South Tampa Sound

Online Ethics: Best Marketing Practices in the Digital World


When managing an internet marketing campaign, there are quite a few tactics that should be avoided at all costs. Well, maybe that isn't quite the right phrase, since most of these tactics cost money. As a business, you have better things to do than link building, social networking, and managing your digital footprint, right? Wrong! These things are some of the most important aspects of building your brand in the digital world. Just take the time to do them right instead of paying someone to use unethical tactics which could actually hurt your business in the long run.

Paying for Backlinks

Never, never, never hire a company that guarantees that your site will receive 10,000 backlinks by tomorrow. Yes, it can be done, however in most if not all cases, those backlinks will be placed on a variety of sites that are designed to do nothing more than provide links for you and tons of other business who paid for such a service. Search engines are constantly finding and removing such sites, since in most cases, these sites contain no relevant or useful information to your market. You have probably noticed quite a few pages such as this that manage to slip by and make their way to page one of your search results. Ever visited a page that appears legitimate until you start reading? Where the sentences or paragraphs don't make sense when you read the whole page at once? Rest assured that page is on someone's radar. While instant gratification can be nice, it is rarely going to help your business in the long run.

Paying for Reviews

One of the most common issues we receive is that getting customers to give positive reviews is incredibly difficult. This should go without saying, but paying a customer or, worse, a non-customer for a review is just downright dirty. It takes very little effort to get a bad review, as customers are more apt to complain about their negative experience without a second thought. Asking a customer to do a review when they have had a positive experience is only half the battle. In many cases customers will tell you they would be happy to post a review, and just as soon as they leave, forget that promise. This is why follow up is so important with regards to your online marketing efforts. Just make sure that you stay positive, professional, and maintain relationships with your customers after the fact. Doing these things will go so much further than paying for reviews. Consumers are getting better at spotting fake reviews these days, which will only hurt your conversion rate in the long run.

Keyword Stuffing

I know, this concept is so 90's, but we literally get customers asking for this every day. As professionals, we never oblidge, but are always happy to explain why this tactic is no longer effective and will actually hurt search rankings in every case. Of course, keywords are extremely important, but search engine algorithms are getting smarter every day. Don't add useless content just to get your target keywords on the page a few more times, just use keywords naturally thoroughout your content. Search engines look at context and quality of content more than anything. Placing a certain word on your page 200 times will actually make your site appear less relevant than your competitors and will reduce your search ranking in almost every case.