The Hazards of Current Online Advertising and How YOU Can Overcome it.

Written by Erin Aldridge

As I sit on my couch in the comfort of my home, I scroll through Netflix looking for something to watch. Click, click, click – “recommended for you”. Perfect! I find a movie and turn it on. I open my phone to check social media: instagram, snapchat, twitter, facebook. It’s a quick browse but I’m on there long enough to see at least 3 ads on the different platforms. A jewelry ad, Sephora ad, and cauliflower pizza ad, all things I absolutely love. How did they know?

Now-days, almost every advertisement I see online is targeted special for me. I get the benefit of only seeing advertisements I might actually be interested in, and advertising companies get to pinpoint someone they know is in their target market. It’s a win-win! – right?

Unfortunately, with this new form of tailored advertising comes a big drawback, privacy. For us as marketers, this is something we’ve come to realize and use to our advantage – but at what cost? Data is taken every day on billions of people about their age, race, gender, preferences, interests and so much more without them even knowing. This collection of private information has triggered problems throughout presidential elections, Brexit votes, ad campaigns, and more. Advertisements aren’t simply sources for promotion anymore, they’re being used to directly influence and coerce peoples opinions and ideas. On a scale of 1-5, this problem reaches a 4.5 for me. This kind of “blackbox” system is something the world has never seen before and no one knows how to handle it (Cadwaller).

The question we really have to ask ourselves as professional marketers is is this fair? And if not, what are we going to do about it?

First step is always recognizing the existence of a problem. In a TED talk presented by Zeynep Tufekci, she states how computers and programming is “ethics all the way down” (Tufekci). Creating programs that track human behavior isn’t a task that only a computer should be handling, the creators of the operating system need a code of ethics that guides their whole process.

So let’s break it down. This simple code of ethics should help guide your decision making process when using display advertising or any sort of customer tracking.


  • this ones in capitals because it’s really REALLY important. If you’re using data to target a customer, they should know. Simply stating at the bottom of an advertisement “specially sourced for you based on search history” its a nice gentle way to tell your customers that you’re collecting their data.

2. Always keep the customer as the customer

  • This may seem obvious, but take Facebook for instance; they started as a company meant to connect people and build relationships and now they’ve wound up selling each persons data to advertising companies, making the customer the ultimate product (Taylor)! That’s some twisted value chain if you ask me.

3. Build your credibility

  • people want a brand they can trust and rely on, so build up your credibility by promoting content that is honest. It’s also smart to use people that are credible and your customer would know and recognize. Even more so, using content from actual customers, like reviews, further spreads your credibility (Crosby).

4. Give Customers the reassurance they want

  • This goes hand in hand with credibility, but it’s worth mentioning on its own. Make sure you’re providing customers with reliable content, sometimes with objective results (Crosby).

5. Create a call to action – but don’t push it!

  • Every advertisement should prompt the customer to do something, but they should never feel like they’re being coerced or forced.

6. Keep a long-term view in mind

  • This goes to both the customers and your company. Everything that you say or advertise online has a trace, so make sure that if someone traced your actions 20 years later, the content that you created would be something to be proud of.

7. Don’t only rely on the computer

  • At every step of the way, people should be monitoring and taking action alongside a computer program meant to track customer behavior. Computers don’t have strong morals, so the people working alongside them should.

8. At the end of the day, have the customer’s back

  • When it comes down to it, business is built to adhere to consumers needs and while current advertising efforts have the positive ability to do just that, we need to think about what it’s costing us. Relationships are built off trust, and if we lose that, what do we have left to work with?

Thanks again for reading my blog, if you want to check out other sources along this topic I encourage you to look further into some of the sources I quoted in this article.

Cadwallar, Carole. (2019, April). Facebook’s role in Brexit – and the threat to democracy . Retrieved from talks/carole_cadwalladr_facebook_s_role_in_brexit_and_the_threat_to_democracy?language=en#t-49770

Crosby, Lawrence A, and John P Vidmar. “Can Marketer’s Repair Social Media’s Crisis of Trust? .”, American Marketing Association, 21 Mar. 2018,

Taylor, Kenneth. “The End of Privacy.” Philoso?y Talk, Philosophy Talk, 6 Apr. 2018,

Tufekci, Zeynep. (2016, June). Machine Intelligence Makes Human Morals more Important . Retrieved from

What to do When Your Webpage Doesn’t Rank

Written by Erin Aldridge

Hi everyone!

If this is your first time coming across my blog, welcome! – and if you’re returning, thanks for coming back! This week I wanted to focus on a topic that is vital to a successful website, but isn’t always talked about. Search Engine Optimization, and more specifically, search engine rating.

When is the last time you made a Google search and looked past the first page of results? Probably never, or rarely. If a company wants to be competitive with other webpages, it needs to strategize and work to get their website on the SERP, or Search Engine Results Page.

In this article, I detail 3 key strategies to get your webpage to rank. These aren’t just tips for businesses and companies, blogs and small organizations should use these tips too! Everyone can benefit from proper webpage ranking strategies.

Firstly, it’s important to spend time focusing on target keywords/phrases. Instead of focusing on just one phrase, we want to rank for a list of search phrases to target for improvement of our search rankings (Larson). Our choice of phrases should be based off of 4 factors, relevance, traffic, competition, and current ranking (Larson). The phrase should be relevant to your webpage and it should have search traffic or demand. Additionally, you shouldn’t choose a word that already has a heavy amount of traffic, as a new website would never reach success competing for that phrase. Lastly, you should focus on moving pages higher up on the ranking that are already near reaching the SERP page (Larson). Choosing a successful group of search phrases will ultimately lead to your website getting noticed. This is a vital step, but not the only important one. After all, the most important way to raise your rankings is through quality content.

Content, content, content! At the end of the day, without quality original content, your webpages won’t reach the rankings that you want them too. Content should be quality, original, and fresh (Larson). One great way for a company to ensure that they reach these three criteria is to create a company blog. Blogs are a great way for companies to have casual conversation with their customers, and talk about the latest topics and trends within their industry (Wertz). In the long run, this will help your search engine rating because it will enable you to use those keywords/phrases that I talked about above. But always make sure to be natural and user-friendly when using your keywords, otherwise it can come across like you’re word stuffing (Michigan Tech). When someone types a keyword into a search engine, they are really looking for that good content that answers their question or relates to their phrase, so use your platform to create content that matches those keywords that people are searching for! You want your visitors to leave your website happy that they entered.

The last important tactic I’ll leave you with is links. From someone not in the marketing world links may just seem like an added feature, but to those of us who know, links are vital to a webpages search engine rating. Links come in all shapes and sizes; they could be natural outbound, paid, natural internal, and many more. All are important, but I’ll be focusing more on natural outbound links. Natural outbound links are those that are relevant and fit naturally into an article (Larson). A webpage earns higher ratings when other websites have linked your websites content to their own. This shows a search engine that you have high quality content worth “endorsing”. Search engines weigh natural outbound links more than the others when rating a webpage, thus they should be important to anyone trying to raise their rating. There are many ways to achieve natural links (or earned), but the best way is through editorial links. Editorial links occur when you create and promote high quality content worth using. Again, a great way to achieve this is through blogs. Using videos, visual content, and expertise when appropriate is a great way to increase your number of editorial links.

If you get anything from this article, it should be that the most important way to get your webpage to rank is through really great content. Content that is high quality, uses target words/phrases, and is easily “linkable” will gain good traffic and overall increase the websites ratings. Search Engines are looking for webpages that know what their consumer wants, and gives it to them. So work hard on that website and make sure that the content is centered on your consumers! After all, isn’t business really just about giving people what they want?

Thanks again for reading!

Check out some of these articles that I referenced throughout my blog if you are looking for a little extra learning.

“Five Ways to Improve Your Site’s Ranking (SEO).” Michigan Tech, Michigan Technological Institution, 2019,

Wertz, Jia. “4 Things You Can Do Today To Boost Your Website’s Google Ranking .”, Forbes Media LLC, 2019,

Larson, Jeff, and Stuart Draper .


5 ways to Increase Landing Page Conversions

By Erin Aldridge

Every day technology and social media becomes more and more a part of our world and companies need to learn to adapt to the changes. Websites are vital to engage with your customers and convey information that is useful to making a sale. Thus, companies need to make sure their first impressions align with their own motives as well as the customers expectations

This post details 5 ways to increase landing page conversion. For those of you who don’t know, companies landing page is the first page that a visitor sees when they enter your site (Larson). Landing pages can be reached as simply as a google search, link, or even an ad space that the company has purchased. A conversion is the action that you want your customer to take on your website. This changes depending on the type of company; A company selling products would create a conversion from having a customer buy a product or even sign up for an email list whereas a service provider such as an electrician would get a conversion by having a customer call their number or leave a service request. Businesses want to increase their conversions to increase customer retention and revenues. 

So let’s jump into it. 

The 5 Ways to Increase Landing Page Conversions

1. Match the Ad with the Landing Page

Simple as that. If the Ad is for a single product, when you click on it, it should lead you directly to that product (Larson). The aesthetics, colors, and information should all match so that the customer can clearly see that they made it to the page they clicked on.


2. Make Your Call-To-Action the main focus

All elements on your page should be pointing to what you want the visitor to do on your website (Ash). You only have a brief moment to make a powerful impact on your visitor so it needs to be clear and concise. Using the same example from above, your call-to-action could be anything from adding a product to your cart to having someone fill out a service request. 

In this photograph, the company Glossier utilized a contrasting colors to draw attention to the “Add to Bag” button, their call to action

3. Consider the human AND the search engine

Business’s are made to adhere to human needs, so your landing page should do the same (Kolowich). Make it simple to use, clear, and informational. Your visitor needs to be able to easily maneuver and use your website and find the information they need immediately. Nonetheless, search engines also need to be able to take information from your landing page and present it to customers on their search engines to find.

4. Test it!

A/B testing is a huge help for getting clear data on whether a page affects conversions. It works like this: you create two different versions of a landing page and a search engine will disburse them to different people. From here, the company can collect data to see which landing page had a higher conversion. That’s the landing page you should use! A/B testing is not something you do once, but continually alter (Ash).

5. Add some content!

No one wants to read a huge paragraph of information when they get to your website, so utilize pictures, videos, and other content to make it more simple and exciting for visitors. Pictures of your product or service is important for your customer to see what you’re selling, where as videos and testimonials are a great way to persuade customers and give them more information. People are impatient, so get to the point!

So there you go! These 5 simple ways to tweak your landing page can greatly increase your conversions if done correctly. The big ideas here are to make sure it connects to what the customer searched or is looking for, and make sure the information you are giving them is simple and to the point. I hope this helped all of you new marketing professionals understand more about landing pages and their importance.

See you next week for a new blog post!

Some of this information was drawn from other sources that you can check out!

Ash, Tim. Landing Page Optimization. Second ed., John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2019.

Kolowich, Lindsay. “A Simple Guide to Optimizing Your Landing Pages [Infographic].” HubSpot Blog, HubSpot Inc. ,

Larson, Jeff, and Stuart Draper .