There is no such thing as a bad white hat SEO technique. I’ll be honest – I needed a catchy title. Some techniques work better than others do. And some that require a lot of time but don’t offer a great reward. This is a roundup of the best (and worst) white hat SEO techniques.
What is White Hat SEO?
White hat SEO is the name given to ethical optimisation techniques. These techniques will help you climb the search engine results pages (SERPs) without risking a Google penalty. These are the good techniques that Google likes to see on every website.
Black hat SEO techniques may seem attractive if you are just starting. Fancy London agencies are happy to promise you the top spot on Google at a low-cost within a matter of days. The problem is these techniques are against Google’s guidelines.
If you are caught, you will get a penalty. The Panda and Penguin penalties are notoriously difficult to get rid of. They affect your entire domain. If you get hit with one of these penalties, say goodbye to your organic traffic.
That is why it is so important to implement a white hat SEO strategy from the get-go. But if you aren’t using an SEO agency, where do you start?
8 Best White Hat SEO Techniques
- Over the years, Google have rewarded sites that offer a better user experience. The speed of a website is an important factor in this. The faster the better. You should aim to fully load each page of your site in under two minutes.
- Easy navigation. Again, with the user experience focus, you need to make sure your website is easy to navigate. A general rule of thumb is that no page should be more than four clicks away from the homepage. Menus and sitemaps are good tools to help users (and search bots) navigate your website.
- Well optimised metadata. As well as the page content, WordPress gives you the option to edit backend features. This includes things like the metadata, SEO title, image ALT tags and rich snippet. You should be optimising for your audience – not for the search bots.
- Content-relevant keywords. Search engines are looking for authoritative sites with demonstrated expertise on any given subject. All the keywords that you target with blog posts and page content should be relevant to your industry.
- High-quality content. Content is king when it comes to SEO. Everything you produce must be engaging, useful and high-quality. As Google shifts focus on to search intent, it is becoming more important to deliver content effectively. Good keyword targeting will help you achieve this.
- Relevant backlinks. SEO agencies will spend ages telling you how important backlinks are and why you need to invest. That’s not true. Not all backlinks are created equally and some could land you a penalty. You should aim to build links from relevant websites that have a high domain authority and trust flow.
- Optimised for mobile. More recently, we have seen a shift towards the SERPs showing sites that are better optimized for mobile. With nearly 60% of all searches taking place on a smartphone, you must offer a good user experience on every device.
The White Hat SEO Technique you should avoid
There is no such thing as a bad white hat SEO technique. However, this tactic is expensive and time-consuming. Plus, the rewards not great.
Digital marketers have always used directories as an easy way to build links. Companies charge you a fee to place your business listing on their site for a certain period. These sites should have been penalised by the penguin update because of the volume of paid-for outbound links.
So why weren’t they?
Directories do serve a purpose. They help people find businesses offering a service or product that they need. Google recognises this and decided not to penalise the site.
However, not all links were created equally. The SEO juice that is passed through backlinks is shared between every outbound link on a website. Therefore, a link from a directory that also links to 2,000 other businesses offers a tiny SEO benefit in comparison to the cost.
But directories do serve a purpose. They act as a validation of who you are. If Google finds your business name, address and contact number across several sites they know that you are a genuine business.
So if you have the time and the resources, list your business in as many relevant directories as you can find. If not, you can leave this white hat SEO technique off your list and nobody will notice.
Why you need a White Hat SEO Strategy
An effective search engine optimisation strategy helps people who are looking for a product or service like yours, find you. When search bots crawl, index and rank a site, they are looking for hints as to what the page is offering.
As you know, ranking at the top of the search engine will help leads find your business. White hat SEO techniques provide Google with all the hints it needs to rank your site accordingly. This strategy is a low-cost, no-risk way to bring more business through your website.
These techniques are easy to implement on your site. If you’re confident working with the backend of your website then you will be able to get started today.
Remember, SEO is an ongoing process. You need to make a member of your team responsible for regularly updating and implementing these white hat SEO strategies. Many business owners choose to bring in an agency to manage their SEO. It’s often much cheaper than bringing someone in-house.
Koreti would love to have a chat with you about your website. We’re experts in white hat SEO techniques and would happily point you in the direction of an organic traffic surge. Need a bit of help? We can do that too – just get in touch!Back to blog home