White Hat SEO
Within SEO, you have what are called black hat and white hat techniques. Though black hat SEO isn’t such a common practice these days, some SEO companies still employ such strategies, and these strategies have been deemed “black hat” for their manipulative nature. In other words, black hat techniques are those that don’t abide by the terms of search engines in an effort to increase keyword rankings. Seeing as search engines continually update search algorithms to prevent sites with poor practices from ranking, it’s all about white hat SEO these days.
As opposed to black hat SEO and the strategies therein, white hat SEO is set forth to attain keyword rankings and acquire traffic organically—all the while abiding by the terms and conditions set in place by each search engine. So, whether you plan to perform SEO yourself or seek an SEO Company, you need to ensure the right practices are being performed. With this, take a moment to learn more about white hat SEO, specific techniques, and what to look for in SEO companies.
If you’re familiar with white hat SEO or would like to move on to further reading with regards to SEO, you can find more insight on the page provided below:
What is White Hat SEO
As mentioned, white hat SEO simply refers to a range of tactics all in accordance with the general guidelines set forth by individual search engines, such as Google and Bing. Though many general practices are the same within black hat and white hat SEO, such as backlinking, it’s the strategies within that get deemed white or black hat. For instance, in acquiring backlinks for websites, you can go one of two ways. The right way can include manually requesting backlinks and submitting guest blogs to sites, in addition to writing great content that will acquire inbound links itself. Then, you can go the black hat way, submitting a website to link farms, or sites created specifically for getting backlinks—a terrible and harmful practice within SEO.
Importance of Sticking to White Hat SEO Techniques
In short, black hat SEO may present satisfying results, but they won’t last. These manipulative strategies will inevitably be picked up by search engines and ultimately harm your site’s ability to rank in search results. White hat SEO, on the other hand, can provide the same satisfying results, though they tend to be more long term, and won’t present the risk of a penalty from search engines. Clearly, it’s important to practice only white hat SEO, as it’s the only true way to move up in search results and acquire more traffic to site.
Of course, performing white hat SEO isn’t always a simple task—which is why so many companies may be inclined to practice such poor strategies. Oftentimes, SEO companies will use these manipulative techniques as a means to show progress to their clients, but that progress means nothing if it results in a penalty. So, in order to truly make progress in search results, web traffic, and conversions for that matter, white hat SEO is a must—and there’s plenty you can do within it to accomplish your goals.
Common White Hat SEO Techniques
- Keyword Research: Like we said before, keyword research remains at the heart of any solid SEO plan. Without extensive keyword research (and the correct usage of such), creating content that ranks well in search engines is essentially impossible. Within performing keyword research, business owners and SEOs alike must consider the users’ search intent for any given keyword and target the keyword accordingly. These keywords should then be implemented within content writing and a range of on-page factors.
- Quality Content: Using the keywords selected in your research, content needs to be created to start ranking for said keywords. In creating the content though, much like selecting keywords, you need to focus on user intent. You must consider what kind of content the web user is seeking for that keyword. Content should be lengthy, well-organized, and optimized with internal links, images, and other factors to keep the user interested.
- Inbound Links: Another integral piece of SEO is inbound links, otherwise known as backlinks. These links, which are any link on an external site directing users to your own website, build the page and domain authority of your site, which is a major ranking factor for search engines—namely Google. Within building backlinks, there are both white hat and black hat techniques, so you must be careful in your tactics. Submitting your website to online directories, commenting on industry-related articles and blogs, and requesting guest blogs on similar sites are all sound way to get backlinks.
In addition to employing the backlinking strategies above, gear your content to acquire backlinks itself. If you create authoritative and informative content, other websites will often be more than willing to link to your page, in an effort to provide helpful info for their own site visitors. Regardless, you should always aim to include any pertinent information in your content, or anything a reader might find useful.
On-Page Optimization: As mentioned above, creating quality content isn’t the only area you’ll need to use your selected keywords. On-page factors like title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and image alt text should all include keywords as well. Of course, don’t only pay mind to keywords in this regard. You’ll need to be descriptive in these areas, as these factors send signals to search engines with regards to what the page is about. Adding internal links throughout site content and various pages is also good practice, as it helps site visitors navigate their way through site and gives them relevant pages to click to. Not only that, but you can use keywords in the anchor text for your internal links to further signal to search engines what the page is about. Just be sure to keep anchor text related to the page you’re linking to.
Off-Page Optimization: Off-page optimization is geared towards those factors that aren’t necessarily on your website, but affect such. This could be ensuring consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) across all directories, or maintaining a strong social media presence across various platforms. Both of these practices can yield great results, too. Social media, specifically, allows businesses to increase their online presence while providing a way for them to engage their audience and share more information than what’s on their site.
As you can see, white hat SEO presents great opportunity for businesses seeking to grow their websites, rank in search engine results, and naturally acquire traffic to site as a result. The tactics therein, as opposed to those for black hat SEO, continue to present great results when carried out properly. Furthermore, the strategies detailed above are a great starting point for those just delving into SEO, but they’re also a great reference for businesses seeking an SEO company.
Monitor SEO Results with StatCounter
As you implement an SEO strategy for your business’s website, it’s advised you track your results to ensure your efforts are paying off. With StatCounter and our web tracker, you can monitor a variety of metrics to assess certain areas of your website to find areas that could use improvement, as well as those that are performing as intended. You can then use your findings to make educated decisions as to where to go next with your SEO strategy.
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