Marketing tricks are everywhere in the forms of those industry worst-practices that are all too common. In today’s digital-centric world, there are endless ways to kill your business’ online presence ﹘ it really is terrifying how easy it can be to lose a prospective customer. And although it’s the season for ghosts and ghouls, your potential customers are not the ones you want to be scaring away.
Nearly three-fourths of online consumers get frustrated with websites that have irrelevant content, 57% of users will not recommend companies with a poor mobile user experience, and just one bad review can haunt your business for years to come.
When someone knocks on your business’ hypothetical door hoping to be greeted with treats, they don’t want to be served trick after horrifying trick. Fail to give them what they’re looking for, and don’t be surprised if they run off.
But perhaps you’re like Casper, the friendly ghost, and just need to tweak one or two things to better delight your customers. Or maybe you’re guilty of committing several marketing tricks, and your online presence is in bad shape as a result – like decomposing kind of shape.
Regardless of how (un)dead your marketing is, it’s never too late to turn things around. By eliminating spooky marketing tactics, you just might be able to score yourself some new customers and bring your online presence back to life.
So, how do you determine which spooky strategies you should eliminate?
1. Your website is not mobile-friendly
- Check to see if your website provides a pleasant experience on mobile devices with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
2. Your website is not secure (HTTPS)
- It’s October, and Google has officially started issuing a “Not Secure” warning in the address bar to any website that collects information and does not have an SSL certificate. Since 2014 Google has been pushing for an improved secure browsing experience for users, even confirming that it is a ranking signal.
- Check out this checklist for more information on migrating to HTTPS.
3. Your website provides a poor overall user experience
- Go through your site with the intent of accomplishing a specific goal. If it’s difficult for you to complete an action, it will be difficult for your users as well.
- It’s also important that your website’s content is written specifically for users, not search engines.
4. There’s no clear purchase path on your website
- Even if your website looks great, it may not be performing the way you’d like it to. If it’s not easy to make a purchase on your website, users are less likely to do so – resulting in missed opportunities for potential business
5. You haunt your contact list with too many emails
- According to Campaign Monitor, there is a negative correlation between frequency and engagement. When newsletters were sent to the same contact list on a more frequent basis, the engagement rates dropped.
6. Your online presence is ghostly (inactive on social media, no emails, etc.)
- In this day and age, if you’re not active online, consumers are going to forget about your brand and are much less likely to purchase from you. It’s important to maintain an active presence on social media, send regular email updates, and keep your website fresh with new content.
7. Your website isn’t updated
- In the business world, a lot changes from year to year. How can a prospect trust your website’s information is accurate if it was last updated in 2012? By not updating your website, you’re not only losing trust from prospects, you’re losing trust from search engines, too.
8. You don’t engage with your audience on social media
- If a customer is reaching out to you – whether for a good or bad reason – a lack of response will give them and others a negative perception of your business.
9. Your social media is overly promotional
- Social media is like a cocktail party; no one wants to hear someone brag about themselves. The cocktail party rule as applied to social media means that the majority of content shared should not be promotional in nature. You should talk to your prospects directly by asking them to engage with your posts, ask questions, or share their own content.
10. Your landing pages have too many options
- Having too many choices isn’t always a good thing. According to psychologist Barry Schwartz in his book, “The Paradox of Choice – Why Less is More,” when consumers are presented with more choices, it becomes increasingly difficult to choose only one. Eliminate distraction by giving your prospects one goal to complete on each landing page.
11. You fail to deliver a clear message
- If a prospect visits your website and has no idea who your business is, what you do, and why you’re better than a competitor, they’re not going to dig around to find out. Make your unique value proposition obvious.
12. You give too much information
- Online users typically come to a website with a goal in mind. If what they are looking for is buried, they’ll search for a competitor with a simpler, intuitive interface.
13. You have more bad reviews than good
- By eliminating some of these scary marketing tactics, you might score yourself some stellar online reviews. Its well worth the time and money to delight prospective and current customers.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October of 2014 and has been updated for accuracy, completeness, and an interactive quality.