Having an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is important for your overall marketing plans. Many digital marketers claim SEO is one of the most efficient content marketing strategies they have implemented. SEO is Google’s method of deciding the order in which sites rank on queries entered into its search engine. SEO regulates search results to keep it fair. It reduces the ability to manipulate search results, and shows sites that deserve to be there. SEO can be segmented into two types of approaches: white hat SEO and black hat SEO.
White hat SEO practices increase a website’s search rankings on a search engine results page (SERP) by staying inside Google’s Guidelines. Black hat SEO exploits loopholes within Google’s algorithms to increase search rankings. While both strategies have the same goal, black hat SEO can result in a Google penalty where websites are banned from appearing on SERPs. Agencies that provide SEO services can help you ensure you are using white hat SEO techniques.
What is White Hat SEO and why is White Hat SEO important?
As discussed, white hat SEO techniques act within the rules and regulations of search engines. It involves implementing techniques to improve a website’s ranking without cloaking or tricking a search engine’s algorithm. White hat SEO strategies provide readers with high-quality and hyper-relevant content that optimises user experience.
White hat SEO practices are important because they keep search engine results regulated. Without internet rules, website owners would have to rely on outdated SEO methods and users would have to comb through countless irrelevant sites in hopes of finding what they’re looking for. This would make using the internet an unpleasant experience for users and website owners.
White hat SEO benefits everyone. Google ensures its algorithms only rank high quality, relevant content that the user wants to find with keyword searches. This continues to encourage and engage millions of internet users. Website owners also benefit from white hat link building as they can boost their rankings without dishonesty. This also means they aren’t at risk from being banned from and SERPs.
What are examples of White Hat SEO Techniques?
While white hat SEO strategies take time to implement, they produce long-term results. We’ve listed some key white hat SEO practices you should follow.
1. Create valuable content
One of the best ways to ensure your website receives high SEO rankings is to create high-quality, valuable content that people want to read. Blog posts are most frequently used as a lead generator, so it’s important you aren’t just making content for search engines. You need to make content that is relevant and authoritative so others can use it for reference and you solidify your position as a thought leader. This content should be supported with rich keywords.
2. Satisfy user goals
Google wants to provide users with their search goals; as a website owner, you should aim to complete this too. A user’s goal is the query they type into a search engine. Common types of user queries are informational, commercial, navigational and transactional.
In order to satisfy user goals, you should: know your audience and what they’re looking for, optimise content to fit keywords, use videos and images and have a simple website format. All your efforts should make an enjoyable experience for your users.
3. Make your site user friendly
An enjoyable experience for users means having a website that’s easy to navigate. Having an organised and transparent navigation system acts as a road map to direct visitors to pages and info on your site. This is key to getting visitors to stay on your website and discover your content.
The majority of online traffic these days comes from mobile phones. If your website isn’t optimised to be viewed on a mobile device, you will lose potential leads. Website visitors won’t be encouraged to stay and discover your content, products or services if they can’t easily navigate your site on their phones.
Should you always use white hat SEO?
While the answer to this depends on your overall goal and the industry you operate in, the general answer is yes. Some industries in their entirety are black hat, so black hat SEO is a natural tactic to include.
However, the risk of being banned or negatively impacted by Google’s algorithms is incredibly high, especially as Google continues to develop its algorithm. This would have devastating outcomes for those building a legitimate business. This is why we recommend you build your online presence with white hat SEO tactics to ensure longevity and long-term profitability.