Last month, I rounded up our team of experts to bring you five, simple tips for evaluating your digital strategy. This month, we’re back, and giving you the inside information about the most common digital marketing mistakes we encounter all the time when performing digital audits or diving into new clients’ existing accounts.
Whether they’re due to outdated practices, neglect, employee turnover, or misinformation, there are tons of small mistakes that can fall through the cracks. Luckily most of them can be easily avoided, or corrected, if you know where to look.
Beware of these common mistakes in Social Media Advertising, On-Site SEO, Google Analytics, Paid Search, and Email Marketing:
Social Media Advertising:
“The biggest mistake I see across the board with social advertising is marketers not leading their ads to the proper page of what they’re advertising for! I see this constantly in my own newsfeed. If you are marketing a certain product, whether it’s cars, shampoos, fashion, etc; make sure your ad lands exactly where your customers need to be! If your ad is focused on clients learning more about you, lead them to the proper “About Us” page. If you’re selling certain inventory, have your graphics lead to that specific landing page with that inventory. This way, you’re leading potential customers exactly to where they wanted to go, and you’ll be giving them a great experience with your company.” -Denise Casagrande, Social Media Director
“The biggest mistake I see when it comes to on-site SEO is neglecting a website’s metadata. And by metadata I mean the title tags and descriptions. (You can ignore the keywords field, no one uses them anymore.) For search engines, the metadata is a way of understanding what a page is about at a glance. For users, it’s the snippet of information they see in search results. With that said, each and every page on a site should have a unique and compelling title tag and the description field should likewise provide relevant information about that specific page using related keywords and search phrases. To see which pages on your website have missing or duplicate metadata, check the HTML Improvements report in Search Console, under the Search Appearance section.” -Jamie Paton, SEO Director
“Wondering how you have so many sessions in a channel called (Other) in Google Analytics? That’s a tell-tale sign of non-standard medium names appearing in UTM tags. When creating UTM tags, naming the “medium” correctly is crucial if you want to organize traffic properly. And it’s not just what you name it; the capitalization matters, too! Sometimes I see medium names as odd as “widget,” but other times a well-intentioned “Organic” with a capital “o” is what is your throwing off your data. Depending on the type of campaign you’re tagging, stick with standard medium names like cpc, referral, social, email, organic, and so on–all with lowercase letters! For more on UTM tags and the correct naming conventions, check out PCG Research’s Google UTM Guide. – Laura Bonawits, Content Director
Paid Search Campaigns:
Consider this scenario: An account or campaign needs to launch in a few days because your client has no paid media campaigns running but a big year end sale is coming up. The paid media team scrambles to create new campaigns however, essential parts of the setup that provides data to increase efficiencies and hold you (the agency) accountable are omitted. Launching a campaign prematurely is a common mistake and an understandable one. However, it can do a lot of harm—especially during the infancy of a campaign. In most cases, the missing pieces are conversion tracking and integration with analytics/marketing tools.
Without conversion tracking, the campaigns are running blindly and it is almost impossible to know how well or badly your campaigns are performing. Work with your website platform or agency partner to tag your website and create conversion actions to track lead forms, trade in submissions, finance applications, chat/text and other website actions that affect your ROI.
Similarly, a delay in integrating data analytics tools, or marketing tools like Vistdash, means you miss out on actionable data. Even worse, you miss out on knowing how your new (paid media) campaigns are doing against other marketing channels. Connect paid media campaigns to Google Analytics or Vistadash, so you don’t miss out on data that could improve your marketing performance.” -Kwasi Asare-Darko, Paid Search Director
“When I am asked about email marketing practices, the most common mistake I see is having no list segmentation in the database. For example, if they have a newsletter, they send it out to their entire database. If they’re having a sale, they send it out to their entire database. While this may get your message out to a ton of people, it’s likely that only a small fraction are actually interested in that specific message. You can do this in numerous different ways, and can get very granular especially when you segment through marketing automation rules, but simple places to start are:
- Newsletter or Email list that people opt into
- Segment by geographical region
- Segment by job roles (for B2B)
- Segment customers from prospective customers
- Segment by specific actions performed on your website
The list goes on and on and can be customized in so many different ways, but when you properly segment your database by what works best for your business, you’ll notice your open rates and click through rates increase. Other common mistakes include, not using UTM tags in email links and not A/B testing subject lines! ” – Gina Orlando, Marketing Manager
We hope that this blog will give you the push to inspect your own digital strategy to ensure that you’re not making any of these common mistakes. If you would like PCG to deep dive into your SEO, Paid Search, Social Media Advertising, Website Merchandising, and more, ask about our digital audit!