Why it will pay to be more ethical with your SEO & digital marketing in 2020

January 13, 2020

What with there being more fake news than you can write fake reviews about, here are some thoughts on how your SEO & overall digital marketing strategy can become more ethical in 2020.

Search engine optimisation is still considered by many to be a dark art, and sure, there are technical elements of SEO particularly like when structuring a new website that should be managed by an experienced SEO professional.

But where the traditional dark art lies is in off-page SEO with link building. In the past this area of SEO was quite shady. But over the last five years the content marketing era has transformed this area of SEO making it more accessible and a lot lighter than it’s dark past.

Content marketing is getting better and worse

However while content marketing has lots of positives, it could be argued that it’s phase is saturating, or at least evolving. Content marketing was all about producing helpful or entertaining information in the form of articles, videos, graphics and other means. Rather than just sell MOT’s for cars you might have a video about what’s involved in an MOT or produce an article about at what time do you need an MOT.

But content marketing is changing. Infographics are old hat. Viral videos are viral for 3 minutes. EVERYONE has a podcast. Nonsense clickbait articles fuel advertising money. Fake reviews ensure a shed is the best restaurant in London. Basically, content marketing has been abused.

Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely still room for good content marketing. Interesting surveys fueling thoughtful research, helpful how-to articles and video demonstrations – these are all great. But if you’re in a competitive space and you’re trying to reach people with outbound content marketing, well, it’s getting tougher and tougher.

Change the game

So what can you do? Do you go one step further and out-do the existing content to get ahead?

Rather than trying to compete with other players, you might want to just change the game. I’m a big advocate of being as authentic as possible with your marketing. And that can be reflected in your SEO strategy too.

One method mentioned in the guide “Ethical SEO: 5 Ideas for Responsible Link Building in 2020”, is to partner with a relevant charity as this has multiple SEO & digital marketing benefits.

First off, a link back from a charity is often very powerful as charity sites tend to have a high domain authority.

Secondly, even just the announcement of a charity partnership has PR potential, which can mean valuable links from several valuable online publications.

Plus, there are often numerous fundraising and charitable events during the year that can provide further PR opportunities and links.

Another great point is that it can be a great conversion tool. Landing on a website which explicitly mentions it’s charity connections, reinforces to the user that the business in question is considerate, mindful and above all trusting.

The key to creating the most out of this is to partner with a charity that’s relevant. For example, an estate agent supporting a local food bank, an accountants supporting a financial support group for the elderly or a gym supporting a children’s sports charity.

While I don’t want to reduce supporting a charity down to just a marketing tactic as something like this should also be done out of kindness, at least with this both the business and the charity can benefit in several ways.

If you have any thoughts on ethical SEO & digital marketing contact me over at my website.

This post was written by Ryan @ RCD Digital Marketing – A Digital Marketing & SEO Consultancy based in Cambridge.