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Digital Marketing Specialists

7 Dangerous Mistakes Businesses are Still Making Online.

Getting your business online is only the first step on a profitable digital marketing journey. With the right investment of time, talent, and money into growing your online presence, you can achieve hockey-stick growth.

But, are you already picking the low-hanging fruits? Things like listing your business on Google cost you nothing and can immediately increase your website and store traffic.

If you are guilty of any of these seven mistakes, you are probably losing easy money. Let’s fix that now.

#1. Not Claiming and Filling Out Their Google Business Profile Entirely

Have you claimed and filled out your Google My Business (GMB) profile completely? This free business listing allows brick-and-mortar businesses to take advantage of local searches and creates instant online visibility that translates into increased foot traffic.

The profile lists your business, what you do, pictures of your business or products, location, and contact information. It also makes it easy to receive reviews for your business. You may be familiar with this situation: you and your friends are planning a fun weekend, so you take out your phone and type “Bowling places near me.” Google searches for business with an online GMB listing and returns the highest-ranking results for you. Imagine how many customers are searching for the services you provide. Can people living in your neighborhood, city, county, or state find you online? Here are a few stats you may not know:

  • 88% of people visit a business after making a local search on their mobile device
  • 72% of consumers who make a local search visit a store within 5 miles of their location
  • 46% of all Google searches made on mobile devices have local intent
  • 97% of people learn about local businesses through an online search
  • 78% of location-based searches result in an offline purchase

You can see where this is going. A GMB listing is a free but necessary part of your online presence. And yet, here’s the kicker: 56% of retailers are yet to claim their GMB listing.

How to Set Up a Google Business Profile Listing

There are four steps to creating your GMB profile.

  • Sign up your business on Google. If there is already a listing but you don’t own it, claim it from Google
  • Enter your business information including name, phone number, address, business hours, and industry.
  • You can also add pictures of your store, products, or portfolio Verify your account by email, phone, mail, or Google Search Console.
  •  Maintain the profile by making routine updates and interacting with reviewers.

#2. Not Having an Online Review Generation Strategy

It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of online reviews for any business. For both eCommerce and brick-and-mortar businesses, reviews drive trust and can increase clickthrough (conversion) by as much as 22%.

However, having a solid review generation strategy is not easy. In the first few months of a business, getting enough reviews to inspire trust can be difficult. According to some sources, consumers expect at least 10 reviews from the previous two weeks before they can trust you.

More importantly, Google needs recent reviews to rank your business favorably. You need to generate at least as many reviews as your competitors to even get considered, while most businesses ranking at #1–3 have an average of 47 reviews

These are lofty goals, especially for startup businesses. And, once you get reviews, you need to deal with them positively, whether they are positive or negative. Here’s one strategy to generate online reviews:

  • Set up your GMB profile
  • Work hard on delighting your customers. While at it, mention that you appreciate reviews and let them know much of your business comes from reviews and referrals
  • Identify the best candidates for reviews. They should be happy customers you worked with very recently.
  • Ask for the review by calling, sending a private email, or even asking face-to-face can be a great strategy depending on your customer, and include a link to your GMB profile
  • Be specific and make it easy for the customer to write the review.
  • Be sure to say thank you after the review. If they seem to have forgotten, it’s okay to remind them politely by asking again

All the while, keep track of your process through a Google Sheet or similar software. Include transaction dates, the date of the first and second asks, the medium used (email, text, phone, etc), and your success rate.

This will allow you to review your strategy and make it a habit. Once the reviews start flowing in, take control of the conversation and take all feedback seriously.

#3. Forgetting About Their Website’s Conversion Rate And Focusing Only on Traffic

It’s a common misconception that more traffic leads directly to more revenue. While it does work like that sometimes, focusing on traffic alone might not give you the return on investment (ROI) you want.

It often happens that a lot of a website’s revenue comes from a single product category, blog post, or service. Conversion optimization is a strategy that helps you improve parts of your website to improve overall conversion for the amount of traffic you are already receiving.

There are countless ways to do this, and it can be easy to get caught up in minor details. However, an effective optimization plan should include:

  • Benefit-driven headlines to get readers hooked and reading
  • Clear, persuasive calls to action that ease the reader into the next step
  • Attractive visuals that increase site engagement
  • Using social proof such as reviews creates a psychological “bandwagon” effect to influence readers into doing what other customers are already doing
  • Demonstrating brand authority, for example, being part of the Better Business Bureau and displaying the logo on your home page
  • Get a strong offer to attract people, e.g, discounts, free information, and seasonal offers
  • Site speed, user experience, and accessibility

Keep optimizing your sales funnel, testing and retesting everything, and focus on growing your conversion metrics. One place to start would be pages that receive high traffic but have low conversion.

#4. Not Retargeting Current Customers Using Social Media, Facebook Ads, and Google Ads

You may already have experienced it before: you search for something on Google, and suddenly you’re seeing ads for it everywhere. That’s retargeting, and you should try it for your business.

Thanks to the use of cookies, Google knows which ads to show users through Facebook, Google, and Youtube ads, as well as display ads. It might seem creepy, but done right, retargeting can actually help customers find products and services that they need.

More importantly, retargeting can help businesses increase conversion and click-through rates. According to statistics

  • 70% of marketers opt for retargeting to increase brand awareness
  • Retargeting reduces cart abandonment rates by as much as 6.5%
  • Retargeting increases web traffic by 700%
  • Customers are 3x more likely to click retargeted ads
  • The average click-through rate is 10 times higher for retargeted ads (0.7%) compared to display ads (0.07%)

People who already visited your site once are clearly interested in what you’re selling. And since you’re heavily invested in acquiring that traffic, it would be a shame to let them go without retargeted ads.

Don’t fall for the myth that retargeting customers is expensive or inaccessible. Often, all you need is the right strategy to get an affordable and efficient retargeting system in place. We can help with that, so talk to us about implementing your retargeting strategy.

#5. Not Having A Lead Generation Strategy

If you’re of those businesses that advertise freely but don’t have a lead generation strategy, you’re missing out.

A lead is anyone who has shown any interest in your business or products in any way. Unlike cold calling and similar disruptive processes, lead generation allows potential customers to engage naturally and organically with your brand.

For example, if you own a roofing business and created an infographic for social media on “7 Signs That Your Roof is Ready for Replacement,” customers could engage with you wanting to know more. Once they do, you have generated leads.

Lead generation falls into the second stage of the Inbound Marketing Methodology. Without going into too much technical detail, it involves attracting visitors to your website and social pages, from where you can guide them through the sales funnel until they become paying customers.

In short, the visitor discovers your business through one of your marketing channels. A call to action leads them to a landing page, where you can capture information such as an email or phone number. They can fill out a form here in exchange for something with perceived value.

However, attracting leads in the first place requires some long-term planning and investment. You need lead-generation marketing channels such as content marketing, email marketing, blogging, ads and retargeting, social media, product trials, and referral marketing.

More importantly, lead generation puts your brand in front of more customers and helps you grow your email list, which will soon become one of your most valuable assets.

#6. Trying to Focus on Too Many Social Media Accounts Instead of Doing Really Well With Just One

Few businesses have the resources to carry out an effective social media strategy on all social platforms. The tools, talent, and financial resources required to maintain large followings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, and other channels would be impractical.

Instead, why not pick a single platform where a lot of your audience is and focus on doing that really well?

For example, many B2B businesses today have found success on LinkedIn. If you’re in B2B, you can take that to be your ground and start posting daily, recording videos, connecting with people, and recruiting followers for your company profile.

It’s okay to focus so much on a single platform, so long as you eventually get the results you want. You can put 80% of your eggs in that particular basket and the rest on other platforms.

The same would apply to Instagram, Twitter, and any other platforms. You will need to research and really invest in understanding how to achieve success in the platform of your choice.

Many businesses make the mistake of spreading themselves too thin on multiple social channels and end up achieving very little. There is so much competition on social channels that you just can’t afford to be mediocre on all platforms.

If you’re going to compete, you’ll need to pick your platform and really get on it. Facebook and Instagram advertising are excellent platforms, and TikTok advertising is also an excellent opportunity for many businesses. Learn more about choosing the right social media platform for your business.

#7. Spending Too Much on Paid Search Ads With No Results or Accountability

It is frighteningly easy to burn through your paid marketing budget and get little or no returns on your investment. Paid ads are a slippery slope, and you can find yourself pumping money into a fruitless campaign.

There are many mistakes that marketers can make in PPC campaigns.

  • Running all broad match keywords
  • Not using bid modifiers
  • Running campaigns on
  • Search and Display networks
  • Not monitoring conversion Weak landing pages
  • Failing to use negative and branded keywords
  • Not using geolocation

These are just some of the paid search ad mistakes that pour your money down the drain. If you’re not careful, you will end up paying too much for ads that aren’t returning the traffic and conversions you are looking for. Learn more about our Google Ads Management and Optimization services if you’d like a hand with this.

If that sounds like some of the mistakes you have been making, we have a detailed 19-point Google Ads Checklist to help you out. Download the checklist here to help you make the best of your Google paid ads marketing budget.

Stuck? Let’s Have a Conversation.

Most business executives cite a lack of time as the main reason why they fail to implement these simple but highly effective strategies. Are you losing revenue because you don’t have a lead generation or retargeting strategy, or your paid ads campaign is ineffective?

Start the conversation now and let the team of digital marketing veterans at SC Digital help.