White hat is an Internet slang term that refers to ethical computer experts. Like a hero in a stereotypical tale, these people use their knowledge for good. The counterpart to this is the black hat; people who use their expertise to wreak havoc and cheat systems for their benefit.
Going by this definition, white hat SEO refers to SEO techniques that are ethical and legitimate. Even without knowing search engine rules, white hat SEO is recognizable because they create a more fruitful and engaging user experience. Instead of pandering to search engine bots, they optimize their website and its contents for the benefit of their human audience.
Why choose white hat SEO?
You may be curious why there exists black hat SEO in the first place. The truth is, white hat SEO takes around six to twelve months to produce tangible results for your business. Additionally, the techniques involved in white hat SEO require a significant amount of time and skill. Given this, some of the best Columbus SEO companies realized that there was a quicker and easier alternative.
Black hat SEO was a way to swiftly launch your site to the top of the search rankings. You see results in as early as a few days, and since there was no focus on making premium content, it took significantly less effort than white hat SEO.
However, black hat SEO techniques go against search engine guidelines, and if the moderators confirmed that your site was utilizing black hat SEO, they will demote or even ban your site. If your business relies heavily on your website as a source of revenue, having it removed from search engines will be devastating to your business. This is why you must use only white hat SEO.
White hat SEO uses techniques that ensure users will get a smooth browsing experience and numerous informative and relevant content. Through white hat SEO, you increase your conversion rate and put forth a positive and respectable brand image.
Choosing the right techniques
There are many white hat SEO techniques you can incorporate into your strategy. According to the best Columbus SEO companies, here are the easiest and most effective ones.
1. Link building
Link building is a technique that involves increasing the number of backlinks your website receives from third-party sites. Backlinks are one of the ways search engines determine the perceived value of your website. They believe that backlinks function the same way as personal recommendations. In a normal circumstance, a person will only direct people to a place they believe is helpful or reputable. If your website has many backlinks, search engines believe that your site is worth recommending to others.
Additionally, link building is important for your business since it increases brand awareness and site traffic. However, there are several caveats to this. First, it’s more impressive to have backlinks from different sites. It’s better to have 1 link each from 10 websites than 10 links from 1 website. The second option might be interpreted as black hat SEO by the search engine. Second, not all websites that link you will give you relevant traffic. If you’re a pet supplies eCommerce site, receiving backlinks from pet blogs are more valuable than backlinks from an infant care blog. Monitor your backlink sources and disavow any suspicious ones. Reach out to bloggers and other sites whose user base may overlap with yours so you can get more relevant backlinks.
2. Keyword research
Keyword research gives your SEO strategy direction. Keywords are how a search engine directs users to websites relevant to their search. Thus, you need to know how your consumers are searching for your product or service.
Keyword research tools identify the most-searched keywords relating to your business. If you’re a flower shop, you can expect flower delivery, flower shop, and florist to be some of your top keywords. However, targeting these general keywords is difficult. Try to do a Google search for these terms, and you’ll most likely see the biggest names in the industry. However, you can bypass this by targeting longer and more specific keywords. These keywords are less competitive, and the chance of you successfully getting a high rank on them is higher. If you’re in Newark, target the keyword flower shop in Newark and all possible variants of that keyword.
You can also account for users who have voice-prompted technology. These users use natural-sounding language when conducting an online search. Most users with a keyboard will search using shorthand and disjointed words. Someone using Siri would search by saying, “Where are the flower shops in Newark?”.
Once you have a list of keywords, incorporate them into key website elements like the title, URL, content body, etc. Use keywords in moderation. Too much and the search engine might flag your webpage as spam.
3. Website optimization
Your website is the heart of your SEO strategy. High-quality content and well-targeted keywords won’t matter if your website is a slow, unnavigable mess. Ensure the pages load fast, the links work properly, and the site retains its appearance and functionality on whatever device or browser. Remember that 75% of users judge a brand’s credibility through the state of their website. Work with web designers to ensure your site is in top health and has all the features necessary to encourage conversion and present a professional brand image.
4. Content creation
Did you know that 82% of marketers who blog daily acquire customers for their business? This is because your content is what populates your website and fuels your keyword targeting strategy. By consistently creating high-quality content, you’re enticing users to consume until the end and ask for more. Invest in a creative team or hire a production company with the in-house talent necessary to write blogs and make videos or other multimedia content.
This list doesn’t exhaust all the different white hat SEO techniques available. Remember than an effective SEO strategy is one that harmoniously combines several techniques. Consult with the best Columbus SEO companies to see what services they offer and determine what works best for your purposes.