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The 6 Biggest Mistakes in Small Business Marketing Strategies & How to Fix Them!

Trying to make it onto the first page of Google can be frustrating. You might feel like you’re doing everything right, but still find yourself stuck on page two or three. Think that’s not a bad result? Think again. If you’re past page one of results, you’re essentially irrelevant to those customers searching for solutions.

But, what if we told you that your Google search results are more within your control than you think? We meet thousands of entrepreneurs every year, and most of them fall into the same patterns that are preventing them from getting a higher ranking on Google.

There are a few common errors that small businesses typically make when it comes to “search.” But first, if you’re wondering if this article even applies to you, let us frame out the importance of your Google ranking in your business success.

Key Stats:

  • 89% of people use search engines to find new products and services
  • 75% of them never go past the first page of Google results because they believe if a company is not on the first page of Google it’s not relevant or ‘good enough’.
  • 43% of all searches have ‘local intent’, meaning that a significant amount of people are not just looking for a ‘what’ but also a ‘where’ – a specific location where they’re looking to purchase that product or service.

As you can see, ‘search’ is incredibly important for small businesses to invest in; and in order to understand how to leverage that investment into securing new clients, it’s important to understand what shows on the first page of Google.

2 Types of Results:

There are two core types of search results shown on the first page of Google:

1- PPC results (‘Pay per click’ paid advertising)
2- Organic results (including local, display, video, etc.)

To explain the value of each of these, I like to use a common example – the example of acquiring a car.

Paid search results has similarities to leasing a car:

as long as you’re making payments, you have a vehicle to drive around, but once you stop making payments, you have nothing. Similarly, while you’re investing in a paid ad campaign, you’ll get clicks… but once your campaign ends, it doesn’t keep working for you. Check out Green Lotus PPC Services!

Organic SEO is like owning a car:

you know there’s an investment required both upfront and over long-term payments. However, after you’ve paid the car off, you continue to benefit from it as an asset and resource. SEO is similar, in that, while there are more upfront investment costs, there are also long-term benefits from those efforts. Check out Green Lotus SEO Services!

Understanding the value of digital marketing is easier than understanding the elements required to be successful in the field. In fact, 47% of small businesses report that they have no previous experience in digital marketing, and 43% report they don’t have any spare time – which makes it impossible to learn a new discipline or skill set to help them grow their business.

That’s where we come in. Our expertise in digital marketing services, tools and best practices are designed to solve problems for small businesses. For those small businesses scrambling to stay afloat of digital marketing efforts, we’ve assembled a list of the most common mistakes – and more importantly – how to fix them.


The 6 biggest mistakes small businesses make and how to fix them!

Mistake #1: Ignoring That You Have a Problem

Just because your company ranks on page one of a Google search for your company name, doesn’t mean you’re doing well. In most cases, prospects, that are already familiar with your company, are either already considering you – or have already decided against you.

Instead, it’s more important to rank for solution-based keywords in order to reach new customers that aren’t yet familiar with your services. You’ll be able to target and reach these people through SEO practices, but first, you have to acknowledge the problem that the people who need to find you, can’t actually find you yet…


Mistake #2: Going in the Wrong Direction

The second biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is going in the wrong direction when it comes to keywords. Websites are full of industry jargon, but that’s not how users search!

Users search for simple things… simple solutions to the problems they need solved. Users searching on Google write search queries as clearly as possible, so they can get the answers they need as soon as possible.

Given that those are the people you’re trying to find and help, you need to be speaking their language. So, instead of over complicating your vocabulary with fancy industry terms that no customer would ever say, create a simple and straightforward strategy to share your offering, keeping the customer’s needs in mind.

Three Important Steps for Keyword research:

There are three important steps when it comes to keyword research and they align to actions in the customer journey.

Step 1 – Awareness: most users will perform a widely cast, broad search

Step 2 – Consideration: they’ll start narrowing their search, maybe based on location and specifics

Step 3 – Decision: they’re looking for something specific and as a result including more detailed information and longer search phrases, also known as long-tail keywords

Optimizing for long-tail keywords is the most important thing you can do because those are customers searching for exactly what you offer, and you’ll be much more likely to make a sale. It’s also advantageous because long-tail keywords have significantly less competition.


Mistake #3: Not Having a Clear Strategy

Whether you attend a workshop, or read a powerful post like this one, you can learn important information about how to improve your search results, but unless you put a strategy into action, it won’t mean anything. That’s where our Do It Yourself Checklist comes into play.

In our Do It Yourself Checklist, there are 8 important categories to cover that include 200+ detailed SEO tasks that should be completed to optimize your results. A strategy like this, performed over a longer term, is crucial for improving your results.

When you follow that strategy, or utilize a specific tool and tool provider, like Green Lotus, over a duration of 12 months, you’ll begin to see a huge impact in your ranking, performance and of course, sales!


Mistake #4: Sending Customers to Your Homepage Instead of a Landing Page

Whether you’re running an adwords campaign or advertising in another way – another major mistake often made by small business owners is sending leads to your homepage, rather than a targeted landing page.

Homepages may serve a purpose by offering an overview of products and services that you offer, but when a lead is searching for a particular solution – consider how busy and dense homepages are, offering a lot of information that isn’t relevant to that user.

Instead, small business owners that have taken the time to optimize for long-tail keywords and to create targeted content that provides value and solves a particular problem – should create a landing page that speaks to that specific problem, not a general homepage.

You only have about 5 seconds of prospective customers’ attention before they’ll bounce of your page if they can’t find what they’re looking for, so ensure that you are sending them directly to where they can find the information they need to convert.


Mistake #5: Your Site Isn’t Mobile-Friendly

It’s incredibly important to have a mobile-friendly site. According to a recent study, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on $60,000 in revenue each year.

Mobile behaviour has been increasing steadily for the past five years, and it isn’t going anywhere. In fact, 2017 was the first year where mobile searches surpassed the number of desktop internet searches. If this isn’t a clear enough indication of where you should be investing your resources, then consider this: Google has announced that they’re no longer investing in having crawlers index desktop searches, instead reallocating their investment into mobile exploration.

If you’re not already there… it’s time to get on mobile!

Another interesting piece of behavioural data to consider is that 60 percent of users searching for information on mobile, immediately follow their search by taking an action. For example, a user might be looking for a restaurant near their current location in preparation to eat a meal.

Imagine, if you have a prospective customer in your immediate vicinity, hungry for a meal right now and looking for a restaurant — but because you aren’t searchable on mobile, in that moment when they’re primed to buy, they bypass you as an option.

You need to be searchable on mobile and optimized to display important information like a button to call to place an order – or a map of your location to capitalize on these in-the-moment opportunities.


Mistake #6 – Not Leveraging Data

By far the biggest mistake that SMBs make is not looking at – or truly understanding – their data.

62% of SMBs are investing money in digital marketing, but don’t know whether their marketing is working for them or not.

You need to implement tools that track data and measure the trend of your numbers. There are handfuls of free and premium SEO Tools out there; use them!

Move beyond the traditional Google Analytics, which while popular, only show you data about people that have visited your website. Other tools can provide insight about your competitor rankings and behaviour.

Take a leap and invest in your digital marketing strategy by trying some new tools and maybe working with an agency expert in digital marketing services, who can help you rev up your best practices. Breaking away from the competition comes down to a numbers and optimization game. You may not believe it, but data proves it. Just consider Amazon who tested their button colour a few years ago – trying both red and yellow.

Although items ultimately shipped the same, would you be believe that the colour change increased the conversion rate by 35%? This is a perfect sample about the power of testing things regularly and looking at the numbers to see where you can get an edge to connect with more people, and get them trying your products. No matter how good your products or services are – if no one finds them – they’ll never know.