7 Online Marketing Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

InternetMarketingEvery business, whether it’s a Fortune 500 company or a mom and pop deli, has to market in order to attract and maintain customers, and these days, most marketing happens online.
From the continuing explosion of new social media sites to the email newsletter, online marketing takes a surprising number of different forms, and an effective online marketing strategy utilizes quite a few of them, but how do you ensure what you’re doing is as effective as it could be?

When it comes to driving the right traffic to your company’s website, not just any tactic will do. From giving too much credit to the reach of your social media posts to ignoring the importance of timing, here are seven common online marketing mistakes that business owners make.

Facebook Posts Reach Customers — Don’t They?
Like it or not, your Facebook posts don’t necessarily reach your customers — even the ones who have liked your Page. Part of this reality is due to when you post and when your customer peruses the social media site, but a lot of it has to do with Facebook. For a while now, Facebook has been reducing the natural reach of Pages, and it’s only going to get worse. Brands and businesses are going to need to pay the behemoth in order to effectively advertise on it.

Foregoing Email Marketing
Email marketing is still the online marketing tool that is most likely to transform a Regular Joe into Joe Customer, but because it’s been a standby for so long — and because it pales in visual comparison to all those new-fangled social media apps — it’s easy to assume that email marketing is passé. It isn’t.

If you’ve stopped marketing via email, it’s time to head back to the future and get to emailing once again.

Foregoing Good Email Marketing
Of course, not all email marketing will yield customers. Good email marketing, however, will. Here are some tips to ensure that your email marketing is top-notch:

  • Keep it simple. From how someone signs up to receive emails on your website to how they opt out of emails in the future, keep information and maneuverability straightforward and obvious.
  • Remail. Sending the same email more than once — so long as it’s a different version of the same material — works. If you’re running a sale or promotion, let your customers know about it at least twice.
  • Consider plot. Don’t give away everything all at once. Pique your customers’ curiosity with leading information in the email so they’ll want to click through and find out more at your website.
  • Don’t be wordy. People are busy. Don’t waste their time.
  • Mind design. The look of your emails is important. Font, graphics, layout — all these and more contribute to how your brand is perceived and whether or not someone wants to do business with you.

Ignoring Timing
When you market online is just as important as how. Whether you use Facebook posts, tweets or emails, there is a prime time when you should be reaching out to your customer base. Start testing what times work best for each and adapt your strategy appropriately.

Underthinking SEO
Every business with a web presence benefits greatly from well-utilized SEO, but sadly, with so many other irons in the fire, search engine optimization can fall to the wayside, which is too bad, because a high ranking on Google will bring more of the right visitors to your website. Even if it seems out of your budget, or out of your wheelhouse, your success will greatly increase if you put more effort into leveraging quality SEO. Start small, but stick to it. Even if you have to do it yourself, make it a priority and be thoughtful about it. Read helpful guides like Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO, and put what you learn into practice.

Ignoring Local Search
Google searches have gotten delightfully personal of late, and making use of the customers close to you — even though they might find you through the Internet — makes smart marketing sense, and it couldn’t be easier. Create and verify a Local Google+ page for your business, so anytime someone types in a search along with your location, it will bump you higher up in the search rankings.

Assuming Mobile Marketing is a Trend
The closest you can get to your customer — unless they’re physically present in your store or office — is through their mobile device. Beyond that advantage of mobile marketing, consider also that mobile Internet usage keeps rising. In January of this past year, 55 percent of Internet usage in the United States was performed through a mobile device.
Online marketing is important, but doing it well is even more important. Clean up these seven mistakes and start reaping the fruits of your advertising labor.