5 Online Marketing Mistakes That Small Businesses Make Everyday

Over the last decade, businesses have undergone a remarkable transformation with their digital footprints, thanks to the rapid economic rise towards digitization and the advent of the internet. Although there are businesses with a physical presence that lost out to Covid-19 and low customer demand, a large number of companies emerged online and came on top by leveraging the best online marketing tactics. But is it true for all small businesses online? Far from it!

The digital market is getting inconceivably competitive every single day. According to Forbes, 90% of the startups and small businesses struggle to survive online for the first four months! What are the telltale online marketing mistakes businesses frequently make? We have observed some common patterns in online marketing practice flaws among the businesses and jotted down the 5 common mistakes responsible for marketing campaign mishaps. Let’s get into the list.

1. Not Setting Realistic Marketing Goals

Marketing goals are the foundation of any online business. Clear, relevant and actionable marketing goals underpin all marketing tools and tactics aligned towards achieving the common objectives- laser-focused, result-oriented successful marketing campaigns. Spanning all the key channels in your online marketing funnel, from SEO to SEM to email marketing, the plethora of setting marketing goals and tracking the plans for more efficiency is to make SMART marketing objectives- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. In addition, well-defined target customers and customer journeys also play a crucial role in defining each step of implementing the online marketing goals and performance metrics.

Nevertheless, because of its wide array of metrics and focal points, many businesses drift away from setting marketing goals right from the start and jump into other enticing marketing tools for quick sales without even having a clear picture of what they’re aiming for at all. And without having realistic and measurable goals with the help of online marketing experts for small businesses, you may overestimate the potential of the digital space and set your business up for failure.

2. Not Prioritizing Keyword Research and Optimization

Keywords are the core of not just your SEO strategy but your overall online marketing tactics. Keywords are the means of communication between you and your customers through a search engine, determining what your online business is for and reaching out to a wider audience online. Keyword research, on the other hand, is the driving force of organic traffic and the blueprint to bring in the most qualified leads to your business website. When people need information about anything, they search their queries online and visit the visible and ranked sites higher on the SERP. It’s exactly the same when visitors want to know about a product or purchase online.

While 87% of your customers begin their product or service searches online, keywords act as a portal to your business. Now imagine not investing time on keyword research and optimization. It means missing out on the golden opportunity to let your customers discover your business organically in search when their purchase intent is high, resulting in it simply getting lost among hundreds and thousands of companies like yours. The reason why business owners may not prioritize keyword research and optimization is the lack of understanding and expertise that online marketing for businesses possesses.

3. Not Focusing on Mobile SEO

When it comes to online marketing, mobile phones are more than just a medium. Consumers nowadays are spending more and more time on their mobile devices, interacting with the web in many different ways, contributing to the collective screen time and half of the website traffic globally. Mobile phones come in handy from product searching to similar product discovery with in-store location information gathering at all times of the day. Easy access to product searches online via smartphones also came with a price, however. Customers want to have a fast and responsive website to click, scroll and navigate through their phones.

If the website performance doesn’t satisfy their browsing speed, they will simply leave for better alternatives. However, despite the rapid rise of smartphone usage and mobile shopping, most marketers almost completely ignore the importance of optimizing their websites for mobile searches- in other words, mobile SEO. As a crucial part of online marketing strategies, mobile SEO allows the business website to reformat itself on different devices and provides great website visiting experiences to potential customers.

4. Spending Too Much on Paid Search Ads

Suppose you want to bring immediate traffic to your business website and raise your brand’s visibility to the right customers at the right time or simply want to run a time-restricted promotional campaign. In that case, paid advertisement, also known as search engine marketing (SEM), has no other alternatives. While it’s an incredibly effective online marketing tool to expand a business’s digital footprint, most online marketers get a little carried away by the instant result and quick ROI and end up spending too much money on paid ads.

Digital ad space is becoming more and more competitive, and even if the initial test ad campaign is successful with many conversions, chances are, you may only break even or have already exceeded the budget. So unless you have specific sales goals, keywords and geographic areas in mind, you might just be shooting fish in the barrel. However, for a not-so-successful ad campaign, the low CTR, as the important metric, will imply a low-quality score and wrong audience targeting.

5. Overlooking Email Marketing

Email marketing is a personalization tool to connect to your potential leads and convert them into customers through emails. Email marketing helps markets segment their target customers based on the different stages of their buying journey and create customized content catering to their needs. However, a common myth floating around is that email marketing is dead because social media has shifted customer attention from emails. But this is further from the truth. With 4 billion active global email users and a potential return of 4400%, email marketing remains the most powerful tool to convert and retain customers. Moreover, 64% of small businesses are still invested in email marketing to reach customers, and the number is only increasing.

On social media platforms, customers expect more entertaining content. However, promotional emails with a mobile-friendly view, personalized subject line, appealing content and visual design with a strong CTA button stay fresh in your customers minds and they are more likely to open the emails and engage. Professional online marketing services harbor the best email marketing practices, specializing in customer segmentation and email personalization features like email contents, greetings, calls-to-action, email preview text optimization based on the customer lifecycle stage, referral source etc.

Final Words: Online Marketing Service- Why Is It Important?

As you can see, setting marketing goals and keeping track of the marketing campaign performance has no alternative. But online marketing performance optimization and rectification do not simply require substantial time but also a team of experienced online marketing experts with all the latest and most effective online marketing knowledge. And not to mention, online marketing covers a wide range of practices that require thorough research on customer and competitor businesses’ data. Through effective marketing tools, strategies, and dynamic expertise catering for your business and business objectives, digital marketing services can assist you in scaling your business and redeveloping your action plans, thus reaching a wider audience, getting more sales and establishing a strong online presence of your business within a short time.

Suggested Reading: Digital Marketing Strategies

Liam Barnard
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