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Online Marketing - Common Mistakes That Could Hurt Your Ranking

Posted by on Sep 01, 2010 - 01:27 PM

Web marketing is massive, huge and endless. You have Google, Yahoo, Forums, Blogs, Websites, StumbleUpon and infinity more choices.

They range in cost from Free to Expensive – Which do you choose?

There are several key factors that need to be addressed

     
  • Target Audience
  •  
  • Product/Service Type
  •  
  • Budget
  •  
  • Offline Marketing Components


Look out for a future set of articles that cover the online marketing mix and strategy – We are not going to cover the above here, what this articles covers is… Online marketing gone wrong.

     
  1. SEO that does more harm than good
  2.  
  3. Internet Traffic Scams
  4.  
  5. Things you are doing that hurt your brand
  6.  
  7. Misplaced faith in social media
  8.  
  9. Rip Off SEO

 

     
  1. SEO that does more harm than good  

    We include this in “web marketing” as you are basically trying to market better though the major search engines. There are a few big things we see people doing that is actually damaging their SEO ranking.

    Meta Tags
    Don’t just cram every single word you can think of in to the META section. Make sure they are in the actual page or Google will de-value your content.

    Duplicate Content
    Don’t repeat content or pages without a good reason. Google will de-value your page.

    Keyword Cramming – Page Titles
    Having unique page titles is an absolute must for SEO. What you don’t want to do is stuff every single keyword possible into the title. Make it meaningful and relevant for the content.

    Linking to other sites
    Don’t go crazy linking to other sites thinking that is going to help. What you actually want is for other sites to link to you. Not just any sites either, they need to be of a high “value” to Google to have a positive impact on your ranking.

    Clicking on your site
    This is a funny one we hear all the time. People say that they have been (and getting friends) clicking on their site in the Google results. This will not do anything. You are wasting your time. It is such a common one that we hear, I thought I better put the story straight.

     

  2.  

  3. Internet Traffic Scams

     

    Don’t buy traffic. Plain and simple. They are almost 100% scams, botnets, pop-unders and they more than likely will damage your SEO rep.

     

    We have tested a couple and I promise you they are useless.

     

    Every person who even tries the one $19.95 test campaign etc is essentially feeding the continued business of these scammers.

    If you can prove you know one that isn’t a scam – we would love to know about it…
     

    Important Note: We do not include StumbleUpon here

       

    While StumbleUpon Ads are sort of paid traffic – they are targeted and if you read my article on StumbleUpon, you should get the idea of when, where and how to use it.

     



  4.  

  5. Things you are doing that hurt your brand

     

    This section covers some tempting things available that you might think are useful, or at best “couldn’t hurt” – but guess again – they will.

    Spamming forums
    If you are going to engage in the forum as a useful member who contributes to the community in a meaningful way – and then sometimes drops links to your stuff – ok, that is a little different.

    Remember, it is a community of people who are keen on the subject and will most likely view your spamming really negatively. Also, it is probably against the rules…. So yeah, just don’t.

    Spamming comments
    Same as above, it is going to look obvious and probably going to reflect badly on you and your brand. Chances are it won’t even make it past the “approval” stage of the blogger/site owner.

    Again – just don’t. Remember that they don’t believe in your product like you do, they don’t know all of the “amazing” benefits. You are just going to annoy them.

    You will look like a bot even if you are human and they are just too used to denying bots. In fact, they hate those annoying bots… Do you want to be included in that?

    Setting up dodgy links
    Google is going to get you for this, it is not going to help and the quality of the traffic is going to be terrible. Just don’t even bother.

    Don’t sign up to every thing in the world that you can just to post crappy links.

    Link trading
    This is a pretty old technique – Don’t bother too much with this…

    UNLESS:

    Your content and their content are a good fit. If you link from a story about apples on their site, to your site selling apples, then excellent, that is good.

    But if you link from a site about cars to a page about apples…. Don’t. That is stupid.

    These are extreme examples, but seriously, we have seen pretty much just that. It isn’t going to help as the traffic quality will be crap and Google is probably going to notice and de-rank you.

    Directory linking
    This is a classic. One that doesn’t really help. Being on every dodgy, poorly maintained directory site in the world is probably a waste of time.

    If you select some modern, popular directory sites to list in, relative to your market and demographic, then excellent, by all means.

    Just don’t waste your day listing yourself in directories. You are better off spending the day writing new site content or starting a blog. That is much more useful. Seriously, how did you get here?

     


  6. Misplaced faith in social media

    Don’t go crazy for the hype – Social Media may be a waste of time or worse, damage your brand, business and rep.

    Social Media as a marketing and business tool is so hyped at the moment.

    It is just another “hype” craze like Cloud Computing… We do Cloud or SaaS or scalable infrastructure or what ever you want to call it, so we are qualified to say in what situations it is hype.

    The key to all hype is that there is usually something real there – the key is identifying what and when to use it.

    It is just not a natural or realistic fit for all businesses. Think about it, having a fan page for a chemical company is probably brave.

    Twitter needs a mention here – some things shouldn’t be twittered, it is a waste of time for most businesses and is often used incorrectly.

    Don’t get Social Media marketing confused with Facebook ads!

    They are so different: Facebook Ads are amazing when used correctly – the targeting is amazing and they can be fantastically effective.

    You need to see the difference here as "Free" social vs "Paid" social – understand this and you will be right.

  7.  

  8. Rip Off SEO

    There is a good chance you have received a phone call, email or spoken with a hawker that is offering to "make your site number 1 on Google!" or "Put you on page one of Google!" – sounds pretty good…

    The problem is that what they are (usually) offering is to take your money and buy some AdWords ads. Sure, this will get you on the first page. But it isn’t really what many expect or understand.

    We have recently seen one example where the company promises all of this and then takes $1100 AUD. The person thought that it was an SEO service as this is what they were told.

    The key here is that it isn’t SEO – it is just buying ads. When the $1100, or whatever portion is actually going to AdWords, runs out, that is it. No long-term improvement or hope of increasing traffic.

    We don’t need to make this section too long because the point is: Don’t buy SEO services unless they are actually going to do SEO.

Conclusion

There are a lot of things you can do, both Free and Paid, that will have a big effect (positively) on your businesses presence on the web.

The web gives you global reach and most effective forms of online advertising give you an amazing ability to track, improve and tune your campaigns.

The key is to avoid the things listed above and concentrate on the effective and positive marketing options available.