What is White Hat SEO?
In our previous blogs we discussed what SEO is, what it all entails and why it is something that business can use as a major advantage if done correctly. To recap: SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of improving your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business. The proper use of good SEO has several advantages, such as improving your overall brand credibility and trustworthiness, a better user experience, higher conversion rates, helping you outrank your competitors, and much more.
Delving deeper into SEO and fully understanding the concept, there are certain rules and guidelines which are meant to be followed in order to ensure certain outcomes and keep it clean and fair. HOWEVER, as we all know, not everyone likes following the rules. This is where the concept of White Hat, Black Hat (and less commonly known Grey hat) comes into play. Originally, the concept of white and black hat dates back in history to where the hero and the villain had very opposite characteristics. The hero wore the white hat, whereas the villain wore the black hat. I think it is safe to say that grey hat is literally and figuratively… a grey area. Today, we elaborate more on the concept of White Hat SEO.
What is white hat SEO?
White hat SEO is the correct, ethical way of optimizing your content – making use of ethical tactics and following search engine guidelines in order to achieve optimal results.
- Follows search engine guidelines
The most common definition of white hat SEO is that it follows Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. These are the rules that Google has laid out to define the proper way to optimize a site, which basically comes down to not attempting to manipulate google rankings and deceiving Google’s algorithm.
- Focuses on human audience
White hat SEO involves making changes that are beneficial to a site’s visitors and making use of techniques which ensures a great user experience.
- Takes a long term approach
Following the proper channels in order to ensure good SEO, usually takes much more time and effort. Thus, meaning that it will take some time before getting the results that you are hoping for. However, the effort that you put in also promises a lasting impact, generating results for a long, extended period of time and achieving steady rankings.
Strategies for white hat SEO include:
- Relevant content
- Well-labeled images
- Relevant links and references
- Complete sentence structure with proper spelling and grammar
- Standards-compliant HTML
- Unique and relevant page titles
- Link building
- Internal linking
- Site optimization
Now, we need to ask ourselves – is White Hat SEO always the best choice? It depends. What are your goals? How ethical are you? Do you follow rules and regulations down to the T or do you allow certain exceptions? What kind of services do you offer? All of these questions impact the answer. In certain industries, some companies feel forced to make use of risky black hat techniques in order to get ahead of the competition. However, if you’re running a legit project in a legit industry, you have an excellent chance of winning by making use of White Hat tactics only.
Usually, a website is created with long term goals in mind. Rather than trying to take a quick, risky route that will show results immediately but ultimately keep failing in the end, rather put some time and effort into creating a beautifully optimized, future proofed and user friendly website that’ll be a true reflection of who you are and what your brand stands for. Sometimes, a little bit of elbow grease and patience goes a long way to ensure optimal results.