Since starting out I’ve optimised hundreds (possibly even thousands) of AdWords campaigns, reviewed and improved hundreds of websites, given insights about hundreds of Google Analytics accounts and edited a whole lot of copy to make it web friendly.
When I started my business there were specific marketing mistakes I was constantly helping clients to fix. Back then I thought these issues would be obsolete within a few years. But, unfortunately that’s not the case and the reality is that I still see these six common online marketing mistakes happening way too often.
All business owners know how big the learning curve is when you’re starting out. These mistakes happen due to lack of time, knowledge, skill, experience, money, different priorities or all of the above. Regardless of the reason, if you’re new to the business world, this article will help get your online marketing on track right from the start. And hopefully in six more years these mistakes will be gone completely!
1. No web analytics tool installed on the website
You’re investing time and money into your website so you need to understand whether or not it’s adding value to your business.
If you don’t have a web analytics tool installed on your website then you don’t have any information about how many people are visiting your website, what your website visitors are doing and whether or not your website is bringing you sales, leads, sign ups or another form of value.
A popular web analytics tools is Google’s free tool called Google Analytics.
Set up a Google Analytics account at www.google.com/analytics and work with your web developer to install the code. Or ask your website company if they offer a monitoring tool.
Having an analytics tool installed when your website goes lives means you’ll be able to benchmark your key visitor statistics. Plus you can watch your traffic increase as you expand your online marketing!
Learn more about the data in your Google Analytics account by signing up for Free access to my Google Analytics 101 video series.
2. No keywords added to the Page Title / Title Tag of the website
The Page Title isn’t seen on the page, it’s added to the code of your website and is the line of text that appears at the top of the browser. In the Chrome browser, you can see the Page Title by hovering over the words in the tab. The screen shot below shows the Page Title of my “Google AdWords Training” page.
This is a really important place to add the main keyword phrase that you would like to rank for in Google. Yet I’m constantly surprised at how many websites still only have their Business Name as the Page Title. And the Page Title for every page of their website is the same. This is a massive, wasted opportunity to get web traffic from search engines.
If you have a WordPress site, plugins like the “All in One SEO Pack” and “WordPress SEO” by Yoast allow you to add a custom Page Title to each Page or Post. Capitalise on this opportunity!
Don’t just use your selected keyword in the Page Title. Also add it in a natural way to the heading, subheadings, body text and link text in the page. For best results work with a SEO copywriter to do your keyword research and strategically add keywords to your web copy in all the right places.
3. Running Google AdWords campaigns but not having conversion tracking set up
When you’re spending money on AdWords you need to measure the outcomes in order to know whether or not you’re getting a return from your ad spend. Yet it blows my mind how many business owners who are already running AdWords campaigns have never been advised about the value Conversion Tracking. Or checking that it works correctly once it’s set up. This is particularly important for eCommerce businesses who are aiming to sell products and make a profit!
- Confirmed Orders (by using eCommerce tracking in Google Analytics you can track both the number of orders and the value of the transaction)
- Phone Calls received
- People taking up an offer
- Submissions of your online enquiry form.
Work with an AdWords agency to get Conversion Tracking set up and use the data to optimise your campaigns and evaluate the return from your AdWords spend.
4. No plans to blog or add new content to the website regularly
If you get a static, business card style website all it will ever be is a static, business card style website! And that won’t cut it if getting web traffic from Google or conversions from AdWords are important to you.
If you plan to spend money on online marketing, start by getting a great looking, user-friendly website that encourages your web visitors to buy, enquire, sign up or do whatever it is you want them to do. Next, implement a plan for regularly adding new content to your website which:
- Gives both search engines and people a reason to revisit your website after their initial visit
- Allows you to add new keywords to each new page, giving your website more chance of appearing in Google search results
- Builds your websites authority by making it bigger
- Gives other website owners and bloggers a reason to link to your valuable content
- Gives you new information to share via social media which encourages your network to visit your website.
Get a website with a blog and create a content marketing plan. Work with a specialist copywriter if you don’t have the time, ideas or skill to create the content yourself.
5. A friend/relative is helping me with my new website/online marketing/AdWords campaign
It’s great to be able to work with someone that you trust, but it’s also important to make sure they are the right person for the job. Assess their skills and experience the same way you would if you were paying them. And make sure they will be able to continue helping you in future when changes need to be made.
- If they have a day job, will they be able to make updates within your timeframe?
- Will you get the same priority as paying clients?
- Are they an expert in the area they are helping you with? ie Do they have a business offering that particularly service, or do they work/have worked in the industry?
- Do they have the other skills that you need to be successful, or can they put you in contact with people who do? For example your web developer should recommend also working with a web copywriter, and web designers should recommend an AdWords partner rather than offering to set up your AdWords campaigns.
Treat your agreements with friends as you would a paid job by setting timeframes and expectations. Have a plan for what you will do if that person becomes unavailable, and for the other people you need to work with to be successful.
6. No budget for online marketing
All the mistakes mentioned above can stem from not having an adequate marketing budget to pay for the services you need to get your business set up with the best possible chance of success.
Marketing a new business requires knowledge and skill related to strategy, planning, implementation and reporting for things like market research, website design/development/copy writing, social media, search engine optimisation, Google AdWords, blogging and email marketing.
There is so much to do when you start a business and no one can do it all by yourself, no matter how much you know and how good you are. While I totally understand what it’s like to be a lean startup, I see too many businesses in the chicken/egg situation where they need marketing to make money and they need to make money before they can pay for marketing. If you are able to allocate marketing budget when you start your business, you’ll be well placed to avoid the mistakes above.
What other online marketing mistakes do you still see happening way too often?
Melinda aka Mel is a Premier Google Partner, AdWords & Analytics Consultant, Speaker and Trainer and co-owner of Click-Winning Content. Mel provides results-driven services to Australian businesses and is committed to never using an acronym without explaining it first. She also likes grand slam tennis, cracked pepper and Melbourne sunsets. Please connect at the links below.