Digital Marketing can make or break a business. Here on the Kaleidico blog, we’re constantly telling you how email marketing can make you money while you sleep, or how infographics can explain complex subjects simply.
But today, we’re going to focus on the downside of the equation–how digital marketing done improperly can quickly hurt your business in lasting ways.
Bad Digital Marketing usually comes in the form of shortcuts
It’s most commonly a shortcut problem. Whether you’re driving someplace or implementing online strategy, it’s often a big mistake to cut corners as it can straight-up ruin your digital day. We’re human beings, so it’s only natural–we look for easier ways to do things. Ironically, we have a tendency to work really hard to be lazy, and often it ends up being a much more painful process than just doing it properly the first time.
The Web is awash with supposed digital experts who will promise you everything in exchange for practically nothing. Sometimes, they’re SEO hacks inside your organization, sometimes they’re contracted digital marketing firms. However they come to you, the worst vice is advice and, unfortunately, these charlatans (as our own Bill Rice likes to call them–which calls to mind mustachioed villains, tying your traffic, SERP rankings, and online reputation to a railroad), are as thick as thieves in the digital world.
Today, we’re looking at some half-baked ideas and too-clever-by-half trickeration that can beat the crap out of your site for any number of .
Here are 3 Bad Ideas They’ll Give You:
“Set Up New Websites to Create a Link Factory”
THE DANGER: Please, for your sake and everybody else’s, don’t go about setting up new websites willy-nilly in a fruitless effort to game the search engines.
Search engines rank sites using indexing robots that crawl the Web, looking to satisfy an algorithm using the content and structure of a page. And while some may consider them “dumb bots” now–suscpetible to manipulation–but they’re getting smarter all the time. SEs will discount your links if they see signs of control or ownership between the sites; Web collusion, if you will.
This is a technique from the primitive days of SEO, and it should probably have stayed there. Google and other engines will delight in smacking your links and sites down.
“Let’s Do a Snazzy Website Redesign!”
THE DANGER: Design cannot be allowed to trump SEO. Form must follow function. Doing a redesign and/or relaunch can be risky business. Ultimately, the fear is that you’ll undo the SEO value and SERP strength various pages have been accruing over months and years. And it can vanish in a flash.
One false step–changes to your URL, the removal of keyword-rich copy in favor of a sleeker, more conversion-centered language, etc.–and the mustachioed villains have now pushed your traffic off a cliff, Wile E. Coyote-style.
Remember, GoogleBots are cold, emotionless, electronic spiders who don’t appreciate the beauty of your page–they’re looking at code. Don’t undertake a Web redesign capriciously. Know what you’re doing and monitor changes to your metrics as you go, or you could have a site-ruining rude awakening.
“Y’Know, the More Web Pages/Links the Better”
THE DANGER: So, you want multiple ranked pages in high positions on the results page. And I want a pony. Both are a.) possible, b.) more or less unlikely, and, c.) will require some serious work if they’re to be accomplished. Once again, the mustachioed charlatans appear, selling you another potentially costly shortcut.
Don’t just litter the Web with junk–value quality over quantity. Don’t cut corners on content production, it will waste time and worse, could get you into trouble.
Google hates junk pages, often pumped out of content farms and the like, and will discount them in the rankings. If they see you doing this, they’ll come looking for your site. The nightmare scenario is that you become associated with various ‘bad neighborhoods’ online.
If You Listen to The Mustachioed Charlatans…
Ultimately, if you take the advice of the Internet hucksters offering the kinds of ideas mentioned above, no, you’re not going to go to Google jail. And some of their tricks might even work…for now.
However, like all shortcuts, if you rely on them over time, you’ll make a wrong term somewhere. You’ll end up in seedy digital alleys where you could get robbed of SERP rankings and traffic, or your site’s online reputation might catch a beating. Don’t believe me? Ask J.C. Penney.
Remember, there are downsides to every strategy, and as we always say at Kaleidico: there’s no such thing as free Web traffic!