When it comes to Digital Marketing strategy and implementation, things can, and do, go wrong! Some of the mistakes can be far more damaging than others and we are going to delve into some of digital marketing’s most haunting horror stories that will have you screaming how did that happen in the first place?!
We have picked out our favourite real tales of digital marketing mistakes that really shocked us, offering some insight in what not to do when it comes to PPC, SEO and content strategy.
Disclaimer: Innovation Visual are not associated with or responsible for any of these scary stories you are about to hear!
When PPC and Google Ads Management goes scarily wrong
Paid search advertising can be a highly effective way to get your website found in search results, but it can also go horribly wrong if the Google Ads account has been set up poorly or by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing! Our top 3 gruesome paid search stories are:
- A certain business (that shall not be named) sold very expensive, high end art. When setting up the account; apps were not excluded. Therefore, the ads were being shown on apps such as Temple Run. Whilst Temple Run is a popular game in itself, its target audience is maybe not right for high end art. Players of temple run were clicking on the ads for high end art and bouncing straight back off them, but every click cost the business money, and wasted the budget on totally useless traffic! Scary huh?
- A frightening situation that was detrimental to the profit of one business all came down to the word, ‘’ One business decided it was a great idea to have this term in a paid search campaign as a broad match even though this keyword had no relevance to what they wanted to advertise on! What makes matters even worse is that the account was not checked for 8 weeks and 99% of the budget was spent on this term before anyone even realised! Our top tip; check the accounts you are managing on a weekly basis and regularly check the search terms report to make sure your ads are not showing for any keywords you do not want to be found for!
- Something that happens all too often, is when poor account management leads to client display ads appearing on some very distasteful and unpleasant websites. Websites that businesses really do not want to be associated with! Many brands have fallen victim to this due to sheer lack of attention. The simple fix is to ensure the box is ticked to exclude your display ads from showing on these sorts of sites.
- Our team were shocked to find out when we explored one business’ paid search ads that they were running a campaign with ads that were not linking to their website and were in fact landing people on a completely different website! It was very generous of this company to pay for traffic to go to another website, but they were wasting their paid advertising budget and there ads weren’t actually delivering any benefits when it came to getting people to visit their website!
Spooky SEO tactics that harm businesses
In order to improve your website rankings in organic search, there are several steps that you must take to ensure Google and other search engines actually understand the content on your website. Whether that be adding schema.org to a page, or adding alternative text to images, you want to make sure you are doing all you can for search engine optimisation. However, there are some businesses that fail to realise the importance of strong technical SEO and here are just a couple of examples:
- As a business, it is vital to ensure that search engines can crawl your website and its pages. This means that your website must be indexable. If your pages aren’t indexed, then how are you going to get found? Well worryingly we have seen some circumstances where companies have actually managed to no-index their entire website completely removing it from organic search results! Just think how damaging this could be to the profit of your business. Especially if no one notices for an extended period of time. This is a truly frightening situation!
- Content is key to ensure you are ranking well in search engines. Whilst duplicate content is a big no, deleting valuable content should also be a no-go area! However, one company that was strategically changing their tone of voice, deleted ALL their old content. Yes all of it. The result? They completely destroyed their websites organic rankings and traffic. Even worse they failed to take a backup of their site and couldn’t locate the content making the process of adding it back on the website even more difficult. Thank goodness for Wayback Machine! Our advice is to edit content, but do not delete it!
Beware of this international website mishap!
Our final digital marketing disaster that you need to hear about comes from a very bad language mishap:
Many companies operate internationally and therefore it makes sense in many cases to have a different website or sub-site for these different countries in that country’s respective language. However, what something means in one country may mean the complete opposite in another and shouldn’t just be directly translated.
Unfortunately, one business made this very mistake. Instead of using their native speaking employees to translate their English content into the respective languages, they decided to simply translate it using a free translating tool. This resulted in the Italian version of the website for a clamshell phone product using a term to describe it that was slang for a rather personal and intimate part. (We’ll let you do the guesswork on what that body part was).
Avoid these Halloween horrors!
Now that you know about them, make sure that your business never falls into the same trap! If you’re in doubt about anything it is always worth talking to experts who will be able to help. In the short term it may be more expensive than going it alone, but it the long term it can save you a lot of money and time!
Contact Innovation Visual and avoid terrifying mishaps today
We hope you enjoyed our run down of some of the most terrifying digital marketing horror stories and they really do send a consistent message of this is not what to do!
Contact us today to ensure you are working with a digital marketing consultancy that understands your needs and can give your business profitable treats rather than tricks!