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    6 min read

    13 Common Digital Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

    By John Dion

    Planning and implementing a digital marketing campaign comes with various challenges. While you might think you have it all figured out at one moment, the next might come with a reality check. Even though not everything in the digital world might be in your control, identifying the most common online/internet marketing mistakes that others make gives you a good head start. What follows is learning how to avoid them.


    digital marketing mistakes

    1. No Realistic Goals or Goal Tracking

    Not having realistic goals makes it to just about every list of top 5 digital marketing mistakes to avoid. If you don’t set goals, there is no way to tell how well your campaign is performing. Similarly, an unfocused online marketing campaign gives you no way of knowing whether you are achieving your goals in a desired time period. This also applies to tracking your goals, because you will have no way of telling which aspects are working and which need improvement.


    What You Can Do

    An easy way to avoid this digital marketing mistake is to set SMART goals.

    • Specific. Your goals must drive specific actions, be it clicking on a link, subscribing to emails, or making a purchase.
    • Measurable. Goals that you can measure through different metrics and data points give you the means to identify what’s working for you and what’s not.
    • Achievable. You should set achievable goals, failing which you are simply setting yourself up for disappointment.
    • Realistic. Realistic goals allow you to make the best of your resources and budget, without having to stretch beyond your means.
    • Time-sensitive. Make sure your goals come with deadlines. This helps keep you and your team motivated and on track.


    Keep your goals in mind when determining which key performance indicators (KPIs) will work best for you. Using Google Analytics to keep track of your KPIs comes next. This step helps measure your campaign’s return on investment (ROI).

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    2. Absence of a Documented Strategy

    Whether you look at marketing statistics surrounding content marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, or email marketing, you will notice that a significant percentage of marketers give due importance to having a well-documented strategy in place. While it is important to establish your goals, it is equally important to map out a path you need to follow.


    What You Can Do

    If you have a small team or plan to handle your business’s online marketing on your own, it is best to focus on no more than two to three strategies at a time. Alternatively, you may think about leveraging the expertise that a good digital marketing agency can bring to the table.


    3. Not Paying Attention to Your Website

    One of the top online marketing mistakes that businesses make is not paying due attention to their websites. If you wish to make the most of the booming digital landscape, having a user-friendly website that provides a great user experience (UX) is crucial. Businesses that do not focus on their websites often tend to lag behind their competitors in the online world.


    What You Can Do

    You can work on delivering a great UX through your website by:


    common seo mistakes in digital content production

    4. Overlooking Keyword Research

    Sure, we no longer live in a time when simply adding keywords to your content worked in attracting web traffic. However, keywords continue to play a very important role in any search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. According to Backlinko, the first organic result on Google’s search results page comes with an average click-through rate (CTR) of 27.6%. In addition, there’s a 10 times more likelihood of a user clicking on the first result than the one in the 10th spot.


    Making use of the right keywords comes with benefits that include an increase in organic traffic and more qualified leads, as well as the ability to gain insight into consumer behavior. Ignoring this aspect is easily among the top content marketing mistakes you can make.


    What You Can Do

    Getting your keywords right requires following a few simple measures.

    • Determine which keywords you rank well for already.
    • Check keywords that your competitors are using.
    • Make use of search suggestions that Google provides when you carry out online searches.
    • Think from your customers’ point of view to determine terms they might use when looking for your products or services.
    • Consider using online SEO tools that provide insights and analytics.
    • Make keyword research an ongoing process.


    Provide useful and relevant information that your target audience can use once it reaches the desired page, failing which all your keyword research efforts might go in vain.


    5. Focusing on the Wrong Target Audience

    Targeting too large an audience is easily among the top digital marketing mistakes businesses should avoid. Unfortunately, several businesses try to reach out to as wide an audience as possible. The problem with this approach is that while you might manage to reach out to scores of people, not many might be interested in becoming your customers.


    Instances of businesses targeting the wrong audience are common as well. This results in a waste of time, money, and effort. Besides, when businesses try to target very broad audiences, they often fail to provide relevant content to people who might otherwise find their offerings interesting.

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    What You Can Do

    Narrowing down on your target audience requires research and testing. This gives you the means to identify which segment might be interested in what your business has to offer.


    Creating marketing personas based on your existing customer base can also help identify your target audience. Coming up with these personas requires paying attention to aspects such as demographics, shopping habits, interests, and hobbies. Using personas can help you understand your customers’ varied experiences, behaviors, and needs.


    If your business caters to a diverse audience, you may create multiple personas. Then, you may target people with similar traits, and test whether you get better returns by targeting a narrower or wider audience.


    6. Not Using a Blog to Grow Brand Identity

    Several businesses do not have blogs, and many others have abandoned their blogging efforts because they feel they have not delivered the right results. However, it is in your best interest to avoid this common digital marketing mistake because blogs give you an easy and cost-effective way to build brand identity and authority.


    Using your blog in the right manner can work wonders in driving traffic to your website because it helps improve your website’s SEO and ranking. You may also use it to establish your position as an industry expert.


    What You Can Do

    Getting your blog to work for you might be simpler than you think.

    • Post content regularly.
    • Provide quality content that is relevant, up-to-date, and useful.
    • Encourage your audience to interact with you through the comments section with the aim of keeping them engaged.
    • Optimize all blog posts for search engines.


    7. Ignoring Social Media

    Data shared by Statista shows that over 66% of the world’s population uses social media, so ignoring it comes at your own peril. Social media gives you an opportunity to build relationships with your customers, increase brand awareness, reach out to new audiences, build brand loyalty, increase conversions, and improve the overall customer experience. Besides, using social media platforms comes at a fraction of the cost of employing traditional marketing techniques.


    What You Can Do

    You should start by identifying the social media platforms your target audience favors the most. While you need to foster relationships with your consumers, you also need to do the same with your employees and brand influencers. This ensures that your consumers get similar messages from different stakeholders. In addition:

    • Make sure your posts seem real, and not very business-like.
    • Use a professional approach.
    • Take a stand on issues you feel strongly about because several consumers now wish to buy from socially conscious businesses.
    • Carry out polls and ask for opinions to boost conversations.
    • Think about using paid advertising.


    common digital marketing mistakes

    8. Using Erroneous Practices

    Indulging in shady practices to boost traffic to your website might come with short-term benefits, but the long-term effects can be rather damaging. One of the most common SEO mistakes in digital content production is that of using clickbait; where you try to lure customers by making content seem very appealing to them, while providing no real value. This practice might help increase web traffic but it can have an adverse effect on your brand’s credibility and reputation.


    You also need to steer clear of using black hat SEO methods that might help increase your website’s ranking by tricking search engines. This is because search engines such as Google continue taking measures to combat the use of unfair practices, and they take stringent action against those found violating guidelines. For instance, indulging in black hat SEO can get Google to ban your website from showing in its results.


    What You Can Do

    Make sure you provide content that offers value to your target audience. Use descriptions to tell your customers just what they might expect to find in your content, and do not mislead them in any manner. Ensure using legitimate SEO services as these lead to long-term benefits.


    9. Spending Indiscriminately on Paid Advertisements

    While using paid ads on platforms such as Google and Facebook might work well in increasing web traffic and conversions, it can be a rather expensive and ineffective proposition if you do not have a suitable strategy in place. This is why spending indiscriminately on paid ads makes it to the list of the top internet marketing mistakes to avoid.


    What You Can Do

    If you plan to use paid ads to boost your business’s online presence, keep these points in mind.

    • Study your target audience and divide it into sub-segments based on aspects such as locations, age groups, interests, and income levels.
    • Carry out A/B testing by using multiple ads with different formats and different target audience sub-segments to determine which ones produce the best results.
    • Have a defined budget and prepare to adjust the price per click on ads based on their performance.

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    When you begin your online marketing endeavor, it is best that you devote time to understanding your target audience and testing other strategies. Once you have a well-defined target audience, you get the ability to refine your efforts and increase your online ads’ ROI.


    Other Common Mistakes

    Here are some of the other common digital marketing mistakes you need to avoid.

    1. Not using a customer-centric approach. The solution is to deliver customized experiences through personalization, journey mapping, data analysis, and effective targeting.
    2. Not using email marketing. Most consumers appreciate getting emails from businesses they support. You may rely on email marketing to provide insights you gain from customer data across different channels as well as to achieve high levels of personalization.
    3. Not using case studies. Case studies help increase credibility, build trust, boost organic traffic, improve conversion rates, and enhance user experience. Implementing case studies in your marketing plan gives people the means to see how your business has helped others, and what it can do for them. Start by building relationships with your clients and letting them know you would like to spotlight their companies and their customer success stories online. Once you have your case studies, share them via email and different social media platforms.
    4. Not using the right tools. Digital marketing has come a long way in the last two decades, and changes continue to take place regularly even now. For instance, your overall efforts should take into account content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and even paid advertising. Content marketing in itself is wide-ranging, and can involve textual content, infographics, and videos. As a result, succeeding in your efforts requires that you use as many suitable tools as possible. If you feel you do not have the required know-how, seeking professional assistance might be your best bet.



    Surviving and succeeding in the ever-changing digital landscape requires that you remain up-to-date about the latest tools, trends, and technologies. When trying to ensure the success of your business in the online space, it is normal to make a few mistakes. However, identifying the most common digital marketing mistakes to avoid gives you the ability to save time and money, and also helps minimize stress. If you are still unsure about how to boost your business online, consider discussing your requirements and goals with a reputable digital marketing agency.

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