It would be naïve to suggest that the business world is made up of nothing but ladies and gentleman of commerce competing using Queensbury rules and slapping each other on the back when they lose out on a contract or customer.
Business can be tough and competitive and there’s nothing wrong with that; after all, people’s livelihoods depend on its success. But that is still no excuse to indulge in unethical SEO. There are a number of reasons for this and being aware of then will not just prevent a business from gaining the wrath of everyone from Google to individual customers, but will actually help a website maximize its potential and gain greater customer loyalty.
- Beware of indulging in keyword overkill. If you have ever come across a web page like this, you will know how off putting it can be. You will have typed in a word of phrase to your search engine and been presented with what looks like an interesting option. However, when reading the page you are greeted with text that barely makes sense as it is littered with inappropriate keywords that render the meaning incomprehensible. How does that make you feel? The chances are that you will feel cheated and conned and more importantly from the business’s point of view, unlikely to visit their site ever again, let alone actually buying anything. It’s a cheap trick and should be avoided at all costs. If you’re using a SEO company, make sure it is a reputable one who can provide creative content that combines keyword utilization with strong copy. Your customer will thank you for it.
- Beware SEO companies or procedures that guarantee a page one Google ranking overnight. It may be possible, but the tactics will be unethical and will only serve to turn your customers off in their droves. A good, effective SEO strategy will involve liaising with a SEO company and agreeing on the best use of keywords combined with the best copy. This combination is the secret to sustained search engine success. SEO content needs to be accurate and effective to sustain hits and interest in a business’s site. Without this, the chances are that any initial search engine ranking success will be short-lived before your site disappears into the mists of the internet and with it, chances of business success.
- Perhaps most importantly is a very basic principle: ethical SEO is good for the long-term health of a business. Customers can often tell when they’re being ripped off and even if they don’t, they will soon figure it out. This will lead to resentment and worse for the business, word of mouth. This is almost impossible to counter and can do untold damage to a business’s reputation. It simply is not worth it, so it actually pays to be ethical. Think about what you would want from a business’s website and start from here. Cheap tricks do not endear a business to its clients and you can bet your bottom dollar that a competitor who has taken the time to work out an ethical and structured content marketing strategy will be more than happy to sit back and take your customers.
If you are ever tempted to indulge in unethical SEO procedures ask yourself one simple question: would you rather increase the number of visitors to your site by unethical methods only to see them turn away with your reputation in tatters or build a long-term customer base who trust your products/services and keep coming back for years to come? When you look at it that way, it’s not such a tough decision. Ethical SEO will repay your investment time and time again.
This is a guest post by Steve Lazuka of Interact Media, a website content marketing firm based in Ohio. He also writes on his content marketing blog, providing useful information for fellow marketers.