What's in this article?
Digital marketing heroes can help your business get more traffic, more leads, and ultimately more sales.
Good digital marketing is so effective, it can even make you money while you sleep. Email marketing can nurture leads while you’re busy with other tasks, and infographics can explain complex topics to your customers with ease.
But what about not-so-good digital marketing?
The truth is that bad digital marketing can nearly sink your online business.
Digital marketing villains do exist and you can’t always tell them apart from the heroes. Not all heroes wear capes and not all villains twirl a mustache as they tie your website to the tracks.
Bad Digital Marketing Cuts Corners
Cutting corners almost never turns out well, and it’s these shortcuts that the marketing villains often reel you in with. But taking a shortcut when you’re implementing online strategy is often a big mistake that 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, but that often ends up being a much more painful process than just doing it right 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 own organization, sometimes they’re contracted with digital marketing firms. But however they come to you, the worst vice is advice and, unfortunately, these charlatans — as our own Bill Rice likes to call them — are thick as thieves in the digital world — like mustachioed villains, tying your traffic, SERP rankings, and online reputation to the railroad tracks.
Don’t be fooled by the half-baked ideas and too-clever-by-half trickeration that can really beat up your site.
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 around setting up new websites willy-nilly in an attempt 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. Some may consider them “dumb robots” that are “susceptible to manipulation” for now, but those “dumb robots” are getting smarter all the time.
Importantly, search engines will discount your links if they see signs of control or ownership between the sites — web collusion, if you will.
Link factories are a dodgy technique, from back in the primitive days of SEO, and they should probably have stayed there. These days, Google and other search engines will delight in smacking down your links and sites.
“Let’s Do a Snazzy Website Redesign!”
THE DANGER: Design cannot be allowed to trump SEO. Form must follow function. A poorly done 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. All those gains can vanish in a flash.
One false step — changes to your URL, for instance, or the removal of keyword-rich copy in favor of a sleeker, more conversion-centered language — 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. So 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 effort to make it happen. 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 guilty by association with various junk pages and their mustachioed creators.
If You Listen to the Mustachioed Charlatans…
So, what happens if you do take the advice of the internet hucksters offering these kinds of bad digital marketing ideas? Well, you won’t have to go to Google jail. And some of their tricks might even work…for a time.
However, like all shortcuts, you’ll make a wrong turn 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!
There’s a reason your parents told you to stay away from villains. It’s the same when it comes to your website. Good digital marketing can be a fantastic investment that will give you a great ROI. But beware of bad digital marketing and the mustachioed villains trying to get you to do it. If not, you might find your site tied to the tracks.