11 Ways to Balls Up Your Digital Marketing

How many ways to bugger up marketing?

There are plenty of ways to fail at digital marketing. Luckily these ones are easy enough to avoid.

1. Choosing a web designer with no on-site SEO expertise

Pick a non SEO-savvy site designer at your peril. You need to take keywords into account from the very start, before you even create a single web page, naming pages and creating meta data accordingly. If the website designer you’re thinking of using looks blank when you mention on-site SEO, keyword research and keyword mapping, find someone who can do a proper job.

2. Letting IT people ‘do’ your SEO

SEO is a technical subject as well as a marketing discipline. But that doesn’t mean your IT expert knows how to harness it to the benefit of business. They’re just as likely to know nothing about it. IT people are rarely marketers, and letting them handle your SEO could be one of the silliest business moves you ever made.

3. Complex, corporate-focus messaging

You need to focusing on plain, elegantly simple language, expressing messages 100% clearly with the right level of authority. Never resort to jargon or corporate speak, they’re the antitheses of good communication. If you’ve got in a tangle with your messaging, it helps to ask your customers what they feel your company is good at, and listen to the way they express themselves.

4. An ego the size of a house

It is not your job to tell website visitors – or anyone else who comes across your content – how brilliant you are. You will bore people to death as well as coming across like an arse. Your company’s history and achievements don’t matter anywhere near as much as the way your products or services benefit your audience. In fact you don’t matter much at all. It’s all about them and what they want to hear.

  • Provide top quality informational content about products and services, tips, trends, industry news, how-tos, advice and so on, and always lead with the benefits
  • Tell people what the company can do for them, in their context not yours

5. Ignoring mobile devices

If you still believe your target audience doesn’t use mobile phones or other small-screen devices to access your website, wake up. People of every age and demographic are mobiled to the hilt, and ignoring the trend isn’t an option any more.
Every single piece of content on your website, plus your marketing and advertising materials, should display and function just as well on a small screen as a desktop or laptop. In fact mobile friendliness is probably more important than desktop/laptop accessibility, but it’s your job to make your site accessible and usable on every type of device.

6. Putting your blog on a different url from your site

Your blog belongs on the same url as your website. Putting it on a different url is just crazy. It means you have two discrete web properties to update and maintain. And it means the valuable social media attention and feedback your blog generates doesn’t filter through to your website from an SEO perspective either. Google credits your blog with the equity and your core site can easily languish as a result.

7. Talking about your aims and goals

You might find your business goals fascinating, but your audience doesn’t give a stuff. It’s especially disturbing when a website talks about things they ‘aim’ to do. It’s no good telling readers you ‘aim’ to be the best at this or that, or ‘aim’ to deliver within three days. People want to know what you’re actually doing, not interested in the things you haven’t got around to doing yet. If you deliver in 3 days, say it straight. And don’t just aim for it. Actually DO it.

8. Thin, copied and crappy content

There’s no way you’re going to overtake your competitors in the search marketing landscape if you keep generating crap content. Volume alone is not enough. You need to write and design content your audience has made clear it wants, needs or desires, and do it better than anyone else. If your content is rubbish enough, consistently enough, it can damage your search positions. The same goes if it’s been spun, copied wholesale or lifted from someone else’s site without permission.

9. Hard-selling on social media

The term’social media marketing’ is a bit of a misnomer. It isn’t about marketing per se, or at least not direct response marketing. And there’s rarely such a thing as successful social media-driven sales.
People on social networks are more attuned to socialising and information-gathering/sharing than selling, in the wrong part of the sales funnel to be in buying mode. The sooner you stop trying to drive direct sales through your social media accounts the less you’ll irritate people and the more they’ll enjoy engaging with you.

10. Ignoring analytics and sales conversion stats

What does digital marketing success mean to your business? At the very least you want to know which campaigns and approaches grabbed the most attention in terms of response and sales. You will never know unless you study the stats.
If you ignore that invaluable information and insight you’re working in the dark. It’s marketing madness. So decide what success looks like, make certain you have the numbers you need to track your progress and make a diary note to analyse your progress regularly.

11. Cheap and nasty hosting

Last but by no means least, hosting. If your website represents your living it makes sense to put it on a decent host, a reputable company you trust to keep things secure and up to date, with enough resources and space and an excellent up-time record.
If one of your marketing campaigns attracts thousands of visitors over a short time, will your host fall over? Paying a dollar a year for hosting won’t give you what you need. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Hosting abroad to save cash is a very bad idea. This is no  place to cut corners. Buy a good, solid, British-based hosting package and you can relax.
Have you experienced digital marketing disaster for any of these reasons, or another reason altogether?

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