Online advertising and its potential dangers

Can online advertising have negative impacts on society?

Technology has become so ingrained in our lives it is hard for most people to go a day without their phones or even a few hours. With our attention constantly online and on social media companies have started to focus more on online advertising. With this new focus comes both negative and positive consequences, but for this blog post I will be focusing on the negatives.

On a scale from 1-5 (1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest) I would rate the danger of our current online advertising model a 3. I personally think we are right in the middle, almost the turning point where it could go either way. I would say it is bad because we are getting to the point where we are willingly (or sometimes even unwillingly) giving up our personal privacy for convenience. For example, retargeting has become super popular for companies to use in order to target potential consumers based on their search history. Retargeting is targeted ads at users based off of their recent searches or sites visited. Everyone has experienced a retargeted ad, let’s say you were looking at watches on Amazon for a bit and decide to go to a different site like a news website. As soon as you start using that site you see ads for the watches you were just looking at on Amazon. It always feels a little creepy, like you are being spied on and they basically are.

In order to combat this dangerous online advertising model we have made, I have created a code of ethics I think will help everyone online.

1.Don’t target kids with advertising

I think this is an important first step in creating a good morals code of online advertising. Kids should never be the target of online advertising meaning companies shouldn’t put ads on kids’ sites where they are majority of the traffic. Since kids can’t really tell what an advertisement is and can’t tell if they are being targeted, I think it would be better if companies would avoid ads targeted at children. They also tend to be more compulsive and have to rely on their parents financially.

2.Be honest and truthful

It is the most basic way to build trust between a consumer and a company. Every company should be completely honest and truthful about their product or service. If a customer thinks they have been lied to then you lose the possibility of a returning customer and they will most likely spread their experience to friends and family so you’ll lose all those potential customers as well.

3.Advertisers should never give away customers information

This bullet point should seem pretty obvious but it is shocking how many companies’ giveaway and sell their customers personal information. In this modern digital age being able to track customers spending habits is a huge advantage and helps a lot with marketing. If customers find out you’ve been taking their information and giving/selling it to others you lose all that trust you’ve built with them.

4.Be transparent with customer’s information

You should always let your customers know what you plan to do with their information, again building trust. Make it optional for customers to share their information with you and don’t pressure them into it. Make it clear and easy to understand when you give the someone the option to share their information.

5.Avoid frustrating types of advertising

There are many types of advertisements that are annoying to deal with as a consumer. Pop-up ads will only push people away because of how frustrating they can be. Another type of ad is fake dialog boxes that are just made to deceive the user and trick them into clicking on their ads.

6.Follow laws and regulations

There are reasons for laws and regulations and every company should abide by them. If you don’t know what the federal or state laws are for online advertising looking them up is the first step to ethical online advertising practices.

7.Don’t use clickbait content

This tends to be a bigger problem on information type sites like blogs, news site, or review sites. Some companies try to cheat this system by buying fake reviews or having undisclosed sponsors. Another big trend we have seen spring up recently due to social media is “viral” advertising. It is exactly what it sounds like, trying to make something go viral just to add traffic to your site or company. A lot of the viral advertisement tend to be misleading or purposely start controversy just to get people talking about your company.

8.Take responsibility

As a company you should have the ethics not to sell a harmful product or service to anyone. You should think about the long-term effects of what you are selling and how you are advertising your product. Something as simple as a cheeseburger may seem small and impactful but can lead to obesity and heart disease.

These are just some ethics codes to think about has marketers and when creating online advertisements. Hope you find these interesting and helpful.

Sources:

  • Sunnucks , Mike. “Why Annoying Online Ads Are More Dangerous than You Think.” Bizjournals.com, 14 May 2014, www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/techflash/2014/05/why-annoying-online-ads-are-more-dangerous-than.html.
  • Gigante, Michael Del. “Eight Principles Of Advertising Ethics.” MDG Advertising, 11 Oct. 2018, www.mdgadvertising.com/marketing-insights/eight-principles-of-advertising-ethics/.
  • Spizziri, Martha. “Ethical Issues in Online Advertising.” The Balance Small Business, The Balance Small Business, 12 Nov. 2018, www.thebalancesmb.com/ethical-issues-in-online-advertising-39115.
  • facebook_maulikdoshi21. “Ethics in Internet Selling and Advertising – The Better Way Forward.” Langoor, 21 Oct. 2013, www.langoor.com/ethics-in-internet-selling-and-advertising/.
  • Ingram, David. “List of Ethical & Legal Issues When Advertising.” Small Business – Chron.com, Chron.com, 8 Mar. 2019, smallbusiness.chron.com/list-ethical-legal-issues-advertising-11466.html.
  • “Digital Marketing Essentials” Larson and Draper, May 2019

What To Do When Your Webpage Doesn’t Rank

To those creating a website for the first time it may seem complicated and you don’t know where to start. Here are some helpful tips to help your website get a high rank on Google.

Original content

This may seem pretty obvious but it is important to have your own original content no matter what your website is or is trying to promote. You need something that will separate your content from the thousands of other people who are also putting similar content online. If you don’t find a way to differentiate yourself from others than your website will just be lost to the void of the internet and decreases your chances of a high rating.

You want a low bounce rate

A bounce rate is how quickly a person clicks away from your webpage after clicking on it or when they click the back button. To get a better rating you want people staying on your page as long as possible so your bounce rate is low. This tip relates a lot to the previous tip of original content. If you have your own content that is unique people are more likely to stay on your page. You want it to be as engaging as possible because the longer people stay the higher your rank will be. One way to help create a low bounce rate is not cluttering your site with ads. I know personally for me the most frustrating experience is trying to look through a website full of ads. Try to keep your site clean, neat, and professional looking.

Use relevant content

Make sure the content you use on your website is relevant to what people are searching. You want to make your webpage direct and to the point. If people have to dig or if there is a lot of irrelevant content on your page people will probably leave. A good way to make sure people’s searches match the content on your page is setting up keyword searches for all the pages on your website. You should stick to one phrase or word per page unless you have multiple that are very similar. Try to use the most relevant keyword/phrase, whatever you think people are going to your page to look for.

Have lots of content

You need as much valuable information as possible as possible on your site without cluttering it with irrelevant information. Every page should have at least 100 words whether that is description, quotes, reviews, etc. If you can though you should always shoot for more than 100 words. A search engine is just more likely to match your content with someone’s search if you have more information on your pages.

Aim for the best quality

To really make your website rank high you want your content to be the best on the internet for whatever it is you are trying to market/promote. Quality is subjective and there is no way you will please everyone but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Add lots of detail, examples, graphics, images, videos, and whatever else you think will grab and hold your audience’s attention. Be careful not to use low quality graphics or videos though because people may find your site not credible.

I hope you find these tips useful in your website creation. In the end you aren’t trying to force your rank up to the top, you should just be aiming to help people find what they are looking for on your website.

Sources:

  • “Five Ways to Improve Your Site’s Ranking (SEO).” Michigan Technological University, www.mtu.edu/umc/services/digital/seo/.
  • “How To Improve Your Google Rankings: 9 Steps to Rank Higher Fast Using Analytics.” Orbit Media Studios, 7 Mar. 2019, www.orbitmedia.com/blog/improve-google-rankings/.
  • “Digital Marketing Essentials” Larson and Draper, May 2019
  • Imagine found on Vital Design

5 Ways to Increase Landing Page Conversions

Any business with a website should be thinking about how to get traffic to their page. One easy way is to have an effective landing page. When done properly landing pages can increase conversions and pull in new customers. Here are 5 tips for creating a high conversion landing page.

  • Know what kind of landing page you want to create

This first tip ties into what exactly your business is and what product/service you are selling. There are many different types of landing pages (single-product, multi-product, lead generation, subscription, single-purpose) all with different strategies to impact conversion, so knowing which kind you want to make is a good place to start. For example, if you are a clothing retailer maybe you want to use single-product to promote a new piece in your store. Or if you are a news publisher using a subscription landing page makes the most sense to increase monthly readers.

  • Use pictures

Nobody wants to read a big wall of text, especially on an ad or landing page. People tend to be more engaged when they have pictures to look at and the human brain can process images much quicker than words. Along with having lots of pictures they should be big and clear, meaning they are easy to understand what is being depicted in them. Make your images high-quality and professional looking. You can lose credibility with customers when your images don’t look like they were professionally done.

  • Design for usability and accessibility

When making a landing page you want to make it as easy as possible for the users to navigate. Any confusion or if it takes a while for people to get where they want to go they will immediately lose interest and move on. Some easy ways to do this is eliminate distractions. Try to make your landing page as clear and easy to follow as possible. You don’t want it to feel cluttered and crowded. Make your page easily clickable. For text that is linked make sure it stands out and that people know they can click on it.

  • Make it mobile friendly

A lot of people like browsing on their phones these days. I think we have all had a bad experience trying to navigate a website on mobile before. Super tiny buttons, the screen feels cluttered and hard to navigate. You want to avoid this frustration with your landing page. When creating it think about how it will look and feel on mobile. You may want to create a page for mobile first because mobile pages always convert well to desktop but desktop usually doesn’t convert well to mobile.

  • Include something about pain

This tip might sound a little weird at first but let me explain. It is human nature to want to avoid pain at any cost. So, you should try your best to play into this emotional reaction. Try to make the potential customer feel like they might miss out on something. Then you can mention how your product/service can stop this pain. A great way to bring pain into your landing page is using customer testimonials of before and after they used your service/product.

This concludes my 5 tips for creating a high conversion landing page. Hope you find this helpful.

Sources:

  • “9 Tips on How to Create an Effective Landing Page.” WordStream, www.wordstream.com/effective-landing-pages.
  • “How to Create a High Converting Landing Page (12 Essential Elements).” The Daily Egg, 26 Feb. 2019, www.crazyegg.com/blog/landing-page-essentials/.
  • “Digital Marketing Essentials” Larson and Draper, May 2019