Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Online Marketing Pitfalls To Avoid

Online marketing can be a tricky business as there are so many different facets to consider. Hiring the temporary services of an online marketing consultant can be invaluable in helping you to implement the latest marketing tools, strategies and technologies, but there are still plenty of common mistakes that any company can fall foul of – particularly if you are just starting out. Here we look at some of the most common online marketing mistakes and how you can try to avoid them:

Ignoring Social Networking: Almost every online business now is using social networking in some form to broaden their contact and increase visitors to their websites – and yet some companies still persist in thinking this is a fad that will go away. If you’re ignoring social networking then you are losing a valuable (and free) opportunity to become a real online presence in your industry sector.

Being Unavailable: Every website should include a contact email address for the company, but some are not so scrupulous about replying to queries or comments and this is a big mistake. Your visitors need to feel that you are available in some way and it’s also important for you to listen to and respond to their feedback if you want to make improvements in the way you do business. If you don’t respond to emails, you can’t build up relationships and trust with clients and they won’t want to come back to your site.

Ignoring Marketing Trends: The world of online marketing changes very quickly and you need to keep an eye on the latest trends. Some companies, however, insist upon using outdated methods because they have worked for them in the past. Yes, it can be a difficult task to keep up with every development, but if you really find you have no time at all to do this I would recommend you bring in the services of an online marketing consultant from time to time to keep you up to date with the latest strategies and tools. Otherwise, you risk being left behind.

Over-Complicated Website: Another common mistake made by online companies is to try to cram too much information into their websites. If you have a confusing number of links and too many graphics it will be difficult for users to navigate and they may get bored before they find the product they are looking for and make a purchase. Keep it clean and simple to use, and you stand much more chance of getting higher conversion rates.

Ignoring The Competition: Some companies are so busy working out their own strategies that they forget to keep an eye on what their main competitors are doing – and this can be disastrous. Visit competitors’ websites to find out what they are doing, whether they are using any new marketing methods and whether these seem to be working for them. There is no shame in taking ideas you have learned from competitors and integrating them into your own marketing plan – indeed, this is part of what business is all about. Another useful thing to do is to visit online forums in which you or your competitors might be discussed and see what clients or other businesses are saying about your relative strengths and weaknesses.

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