Let’s fix these simple marketing mistakes that cost you leads.

It’s not always the big things that cause you to lose leads. Very often, it’s the little things you aren’t noticing that cause prospects to jump ship. Here are five common marketing mistakes that cost you leads – and what to do about them.

1. Your keyword does not mean what you think it means.

Sometimes there is a phrase that sounds perfect for your business, but it means something else to people searching on the web. It can be a real problem because – unless you dig into your data – you won’t know that it’s happening.

Case in point: when I worked at the scheduling company, we wanted to reach radiology departments. The term they used was “radiology scheduling,” so it seemed a no-brainer to use that as a keyword for our PPC ads. And, at first, that seemed to be a smart choice – we got a lot of clicks on that term. But, when I dug a little deeper, I realized a lot of those clicks were patients trying to schedule an MRI or CT scan. The thing is, we did not offer patient scheduling; we scheduled the doctors, so none of those clicks was useful. In fact, they were wasting our PPC budget.

To fix this problem, I made sure to keep on top of my negative keywords lists. Plus, I used other keywords that made it clear we were scheduling staff, not patients.

A keyword may bring you traffic, but you have to make sure it’s the right traffic. If it isn’t, take steps to adjust your aim.

2. Your site is hard to navigate.

A client recently told me that they always use landing pages because they think people would find their homepage too confusing.

Good on them for realizing the problem and creating landing pages. Yet, what happens to people who do end up on their homepage? Maybe they were told about the company and looked it up. Maybe they found a link from a trade show exhibitor listing. Whatever the reason, they are landing on the homepage – and getting lost.

To see if site navigation might be a problem for you, dive into your Google Analytics. Look at the keywords people are searching on, then see where people land. Look at their starting pages and exit pages – is there a pattern? Does it seem they are looking for something and not finding it? Are they giving up without even clicking around?

Sometimes the navigation issue is structural, and sometimes it’s a matter of language. If it’s structural, important pages might be so buried your visitors cannot find them. In that case, simply re-organize your menu. Or create a jump-off page for each persona, so they can immediately find what they need.

If the problem is a matter of language, consider what problems your target audience has and what words they use to describe them. Then see if those words appear on your page. If your site is so full of jargon or buzzwords that it doesn’t speak to your audience, you need to re-write your copy.

3. Your page is broken.

There is nothing so frustrating as having something on your website break without you realizing it. This happened to me just last week. Out of the blue, all the fonts on my homepage changed, which threw off the layout and hid a major CTA button. I still don’t know what caused it, and it took a few days to fix it. In the meantime, anyone landing on my site would have had a hard time believing I knew anything about website marketing.

These things happen. Links go bad, automatic updates wreak havoc, and forms stop functioning. The best response is vigilance. Use plug-ins to monitor your site for broken links. Keep an eye on updates. Clear your cache periodically so you can keep tabs on what your site really looks like.

4. Your page lacks an effective Call-to-Action.

Your website is there to do a job; it shouldn’t just sit there looking pretty. That means each of your pages should have a purpose. Some pages will ask you to download something, others will ask you to click to a blog post, but they all should be steering you.

For each page, ask yourself what you want your visitors to do. Make sure your goal makes sense for the content on that page. Then, make sure your page steers people to take that action. If you want them to download a PDF, don’t bury the link. Make sure the words are helpful and engaging – saying “download brochure” is unlikely to win you many conversions.

5. Your form scares people off.

This happened to me just the other day. I was trying to download a report on account-based marketing when their form started freaking me out. I got about a third of the way through the form – which tells you how long it was – when they started asking way too many questions about my business. It felt intrusive and I left the site; I didn’t want the report that badly.

We all want to qualify our leads, but we have to balance that with not wanting people to flee. You can get more out of your marketing automation software by using dynamic forms and progressive profiling. These will present different questions to visitors based on what information you already have on them, as well as their buyer persona.

Remember, people get scared when they start filling out a form. It’s subtle, but they feel you are taking something from them – their contact information. So make sure the process is as smooth as possible, and never give them reason to bolt.

Put yourself in their shoes.

Look at your website and landing pages from your prospect’s perspective. Is it clear where they can find what they are looking for? Are you steering them towards a goal?

Put yourself in their shoes and you are much more likely to convert them.