Good guys finish last. You’ve heard that before, haven’t you? You’ve heard it when it comes to dating; you’ve seen it play out on tv shows and movies; and you’ve probably even thought it once or twice in your own life. Maybe you’ve even come across someone in business who lives by this mantra.
But do the good guys really finish last, particularly in business? I, for one, can’t get behind this claim. I’m here to tell you exactly why ethical operations and practices simply make good business sense.
Marketing by nature is a marathon, not a sprint. But when quick wins and fast returns are on the brain, unethical practices like black hat SEO tricks present themselves as compelling opportunities. The thing about black hat techniques is that they don’t last long before they are discovered and shut down. Google’s algorithms are smart and only getting more intelligent. With the added attention of the industry on marketing practices, you best believe that watchdog groups will identify unethical behavior and call attention to it far and wide.
White hat techniques on the other hand — such as creating rich, unique content — are a sustainable strategy. You won’t see returns immediately with white hat techniques, but with a little TLC, you will see a steady increase over time as you solidify your brand. Similarly, other ethical business practices may seem tedious, but the long-term results ensure sustainability for your treatment center operations.
As a business in the addiction treatment space, your reputation is everything. This industry is referral-based, which means a large majority of your clients are earned through traditional, on-the-ground relationships or through online client reviews. When false promises, bait-and-switch, and unethical marketing practices occur, word travels fast and referrals diminish.
Once your reputation is tarnished, it’s tough to get your good name back. Doing things the right way and being transparent in your business practices from the onset protects your brand and keeps your business in operation, allowing you to continue your life-saving services.
When the leadership team utilizes your code of ethics as a bedrock for all decisions and strategies, employees will recognize the pattern and understand expectations. This self-regulation allows your staff to operate more autonomously and with increased efficacy.
A transparent, clear, and well-communicated operations and marketing plan can also advance your ethical standards and maximize efficiency. Your employees are your biggest brand advocates, and if they are comfortable with the going-ons of your organization, they’ll promote the mission earnestly. Being completely clear with your strategies internally will translate to external transparency as well.
Here’s the thing: if you’re looking for a quick win, sure — cheat the system. But, you’ll be shut down before you can say “black hat SEO.” If you’re in it for the long haul, it just makes sense to do things right, because the good guys who play the long game, well they don’t finish at all — they just keep on going.