These Digital Marketing Tactics Are the Biggest Wastes of Time in 2017

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These Digital Marketing Tactics Are the Biggest Wastes of Time in 2017

The end of the year is closing in, which means you’ll be seeing dozens of articles similarly titled to this one. Some will even take the bold stance, luring in readers with catchy headlines like, “CONTENT MARKETING IS DEAD” or “SOCIAL MEDIA IS A WASTE OF YOUR TIME.” But contrary to what these articles would have you believe, few marketing strategies really ever die out completely. Rather, they simply become a less efficient use of your time.

Of course, there are exceptions (cough, Vine, cough), but for the most part, no one can tell you what’s going to be “out” in 2017. Different online platforms and the marketing strategies that fuel them are constantly evolving, just like the preferences and behavior patterns of users collectively. There’s no telling which marketing tactics will make a comeback. There are, however, some not-so-surprising things you can probably go ahead and strike off your to-do list in 2017.

Digital Marketing Tactics to Leave Behind in 2017

Working for Clicks Over Conversions

This should be obvious, because clicks are nice, but conversions are better. This is especially important for those investing in any kind of paid search optimization/campaigning, because money is at stake. Above all else, your priority should be to get users to take a certain action (making a purchase, entering contact information, whatever).

Instead of optimizing with the goal of enticing clicks, try and think more holistically about an approach that will have an end result of conversions. Start by addressing common things that hold back conversions, like web design or a poor landing page. Then see that your conversion strategy aligns with your target audience. Whatever you do, don’t waste your time thinking mere clicks are the key to success.

Emphasizing Quantity Over Quality

Just. Don’t. Do it. Yes, having tons of content can make it seem like you have a surplus of resources on your website, but if they’re all low quality, you’re wasting your time. Having hundreds of pages of thin content will not only not help you get the kind of user engagement you need, but it’s also punishable. Plus, why would you even want to seem spammy?

Your focus should be on quality, original content that contributes to a positive user experience. Google does everything with user experience in mind, and so should you, because that’s the kind of thing that gets rewarded on search engines. In 2017, make quality the focus of your content marketing strategy. Go back and look at where you may have dropped the ball on quality in 2016, and strategize ways to do better going forward.

Avoiding Mobile-first/Mobile-ready Optimization and Design

At this point, if you’re still avoiding mobile optimization, you’re just willfully choosing to set yourself back. Mobile optimization is an undeniable component of browsing behavior, and your participation is required if you want to remain competitive. The good news is that the shift to mobile is so significant that Google has made it pretty easy to switch over to a mobile-first design.

PPC, Google’s expanded text ads that rolled out in August took care of mobile-preferred ads, so now one ad format adjusts across all devices. To thrive through 2017, all you really need to do is make your website mobile-friendly and ensure that it’s locally optimized.

Hourglass Photo via Shutterstock

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HigherVisibility HigherVisibility is part of the Small Business Trends Publisher Channel, offering a full range of professional interactive marketing services. The mission of HigherVisibility is to provide clients “Valuable Solutions with Visible Results.” HigherVisibility works with companies of all sizes, offering advice on topics ranging from keyword research to algorithm updates.

5 Reactions
  1. Clicks over conversions point is very obvious, I would find it difficult to understand anyone doing the opposite except for blogging.
    Quality over quantity is another factor which novice and intermediate internet marketers fail to recognize. Unique and original content is valued over re-worked content.
    As far as mobile optimization is concerned, Google introduced the AMP project in Oct 2015 and Facebook launched its implementation called as Instant Articles in Dec 2015, I have been keeping track of them both for a while now. So, traffic from mobile phones and similar devices constitute for nearly 40% of the total internet traffic hence it makes sense why the shift to mobile first is so significant.
    These tactics should be left behind with 2016. Thanks for information, very nice article.

  2. “Your focus should be on quality, original content that contributes to a positive user experience. Google does everything with user experience in mind, and so should you, because that’s the kind of thing that gets rewarded on search engines.”

    I agree with this. It basically matches everything that Matt Cutts has been saying concerning how Google is trying to streamline their results so that users can quickly find the best content. Mere content isn’t going to last long.

    One way that Google is doing this is by tracking the search result clicks, and determining whether or not those clicks indicate that the user found what they were looking for. If the user clicked back fairly quickly, then Google sees that link as not as relevant for the keyword which was used. Correspondingly, the search result which didn’t appear to please the user is “dinged”. When this happens enough, they slide down in rankings.

    Conversely, when a website result is clicked on, and then occupied for some time without the user clicking back, this indicates to Google that such a result is satisfying. When so many of these “brownie points” are added up, the URL goes higher in ranking.

    Now, this means a lot for us personally. As Louisville wedding photographers, we are constantly trying to think of new content we can add that would interest brides and other vendors, keeping them on our site as long as possible and hopefully satisfying what they were searching for. We research and pick keywords that we think will help connect people with good info that satisfies what they may have been searching for when using those keywords. This is Google’s vision, and the sites that do it best (coupled with time and chance) will rise to the top.

    Also, as far as SEO, we’ve changed our strategy a bit from trying to get published in larger magazines, to trying to get local authorities that would be seen as directly related to Kentucky and Louisville wedding photography. More relevant websites that link to more pinpointed and specialize content is worth so much now.

    Thanks for the info and encouragement!

    Jeff & Michele
    Louisville Wedding Photographers | Lexington Wedding Photographers

  3. The ROI a business owner can receive from the money they invest into a solid marketing plan will more than awaken them to the concept that digital marketing must say goodbye to some of these outdated trends. Focus on quality content seems to be a big one for 2017, as well as mobile optimization, and soon, there is potential for virtual reality advertising.

  4. You simply cannot avoid mobile optimization today if you want your website to be relevant. A huge % of your customers are finding you on a smart phone!

  5. The Internet has truly evolved. From the times that everything was a numbers game was all gone. Now, the focus is on quality.