Standing out online can be a massive challenge. It’s a crowded field and every day more and more companies enter the fray. You’ve likely been trying many different marketing tactics to make yourself stand out. But are they the right ones?

You can kiss your questions goodbye today. This article will walk you through what not to do with your marketing efforts. Consider this to be the online marketing 101 class you’ve never had.

Get ready, class is in session!

Online Marketing 101 – Syllabus

Trends in online marketing are constantly changing.

As consumer behavior changes, marketing trends have to follow suit. While it’s great to be cutting edge, it’s horrible to be behind the times.

Let’s be crystal clear on this: Just because something may have worked for you in the past it does not mean that it will keep working (think phone book advertisements).

We’ll focus in on four tactics you should stop doing immediately:

  1. Annoying Pop-Ups
  2. Requiring Barriers to Access Your Content
  3. Keyword Stuffing
  4. Overlooking Hashtags

These strategies may have worked (to some extent) in the past, but it’s time for you to leave them in the dust.

Stop the Annoying Pop-Ups

Megan_Rexazin / Pixabay

Pop-ups may seem like a great idea at the time, but it has been annoying for years, be careful you do not annoy the people you want to talk to.

You’ve got this great content you want to be sure you get in front of your clients.

You’ve heard about how important it is to build up an email list, so throw a huge pop-up at every incoming visitor so they don’t miss their chance.

The only problem? It is annoying your visitors.

Pop-ups are like mosquitos. They follow you around, can be hard to get away from, and every time you see one you question why they exist at all.

Note: There may occasionally be situations where pop-ups make sense and don’t chase away visitors. This is the exception, not the rule and you should research the best times to use them.

Fling Open the Gates

Ever heard of the golden rule of online marketing?

The easiest way to get loyal customers who keep coming back? Give them valuable content!

Don’t put up barriers that will prevent visitors from accessing your content. If you do, you’re basically giving them a reason to go try and find it somewhere else.

This means no requiring an email address to get access to something they will value.

Stop the Stuffing

There once was a time where the easiest way to rank high in search results was to stuff your content full of the keywords you were targeting.

Selling designer shoes for men? Just write an article for your website that mentions that five hundred times and your set.

But guess what? Search engines have gotten smarter. Readers hate keyword stuffing and search engines know that. Not only will keyword stuffing no longer get you ahead – it could hurt you.

Keywords still matter, but don’t overdo it. Check out tools like SEO Booster for help with striking the right balance.

Overlooking Hashtags

“Hashtags? What are those? Back in my day, we called it the pound sign!” While it may be true, that attitude will shoot you in the foot. People use hashtags to search for the content they want. They are everywhere.

The best practices vary depending on the platform you’re using, so do research prior to diving in. But once you’ve got a handle on how to use them effectively, go for it.

Make sure you’ve also you’re also making it easy for people to share your content on social media. We’ve reviewed three of the best plugins to help with this here.

The Final Exam

Ready to take your final exam for Online Marketing 101?

Good news! There isn’t one.

The real test will be stopping the behaviors that are hurting your business. Old habits die hard but quit these things and you’ll develop a more effective marketing strategy for the long haul.

Now that you know what not to do, here are some tips that can help you improve your online marketing.