As parts of the world fumble their way to the other side of COVID—whatever that means—another crisis looms on the horizon. We’ve just wrapped up the hottest July in human history and global temperatures are showing no sign of dropping. Wildfires are ravaging North America, where heat waves and droughts have become commonplace. Meanwhile, the permafrost is melting in Siberia, releasing unprecedented levels of greenhouse gases, not to mention ancient—and dangerous—microbes and viruses.
And what does your online marketing strategy have to do with climate change? The answer lies in carbon. The Internet has a deceptively heavy carbon footprint. In 2018, total emissions were calculated to be 3.7 percent of total global greenhouse gases. This number goes up every year, especially with the pandemic increasing online activity by a thousandfold. Just two months into shutdown, the total number of daily Zoom calls rose from 10 million to a whopping 300 million.
While going digital can reduce high-carbon actions like paper waste, commuting, and travel, these days, the environmental impact of the interwebs is right up there with the airline industry. But before you melt down into a scroll hole of despair, there are concrete actions you can take toward building a cleaner, greener online presence.
SEO for a Happier Planet
Winning SEO practices aren’t just good for your business—they also take a load off the earth. Depending on your device, a single Internet search consumes between 1 and 10 g of CO2. As your quest for pizza and the latest vaccination stats magically appear on your Smartphone, it’s easy to forget that the Internet relies on elaborate infrastructure—data centers, wires, routers, modems, and the list goes on. All this can’t run without a whole bunch of electricity, most of it from fossil fuels and non-renewable sources. Laptops, phones, and tablets also use up energy, and the longer people have to search for what they’re looking for, the higher their electricity consumption, and the greater the toll on the environment.
Enter the sustainable power of SEO optimization. Through the strategic placement of relevant keywords, you boost your website’s findability, as well as the time prospects waste sifting through unwanted content. The sooner people find what they need, the less time they spend online, burning through fossil fuels with every click. Multiplied by 4.8+ billion Internet users, every minute adds up to a significant reduction of carbon in the atmosphere. So it pays to drive traffic to your site in an eco-friendly way. For our top tips on building SEO, click here.
As we’ve seen, we’re looking to make the Internet more efficient, and small differences count. Faster loading time translates into less electricity and a more sustainable online presence. And for this, mobile-first design is a must. Also known as responsive design, mobile-first design adapts the user experience to smaller screens so that consumers can enjoy your website from any device. Without it, you run the risk of poor formatting and tedious loading times. In addition to having a higher environmental impact, this can drive your customers away–studies show that when loading times exceed one second, prospects will abandon a site in at least 22% of cases. And with more than 80% of Internet users surfing the net from their Smartphones and tablets, you need to make sure your website is ready for them.
Declutter Your Website
The Magical Art of Tidying Up is not just for your closet—a cluttered, messy website can cost you customers, while also dragging out loading time, and all at a high price for the planet. Browse your site and ask yourself—do those heavy photos and videos truly spark joy? To avoid a cumbersome, frustrating user experience, keep your website simple. Slick and organized content will make it easier for prospects to navigate your site and get to their purchasing decisions faster. Every word and image should lead to a clear and compelling call-to-action. Let’s replace record-breaking temperatures with record-breaking check-out time. All it takes is a little cleanup.
An Eco-Responsible CSR Strategy
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to a company’s commitment to ethical practices that improve their overall impact on employees, stakeholders, and the world at large. As a business, you can set yourself apart by affirming—and acting on—your green and eco-responsible values. Create policies that reduce your carbon footprint both on and off the Internet. From turning down the AC at night to incentivizing your employees to use public transit, every small action is important and makes a difference. You can also partner with suppliers and service providers who are dedicated to reversing climate change through renewable energy and planting trees to offset their carbon footprint. And to counteract your own carbon emissions, look into purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (REC) which support sustainable power sources like wind, solar, geothermal, and biodiesel.
Green Web Hosting is the New Black
Or almost. More and more web hosting companies are going to bat for the planet. Web servers run in data centers—these are often massive facilities that come with high energy needs and an extensive carbon output. Though many of these centers do not earn an A+ in eco-consciousness, some perform better than others, and green web hosts are choosing accordingly. On an individual scale, they are buying RECs and launching eco-responsible strategies to reduce their customers’ bandwidth and counteract their carbon-heavy industry.
Fighting Climate Change with Linkeo
At Linkeo, we hope that sustainable web marketing will one day become as ubiquitous as reusable bags at the grocery store. We’re doing everything we can to keep up with the latest trends in green web hosting and eco-friendly websites. Meanwhile, you can count on us to deliver the fastest and most energy-efficient SEO on the Internet. Get in touch and we’ll set you up with a website that’s great for your business and kind to the planet.