The Most Expensive Marketing Mistakes We’ve Seen Businesses Make… And How To Avoid Them

by Peter Wilson | President


Want to avoid throwing away money on marketing your business? Here are some of the most expensive mistakes we’ve seen businesses make when it comes to their marketing. 

DIY Google Ad Campaigns

Google Ads is a great way to get new customers if the campaigns are set up correctly. If they’re not set up correctly it can get expensive for a business.

Get your keywords right or pay the price. 

We had a client come to us asking why their Google Ads didn’t seem to be getting them any new business. The company installs windows in homes so they added “windows installation” as a keyword to their Google Ads search campaign. In our audit, we discovered that they had paid Google several thousand dollars for people searching for “Microsoft Windows Installation,” which has nothing to do with their business. We added “Microsoft” to their negative keywords and the problem was solved.

Location settings can be tricky. 

One client told us they kept getting phone calls from potential customers outside of their service area, sometimes several states away. During our audit of their Google Ads, we discovered that they used the wrong “Location” option so people across the country were eligible to see their ads and click on them. The business was paying Google Ads for clicks by people who were so far away, they would never become a customer.  We’ve seen this issue in at least half of the Google Ads campaigns we audit.

Websites Not Optimized For Generating New Business

It doesn’t make sense to spend money driving traffic to a website that isn’t optimized for generating new appointments, phone calls, and leads. 

Don’t hide your phone number and contact forms.

A healthcare provider contacted us to help with their marketing. When we audited their website we found that their phone number wasn’t easy to find and it didn’t have a “Request Appointment” button. Potential new patients had to dig through the website just to find a phone number and contact form. We fixed both issues and now their phones are ringing more and they’re getting more appointments.

Business websites must be optimized for mobile phones.

With 60-80% of website visits coming from mobile phones, it seems like a no-brainer that a website needs to be mobile optimized. We recently did a website audit for a home service contractor and discovered the mobile version of their website looked completely different from the desktop version. It was outdated and just had a few buttons, no text or pictures describing their services, testimonials, or what makes their business better than the next one. We’ve since built them a new website so their desktop and mobile versions are similar and properly market the business.

Not Properly Tracking Marketing Results

Businesses need to know the “cost per lead” (CPL) and the “cost per new customer acquisition” (CPA) in order to invest wisely in their marketing. Phone call source tracking and website form tracking are great ways to track how each online marketing campaign is performing.

One of our home services clients was spending a significant amount of money on different print advertising campaigns. These ads showed their main business phone number so there was no way to distinguish between calls from the various ads. We gave our client a specific phone number for each of their print ads that rang directly to the business. As a result, they were able to see which of their print ads weren’t producing and cancel them.

Not Building An Email List

Smart businesses know that each of their current customers is potentially a repeat customer and a source of word-of-mouth referrals for new customers. Email marketing has been proven to be the highest ROI.

One of our newest clients, an automotive services business, has lots of 5-star reviews from their happy customers but isn’t sending out regular email updates to them. We’re helping them get that set up now. We’ll be including monthly coupons and referral incentives.  

Dabbling In Marketing

In his article “How Sam Lost It All,” author and marketing expert Phillip Stutts said, “After 25 years in the marketing world, I can personally attest that 98.3% of business owners are not truly “committed” to their marketing. They are only “interested” in the get-rich-quick marketing fallacy.” https://phillipstutts.medium.com/how-sam-lost-it-all-633821e95a88

By “committed,” Phillip is talking about businesses that use proven marketing systems to build their business over the long haul while “interested” businesses are, “constantly chasing the hot marketing trend or idea – hoping it strikes a big return…”

Dabbling in marketing, without committing to a proven strategy, is a great way for businesses to lose money and potential customers to competitors. A little planning and solid execution over the long run can make a huge difference in growing a business.

Free Marketing Audit

Is your business making some of these expensive marketing mistakes? Not sure? Either way, schedule a marketing audit with us today and we’ll let you know how you’re doing. 

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