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Are your inbound marketing practices ethical?

By Lisa Goldsberry

53001392_s.jpgUse PR to get it right

You have optimized your website with strong calls to action and landing pages, you blog and are active on social media and send well-crafted emails. Yes, your inbound marketing practices are in full swing. But, are you using them ethically?

Many companies have embraced inbound marketing as the best way to bring customers through the sales cycle, converting them from prospects to delighted fans faster. However, in an even bigger rush to close the deal, some are cutting corners, making lapses in judgment and engaging in unethical behavior. Use a professional public relations firm to ensure your company does not make the same mistakes.

Examples of unethical inbound marketing

Using controversial methods to manipulate search results

This includes paying for certain search terms without clearly indicating that they are sponsored content. It also comprises employing black hat SEO tricks such as hiding text by making it the same color as the background and blog comment spam. Most often, companies do this in response to crises, when they are trying to push down negative search results.

You should know that there are proven ethical ways to handle negative information without stooping to unsavory tactics. PR can help you make your own website rank higher with content people actually want. Some of these tools include collecting positive reviews, blogging and working to rebuild trust in your brand.

Creating fake social media profiles and accounts

Some do this to make it seem like they are getting more hits or attention than they actually are. Others use them to lure readers to affiliate links. They even go so far as to designate these accounts as the “official” account or site.

There are plenty of real people out there who will love your content and share it with other real people. You just have to research your ideal buyer persona, find where they are and develop information they will be interested in reading.

Misusing keywords

This can include tactics such as writing content for web crawlers instead of humans, including more than two keywords in title tags and using the same keyword anchor text. Google has become wise to such ploys and you could be seriously penalized or even have your site removed altogether.

Instead, you should rely on responsible keyword optimization. You can do this easily with PR and understanding your target audience. Know your product; discover what problems your customers are trying to solve; and explain how the two connect. When you do this consistently, it will bring more customers to your site continually, more than any keyword stuffing will do.

How can you make your inbound marketing activities ethical?

  • Give credit to sources of content and ideas.
  • Reveal any conflict of interest.
  • Emulate journalistic standards of responsibility and honesty.
  • Hire a PR firm to help you.

Axia Public Relations works to attract your ideal customers and keep them coming back for more with the right messages, graphics and content. To learn more, contact us or register to take a Hubspot video tour today.

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Lisa-G-Color-SM.jpgLisa Goldsberry is a blogger for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has worked for Axia since December 2013. Learn more about Lisa Goldsberry. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.







Featured image credit: 123rf.com

Topics: public relations, SEO, content management

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