White hat SEO; what is it?
You may have heard the term mentioned in various articles when it comes to best practice SEO methods. So, what is it and why does it matter?
What is white hat SEO?
In the world of SEO, there are two recognised ways of going about things; white hat and black hat. Of course, this is a simplified way or determining good, best practice strategies and those which are considered the be against Google guidelines.
White hat SEO strategies:
- produce high-quality content that matches user intent
- include using well-labelled images with thoughtful alt text
- use keyword research organically on a page
- comply with search engine guidelines and builds links by guest posting and authentic link building strategies
Why does white hat SEO matter?
Without white hat SEO techniques, there would be no way of ranking and ordering search engines. Those that stick to the established and ‘clean’ methods of SEO are more likely to rank higher in SERPs and build more domain authority and traffic as a result. Black hat SEO tends to yield quicker results, but they are hard to sustain long-term.
How to implement a white hat SEO strategy
Sticking to white hat SEO techniques is easy. Although, it’s important to remember that the benefits may take longer to show themselves. That’s why so many SEOs turn to black hat methods as they offer instant gratification in comparison. It may be tempting but sticking to trusted and legitimate strategies pay for themselves in the long run.
Create valuable content
Digital marketers aren’t lying when they say, ‘content is king’. In fact, 86% of marketing teams use blog posts as a lead generator.
That’s why having a company blog is so important. This is a chance for you to show off your expertise in your field. Content that is well-researched and authoritative always stands in good chance to perform well in SERPs (search engine results page).
Plus, the more E-A-T focused content you are producing, the more backlinks you are likely to gain. Backlinks are essential for building traffic, trust and domain authority – all of which help you to rank better and increase online exposure.
Focus on search intent
Not so long ago, content was created to serve search engines. So, that meant keyword stuffing and formatting in such a way that search engines would notice. Nowadays, it’s all about writing for people. Algorithms focus less on how many times you use a specific keyword and instead rank based on how well a piece of content is serving a user’s need.
When writing, you should consider users’ search intent. What are they hoping to get out of this piece? Are they looking for answers, instructions, advice – or something else?
Your content should serve a user’s need above a search engine. If you think about it, you’re more likely to click and read an entire article if it satisfies your original search query. There’s nothing worse than clicking on a high-ranking piece of content to find it’s poorly written and doesn’t actually give you anything of value. That’s how it used to work, anyway.
Now, content that is well-written and serves its intended purpose ranks higher than those who optimise solely for search engines.
Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
Did you know that 52% of all traffic comes from mobile?
If your site is poorly optimised for mobile that’s a huge amount of potential traffic you’re missing out on. No one likes to hang around on a site that doesn’t work very well – especially when you’re already limited by the dimensions of a phone screen.
Google has a handy mobile-friendliness tool that will evaluate your site and tell you what, if anything, needs to be improved. By improving your mobile site, you can potentially see a huge spike in traffic which, in turn, could result in more leads and or conversions.
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