Marketing gets a bad rap these days. So does SEO. Marketing gets a bad reputation because it tries to sell what’s not worth buying, not to mention lying to us. SEO gets pulled down by the many people who use techniques meant to deceave the search engines about sites and pages. In both cases it’s not the profession which is flawed, but many of those who practice it. Is the marketeer to blame, or the company that creates bad products? Not all SEO is ‘black hat’ or spammy.
In both SEO and Marketing it’s very simple: as long as you sell products people really need and promote them in ways that are above board, there’s nothing wrong with it. That is: no lying, no deceiving.
For me spiritual integrity simply means just that in any business: that what you sell and how you sell it is honorable. That’s an old fashioned word, but hey, I’m an old fashioned girl.
The best SEO practices are very compatible with old fashioned ethics. You just have to focus on creating quality content and building relationships and links. It does mean that there are no short cuts. This may mean a bit slower growth at first, but in the long run authenticity is rewarded. Staying power is rewarded. Not having many spammy links to your stuff is rewarded. Being a community player is rewarded.
This isn’t just a list of fancy words: it’s the simple truth. Quality links are, after all, in the hands of humans. If they like you, because you’re reliable and interesting, they are more likely to be sympathetic. Sympathetic sells. That does mean, translated into internet terms, that your website has to be interesting and reliable. That is: informative, unique, in depth information is likely to help you get links. Those links will help your products sell. An unusually funny twist on your product may also get you links. And again, as long as that humor doesn’t degrade anyone, it will only strengthen your brand.
Recently the pink products that are marketed to help fight breast cancer got bashed in several online fora. Why? Because it turned out those products contained ingredients known to contribute towards skin cancer. Message and content were not in alligment and what made those companies millions last year, gets them a bad reputation this year. Their healthier competitors must really be smiling. The fact that those same companies may now be getting links because people are outraged, will not help them sell more.
Ultimately: whether you’re above board in everything you do is up to you. However, it is VERY possible to do online marketing and SEO with spiritual integrity.