Four Dots
Four Dots Blog

from the blog

It’s close to midnight, and something evil is lurking in the dark. Under the moonlight, your desktop screen shines bright. You approach it, quivering, and gaze at your screen… Only to find your rankings are nowhere to be seen!

Did you feel that?! I know I did, and I wrote the thing! It seems that some of us would rather face a zombie apocalypse than a Google penalty.

But in the spirit of the holidays, we want to share the 7 ultimate digital marketing nightmares for the year 2016!

1. Leaking Landing Pages (in Blood!)


Just like Victor Frankenstein, you’re spending nights and days building your landing pages, assembling killer ad copies and moving logos and other elements around to bring your design to life. Once your creation does breathe in its first breath of air, you might be tempted to feel proud of your achievement.


But don’t get too excited. One gruesome fact that you must count on is the newly released statistic which confirms that marketers lose 97% of leads on leaky landing pages, approximately.

Why does this happen? The reasons are many. But for starters, keeping up a consistent quality of content is still a challenge for 68% of marketers, and this is one of the major factors which can influence your landing page conversions in a negative manner.

2. Ghost Stories (Metrics that Aren’t There)


How real are your metrics?

You should check their pulse and make sure that they are still breathing. Far too many of us are chasing ghosts through our reports and analytics tools, and if you cannot determine the ROI of your campaigns, your client will soon become a regular boogeyman.

One of the major issues in 2016 is the inability of 70% of marketers to measure the return on mobile ads. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! When it comes to “hunting in the dark,” there are a few cases that are even worse than this scenario.

As much as 46% of B2B marketers report that they are uncertain whether any of their social channels has generated any revenue for their businesses! They know that their audience is there, but they keep neglecting the fact that click-through rates on certain social media channels are plummeting.

How can that be?

I guess that a great majority of us isn’t even measuring the right metrics. Another possibility is that we simply expected too much out of certain platforms. For example, have you heard the news about Twitter? You’re not going to like it, not one bit.

3. The Dawn of the Dead (Pages)


If you’re not cleaning up after each campaign that you throw, be prepared for the possibility of infection. The moment a wandering visitor stumbles upon an old event page, or a webinar that has expired, all probability is that they will navigate away and leave your website, infected by your dead page.

Now you’re stuck with a high bounce rate, a bad brand experience, a prospect lost, your rankings drop and all this simply because you failed to clean up your old content!

You should know that as little as 10 pages containing old content can seriously damage your website. Search engine (night) crawlers should review and index each page that you publish, and by keeping old and purposeless pages on your website, you are stealing your own link juice.

As those crawlers are indexing the same old boring stuff, the authority of your other, fresh pages, is brought into question.

The horrific end of this story begs the following conclusion –  modern marketers are often very careless. And we all know what happens to careless characters in horror flicks, don’t we?!

4. The Shapeshifting Marketer


A colleague turned bad, a noob turned scam-artist – marketers hate other marketers who give our profession a bad name. It makes our job that much harder, and nobody wants to be the harbinger of bad news. If you ever had to tell a client that he got tricked instead of treated – you know how much they “love” hearing that type of news.

However, it seems that the last year was marked by dozens of outrageous campaigns that were straight lies! Completely dishonest advertisement campaigns coming from some serious professionals, who turned out to be nothing but wolves in sheep’s clothing!

From video game developers to vehicle manufacturers, we’ve seen some bold lies being told in public for the sake of revenue. Recent findings, unsurprisingly, found that moral in this industry is extremely questionable. As much as 47% of employees surveyed admitted that they’ve hit rock bottom.

The industry is as competitive as it ever was, and even some of the greatest professionals in the business are trying to get away with some audacious rip-offs.

5. The Haunting of the Mobile


A website that is not optimized for mobile use is scarier than any ghost, lingering around, barely visible, and scaring anyone who opens it from their phone.

Why, you ask?

Well if the 87% of internet users that have a smart phone is not incentive enough, how about the 69% of users that will delete your mail without reading it if it is not optimized for mobile.

Just to make sure you understand the seriousness of the situation, and why you need to perform a website cleansing (the sage is optional), here is another spooky fact! According to Google, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing! And to make things even more nightmarish – 40% will visit a competitor’s site instead.

So, if you want to drive away your leads and prospects, forget about mobile optimization in 2016! I dare you!

6. The Mailbox Horror Show


There is no greater horror for digital marketing experts than the realization that they have started an email marketing campaign by sending a batch of emails with the same mistake or grammar error. And now that mistakes is multiplying by the minute as the open rate rises.

This is something that no marketer can afford – with 69,7% of U.S. internet users preferring emails as a form of business communication, and with email conversion rates 3 times higher than in social media, with a 17% higher value in conversion.

Here are some no-nos that you should keep in mind when you are setting up your email campaign.

Are you sending unsolicited messages? Or, are you using a misleading subject line, or even better, using all caps, so your leads feel you are yelling at them through the screen? And my all-time favorite monster flick – are you lurking in the dark, and not tracking your open rates?

If you are doing any of the aforementioned – please stop.

7. The AI Era


What are the two words that make every SEO strategist and digital marketing specialist quiver?

“Ok Google…”

That’s the term you must use if you want to perform a voice search on your mobile device.

The fact that people are using services like Cortana, or Siri, and the fact that they are researching the web through these services – those are the things nightmares are made of. Not knowing which terms we should use when optimizing our content, and looking for logical connections between products and keywords – that’s a challenge by itself.

Arm yourself with some patience, because there’s more!

Voice search is just going to make things much more difficult. However, the rise of the machines doesn’t mean that SEO will die, as some believe. On the contrary, this only means that we should get that much better when it comes to semantics and search algorithms.

We’re not scared at all! Just make sure you keep the lights on.


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