Do you know what can happen when your digital marketing is done wrong?

Digital marketing today, when done correctly, can virtually grow your business by itself. Your email campaigns, paid online ads, and social media accounts can bring in new customers, nurture your old, and convert prospects on the fence.

But there’s no denying that digital marketing takes time, money, and the right skill set and experience in order to be done correctly. With new technology, apps and websites that make digital marketing easier, come new problems, pitfalls and chances to accidentally mess it up.

And today, an accidental mess up could end up costing you thousands of dollars.

So here are a few examples of digital marketing pitfalls to avoid…

Not setting up your email correctly.

Laptop with an email notification icon with the text "Not Setting Up Your Email Correctly"

There are a million email marketing platforms to choose from and different ways to send emails today, but the truth is that effective emails have a strategy behind them. Email marketers do more than just write the text and click send— they have researched your target audience and created emails specifically to those you’re trying to reach.

Each campaign should have clear goals and be measurable as well. You should A/B test emails to learn which tactics work and which don’t.

And don’t forget that if you send emails, you need to be familiar with the CAN-SPAM act. This is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to opt-out of your emails and spells out tough penalties for violations.

It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” including email that promotes content on commercial websites.

The law makes no exception for business-to-business email. That means all email – for example, a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the law.

Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $42,530, so non-compliance can be costly. Violations include:

  • Using false or misleading headers
  • Using deceptive subject lines
  • Not including a valid physical post office address
  • Not allowing users to opt-out and honoring these requests
  • Learn more from the FTC here

Not understanding email marketing, or managing who your emails are being sent to, also puts you at risk for domain blacklisting. A blacklist is a list used by receiving networks that judge an IP or sending domain’s reputation. Sending unsolicited bulk email (EBU) to addresses that never asked for it will result in being blacklisted. That means no one will see your emails! You can find some of these services we offer here.

Trying to handle your social media posting/ads and PPC ads alone.

Mobile phone image with a social media post notification icon with the text "Trying to handle your social media posting/ads and PPC ads alone"

Social media and PPC ads are only run correctly if you understand how to analyze the data to improve results. And the truth is, that this is hard to do unless you’re trained. It’s wise to invest in a person or company that will handle your digital ads for you, so your money is invested wisely and driving the results you deserve.

Know who is in control of your accounts and ads at all times. Make sure the content is appropriate and not SPAM. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks all have their own Terms of Service for any number of things from how to properly post, run a contest, and what you can or cannot show in your posts/ads. Violation of Terms of Services (TOS) will risk you having your content removed, ads disproved, possibly having your business account deleted, posting restrictions, and could result in potential lawsuits. For example; before and after pictures are against Facebook & Instagram TOS because they are believed to create negative self-images and feelings from their users. So, no bikini before and afters. You also cannot ask users to like your page in order to enter a contest.

You can check out each networks TOS using the links below:

Facebook TOS

Instagram TOS

Twitter TOS

LinkedIn TOS

Google TOS

Not paying attention to SEO.

Computer screen with a line graph under a microscope with the text "Not paying attention to SEO"

There are misconceptions behind what effective SEO is and how to make sure your website is ranked higher on major search engines than your competition. There’s also the major part of SEO that contributes to lead conversion, that if not done accurately, will result in losing many potential customers or clients.

One big SEO no-no is keyword stuffing, or intentionally filling a post or web page full of a keyword in order to manipulate search engines into ranking you higher. You’ve probably seen some of these before. They look and feel like spam.

You also want to stay away from cloaking. Cloaking is a technique where the content or information presented to the audience is different than what’s presented to search engine crawlers for indexing. In other words, the web server is programmed to return different content to search engines than users. This is illegal and a search engine can permanently ban you if you do this.

These tactics among others will get you in trouble. But one of the worst things you can probably do is buy links. So, beware. If someone wants to charge you and promises to get you rankings on the first page of Google, be careful. While there are trained SEO experts who can help, there are a lot of scam companies that will buy links for you, which is a sure way to get blacklisted.

And one last thing to avoid is hiding text: or trying to hide text on your website where readers don’t see it, but search engines will. For example, you might try to hide a block of text full of keywords somewhere that’s discrete (like in white text on a white background). A visitor might not read it, but a search engine can still pick up on it. Just don’t do it.

Carefully Consider Your Options

With all of these pitfalls lurking be careful of using free or learning students unless they have direct supervision of a certified expert to ensure there is no lasting damage done to your brand or online presence. If you’re looking for qualified, trained digital marketing partners to help run your digital marketing (honestly and safely!), give us a call today at (412) 812-2757 or use our Facebook messenger chat on our website!