It’s been an eventful year for digital marketing with significant changes and new features rolled out across the ad platforms for Google, Bing, Facebook and others. Also, a surge in the use of video ads has had a major impact on the industry. These changes contribute to the evolution of digital marketing, which continues to become more sophisticated and multi-faceted each year, compelling us to refine our skills and adapt to new realities. In that spirit, below are some bad habits to kick that are sure to help you improve the efficiency and results of your marketing campaigns going into 2017.
1. Using the Default Settings in Google Analytics
While Google Analytics can serve as a powerful tool for giving insights into what’s happening on your site, relying on its default settings will undoubtedly lead you to misread information and make bad decisions regarding your site and the way you market it. Referral spam filtering, channel grouping, attribution modeling, IP exclusions, segmentation and event tracking are just some of the settings you should customize before making decisions based on the data in your analytics. If you know what these features are, but you are not applying them to your sites, make it your New Years resolution to just get it done. If your’e not familiar with these terms, you can read up about them here, or hire someone that knows what they’re doing.
2. Being Lazy About Developing Landing Pages
Different types of customers view your company from different vantage points. For example, if your site sells cologne, your products could be viewed as gifts, necessities, or luxury items depending on who the end user is and why he/she reached your website. In order to maximize your chances of converting that user into a customer, your messaging needs to address the unique needs and emotions that will appeal to that customer.
One other use for having multiple pages is optimization of quality scores in PPC campaigns. If your keywords, ads and landing pages all use similar language, you are more likely to improve your quality scores, thereby lowering your average cost per click.
3. Deploying the Same Strategy for Desktop and Mobile Traffic
It’s already old news that internet usage on mobile is exceeding desktop. Most marketers proudly boast how serious they are about their mobile strategies. But if your “mobile strategy” is about having a mobile friendly site and opting-in to mobile device targeting on your ad campaigns, your strategy is far from cutting-edge.
Mobile and desktop often need strategies that complement one another, rather than just running in parallel. Some products and services are simply not suited for direct response campaigns on mobile devices. For example, if completing your lead form involves filling out 40 fields or providing medical or financial information that people don’t normally have on-hand, mobile lead generation may simply not work for you.
But that doesn’t mean you should not be running mobile ad campaigns. Instead of direct response lead generation, you can run ads that promote relevant content to your target audience, and then retarget them with ads to pull them deeper into the sales funnel with additional information about your service and a short form where they can sign up to learn more. Those users can then be emailed with more offers and can be retargeted again with lead generation landing pages. This is just one of many approaches you can take with your mobile traffic.
Overall, we should all be optimistic about what 2017 will bring, as there will undoubtedly be new innovations in ad-tech that will provide us with new opportunities for growth. But it’s still a good idea to occasionally review our existing methods and practices in search of low hanging fruit. With so much change happening around us within the industry, it can sometimes seem impossible just to stay up-to-date. But if you’re able to truly master the fundamentals, you will very likely see performance improvement that far outweighs anything you’ll get from testing out new features and tools.