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Avoid the Pitfalls that Could Torpedo Your Digital Marketing Plan!

Reflecting on recent events, we've been contemplating essential aspects of digital marketing that should never be overlooked. Here, we've compiled a list of common SEO and SEM errors that can potentially lead to disastrous outcomes for your marketing plans.

Unforgettable SEO Mistakes!

The realm of search engine optimization is constantly evolving, making it easy for website owners to fall behind. With ongoing algorithm updates, changes in search engine information display, spam updates, and advancing technologies, there are numerous pitfalls that unsuspecting website owners may unknowingly stumble into.

  • Neglecting a Mobile-Responsive Website In today's age, having a mobile-responsive website is imperative. It's simple to check if your website appears properly on mobile devices. Just view your site on an up-to-date smartphone or tablet or use a website inspection tool. If the elements do not align uniformly and require zooming in and scrolling to read the content, it's time to consider a redesign.

Why is a mobile-responsive website crucial? According to Statista, global mobile internet usage accounts for 59.72% of total internet usage. With nearly 60% of people accessing the internet through mobile devices, failing to deliver a good user experience on mobile can result in significant loss of web traffic. This is particularly crucial for e-commerce websites, as poor user experiences can lead to lost conversions and potential customers shopping elsewhere.

Moreover, Google, the dominant search engine, follows a mobile-first indexing approach. This means that Google primarily uses the mobile version of a website for indexing and ranking purposes. Consequently, non-responsive designs suffer in search engine results pages (SERPs). Although Google has been implementing this since 2019, numerous outdated websites indicate that many owners have neglected to keep up with website evolution.

If you require a website redesign, there are reliable CMS platforms available to help you revamp your site and ensure mobile compatibility. Examples include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Shopify, as well as popular platforms like Wix and Squarespace.

However, it's worth noting that website migration should not be taken lightly. Significant changes to your site's architecture, content, user experience (UX), user interface (UI), or transitioning to a new CMS can potentially disrupt your organic search results, positively or negatively. Proper execution of a website migration may lead to initial fluctuations in the SERPs before stabilizing at a better position. Conversely, neglecting the migration process could cause a significant decline in organic rankings. If you need assistance with website design or migration, don't hesitate to reach out to us at VSA.

  • Missing & Duplicate Metadata – Page Titles & Meta Descriptions Optimizing and creating compelling, unique page titles and meta descriptions are crucial for SEO. Although it may seem obvious, many website owners tend to overlook this aspect, especially for large sites or e-commerce platforms with hundreds or thousands of pages. Keeping track of this seemingly simple aspect of website maintenance can become challenging.

Why are page titles and meta descriptions important? They provide an excellent opportunity to promote your products or services in search engine result pages (SERPs). Consider them as text-based advertisements designed to entice users to click through to your website. Additionally, they play a significant role in conveying the subject topic of the page or product to both search engines and users.

To identify missing or duplicate metadata, several tools are available to crawl your website, such as Screaming Frog, SEMrush, Sitebulb, and Ubersuggest. Once you've identified the gaps or duplicates, optimize and fix them to enhance your position in organic search results.

  • Failure to Set Up Canonical URLs Canonicalizing your URLs is a critical aspect that webmasters often overlook.

But what exactly is canonicalization, and why does it matter? Search engines like Google dislike duplicate or similar content because they struggle to determine which page should be ranked. Moreover, having duplicate or similar content can lead to content cannibalization within your site, where multiple pages compete to rank for the same keyword.

By implementing canonical tags across your site, you inform search engine crawlers about the master URL, the canonical URL. Neglecting canonical tags allows search engines to choose what they consider the canonical URL, potentially differing from your intended choice.

Unforgettable SEM Mistakes! If you utilize paid advertising to bolster your online presence and generate revenue, here's a brief overview of common SEM mistakes that should never be forgotten.

  • Setting Exorbitant CPCs Compared to Your Budget To achieve profitable conversions through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, closely monitor your cost-per-click (CPC). CPC can fluctuate based on factors like competition and seasonal changes, rendering previously affordable keywords less cost-effective. If the cost outweighs the profit, you might find yourself in a precarious situation.

Why is CPC important? Your cost per click determines how quickly you exhaust your daily budget. Bidding on expensive keywords with a limited budget can rapidly deplete your funds, leaving your website reliant on organic traffic for the remainder of the day.

On mobile devices, paid ads dominate small screens, and coupled with users' tendency to avoid scrolling, you risk losing potential traffic to competitors if your budget runs out.

How can you address this? Employ some tricks of the trade to overcome expensive CPCs:

  1. Research less competitive keywords to target: Lower traffic doesn't necessarily mean fewer conversions. By tailoring your ads to mid-to-long-tail key phrases, you can potentially achieve better conversion rates, aligning your ads more closely with user search queries.

  2. Focus on improving your Quality Score: Ensure your ad is relevant to user intent, and provide a satisfying landing page experience.

  3. Analyze your data: Examine user data to determine who is clicking through and whether they convert. You may discover that your ads aren't resonating with your desired demographic. In such cases, consider reallocating your budget to a different advertising platform or reworking your ads to better target your desired audience.

Incorrect Keyword Match Types A common mistake when setting up a Google Ads campaign is selecting inappropriate keyword match types. Here are a few examples:

  • Broad Match: Opting for broad match types may result in a lower CPC, but it can also lead to spending your budget on clicks that fail to convert. While the competition might be lower, relevance to the user is diminished, potentially wasting your advertising budget. When using broad match, exclude search terms that may attract the wrong audience by incorporating negative keywords.

  • Exact Match: Selecting exact match keyword types ensures your ad only appears when users input the exact phrase. Although this keyword match type tends to be more expensive on a CPC basis and generates less traffic, it enhances relevance, increasing the chances of converting clicks into sales. It works well when promoting a very specific product type but may not be ideal for appealing to a broader audience. For e-commerce sites, it's crucial to monitor stock inventory when using exact match to avoid driving users to out-of-stock items.

  • Phrase Match: Exercise caution when selecting phrases to target with phrase match. If a user's search query includes an additional word within the phrase, your ad won't be triggered. However, if the additional word precedes or follows the phrase, your ad will still display. To optimize your ad campaign with phrase match, think like a user and consider analyzing your analytics data to discover how people search for your products or services. Adjust your key phrases accordingly to increase the likelihood of your ad appearing.

Require Assistance with Your Digital Marketing? If your business has made costly marketing mistakes and you need expert help to turn things around, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team. We specialize in kickstarting marketing campaigns and can provide the assistance you need. Contact us today!


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