share useful content and people will flock to you. Become a content magnet. I can’t stress this enough. I still see people just posting promotional posts — Buy! Buy! Buy! NO! Be helpful. Educate your customer. Tell stories.
- Not realizing that it takes time and effort upfront to build a following. Plan on spending 90 minutes a day on social media and blogging 3 times a week for the first 30 days, while you’re building a following. Then you go into management and maintenance mode and based on your analytics, you’ll focus on the networks that are driving traffic to your site and where you’re building relationships. Once you get past the learning curve and are used to the tools, you’ll be able to spend 30-minute to an hour a day managing your social media.
- Mentioning a problem without offering a solution. You hit a pain point. Give people solutions to their problem.
- Not making sure that you have all the usernames and passwords for all your profiles, sites and accounts. Trusting your login information to just one employee is not wise. Don’t get locked out of your accounts!
- Buying followers or likes. It’s a waste of money. Whether on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, they are NOT your target market. They are fake accounts. It will cost you more to have them cleaned up than what it cost you to buy them. Plus, the networks are eliminating fake accounts and it may hurt your follower count. Yes, one day you’ll have 15,000 followers and the next you’ll have less than 500. That won’t look good at all. There are no shortcuts!
- Putting social media follow buttons on your website that either go nowhere, to the main network page or go to an account that hasn’t been active in years. You don’t want to look stupid. Don’t put follow buttons on your website until your profile pages are setup, properly branded and optimized and you’re active in social media. Furthermore, if you’re not going to be active on social media, it’s best to not have the accounts at all. Remove the links. By the way, Google+ has been gone for years. I still see G+ buttons on sites!
- Taking unsubscribers or unfollowers too seriously. Face it. Not everyone is going to stay subscribed or following you. People’s interests change. They move on. Or they just don’t like what you’re sharing. If you’re losing too many people, then you need to review your content, tactics and strategies, as well as who you’re trying to reach.
- Not using an email address with the company URL for business emails. It looks more professional to use “firstname.lastname@example.org” rather than “email@example.com”. And don’t use AOL! It really dates you!
It’s still the largest network with over 2 billion people logging on daily!
- Creating a personal Facebook account in a company name or a fake name. It’s against Facebook’s rules to use a personal account to primarily promote a business. That’s why there are business pages.
- Ignoring comments on Facebook – “If you want to build a brand, you have to be accessible to your customers.” ~Robert Herjavec. Check the notifications on your page daily, at least every other day.
- Not completing the about section. They give you a lot of space – use it. It helps get you found.
- Trying to upload a rectangular logo into the square. You can’t. It gets cut off. It looks bad. Don’t be lazy. Use the free graphics tool, Canva.com to create a 400 x 400 graphic. That’s the largest graphic needed (Twitter) and it will work for the other networks.
- Having a fuzzy cover graphic. This is your online image. Use quality graphics. Canva has all the templates for the cover graphics so there are no excuses!
- Not having a cover graphic that shows people what you do. You have 2 seconds to catch someone’s attention and they need to know instantaly what you have to offer.
- Not inviting your Facebook friends and family to like your business page. Be selective when you invite them. There will be some that will like it to support you and some that will truly be interested in your business. And don’t feel bad if someone doesn’t like your page. It may be irrelevant to them.
- Not posting daily on Facebook. Their algorithm is based on people liking and engaging with your posts. (Note as of 3/2018, Facebook has reduced the visibility of posts from business pages. It’s recommended to only post 3 times. If you have a major announcement or promotion, do a paid ad and choose “your page’s fans” to get better reach.
- Not taking advantage of Facebook Live Video. This is a great tool to broadcast yourself and gain exposure.
- Not uploading videos directly to Facebook. FB is giving top priority to “native videos” over a link to a YouTube video. They want to keep people on their website not send them to YouTube!
- Not having a call-to-action button. Every business page has this feature. Use it! But, don’t just put “visit website”. That’s not a strong enough call-to-action. Use “Leaern More” instead.
- Not checking insights once a month. Insights tell you a lot about your audience – what posts they liked the most, where they’re located, demographics, etc. You need at least 30 likes to see insights.
- Not using their free Audience Insights tool to see how your target market uses Facebook.
- Not monitoring your competition’s Facebook pages. You need at least 100 likes to add “Pages to Watch” to your Insights. See how often they are posting and how many followers they have.
- Ignoring Facebook. Come on! It’s the largest network. It’s where the people are! Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean your target isn’t there. Even for B2B businesses. It’s a free billboard. Even B2B businesses should use FB as their secondary network after LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Not asking people to check-in at your location. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, ask people to check in. Offer to take a picture of them with their phone.
- Not setting up your events on Facebook. This is a great opportunity for extra exposure. Invite your friends and family. Don’t invite people who are not likely to attend like those who live in another city or state.
LinkedIn Marketing Mistakes
Google considers LinkedIn one of the top referral sites for information on professional people. If someone googles your name, more than likely your LinkedIn profile will come up in the first few of the Google search engine results. That’s where you want to be. LinkedIn helps you get known as an expert in your field.
What does your LinkedIn profile say about you?
Here are a few LinkedIn Reputation Killers that you need to address ASAP!
- No picture. There is no reason why you should not have a picture of yourself — not a caricature or a cartoon character. You are networking. People remember faces before they remember names or even occupations. I’ve walked into live networking events where I don’t know a soul and someone will walk up to me and say, “I’ve seen you on LinkedIn!” I reply, “That means what I do works!” They saw my picture next to posts in one of the local area groups. (More on this later) Not having a picture on your LinkedIn profile is like walking into a networking event with a paper bag over your head.
- Incomplete name and location. You must put your full name and your location. That way people can find you easier. Even if you have a “global” business, put your actual location. Also, it must be your name not your company’s name. People connect with people. People follow companies. Companies have company profiles which are separate from personal profiles. Your personal profile “owns” your company one. (This is also true for Facebook).
- Incomplete heading. Your heading tells someone what you do in a glance. You must put your title and your company. Don’t just put “owner” or “entrepreneur”. Put your company’s name.
- Less than 50 connections. 50 is the magic number on LinkedIn along with a complete profile to be an “all-star”. Connect first with your friends, co-workers, former colleagues, former classmates, then connect with people you’ve met at networking events. After the event, sit with the cards you collected and invite everyone connect with you on LinkedIn. Remind them where you met: “John, it was nice meeting you at the networking event last night…”
- No vanity URL. If your LinkedIn address has a bunch of numbers at the end of it, you need to create your vanity URL. This makes it easier for you to put your LinkedIn profile address on your business card. If you have a common name, you’ll need to add your middle name or initial. LinkedIn will let you know if your name is available.
- No summary. Here is where you promote your business – not your life story! You have a business, you’re not looking for a job. Here’s where you add relevant keywords describing what you do and what you offer. Use bullet points not long, wordy paragraphs. Don’t use “flowery language” either. Get to the point. You’ve got plenty of space here. Use it.
- No job experience. People want to know about your background and where you got your experience. If you’re young and just starting out, add a college or volunteer jobs in there. Make sure that your current position is where you are working now and that it connects to your company profile.
- No company profile. As mentioned in #2, companies have company profiles. You must have an email address at the company URL to set up a company page.
- No recommendations. Recommendations are important as they carry more weight than “endorsements”. Anyone can click on the “endorse” button — even if they know you or not. Recommendations have be to personally written by someone who knows you or your work. If you have happy camper clients, request a recommendation. You must be connected on LinkedIn to do so.
- No skills. These are your keywords. You can put up to 50 skills. Use them. You can add or delete skills depending on relevancy to your current position.
- Not participating in groups. There’s a group for every interest and industry out there. Search for those where your target market hangs out, groups for industry news and potential referral sources. Post and participate in discussions regularly.
- Not having a link to your website. he link must go to your current website and the website should work properly and showcase what you do. The link helps with search engine optimization (SEO). It helps promote your business.
- No business email address – Unless you’re looking for work, the email address should be your company email with your website URL. Keep it professional.
- No phone number – If you are in business for yourself, you need to make it easy for people to contact you! There are still many folks out there who prefer to call rather than email. It’s easier to call you from a mobile phone. More and more people access LinkedIn via the mobile app. If your phone number is there, all they have to do is touch it to call you.
- No link to Twitter – you’re missing a huge marketing tool if you’re not on Twitter and if you don’t have your Twitter account linked to your LinkedIn Profile.
- Not using Hashtags. Hashtags now work on LinkedIn. Use them to increase your exposure.
- No link to your blog – again you’re missing the biggest online marketing tool if you’re not using a blog to show off your expertise.
- Having multiple links to wrong sites – one person has 2 links to her one Twitter account. Another has a link to a site that either no longer exists or hasn’t yet been built. Please don’t like to your website until it’s finished and ready for prime time.
- Posting about sports, religion, politics or personal topics. LinkedIn is a professional, business-only site. Save the personal stuff for Facebook.
- Not Taking Advantage of LinkedIn Pulse (their blogging platform) to establish yourself as an expert in your field. It’s like writing an article for your local Business Journal. Write at least a 500-word article.
- Trying to set up a company profile that’s not listed in your experience. You have to have your company listed in your experience with the exact same name. Your are connected to your company as an employee.
- Sending promotional selling emails just because someone is in your network. That’s spamming and it is not tolerated anywhere in social media. Just because I’m connected with you doesn’t mean that I’m interested in your product or service. It’s not who you know, it’s who your friends know. Be subtle. Remember, Share Don’t Sell!
- Starting a group thinking you’ll get participants. Just because you start a group, doesn’t mean people will flock to join. It will help if you have an existing organization and a plan for what will be the theme and discussions.
- Spamming groups. No better or faster way to lose credibility than to self-promote in a group.
- Getting on Instagram when you don’t have any visuals to share. Not every business needs to be on Instagram! If you have a product, are a local business like a retail store, restaurant, do events, or an eCommerce site, then definitely.
- Keeping your account private. You’re on social media for exposure and to gain followers. This won’t help
- Not branding your pictures. Websites added in captions are not hyperlinked unless you pay for advertising. Add your web address and logo to your pictures. Use the free online graphics tool, Canva.com to create good, eye-catching graphics.
- Not using hashtags for branding. Since links don’t work, use hashtags to gain exposure. You can put up to 30 hashtags.
- Posting too many pictures together. Spread them out. Gives you more exposure. Use free tools like HootSuite or Buffer to schedule out to Instagram.
- Not posting enough. If you’re only posting once or twice a month, you might as well not bother. Have strategic and tactical plans.
- No link to your website in your bio. This is the only place on Instagram that you can add a link to your website for free.
- Holding a contest when you don’t have a following. This is like the billboard in the middle of the ocean. No one is going to see it.
- Not tagging your location. Especially for local businesses and events.
- Not tagging other users. You get more exposure when you mention others related to the picture.
- Not doing videos. Instagram just added Live Video Streaming and new IGTV! Get creative! It connects to your Instagram account. You can do longer videos.
- Skipping Pinterest because you’re a B2B business. Pinterest is a very powerful SEO helper as pictures and videos pinned from your website take the link with it. Clicking twice on a pin, takes you to the originating website.
- Not realizing that Pinterest is more than just babies & cupcakes. Yes, if you want consumers and soccer moms, you need to be on Pinterest. However, Pinterest is where people plan how they are going to spend their money. A MUST for any ecommerce business.
- Using a personal account for business. Keep business and personal separate. Go to https://business.pinterest.com/ to create a business account or convert a personal one into a business one. Delete any personal pins and boards.
- Not verifying your website. This will connect your website with Pinterest and they will track pin action from you site.
- Not moving pins around seasonally. If it’s summer, I don’t want to see Christmas holiday tips on the top of your page.
- Not taking advantage of the 500-character description areas on boards and pins. Here’s where you can add links and hashtags with relevant keywords.
- Having empty boards. If you have an idea for a board, but don’t have pins for it yet, keep it “secret” until you fill it.
- Creating a board for one or two pins. Boards are categories. Broad or specific, add pins to it.
- Posting an inconsistent bursts of pins. Pinning on a regular basis works best.
- Not adding original content. Sure, repinning other people’s pins is good, but you should post fresh videos and pictures regularly.
- Using shortlinks. Shortlinks like bit.ly or ow.ly are great for Twitter, but not needed on Pinterest. In this case, the longer URL helps with SEO and gives credibility.
- Not adding categories to your boards. This helps you come up in searches. Make sure it’s relevant. If you create a board on the fly, go in later edit it and add the description.
- Not sticking to board topics. Don’t get lazy and stick everything in one or two boards. Keep them categorized.
- Pinning just your stuff. Have other boards of related pins that your target may be interested in.
- Not pinning engaging content. If you want to grow your following, share visuals of interest to your target market.
- Not creating a Showcase to highlight your best boards.
- Not using hashtags. Hashtags help classify pins. Use them consistently with major keywords.
- Not checking analytics monthly. Pinterest tells you which pins got the most engagement as well as what else interests your followers. This is valuable information.
- Not pinning pictures from your blog posts after you’ve published them. This helps with SEO.
- Not taking YouTube seriously. It’s the 2nd largest search engine and it’s owned by Google. Nuff said.
- Uploading just one video and that’s it. If you’re not going to do a video at least once a month, don’t bother setting up a channel.
- Not setting up a business channel correctly. If you’re going to do videos regularly, then set up your YouTube channel properly and completely.
- Mixing business and personal. You can have 2 separate channels. Keep them separate.
- Not uploading a proper and quality cover graphic. This is the toughest one to set up. It needs to look good on an HD TV and on a smartphone.
- Not naming individual videos with what that video is about. Proper titles help you come up in search.
- Not adding a description to your videos. This also helps you come up in search. Use your focus keywords.
- Not adding a “default” description. Have you defaults already filled out with your company info – this saves a lot of time.
- Not putting your video in the right category. True, sometimes your video doesn’t fall perfectly in one of their categories, but at least put it in the closest one.
- Not putting calls-to-actions at the end of your videos. You’ve got someone’s attention. They’ve watched your whole video. Tell them what you want them to do!
- Not taking advantage of all its features. There are lots of features to help you promote your business. Learn how to use them well.
- Uploading low-quality videos. True, not every video has to be professionally done, but it still is your online image.
- Thinking you can make lots of money becoming a YouTube star. It isn’t as easy as it used to be. They keep changing the rules of monetezation. Read them first.
- Not having at least one professionally done “corporate” video. Again, it’s your online image. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Make it a good one. Use this as your channel ad.
- Not adding a logo or subscribe button. Make it easy for people to subscribe to your channel.
- Thinking you’re going to go viral. Unless you’re a celebrity or have hired one, it probably won’t happen. Going viral is a fluke.
- Not adding links to your website in the description. Helps with SEO. Hint: put it in the default description and put the whole URL.
- Not connecting Twitter. Set it up so that as soon as you upload a video, it gets tweeted out. More exposure.
- Not embedding your video in blog post on your site. Get more exposure.
- Not deleting outdated videos. Upload a video and it’s there forever unless you take it down.
- Not Tweeting. Ya gotta tweet! How do you expect to get followers if you don’t share anything? If you’re trying to build a following, thank a new follower and go check out their profile and what they tweet about. If they don’t tweet, I don’t follow back. Simple.
- You’re an unknown. Are you a real person? Then upload a picture. If you’re a business, upload a logo. It’s your brand and image! Don’t use a cartoon or object for a personal profile either. There are way too many blank-heads on Twitter! They look like fake accounts.
- No Bios. Who are you? What do you tweet about? Twitter gives you 160 characters to describe yourself. It’s not your life story, just who you are & why you’re there. Hashtag keywords.
- Not uploading a cover graphic. This is a free billboard. Make sure it’s not fuzzy. Use Canva.com to create it in the right dimensions.
- Over-Tweeting. Just as bad as not tweeting is over-tweeting or automating everything. Seeing more than 3 tweets in a row from someone makes me wonder if they’re using a robot or if they are a real person. Use the scheduling tool in TweetDeck or Hootsuite to schedule your tweets to post with enough time in between them. Twitter is on 24/7 and that way your tweets can be on when you’re not.
- Not taking advantage of commenting on a tweet when retweeting. When you “quote” a tweet instead of just hitting “Retweet”, Twitter gives you an additional 160 characters. Use that to add a hashtag or your opinion.
- Using Foul Language. I will unfollow someone in 2 clicks the moment I see foul language.
- Insulting people who unfollow you. Just like you don’t like everyone you meet and everyone you meet won’t like you, not everyone will like what you tweet. It’s not a crime to unfollow someone.
- Using an auto-post program that tweets how many followers and unfollowers you have. Who cares?
- Bragging about how many followers you have – followers don’t equal sales. Unless you have the proper marketing, follow-up & sales channels set-up, your “followers” will fall into the black hole. Using social media to attract people to your site, product or service is just part of the marketing mix.
- Ignoring new followers. A simple “welcome new followers” or “Thx 4 following!” tweet is a sign that you want to start a relationship with your followers. That’s what it’s all about.
- Don’t Direct Message (DM) new followers – especially automated DMs. You’re a person, they’re a person – relationship happen between people not robots.
- Tweeting only about your product or service – It’s not about you, it’s not about your product or service. It’s about what you have to offer your followers. Share relevant information, stories, advice and it doesn’t always have to sell something.
- Not keeping tabs on your competition. Do this with a private list. Monitor what your competitors are doing.
- Not learning the lingo before trying to communicate with the natives. You don’t want to look like a newbie (even if you are)!
- Duplicating tweets. Even if it’s your CTA tweet, reword it.
- Using the free WordPress or other free, third-party blogging platform. Though this is a good way to get started if you’re on a shoestring budget as a startup business, you want to be on your own platform not a borrowed one.
- Using industry jargon. You’re the expert, your reader is not. Write for an 11-year-old.
- Not writing for the human reader. Write for your target market with the search engine and keywords in mind.
- Not creating fresh, relevant content regularly. To be effective and grow a following or build an email list, you should blog 2-3 times a week. No less than weekly once you’ve built an audience.
- Not sharing your content on social media. This is the main way to publicize your blog posts. Drives people to your site.
- No credible links. Both internal and external. Internal to related content on your site and external to related, relevant content on someone else’s site. Use the Pillar Pages structure.
- Trying to be cute with your headline. Your headline should entice people to click on the link to get them to your website. Use the free Headline Analyzer to help you create catchy headlines.
- Writing long paragraphs. Break up your content with bullet points and H2 and H3 sub-headings.
- Not adding the title of the post or keywords to image “alt text” descriptions. If someone pins your picture on Pinterest, this is the description that comes up. Don’t make the user have to add their own description.
- Not adding keyword tags relevant to your blog post. This is what the search engine sees.
- Not proofreading before publishing. Check spelling and grammar. It is your online reputation!
- Not having links to other internal, related content to entice people to stay on your site longer. The longer people stay on your site, the more chances they’ll do something.
- Leaving default widgets like “archives”. No one is going to look for what your wrote on a specific day. They’re looking for topics or categories.
- Not having a “tag cloud” with the tags (keywords) that are relevant to your article. This is another way to keep people longer on your site.
Websites & SEO Marketing Mistakes
- Not having a website. You can’t expect to get new clients without having a website. You can’t just have a Facebook page and expect it to convert clients.
- Thinking that if you build it they will come — NOT! Having a website and not blogging or sharing on social media is like having a billboard out in the middle of the ocean. Sure a passing ship may see it, but that’s not going to be enough.
- No lead generation strategy – or lead capturing on your website. You need to convert visitors to leads then nurture them into sales. That’s where Marketing Automation comes in.
- Not understanding how today’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) works.
- Not optimizing each post or page for the search engines. The free WordPress plugin, SEO by Yoast is the best SEO plugin. It walks you through everything you need to do so your post/page will get noticed by Google.
- Using colors that YOU like rather than colors that your target likes or that will influence actions.
- Putting “Welcome” as a headline or title. This word is too generic. It doesn’t help with SEO.
- Not fully thinking out what you want to accomplish with the website. What are your goals and objectives? Who do you want to reach? Everybody is NOT your target market! Here’s where Planning comes in.
- Thinking a website is just an online brochure. It should be working and selling for you 24/7.
- Not having a giveaway that your target market wants and will give you their email address for it. Just having “Sign up for our Newsletter” is not enough enticement.
- Not having a landing page for your giveaway. Just having a place to enter an email address and a “subscribe” button is not enough. You’re missing the, “What’s in it for me?” factor of your visitors. You’re asking them to give you something private and precious – their email address. What exactly do I get? How often are you going to email me?
- Having a boring “Join our Newsletter List” call-to-action. The visitor is thinking, “What’s in it for me?” Tell them. Give them a freebie – something useful to them – in exchange for their email address.
- Having pop-ups. They are extremely annoying. My greatest pet peeve are the exit ones. I want to bookmark or share the blog post, I move the mouse to do so and the pop-up appears and I have to look for the “x” or “close” button. I don’t even read it. You do want to have a clear call to action in the top or right-hand side of the page. More discrete pop-ups are the ones that appear at the bottom corners. They’re visible, but not obstructive. However annoying, they do work.
- Keyword stuffing. Repeating your major keywords too often will hurt you.
- Broken links. How annoying is it to click on a link and get “404 Page not Found”.
- Duplicating content. You can’t just mirror a site anymore. There are proper ways to repurpose content.
- Labeling your homepage “Home”. “Home” is not the name of your company. “About” – about who? About what? Don’t use generic names for your main pages.
- Ignoring “meta” descriptions. These show up in Google searches. They have to be the right length and with relevant keywords.
- Not using analytics. Analytics should be checked monthly. Which sites are driving the most traffic to your site? How long are visitors staying on your site? How many new visitors are you getting compared to returning visitors.
- Optimizing the wrong keywords. Make sure they’re relevant to your business.
- Site takes too long to load. Graphics that are too big, too much code and too many plugins contribute to a slow loading site — among other factors. If it takes more than 5 seconds to load, you’re in trouble.
- No mobile optimization. Being not just mobile-friendly, but also mobile-responsive is crucial to come up in Google mobile search. 80% of searchers use Google on a mobile device.
- Not having a blog on your site. WordPress makes it easy to have a static website and a blog all in one. Without the blog, you don’t have the fresh content that Google is looking for and you don’t have content to draw people to your site.
- No social media follow buttons. You have to make it easy for people to follow you.
- Having social media follow buttons that either go nowhere or link to your networks and you haven’t posted anything since 2013. If you’re not active in social media, don’t put buttons on your site. It makes you look stupid. (Yes, this is a repeat, but it’s important.)
- No social media sharing buttons. Make it easy for people to share your content with their friends.
- Not having an “about” page. Here’s where you toot your own horn. Why are you qualified? What’s your company’s history? Who are the people behind the brand?
- Thinking a website built more than 5 years ago is still OK. It’s not. An outdated website affects your online image and SEO.
- Putting links in your navigation that go to empty pages. Putting “coming soon” or “under construction” hurts your SEO.
- Having your social media follow buttons at the bottom footer of your page. You want people to follow you. Don’t make people hunt for your social media links.
- Not updating your site regularly. Google ignores sites with outdated content. Keeping it fresh keeps Google happy. Blog at least once a week.
Have you been keeping score? How many of these mistakes have you made? Don’t feel bad, you’re in a big boat along with many other small business owners who just don’t know what they don’t know.
If you counted at least 20 of those marketing mistakes, that’s too many! Here’s what you need to do next:
- Analyze your current marketing efforts. What’s working what’s not working.
- Define Your Target Market’s Persona. This will give you direction.
- Research your target market. Get to know them – what are their pain points? Which networks do they frequent the most. Do keyword research to find out what searcher are entering into the search box to find you.
- Develop a Strategic Plan. Based on your research, what is going to be the strategy to reach your target and meet your goals.
- Develop a Tactical Plan. This will be a guide for you to implement your strategy.
- Setup & Integration – Optimize for SEO. Your website needs to be set-up to capture leads. Your social media profiles should be an extension of your website with quality graphics and optimized for SEO with relevant keywords.
- Learn How to Properly Use the Tools. Learn the lingo and the culture of the networks. Learn how to use tools to automate some of the media.
- Create & Curate Content. Find content from trusted sources of interest to your target market to share on your social media networks.
- Implement, Engage & Build a Following. Just do it! It takes about 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days to build a following as well as blogging 2-3 times a week.
- Monitor & Measure. Once you’ve built a following, you’re in management mode. Check your notifications daily and respond to inquiries. Check your insights and analytics at the end of each month. See what’s working or not working. Adjust your marketing plan accordingly.
Now, you may be overwhelmed by all this.
Yes, it’s a lot to take in. You’re also learning several software programs at the same time. That’s where my 1:1 coaching comes in!