Digital Marketing Ethics
At Digital Diameter, we pride ourselves in being an ethical online marketing resource. Some of our principles may surprise you, but, yes, there are many companies that do not follow these guidelines.
Our Five Principles
- We provide honest feedback to clients and approach each project as if their business were our own.
- We will not work for your direct competitors while we work for you.
- We educate our clients and involve them on major decisions involving the strategies we apply.
- Our contracts are customized to your needs. We do not oversell while we also strive to ensure the work will reach the intended goal.
- We are in the business of marketing for the client, not ourselves.
The internet may have been like the Wild West for years, but as it has grown, things have changed. Major businesses are now online and have interests in it's stability. Increased revenue has caught the attention of regulators, and search algorithms have become much more sophisticated. As an online business, it is important to know that the old high-risk high-reward and 'quick fix' tricks still advocated by many companies are becoming much less effective and can lead to many long-term issues for your marketing efforts.
Comments on SEO Ethics
In the online SEO community what is considered 'ethical' vs. 'unethical' is often a hotly debated topic and discussed in terms of White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO. Many marketers will claim that Google's rules do little other than favor Google. While there is some truth to this, it is a very narrow way to see the issue and most certainly is not in the client's best interest. Think on this: Google and Bing want to show the most relevant search results. You want to rank for relevant terms. In most cases your business goals are in line with the goals of the search engine. If you think of SEO as a way to put your best foot forward with Google and to build your sites presence to be an authority or top resource on a topic, then you are actually thinking of the right approach to SEO.
Comments on PPC Ethics
Too often, pay-per-click professionals operate with a 'set it up and forget it' mentality. Once an initial baseline of optimization is complete, they stop improving the account. There is often much more that can be done with PPC beyond just the lowest-hanging fruit. Ongoing data analysis, adjustments, searching for new opportunities, monitoring the competition, and improving landing page conversions are just a few of the most basic efforts that your team should be providing to get the most benefit from your campaigns.
Often the issue in the PPC world is the opposite of the 'you get what you pay for' seen in the SEO; in PPC many clients do not get what they pay for.
Unless a report is designed to purposefully obfuscate a problem for a client, this is actually less of an 'ethics' issue and more of a way to improve transparency. Some clients like to see a lot of numbers. While it is important to be transparent, numbers should not be provided in a way that confuses the main purpose of the report: providing clear and actionable insight.
Often, internet marketing professionals provide long, in-depth reports because that is what they have come to think that every client needs and expects. Again, it is always good to be transparent, but clients and online professionals should work together to define which metrics are the most relevant key performance indicators (KPI). Then, focus the discussion on those numbers while highlighting other data as needed to explain trends or changes.
In depth data for analysis is one of the main benefits to marketing online, but it's easy to lose sight of the actual goals and get caught up in the details of the numbers themselves. Consider a less is more approach to provide more actionable information. The numbers may not always be favorable, but they will be clear.