The Internet might still seem like the Wild West in many ways, but it really isn’t. Sure, some people treat it that way, but as a small businessperson marketing your company, you do not want to be one of those people.
In fact, acting professionally and respecting others on the Internet is one of the best ways to differentiate your business from the crowd. Your marketing efforts should replicate the same levels of courtesy and propriety you show visitors to your physical business.
Some of the following might not immediately sound like they’re violations of proper behavior on the Internet, but in most instances, they are. At Ring Ring Marketing, we always promote “white-hat” SEO, marketing, and advertising, because it not only produces results but keeps clients out of trouble. Here are a few things to consider:
- Whenever you cite specific information from another source (as opposed to general, broadly distributed information), link to the original source. This also can help with your SEO, but mostly it’s good karma: Link to others as you’d want others to link to you.
- Never simply copy and paste content from another source. That’s plagiarism. It’s bad karma, and it can get you into serious trouble with search engines, which get better every day and discovering such theft. If you quote from someone’s content, attribute it clearly and (you saw this coming) link to it as well.
- Don’t use the comments sections of blogs to promote your business. It might seem like an obvious tactic, but it’s considered bad form and can really hurt your credibility, especially if you’re commenting on posts specific to your industry. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with including a link to your site in your profile. If people are impressed by what you write and check you out, they’re inclined to click through and possibly become customers.