6 Common Online Marketing Mistakes Made by SMEs

10 December 2015

6 Common Online Marketing Mistakes Made by SMEs

Nobody can deny that digital marketing is now essential for the vast majority of small- and medium-sized businesses. Having no online presence, or limiting your digital footprint to a single-page website, just does not cut it, yet even those brands that have extensive websites and a strong social media presence can be making common blunders that are relatively easy to resolve.

The following online marketing errors are commonly made by SMEs and, by addressing each one, you can take steps to improve your digital marketing.

1. Not understanding your audience

Do you have a clear picture of your market? Do you have buyer personas that you use to help your demographic targeting?

With social media advertising in particular, an in-depth understanding of who your customers are can improve your results significantly. The design of your website and your choice of special offers can be influenced by your buyer persona, too.

2. Trying to do too much at once

While, ideally, you might have a strong presence on a range of social networks, if you do not currently have the resources or time to properly manage that, you risk having a scant presence that is inadequate on each channel.

If you need to just focus on, say, Twitter and Facebook, it’s fine to put Pinterest and SnapChat on hold until you have the time or staff available to invest in them.

3. Not measuring your results

It might seem tricky or overly technical, but a decent understanding of Google Analytics and other analytics tools is essential for digital marketing success. If you can’t measure what has worked so far, it is impossible to make any informed decisions about what will be effective in the future.

4. Focusing on content quantity instead of quality

With new businesses in particular, it is tempting to want to put as much content as possible on a website. However, if this content has been thrown together purely to put words on a page, it won’t leave a great impression on its readers… or to Google’s quality-measurement algorithms.

5. Failing to plan for the future

Many marketing campaigns are focused on the immediate future, especially at this time of year. SEO, PPC and social media campaigns are aimed at getting visitors NOW.

But, with SEO in particular, failing to plan for the long term can mean that future advertising costs will be high if the legwork is not done to create a decent, future-focused link-building and outreach campaign.

6. Being tempted by questionable SEO tactics

Many webmasters, wanting a boost in their search engine positioning, have scoured the web for tips and tricks. Unfortunately, the web is full of bad – even dangerous – advice.

If a link-building or SEO suggestion seems shady or dishonest, don’t even be tempted to have a go. The Google penalties and risk of being de-listed are simply not worth what would be, at best, a temporary boost in rankings.