24 Jul White Hat SEO—What You Need to Know
Changes in the world of SEO happen fast. It’s important to stay up to speed in order to find online success. What works for you in the SEO space today might not give you positive results tomorrow. Search engines try to bridge the gap between humans and technology via search engine algorithms to provide users the best available content when they type in their search queries.
Therefore, it’s essential for website owners to know what works and doesn’t in the field of SEO—which is where the difference between black hat SEO and white hat SEO becomes crucial to understand. Previously, we discussed how to avoid black hat SEO practices. In this blog, we will discuss white hat SEO and how to implement it in your online strategy.
What is White Hat SEO?
According to Webopedia, “in search engine optimisation (SEO) terminology, white hat SEO refers to the usage of optimization strategies, techniques, and tactics that focus on a human audience opposed to search engines and completely follows search engine rules and policies.”
White hat SEO practices are SEO tactics that are legitimate and are in line with the policies of the major search engines, especially Google. They help improve your search rankings on a SERP (search engine results page) where you need to maintain the integrity of your website and follow the terms of service of the search engine(s). White hat SEO strategies stay within the parameters of Google.
White hat SEO examples include:
- High-quality content and services
- Fast website load speeds
- Responsive mobile-friendly design
- Descriptive and keyword-rich meta tags
- User-friendly website navigation
On the flip side, black hat SEO tactics are unethical and include tactics such as purchasing links or using misleading cloaking techniques. Following black hat SEO tactics is not a good idea because Google algorithms are unlikely to favor your website, and you will not be providing quality content to your audience.
Why Should You Focus on White Hat SEO Techniques?
It is important for businesses to engage only in white hat SEO techniques because failure to do so can result in Google and other search engines banning your site. With Google as the world’s top search engine, there is no way you can ignore it. Billions of users visit Google every day, so there is ample opportunity to organically gain site visitors and increase engagement. So, if you want to get traffic on the most powerful search engine, you need to play the game according to their rules and policies.
Being blacklisted on Google because of black hat SEO practices could mean a drastic drop in traffic for your website, leading to a decrease in conversions and engagement. You certainly don’t want to harm your business interests with unwise SEO decisions. Therefore, that is why it is important to follow white hat SEO techniques.
You can view the details of Google-approved SEO techniques at Webmaster Guidelines—the go-to place to learn about white hat practices for Google.
How to Ensure Your SEO Methods Are Strictly White Hat
Implementing white hat SEO practices is the best way to create a legitimate, successful and sustainable website and business.
So, what should you do to follow white hat SEO techniques? Some ways to ensure you are utilizing white hat SEO techniques include:
- Provide high-quality content and services — While Google algorithms can’t engage with your content like humans can, they can track how long users are staying on your web pages. The better quality of content, the longer users are likely to stick around your website, and, therefore, the higher your website is likely to rank in search results. Quality content and services should be useful to your audience. Additionally, you should do thorough research for and utilize relevant keywords to your content and audience so that users can find it easier.
- Use descriptive and keyword-rich meta tags — Meta descriptions are extremely crucial to the success of your website. It is the meta descriptions through which the search engines and your users discover your content. Use descriptive and keyword-rich meta tags within your website’s HTML code so that the search engines and users can pick up your content quickly.
- Implement user-friendly website navigation — If your site is not easy to navigate, it is not likely to do well in organic search results. User experience (UX) design improves how users interact with your website, as well as how well search engines are likely to index your site. Website visitors are also likely to remain on your page longer if it’s easier to navigate, which will help algorithms to know your website is valuable to users.
- Optimize for responsive mobile-friendly design — Internet users worldwide are trending towards searching on mobile devices more often than on desktop. Because of the increase in mobile phones, tablets, and other devices, Google’s algorithm has increased its preference for mobile-friendly websites over the years, penalizing websites that do not employ a responsive design. Not only will you rank better with a responsive mobile-friendly design, but it will provide a better overall experience to your audience. Like most of these white hat SEO practices, optimizing for mobile will keep users on your page and engaging with your content longer.
- Monitor your Google local listing — If users are searching for your business on their mobile phones, it’s likely they are located nearby. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to connect online with consumers in your local area and secure recurring customers. This is why it’s essential to both have a Google My Business profile as well as a profile that is complete and up-to-date.
- Earning links – Link building is important for the success of your website, which is what happens when other websites link back to yours. These links should be organic, and you can earn them by providing helpful, relevant content to online users. However, remember that paying for links on other websites is an unethical black hat SEO practice. One way to encourage link building is to make sure your website links out to other credible, relevant web pages when necessary. This will build both your search ranking as well as your authority to users as a content provider.
If you want to improve your website ranking, boost web traffic, and increase conversions, then white hat SEO practices should be well-ingrained into your digital marketing strategy. However, it’s important to make sure you are making the right choices when it comes to SEO. Consider partnering with Virtual Stacks Systems UK for optimized SEO services. Our SEO experts know the ins-and-outs of building a successful SEO strategy. Contact us today to learn more.