5 Common Mistakes Businesses Make Online
Welcome to web 2.0 — a world where consumers are online looking for your business.
Most brands realize the importance of engaging online consumers. The companies recognize the buying power online customers represent, but most brands continue to make the same mistakes when engaging online. So what are these mistakes and how can you keep from making them as well?
The Business Doesn’t Invest In Their Website
The most common mistake is the lack of investment in an inviting website. Finding a talented designer may be expensive but when considering the potential ROI, a professional investment can be a smart investment.
Regardless, most companies disregard design best practices and attempt to build a site on their own. These self-created sites tend to suffer from major design flaws: broken flow, ambiguous navigation, and a general lack of professionalism.
Businesses should consider their websites an online store. Would you build a store without first consulting with an architect? Is this the first impression you want your consumers to get?
Consumers are searching online for more information about businesses, looking to a company website before making any buying decisions. Make sure these consumers see a professional website, one that invites them to do business with you.
The Online Marketing Team Doesn’t Have The Right People
Companies often include the wrong people when creating an online marketing team. A successful team will be staffed with web developers, marketers, and content creators; creating a mix of technical ability and marketing understanding.
Online marketing teams require a great deal of autonomy, creating an atmosphere where concepts can be tested and optimized.
Building a team comprised of tech savvy personnel from other departments ensures the department understands the corporate culture as well as the company work flow. Understanding company culture is important because online consumers want to feel connected to the brand. An online strategy should convey the company culture, something a new employee may not fully accept.
Your online marketing team will be your support group. Invest in smart people that are willing to try new things. Internet marketing changes quickly and your team must be agile and flexible enough to stay one step ahead.
Traditional Marketers Dictate Online Marketing Strategy
Although the end goal is the same, traditional marketing and online marketing are two very different beasts. Understanding and employing pull versus push marketing can be difficult for some traditional marketers. A marketing team led by staunch traditional marketers may have a hard time succeeding online.
Online marketing strategies need to be created by someone with either experience in online marketing or a deep understanding of the online culture. Taking advantage of social media marketing requires a paradigm shift in thinking. If your team doesn’t understand the online culture, your online consumers won’t understand you.
Nothing On The Website Is Tested or Optimized
One of the greatest advantages of online marketing is the ability to gather huge amounts of data. We can track and test almost everything and yet most businesses don’t care enough to do it.
Want to know if that button should be green or red or blue? Well with testing you’re able to know which drives the most sales.
Taking advantage of this instant feedback and testing is a corner stone of online marketing. Optimization is taken to new heights when you’re able to collect so much information.
I recommend three tools to help you better understand a site’s visitors: Google Analytics, Google Website Optimizer, and CrazyEgg. You can use Google Website Optimizer’s documentation to better understand how easy it is to test almost any element online.
Moderating Negative Comments
Online consumers demand transparency from brands online. Businesses forget that consumers have become more intelligent and outspoken. If a consumer dislikes something a brand has done, they will say something.
Businesses that remove negative comments or reviews tend to create public relations nightmares for themselves. Consumers like to know that their comments count and that they can trust the brand.
Instead of moderating negative reviews, companies should respond to the consumer and ask how to better their experience. Each review is a customer service opportunity and brands should leverage them to create a better consumer experience.
Businesses can make a number of mistakes when starting with online marketing. Making sure you understand online culture and building a strong support group is in place can help shorten the learning curve.
What are you doing to make sure you don’t make the mistakes others have already? How are you building upon the experiences of other marketers? How are you leveraging your staff and support groups to create an online marketing strategy?