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4 Online Marketing Mistakes that Companies Should Avoid

Running an online, or any other kind of business, requires you to be heard among the people and to try to attract customers in every possible way. The finest product in the world will not do you any good if no one has heard about it. This is where marketing comes in. It will spread the word and, hopefully, bring some customers to your store/website.

To do this, people use various techniques. Some of them have been around for decades (and are still working), others are innovations that are supposed to work (these have to be monitored carefully), while others are downright bad and will only hurt your business. It is the last category that we will talk about here.

If some “Online marketing expert” comes to you with any of the mistakes that I’m about to mention, feel free to turn your back on him and never call again. In fact, run as far away from that guy as possible and ignore his colleagues, because chances are that they too use wrong online marketing practices.


Buying followers on social media

I thought that this practice was long gone from the world of marketing. It was too obviously fake and I haven’t really noticed that it generated any kind of benefit. But, then, I saw that the Kardashians are utilizing these techniques (of course they are), and it came to my mind that I should put it first on the list.

People listen to the Kardashians (and their marketing staff) for God-knows-what reason. Sure, they are popular, but many people forget that this has nothing to do with proper marketing practices and more with scandals and the media attention that they get.

So, while having one million page likes on Facebook, or millions of followers on Instagram or Twitter might make it seem like your page is doing well, one simple click on the “Followers” tab will reveal that the majority of those accounts are fake. Once people realize this, they will not look at your page again and will deem your brand/business untrustworthy.

Also, social networks purge themselves from fake accounts that are used for these purposes, so it might happen that the money you gave for them just vanishes along with the deleted profiles and you are left with nothing.


Focusing content on selling products


Just like the makers of South Park showed us in their latest season, ads are everywhere. It is honestly becoming annoying to go through websites, because wherever you click, whichever page you visit, there is some ad, some call to action, something that is “begging” you to click on it and drive the sales of that company further. So, naturally, people have started writing blog posts and other content like this.

“Sure”, you might think, “getting more ads and calls to action will only drive my conversions and increase my sales.” What’s the problem with this? People started marketing like that back in 2005. By now, it’s been completely removed from any online marketing practice. With everything focused on improving user experience and making your blogs as original and natural as possible, this way of doing marketing will only drive the potential customers away.

If they see so many ads in one place, they will definitely think it’s spam and just turn away. The only result that you can get from this practice is high bounce rates and a lower position in the SERPs – nothing else.


Expecting quick results

When figuring out a marketing strategy with clients, a lot of digital marketing experts have to deal with high expectations that the client’s SERPs, conversions, sales and audience will all improve with the first article posted. All of the marketing gurus wish so bad that this were the case – that way, their work would be 10 times easier and they’d be earning much more money. Unfortunately for both them and the clients, this is never the case.

However, this will not stop clients from expecting new sales from the very beginning. What they all have to realize (and some marketing “experts”, as well) is that in online marketing (and SEO especially) patience is everything. With all the algorithms and complex customer behavior (not to mention that the actual goal is conversions and not breaking to the top of the SERPs, something that many people fail to understand), it is estimated that it takes 4 to 6 months for an online marketing strategy to start showing results.

After that, the results will grow. For those who are too impatient, you can always go for the first or second thing on our list. You will fail, but at least you will understand that patience is key.


Not keeping updated on SEO practices


Since it takes so much time for a strategy to make its mark, it is easy to forget about finding out anything new. However, even during the initial 6 months of your marketing strategy, things can change a lot. Google constantly updates its ranking algorithms to make search results more natural and give the people who use Google what they came looking for. So, naturally, the practices in the SEO industry change all the time, with some new practices emerging (which makes space for creativity and innovativeness) and others being cast aside forever, never to be effective again.  

Still, for those who do not keep up with updates and just sit on their hands all day, it is easy to get lost in all the new ideas and stay out-of-date, running the same practices that you used to run 6 months ago (or in the case of followers on social media, practices that have been around for years). You must know which of them are and which are no longer relevant. This way, you can keep the technical side of online marketing clean and innovative, which is sure to drive better results.


Getting the best out of your online marketing strategy means not falling prey to some marketing “experts” that we can see all around us. They will sway you with expertly talk, a lot of abbreviations and technical terms, but, in the end, you will be left worse off than you were. And you will pay for it, on top of everything. To avoid this, make sure that your marketing manager knows what they are talking about, and, like I said, if he or she mentions something from this list, get as far away from them as possible.

Vladimir Zivanovic
Vladimir Zivanovic
[email protected]

Vladimir Zivanovic is a Project Manager here at MyCity-Web and a part-time blogger with a Master’s degree in English language and literature from University of Belgrade. He is responsible for communication, including status reporting, project preparation, and, in general, making sure the project is delivered in budget, on schedule, and within scope.

His main interests are computer technologies and he is a great gaming enthusiast, especially for World of Warcraft, which he has been playing since the beginning. When he is not playing games or reading epic fantasy, he is saving up to buy the newest mobile phone, as he is lost without one. He also loves surfing the internet, finding interesting facts, and using them when someone least expects it. Doing an exhaustive research is very important for Vlada, as everything needs to be supported by hard facts.

He regularly posts on his Lifehack and LinkedIn profile.

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