5 Deadly Digital Strategy Mistakes

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could start a blog for some random reason, and suddenly find yourself drawing millions of viewers that are willing to buy anything you promote? There is no question that some of the most successful e-commerce sites make this challenging task look this effortless and simple. The fact remains if you are going to have a successful e-commerce site, you will have to do a good bit of work before the inspiration for your site even has a chance to reach others. During that time period, it is very important to avoid the following five digital strategy mistakes.

Failure to Carry Out Comprehensive Consumer Studies

Would you buy a pair of shoes from someone that doesn’t meet your expectations in terms of vocabulary and knowledge of the topic? When visitors, (especially ones considering making a purchase) land on your website, they may already know a good bit about the products they are looking for. This is likely to include niche vocabulary that may not always be revealed in a simple keyword study for page ranking. Unless you are very familiar with the products from a consumer prospective, there is a good chance that you won’t know what vocabulary and page style to use without conducting comprehensive consumer studies.

Consumer studies are also very important for gaining valuable insights about what kinds of things potential customers are looking for when they land on a page. Remember, how the site looks and feels isn’t about what you want it to look like, it’s about what will appeal to your prospective clients. Here are just a few questions that you will need answers to:

  • does your target audience prefer austere page designs with minimal colours, or are they expecting something with gold tones and psychedelic patterns?

  • Does your target audience have specific colour or other style elements that they would expect to see in the target niche? For example, just because your client base might love gold accents on a black background, they may expect (and want) an entirely different colour pattern for financial products.

  • What kind of additional services or features is your target audience looking for? Do they want easy refunds, testimonials, a questionnaire that will lead them to the perfect product or service?

  • How much demand is there for what you have to offer, and is that demand as large as you believe it to be?

Failure to Directly Study Competitor Sites

When it comes to digital marketing, you must never forget that your competitors may span a wide range of interests. Some may be product developers and manufacturers with fully staffed departments dedicated to digital marketing and consumer research. Other webmasters may be little more than affiliate marketers that happen to have an interest in a specific niche, or have a knack for building connections that make their site both valuable and profitable. You will also find plenty of blogs and websites that completely fail in terms of converting viewers into buyers within your niche audience. While you may be tempted to exclusively study the successful sites, it is also important to study the failures and mediocre sites. Failure to study competitor sites of all levels and success ratings is very important because:

  • other competitors may have already spent a significant amount of money on marketing research, and you may be able to pick up on changes to the site that reveal what they learned

  • comments from target audience viewers can also reveal key factors in buying decisions. When evaluating this information, do not forget that competitors may also be sending rouge agents to the site in order to create problems.

  • Alexa and other page rank sites don’t give you a complete picture of what the viewer sees or feels when they land on the site. As hard as page ranking sites try to convert large amounts of information into metrics and patterns, it still takes human eyes and a human mind to fully evaluate a site.

  • Objective comparison of your site to others across a full spectrum of success to failure will give yo a chance to correct mistakes and move towards success.

Lack of Social Networking Presence

Not so long ago, when people were looking for information that might lead to a purchasing a product, they would start with Google or some other search engine. Today, the fear of landing on sites with malware or other infections makes people less inclined to land on unknown sites, let alone buy from them. While the need for finding products and information hasn’t stopped, the places people look has most certainly changed. In this case, people are increasingly relying on social network sites because of the idea that a bigger site is safer, and the information provided may be more reliable. Failure to have a robust presence on Facebook page, groups, and ads, as well as a presence on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Ning, niche news sites, and niche bulletin boards can cost you more than you realize.

Not Keeping Up With Viewer Devices

As smart phones and tablets arrive on the market with faster processors and expanded memory options, it should come as no surprise that people are doing more with mobile networking than they are with desktop computers and notebooks. If you do not have an app that can be used for viewing your site or making easy purchases, you are truly going to lose out on one of the fastest growing and crucial elements of a comprehensive and successful digital marketing campaign.

That all being said, if you use apps to access social networking sites, then you may already know the results differ quite a bit from what you would see on a desktop. This, in turn, means that more than a few users will go to Google or another search engine to look for websites containing the information they need. If you site is not suited for small screens and fast navigation, you will lose out on the one place where good SEO is still critically important.

Remember, even though tablets and smart phones are getting bigger, there is a finite limit to what people are willing to carry around in a purse or hold to their ear. Until holographic displays or virtual reality headsets make it easy to generate large displays from smaller devices, you will still need to optimize your site for 10 – 15 cm displays. Because data plans can also be quite expensive, you will also be well served by creating mobile sites that load fast and use a minimal amount of bandwidth without sacrificing on appeal.

Not Keeping Up with Browser and Scripting Technologies

Even though Internet Explorer commands a significant amount of the browser market, people are becoming more interested in Safari, Chrome and Firefox regardless of the operating system used on their web access devices. At the same time, the protocols for HTML and dynamic content are also changing quickly. Since there are no set rules for determining which browser developers will upgrade to the new protocols or when, you must always consider these updates as part of your digital marketing strategy. While you may consider this a purely technical webmaster element of operating an e-commerce site, consider the following scenario.

Let’s say you just finished developing a product, took out a loan, and have done all your marketing research. Let’s also say that you have already done the groundwork of building your website, and you have plenty of pre-orders placed by consumers. Even though everything is working perfectly on your site, that doesn’t mean it will work exactly as planned on the day you are ready to start officially selling your product. When you don’t keep up with implementations of new protocols or trending browser technologies, here is what can happen:

  • problems usually start when your webhost upgrades their own server. If the upgrade includes changes to the scripting language used for your site, there is a chance it will crash, or worse yet, leave a vulnerability for hackers until you change your scripts.

  • There is no way to predict which browser, let alone the version viewers will use to access your site. If the programming for your site doesn’t produce results expected by the viewer, it is likely they will leave your site and never come back instead of switch to another browser that may work properly.

  • If you spent a lot of time and effort getting a good rank in the search engines, spider pings may pick up on failed scripts and temporarily blacklist your site. Needless to say, this can cause an immediate drop in traffic and may not be easy to trace if you aren’t using various tools provided by search engines to reveal and fix these problems.

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