Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Online Marketing Mistakes that Most Companies Make

Testing is what Marketers today are focused upon. In fact about 2/3rds of the companies, all over the world, have started using A/B testing today. It is the era of conversion optimization; yet, we are not actually seeing what we are supposed to see. It is not easy to learn Conversion rate optimization; it takes years of practice to emerge as an expert. An online search on “content marketing company India” can give you a list of agencies that claim to be experts in web optimization. However, there is no way you can be guaranteed of your results. Even web optimization agencies tend to make mistakes as they might be new to the game. Understanding these mistakes can put you in a better position to avoid them. Here is a list of a few common online marketing mistakes that most companies make:

·         Creating landing pages using the so-called“best-practices”: One thing you need to understand here is CRO or conversion rate optimization is not the same as a best practice. In fact there are no best practices when it comes to SEO or CRO. The target audience for every type of business is very different. Unless you conduct tests, it is very difficult to understand what works and what does not. What might work for a website may not necessarily work for you. So if someone calls a particular tactic as a best practice, do not adopt it blindly. If the practice that you have adopted to create your landing page is getting you the results you want, then that is the best practice for you. You will have to do a lot of testing to get there.

·         Testing the Wrong things: One thing you need to get right is understand what you need to test. Many of the agencies today, in their effort to cut down expenses, ignore the data-collection tools such as click testing, user-session recording tools and heat maps. This results in insufficient data that creates confusion in their minds about what to test. They end up picking up something random instead of the actual analytics to test. There is no point of testing if your tests are not really based on data.

·         Relying on data that is self-reported: Data doesn’t mean just about any data. Accuracy is very important here. If you rely on data that is self-reported you may not get the results you want. By this I mean the data that you get from user testing, forum feedback and surveys. This data is based mainly on the stories of people and you cannot say that this is accurate as many people lie. The analytics is the one that gives you the real story behind this. Any data that you collect through self-reporting has to be validated through testing before you use it. Split testing and analytics are things you need to use to verify your assumptions that may be based on self-reporting. Else, all your efforts go down the drain.

·         Not understanding the scientific process: Most agencies that you associate yourself with will bill you by the hour. You cannot just focus on the bottom line without understanding why things are happening. This is going to take time as there is lot of data to be collected and lots of tests to be done. It is better not to go with an agency that does not take time to pursue the dead-ends, dive into data, think or ask questions.

·         Offering a complete done-for-you model: Although this might sound to you like a premium service, this is actually a major mistake when it comes to CRO. Agencies do this for the sake of job-security. They want their customers to depend on them completely. They do everything including collecting data, making the hypothesis and delivering results, all by themselves. This means they are not actually working with their clients. This way the information they are using is not actually adequate enough to come up with the right hypotheses. It is very important for an agency to work with its clients. It takes both, the client’s knowledge of customers and the agency’s expertise to collect data, so as to get the right results.

·         Not being able to influence client culture: The agency should be capable enough not just to collaborate with its client efficiently, but also change the way things are done at the client’s end. They have to meet with the client regularly and discuss ideas. Only then will you start seeing the thought process that is required for website optimization. This will keep you away from taking decisions in a random manner. This is when you will start asking your agency what data needs to be collected and when you can start your testing.

·         Having no specialized CRO staff: If you don’t have the required staff for CRO, don’t go for CRO. You need to have people who are excellent communicators and good with numbers. These people need to be experts in statistics and data. They should be able to distinguish between genuine numbers and otherwise. These are the ones who should be able to transform the data into stories. They need to be able to predict your future through this data.

·         Conducting no tests before going live: Anything and everything needs to be tested and validated before launching it live. This will help in avoiding costly mistakes and adds to your reputation. If your brand is a small one, this mistake may not seem bigger. However, it might still affect your profitability and reputation in a negative way.

·         Rookie mistakes: It is quite common to make mistakes when you are new. These include not validating the statistics and not analyzing the traffic. If you have a team that is experienced in adopting the right strategies for improving conversions, you are less likely to make such mistakes.

Website optimization is not child’s play. It involves a lot of hard work. If you want big results you will have to go with an agency that has a lot of experience in optimizing conversions. Next time you run a search on “content marketing company India,” make sure you go with an agency that has an experienced team which doesn’t make any of the above mistakes.

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