Businesses sometimes run into avoidable problems as they tackle different aspects of online marketing.
Sometimes it’s a lack of experience. Often, executives decide to move ahead with a strategy without taking the time to think about all of the implications.
Here are five of the biggest issues that company executives should watch out for so they can save time and spare themselves headaches down the road.
1. Choosing the Wrong Keyword Phrases
Businesses sometimes choose keyword phrases for natural SEO (search engine optimization) without much regard to the variables that should shape their choices.
Think about the website’s viability. What type of relevant keyword phrases can it really support? You may want to rank for “airline tickets,” but maybe your website just can’t compete. Look at the data. How old is your website? How big is it? How much content do you have on each page? How many pages are devoted to the keywords you’re targeting. Is the keyword in the domain? How do you rank today? How many places link to your website? How do you compare to other websites?
2. Going with a Design that Suffers from Horrible Calls to Action
Too often, business executives trust their websites to website designers who care about the visual but lack sense when it comes to marketing. Have you seen any websites that feature the most important Calls to Action at the bottom of the page – well below the initial screen (depending on common resolutions). It happens all of the time.
The phone number should be prominent if it’s an important way to connect with prospects. Or, a company should have a short form with pertinent fields and make that apparent. At the very least, have some eye-catching graphics that invite visitors to go deeper into the website to contact the business, download something or request an industry guide.
3. Asking Too Many Questions
Many visitors hate to fill out a form; they’d rather just pick up a phone and hope to get answers to all of their questions. But some people will complete forms – even long ones if it’s in their interest to take the time. As you build forms, think about how many fields you really need someone to complete. Sometimes sales executives will start asking too many questions – just to qualify the leads. Maybe you need to know someone’s title, but do you really need their street address, state and zip code if you’re going to be calling them anyway?
4. Sending Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Visitors to Existing Website Pages
It may sound weird, but one of the worst things you can do is buy PPC ads and direct a potential customer to a regular page on your website. Sure, they can work. But typically these pages have problems that have never been addressed – too much information (or not enough). The form may not exist or the phone number may be hard to find. You’re better off making custom pages that have clear Calls to Action and work to minimize links to other parts of the website (it may mean a severe reduction in the navigation).
5. Lack of Credentials
If you want someone to trust your business for products or services, your reputation should be clear. It’s not just a matter of talking about your years of experience. Accent your core website pages with case studies, testimonials from customers, certifications, industry speaking experience, trust logos (especially with e-commerce) If you’re going to use testimonials, get permission to use customers full names. When you use first names or initials, it looks like you made up fake quotes. You can get by with first names or just list the customer’s title – if your website looks professional in many other ways. It’s best to be consistent.