Are you struggling to market your business on the web?
If yes, then there’s a high chance that you’re committing one of the top sins of internet marketing.
Unless you start doing the right things now, it would be hard to reach your target customers and convince them to buy your products.
According to Econsultancy’s Marketing Budgets Report, 77% of businesses increased their budgets for digital marketing in 2015 alone.
We expect the trend to continue this year of course.
That means more of your competitors are prepared to take their digital marketing campaigns by storm.
Except you stop committing the silly marketing sins I’ll be revealing in this article; there’s no way you’ll hold them back.
There are top five digital marketing sins that could prevent you from building a successful business online.
1. Relying On One Traffic Source
Most webmasters start their websites relying on “big daddy” for traffic.
The whole industries optimize their websites based on big daddy’s requirements.
Until one day, big daddy took all their traffic away.
The big daddy I’m talking about is Google.
This is because you want to rank your website on the first pages of Google for your target keyword.
As the smart people say “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
A single search algorithm update from Google could put you out of business. That is what happened during the first Penguin update.
For example, Andrew Youderian lost 80% of his website traffic to TrollingMotors.net because of a Penguin update.
Facebook has been changing their algorithm over the past few years, drastically affecting engagement reach of posts.
When Facebook first rolled out Instant Articles, the media world raised concerns that the network’s all-powerful News Feed algorithm would prioritize Instant Articles over external links, leading to the drops in traffic to external publisher sites.
Even though many web publishers like Vox and BuzzFeed have now fully embraced Facebook’s Instant Articles, it’s still a little bit dangerous to build your business on a rented land like Facebook.
Facebook own their platform, and they could change the rules any time they want.
Jon Loomer, who is one of the world’s top Facebook Marketing experts, doesn’t think it’s wise to rely on Facebook as your only traffic source.
Loomer currently spread his risk across different traffic sources:
Your business will be in a big danger if you’re not currently spreading your risk across different traffic sources.
Make sure a traffic source doesn’t make-up over 65% of your total traffic.
Here are great traffic sources that will help you spread your risk:
- Sites commenting
- Forums commenting
- Guest blogging
- Hacker News
- Influencer Outreach
- Take part in interviews
- Invest in Ads
As you spread your risk across these traffic channels, you’ll find that your business would become more successful, and it will be much easier to recover if you lose a big chunk of your traffic from Google or Facebook.
2. Ignoring SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the processes of getting free traffic from search engines like Bing, Yahoo, Google! And some other search engines.
Recently, there has been a lot of talk in the town about that “SEO is dead.”
Is SEO dead?
I don’t think so.
When you consider the fact that Google processes 100 billion searches per month, it means SEO is still alive, and we can’t ignore it.
Don’t forget that we also have other search engines like Bing and Yahoo, who also receives billions of searches per month.
Roughly 75% of search users click on organic results and ignore paid ads.
When you rank on the first pages of search engines for your target keywords, your business will continue to receive streams of customers each month.
SEO is a subset of inbound marketing.
And as you may already know, inbound marketing is a marketing strategy focused on earning people’s interest rather than buying it.
According to HubSpot, inbound leads cost 61% less than outbound less.
And according to SimilarWeb, almost 40% of worldwide e-commerce traffic came from search engines in January 2016.
This should tell you that search engines can’t be ignored in your marketing strategy.
By doing SEO on your website, you’ll be helping customers find you. This is better and cheaper than trying to push customers to come to your site using paid ads or other outbound techniques.
Here are the things you should do to start benefiting from SEO:
3. Not Collecting Email Addresses
When the internet was new, everyone loved email.
Decades ago, when you use to login into your AOL, you’ll see that beautiful phrase “You Got Mail!” and you feel excited about it.
But then email quickly turned into the home of Nigerian prince schemes, Spanish lotto scams, and mountains of unsolicited spam.
How do people feel about email now?
Is email still the good place to reach your target customers?
The answer is yes.
Email offers the easiest way to reach your customers. It keeps them informed about your product.
Email marketing is easy to integrate and customize than any other marketing channel.
It is also less expensive and more effective than other channels.
In fact, email offers an ROI of $40 for every $1 invested.
If you’re not collecting the email addresses of your customers, then you’re committing one of the top internet marketing sins ever.
72% of U.S. adults say they prefer companies to communicate with them via email, and 91% say they would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with.
So if someone has demonstrated their interest in your blog or website, and give you their email address, it means they are willing to receive emails from you.
Taking advantage of this, you can keep deepening your relationship and market to them through their emails.
Email marketing safeguards your business against future traffic changes.
For example, as I said earlier, if you receive a large amount of traffic from search engines, let’s say 100,000 visits per month. Then if search engines suddenly stopped sending you traffic, you’ll still have your customers’ email which is a good thing.
You can keep selling to the people in your email list even though you’re no longer receiving any traffic from Google.
But imagine that you didn’t build your email list, that means you’ll have to start all over from scratch again.
It means you won’t be getting any new businesses on your website. That could leave you in a very bad financial spot if you’re living heavily depends on your Website.
4. Not Creating And Using A Buyer Persona
What is a buyer persona?
And why do you need it?
A buyer persona is a detailed description of your target customer.
A well-crafted buyer persona tells you everything you need to know about your target customers, helping you create contents and marketing messages that resonate with them.
Not having a buyer persona for your website is a BIG internet marketing sin.
It’s totally impossible to market with the people you don’t know.
There are ads almost everywhere online and offline. You need to make your message stand out. The only way to do that is by creating and using a buyer persona.
You need to understand your customer’s fears, goals, challenges, and interests.
After you’ve recognized these things, you’ll need to put them into your messages. That way, customers will know that you’ve truly done your homework. They will be more convinced to patronize you.
5. Writing Average Contents
There has been a significant growth in web contents as various brands are pumping more of their marketing budgets into content marketing.
Web users now have more contents than they can consume.
Businesses who can’t create high-quality content are getting knocked out by those who can.
If you’re still creating average contents, I’ll like to tell you that you’re committing a big internet marketing sin that is slowly killing your business.
Imagine you’re searching for content on how to do yoga and you came across the sites captured in the below images:
Actionable Yoga Content
Non-Actionable Yoga Content
Which of the above yoga content would you want to read?
I’m sure you’ll want to read the actionable yoga content.
The actionable yoga content isn’t just content. It’s a higher quality content.
Now imagine, the actionable yoga content has videos to go along with it?
That will automatically increase its quality, isn’t it?
So instead of just creating average contents, you should be creating high-quality materials. That is the only way to stay ahead of your competitors.
Almost every topic under the sun has been written about on the internet. You have to stand out to get attention.
Simply creating contents for the purpose of creating contents won’t get your business anywhere.
So before you create any content for your website, think of ways you could beat everything that’s out there.