The most important thing a marketer can do to promote themselves online is to bring value to their customers and to be honest. Value comes from bringing information, ideas and products that people desperately need to grow their own business or improve their lives, and honesty comes from how you get your information out into the wild. Take a look at the world’s most successful online service: Google; they give every user a vital service and a great experience without compromising on honesty (Do no evil).
But how can you avoid black hat marketing tactics and still be successful? We’ve all stumbled across that website on Google that had a high ranking page but horribly written information and links to affiliate pages plastered all over it; do you really want to be that site? Employing a shady SEO companies techniques to get eyeballs on the page works for a little while, but who is going to stay on the page and keep coming back for more?
Do No Evil
Like Google, you have to strive to do no evil. But what does that mean?
- Don’t spam
You don’t have to spam people with emails, bad backlinks and other useless junk that won’t attract new customers or convert readers into buyers. There is a better way! After almost 20 years of mainstream internet usage, people won’t respond to unethical tricks to get them in the door anymore.
- Create useful content
Creating useful content that provides value and a little entertainment is a big part of the success puzzle. How many times have you stayed on a website reading for hours because you just wanted to learn more? You can create content just like that! Your website and the articles that link to you can be entertaining and informative and make people want to learn more about what you’re offering. You don’t need to use shifty advertising techniques when white hat options will do!
- Advertise Wisely
When you advertise, you want to make sure you’re doing it right. A good company will be able to help you identify what niche blogs and websites will bring you the best conversions (readers who become customers) and the greatest exposure. Using your advertising budget more wisely will help you avoid the pitfalls of black hat SEO and get everything you need from your SEO.
Honesty in Advertising
When you’re dealing with others online, honesty truly is the best policy. Look at Sony for example; a few years ago they created an online campaign to sell consoles with a fake blogger pretending she needed to get her brother a PS3 for Christmas. People eventually figured it out and they became extremely angry with Sony and boycotted their products. Why should you risk this kind of backlash when you can get the same results with the right techniques?
When you’re formulating your SEO strategy, you want to take advantage of all the ways you can interact with your customers honestly; word of mouth spreads fast and a bad reputation can ruin your business for years to come!