Being as it is Halloween, I thought I would scare you with some scary stories of unfortunate mistakes people made in the world of search.  This serves to entertain and educate. The world of search can be confusing and it is important you work with someone with a reputable past or understand what you are jumping into when Google gives you a coupon to just get started on Adwords.

The Scary Leaking Adwords Campaign

I have on many occasions sat down with someone that was running Adwords for their business, only to find that very large portions of their budget was being wasted on irrelevant or unnecessary keyword or geographic targeting. I once sat down with a business owner who had his site set up by someone who identified themselves as a “Google Partner”, only to see that they were wasting over 90% of thousands of dollars of budget on irrelevant keyword matches. The person had set them up with broad match and very generic keywords that forced their ads to be served to many, many terms that meant nothing to their business. Now that is scary.  Even a meticulously set up Adwords campaign should be monitored closely the first week or two to make sure there are no major budget leaks. If that isn’t part of the plan and you don’t know the past of the person working with you via referrals, be very careful. We were able to clean it up and getting it working efficiently in a few hours but it was unfortunately too late to recover all of that wasted money. Always try to be as specific as you can with paid campaigns and if you aren’t sure how to do it, it is better to hire a trusted professional to set it up properly than to risk wasted money for a small business, where every advertising dollar counts.

Where did my SEO spend go?

Another scary situation I often run into is the long-standing SEO campaign that has gone nowhere.  Because every business owner knows SEO is important, they often hire a company or agency to take care of it, and then trust that they are doing something. I often find they get confusing reports and assume they are doing something, but when I sit down with them and look at their site, we find that sometimes even the most basic and low-cost items like title tag targeting hasn’t been done, and the link strength that is so pivotal and often the most time-consuming part of SEO, has been ignored. I recently sat with a company that was spending a considerable amount every month but not sure what it was going to. Their five strongest links were from relationships the business owner had gotten himself, with no help from the SEO company, and their title tags were actually breaking the rules.


I didn’t mean to be too scary on this already scary day, but take these as a warning, so the same thing doesn’t happen to you. Work with someone you know has a successful history and knows what they are doing, and didn’t just sell you “SEO” because it is a hot topic, but then doesn’t do any of the work needed to move you forward.

Scary Search Stories for Halloween-Common SEM Mistakes
Article Name
Scary Search Stories for Halloween-Common SEM Mistakes
Google Certified Partner and SEM Specialist
Being as it is Halloween, I thought I would scare you with some scary stories of unfortunate mistakes people made in the world of search.
Jeremy Skillings
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