Here’s something to think about: For your new 2019 goals, one of the most important priorities to list is what not to do. That’s right – much like New Year resolutions, brands can make a lot of difference by avoid mistakes they have been making.

So today we’re going over some of the most common digital marketing mistakes businesses make today, and how to stop making them. You can listen to the full podcast for all of our ideas, but we’ll summarize the points below.

1. Overspending on Google and Facebook Ads

Social media ads take a lot of work to target properly, and have limited uses. Only around 25% of money spent on digital ads in general reach real people, and the figure may be even worse on sites like Facebook. In the past we’ve discussed how “Facebook helps new customers find you,” which is an effective way to think about it. You should make social media sites an informative, welcoming place with plenty of opportunities to learn about your company and how to contact you!

When brands do use digital ads – and this could be a key issue for you to look at in 2019 – they need to be properly planned, targeted, and measured so that money spent on ads isn’t wasted.

2. Not Using Retargeting Pixels

Retargeting pixels are the tools and cookies that help browsers remember where you have been so that they target ads based on past experiences. Basically, this means that the more someone visits your website, the more likely they are to see ads for your products around the web and social media.

This is one case where B2B retargeting can be more effective than B2C efforts, because B2B web searches tend to be more tightly focused, and brands can often benefit more if their name comes up more often in ads. And yes, this can make a difference with the average lead: People tend to visit even retailer sites around 9 times before making a purchase decision!

3. Not Researching Keywords or Topic Clusters for Your Blog

Organic traffic is based on the keywords and topics you choose. That means you need to choose carefully! However, there is still a large number of companies that tend to plan blog posts about what they feel like, without any significant research on what keywords will be most effective or what topics are currently getting a lot of attention.

This makes it very difficult for your blog to pick up any new readers, which makes blogging far less effective. If your company tends to write blog posts with little to no research first, then starting incorporating more tools into the process. Google Adwords, Google searches and suggestions, Answer the Public, QuoraUbersuggest, and many other tools can help!

4. Not Converting Blog or Website Traffic Into Customers

Getting traffic to your site is a great metric! But it’s not enough: You need a plan to convert those visitors to customers, and many brands sort of forget this step. The best way is to create a clear sales funnel that includes website features that gently direct visitors toward your products and purchasing process. To make it really easy, start looking for new ways to use Calls to Action like purchase buttons, subscribe buttons, and more!

5. Not Promoting Your Content

Content does a whole lot better when you have a plan to promote it. This doesn’t always require money, either: Simply sharing your new content on social media or sending out emails about important content can make a lot of difference!

Bonus Mistakes!

Now that we’ve got you thinking, here’s a few extra things to consider that the team agreed were common mistakes companies often fall into.

1. Not Surveying Your Audience: Do you know your audience? You may be surprised! If it’s been a few years since you’ve tried surveys or focus groups, now is a great time.

2. Being Too Afraid To Start: It’s easy and often rewarding to make plans for the future. It’s a lot harder to get resources together and actually start the hard work. Don’t let this be a barrier for you!

3. Ignoring Your Overall Website Experience: What do people think about your website? How easy is it for people to use? Does it include everything it should? If you don’t know, it’s past time to find out.

So what do you think? Is there a particular mistake you’d like to stop making in 2019, or a mistake you’d like other companies to avoid? Tell us about it on social media @21handshake.