Digital marketing has come a long way since the early days of the web. Certain strategies that were once effective have since become outdated. Others have gained a reputation for being slightly dodgy or simply irritating. In all cases, these strategies generally do more harm than good. Here are just five of these types of strategies, all of which you should avoid like the plague.
Buying likes and followers on social media is legal in most cases, but generally viewed as dishonest. The average person won’t be able to tell that you’ve bought 1000 Facebook followers and it could help you to look like a more established company, however the positive effects may not last for long. Most of these likes will be from inactive accounts – the likes of which Facebook is systematically deleting – so you could end up losing all your page likes. Having lots of inactive followers may also look suspicious in the long run when your real followers realise that a disproportionate amount of people are liking and commenting on your posts.
Similar to buying likes, faking reviews and testimonials is plain dishonest. Today’s internet users are getting better at spotting fake reviews – if they see a glowing review that they suspect to be false, it could make them trust your company even less. Worse still, faking reviews is actually illegal and is known as ‘astroturfing’ – the likes of Yelp have even started fining companies for fake reviews. In other words, it’s a dangerous game.
There was a time during Google’s infancy when all you needed to do was stuff your website full of one particular keyword and you could boost your rankings. Nowadays, getting to the top of search engines isn’t this simple – search engines have improved their algorithms and this keyword stuffing behaviour can now actually have a negative impact on your rankings. Keywords should be incorporated naturally into your website content, which is a task best carried out by SEO specialists. Making it all feel natural won’t just improve your rankings, but it will make your website more readable – overuse of keywords can be distracting to readers.
Nobody likes to fight through ten pop-ups just view a webpage. Pop-ups can work and are great way to get people to opt into your mailing list, but you should be careful of having too many promotions and surveys popping up on your website as visitors will lose patience and most likely leave your site before getting to your content.
Clickbait can be a very effective to way to get people to click on your content and it’s an essential tactic when email marketing, creating PPC ads or sharing blog posts on social media. However, you should be careful of going too far – if the clickbait text has little to do with the text, people will just feel cheated and you won’t generate any leads. Build up excitement, but follow through with exciting content.