As a business owner, chances are you’ve researched some of the best marketing trends and tactics that you can implement to drive your business forward. And there’s plenty of information available out there. Take a trip to the marketing section of any bookstore and you’ll become inundated with business tips. Search for “best marketing advice” and you’ll see thousands of results.
And while there are endless amounts of blogs and books and podcasts that detail everything your business should be doing, there isn’t nearly enough written on what your business should be staying away from. Unfortunately, in the race to the top of search engine results pages, there are a handful of marketing tips that suddenly become trends and shouldn’t have. Here are five marketing trends you should STOP doing now:
Even if you aren’t SEO-proficient, you might understand the power that search engine optimization holds. If executed carefully and accurately, good SEO can thrust your business to the coveted front page of Google results pages. In an effort to get there, many people are taking keyword research too far by stuffing those keywords into the content. However, this can have an adverse effect. Not only could Google penalize you—knocking your site off search engines indefinitely—but it could de-value your business in the eyes of site visitors. Unless you’re a professional, it might be best to outsource your SEO efforts. The cost of SEO is slim considering great SEO can last the duration of a business, and the return on investment is strong.
Forcing App Usage
Many businesses have launched apps and are going the extra mile to encourage customers to use them. Unfortunately, one of the tactics businesses are employing involves forced app usage. This means that potential customers and clients will be forced to download your app in order to receive access to content, promotionals, specials, and more. There are other creative ways you can convince users to download your app without giving them an ultimatum.
Auto-Blogging & Syndicated Content
An auto blog automatically gathers content from RSS feeds. It uses software to automatically push content into your web pages. When it first came out in 2006, it seemed like a good way to spread news that was being widely covered. However, Google has long since begun to penalize websites that were relying too heavily on auto blogging to gain traffic and get ahead in search engines. Furthemore, because it merely pulls content from other sites, it gives your business no opportunity to showcase your brand voice or value. If you insist on auto-blogging, be sure it is only a small fraction of your blog posts, and that there are also plenty of high-quality, manually written blogs.
Too Much Automation
For starters, there’s nothing wrong with automation. In fact, most businesses depend on it. Without automation, business owners would spend tedious hours on relentless manual work. But when it comes to marketing, balance is key. Too much automation can detract from the humanity of a brand. Many businesses are automating so much that they’re eliminating human-to-human interaction, rather than using it solely as a tool to increase leads and communicate with the customer and client base. Furthermore, overuse of automation could start to feel lazy, and your clients will recognize.
Stop Using Article Spinning Software
For those that don’t know, article spinning software is software that takes existing articles and spins them to change the usage of text, ultimately tricking search engines into thinking it’s original and unique. It does this by switching the selection of text and swapping words for other synonymous words and phrases.
However, this is a shady SEO tactic employed by people who don’t want to take the time to create their own content, or to paraphrase existing content. Not only is it unethical and lazy, but it products low quality copy the majority of the time.
For example, take a look at the aforementioned paragraph after it’s been put through an article spinner:
“Be that as it may, this is an obscure SEO strategy utilized by individuals who would prefer not to set aside the opportunity to make their own substance, or to reword existing substance. In addition to the fact that it is unscrupulous and apathetic, however it items low quality duplicate most of the time.”
As you can see, it doesn’t read natural, and it clearly appears written by a computer. Article spinners don’t understand natural language and phrases, and often swap words for others that don’t make sense. If you really want to offer quality text to your readers, write it yourself or outsource your content efforts.
If you’re using any of these tactics, it’s time to step back. There are plenty of other efficient ways to run your marketing using trends that are proven to work.
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