07 Jan AiroAV Antivirus Report: 6 Digital Marketing Mistakes Made by Major Brands
Digital marketing is such a minefield of misinformation that even the biggest brands (like the BBC and BMW) make mistakes. Don’t do what these six companies did!
Nowadays traditional marketing techniques aren’t working as well as they used to. And the online landscape can be difficult to figure out… even for huge, well-known brands like BMW, Mozilla, and the BBC.
For small businesses, it’s even harder. When you check out your competitors, it seems like they’re all killing it online. You search for your products and services in Google and it’s their stuff that pops up.
Clearly, you need to get your act together.
You’ve got to create a digital marketing plan. And it has to include everything from email marketing to search engine optimization (SEO).
And you’ve got to do it fast.
So you hire the first company that promises great results and they get to work. Everything seems to go well at first. Your website starts moving up in the search engines and you get a decent flow of traffic.
Then one day…
Everything grinds to a halt. You check your keywords and you’re no longer appearing. Your visitor count drops and your website feels like no-man’s land.
What the hell happened?
I’m willing to bet that your digital marketing company made some major errors. And those mistakes have hit you hard.
The simple fact is that the field of online marketing is a minefield of misinformation. That means there’s a huge chance you could make mistakes that tank your results… if you work with the wrong company.
Even some of the biggest brands in the world aren’t immune to the pitfalls of bad digital marketing. Here are six case studies that highlight some of the big mistakes you need to avoid.
The BBC – Using Unnatural Links to Boost Rankings
Some digital marketing activities that are fraught with danger… And link building is one of those. You need good links coming into your site and great links coming out of it.
Furthermore, those inbound links need to come naturally. In other words, any page that links to your website needs to do so because it finds value in your content. If you’re paying for links, that isn’t natural and isn’t showing valuable content. If you’re inserting your link onto any page that isn’t a quality and industry-relevant directory, that’s unnatural too.
Now, we’re not quite sure how the BBC managed to get an unnatural links penalty. It’s one of the biggest news organizations in the world. But back in 2013, Google punished one of its articles for unnatural links.
As Google’s John Mueller put it at the time:
“Looking into the details here, what happened was that we found unnatural links to an individual article, and took a granular action based on that. This is not negatively affecting the rest of [the] website on a whole.”
The BBC is such a huge organization that a small link penalty like this didn’t affect it much. But your website doesn’t have the same power as the BBC. If you get caught doing this, you’re going to feel some pain.
At worst, Google can give you a manual penalty and pull your website from the rankings. And what follows after that is weeks, or even months, of link cleanup just to get back into Google’s good graces.
The lesson here is simple: don’t build unnatural links. Instead, create awesome content that people can’t resist linking to.
Trolling Motors – Working with a Dodgy/Cheap SEO Agency
Trolling Motors thought everything was going great with their digital marketing plan. They had an agency in place that did all of the work for them. Plus, they managed to secure the agency’s services for a very low price.
Then, Google changed its algorithm.
And just like that, Trolling Motors disappeared from Google. The update hit them hard because their cheap SEO agency had used black hat techniques to get results.
Spammy links, crappy content, artificial posts, and too many keywords combined to almost kill the company’s website.
These are all tactics that cheap SEO agencies use to get a short-term boost without worrying about long-term consequences.
This one’s a story that’s as old as online marketing.
Marketing departments know that they need SEO, even if they don’t have the skills to do it themselves. They also have budgets to stick to, which means they look for the cheapest option available.
So they snap up the first agency that says the right things about building brand awareness online. Then they take a hands-off approach and let the agency get to work. Soon enough, all of those marketing efforts end up wasted, along with the money that paid for them.
Here’s your lesson…
Don’t cheap out when it comes to digital marketing. It’s a complicated process that requires an appropriate investment. Trust me, you’ll reap the rewards in the end if you avoid this huge mistake.
iFly – Having Poor Code on a Page
Now, I’m going to dig into the technical stuff.
Every online marketing agency tells you about great content, quality links, and all of that good stuff. What they don’t focus on as much is the code behind the pages that your website serves up.
If you mess up the code, you screw up your search results.
That’s what iFly discovered when they watched their traffic drop massively in the space of a couple of days. Within a few weeks, they’d lost tens of thousands of visitors.
It all came down to a single line of poor code.
That one line of code told all the major search engines to ignore the page it was placed on. And it was on almost every single page of the iFly website.
The code itself was a relatively quick fix. What wasn’t quick was how long it took iFly to climb back up the rankings after its own code got it booted out of results.
The lesson here is that any agency you work with has to know about the technical side of things. They can talk a great game about the customer journey and all that good stuff.
But if they screw up the code, your website goes down.
It’s as simple as that. Get people who know how to code pages that search…