Do you have a website? If you do, just like anyone else you want it to rank higher! Only then you will be eligible for your due visibility. It is one of the reasons why you end up taking the help of white hat SEO or black hat SEO.
SEO, which is also known as Search Engine Optimisation helps people rank higher in the Search Engine Page Results (SERPs). This helps people to increase their chances of securing a position on the first page of the browser.
You will be surprised to know that SEO can be quickly segregated into two main divisions. You must understand which division you should use for your website.
Selecting a suitable division will help you get the desired results.
So, What are the Two Types of SEO?
The Search Engine Optimisation can be divided into White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO. The name says it all, doesn’t it? If you are still unclear about what the white hat SEO and the black hat SEO are, we will help you understand all about the same.
What is White Hat SEO?
The white hat SEO is nothing but the Search Engine Optimisation practices that play by the rules of Google. If you want your website to attain visibility on Google, you will have to follow certain rules set by the search engine.
The Google search engine makes sure that you know what are the rules and the laws of gaining a higher rank. There is no doubt in the fact that these rules will help you attain a position in the Google search engine.
If you follow it thoroughly, chances are you will get through with the most relevant results. You will have the perfect SEO done! And at the end of the day, your website will be more visible to people.
What is Black Hat SEO?
The black hat SEO is another type of SEO practices that you can adopt. The universal truth lies in the fact that white is always the opposite of black and vice versa. If the white hat SEO involves following all the rules and regulations of Google, the black hat SEO does the opposite obviously!
The black hat SEO does not follow any rules and regulations set by the Google search engine. Instead, it brings in strategies and tactics that will help increase the visibility and the ranking quickly. Sadly, most of the time it also involves the utilization of illegal means.
It is one of the major reasons why people must stay away from implementing the black hat SEO. Understand that with the black hat SEO you will get what you want (higher ranking and visibility). However, it will be short-lived and Google may even penalize you for it.
The white hat SEO techniques do not agree with the black hat SEO techniques. But that does not stop the black hat SEO services from offering you the results.
Some of the Most Important White Hat SEO Techniques are Listed Below:
1. Keyword Research
Keyword research is the process by which we can discover new words or phrases that people usually include in their questions in the search engines. It is one of the first steps in implementing SEO. All other SEO practices revolve around keyword research.
When researching about keywords you would want to pick those which have a high search volume but at the same time present low competition. There are two ways to find such keywords. One way is through the use of keyword research tools and the other way is through some of your own diggings.
Keyword research tools like Google keyword planner and SEMrush can not only suggest you a bunch of keywords they can also present you the monthly average search volume and its existing competition. Mostly you will find that long tail keywords i.e. keywords which contain 4 or more word present low competition. You should definitely include them for an effective SEO strategy.
Other keyword types are head keywords (contains one word) and body keywords (contains 2-3 words). Another way to select high search volume and low competition keywords is by searching your keywords in a browser like Google. If you see that big brands or well-known websites are coming up in the top results then that keyword definitely has high competition. In such cases, you may opt to use other keywords whose search results bring up small blogs or business sites.
2. Write Engaging Content
It should not come off as a surprise, but search engines give preference to those websites and pages that are more engaging. Therefore, writing engaging content falls under effective white hat SEO techniques. When people come to Google with their questions, they do want the answers.
However, finding answers is not the only thing that motivates people to stick around. You have to provide entertaining, easy to understand, valuable, and engaging content. At the end of the day, you are not publishing content for the bots but for real people!
Real people need that X-factor in your content and in your writing that nudges them to stay longer and come back for more. All that being said, don’t forget to optimize your content. There is nothing more tragic than writing a beautiful and engaging piece, but not getting the deserved visibility as a result of skipping SEO. Remember to use relevant keywords in the right context.
3. Use Keyword Rich Title
Similar to the previous section, here also you need to pay attention to both the user and the crawlers’ needs while deciding the page title. The title should first tell the world what your content is about. It should focus on catching eyeballs and at the same time convey that the page offers some value to the users.
When you are done with the people aspect of the title, now it’s time to take care of the bot aspect of the title. Titles are not only essential for users, but it is also important to the bots. Therefore, you should SEO optimize your titles. In fact, according to reports, it is the 2nd most important SEO factor after content.
There are 3 title tags that you must focus on – H1, H2, and H3 tags. H1 tag is the title of your content. H2 is the subheading of the H1 tag and H3 is the subheading of the H2 tags.
While writing the title, especially the H1 tag you must use your main keyword here. Similarly, you should also include the relevant keywords in the H2 and H3 title tags as well.
4. Use Keyword Rich and Descriptive URL
URLs are one of the factors that influence SEO.
There are 3 major reasons why optimizing URLs are important.
URLs constitute one of the factors that determine rankings in search engines. They paint a picture of the content and helps in comparing the relevance of content to the user query (both in case of users and crawlers). Therefore, they must contain your main keyword and provide a clear description.
• Better User Experience
A nicely described URL makes it easy for both the user and the search engine to determine where they have headed and what the destination offers.
When you post your URLs as links in social forums or in the comment section of websites, they will nicely convey what the site is about. URLs that are semantically inaccurate usually do not make any sense and will not attract an audience.
5. Image ALT Tags
Suppose you own a clothing store and you use a lot of photos on your website to show all the latest collection in your store. Using product images is a great way to convey what type of clothes your store offers.
However, as awesome as using images are, they present a little setback for the search engines. This is because the crawlers cannot see images as we humans do. Therefore, to make the crawlers understand what the image is about you need to use the image ALT tags.
Image ALT tags which are also termed as ‘alt attributes’ and ‘alt description’ are included in the HTML codes to describe the appearance of an image. These are useful for both visually impaired people and web crawlers.
Key points to remember while writing image ALT tags are:
- Image ALT tags should be short.
- They should describe the image as closely as possible.
- They should include relevant keywords.
- Do not stuff keywords in the Image ALT tags.
6. Internal Linking
Internal links are a way to move from one page to another page in the same domain. This process of using internal links is called internal linking.
Internal linking is important for a website for the following 3 major reasons:
- Internal linking enables crawlers to crawl more of your web pages and discover them.
- Internal links are useful for users. It enables them to smoothly navigate from one webpage to another in a website. In this way, they can easily find what they are looking for in multiple pages or can even easily carry out their purchase process.
- Internal linking is thought to be one of the SEO factors that influence the ranking of websites. It is also believed to increase the authority of the pages of a website.
Some best white hat SEO tips for internal linking are:
- Place internal links within content in a relevant context as it carries more weight.
- Aim to have more internal links on a page as more internal links mean increased chances of getting a good rank.
- Choose to have more text links over image links as Google prefers text links.
7. Use AMP
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP is an open source project that allows publishers to quickly load their websites on mobiles. Most of the website can be loaded at a decent speed on the desktop. However, when it comes to opening sites on mobiles the job is not so breezy.
This can be due to several factors one of them being clunky mobile data plan. Therefore, for promoting a smooth user experience on the go you may want to use AMP for your website.
When AMP first came out it was immediately used by most of the news websites as news is time sensitive content. Now, if you are not in the news niche how can AMP benefit you?
AMP makes mobile loading of websites much faster. Faster loading pages provide a better user experience. According to a research report, the websites that used AMP recorded to have a 2 times increase in the time spent by the users on their website.
AMP has been seen to affect traffic, sales, and conversions. The e-commerce sites using AMP have said that they have experienced a 20% rise in their conversions and sales.
8. Mobile Friendly Website
Around 60% of all the searches on Google are done from mobile devices. This data just shows how important it has become to own a mobile-friendly website. If you are up to date with world trends, you may also know that with each day the number of mobile internet surfers is just increasing more.
Your mobile-friendly website should be able to achieve the following points:
- Load pages in all the different types of devices.
- Show the full website content on the mobile version of the website.
- Have a fast loading speed.
- Have functional redirects and internal links on the mobile version of the website.
- Deliver excellent UX in all the different devices.
Work on these points to have a good mobile-friendly website if your website is still lagging behind in them.
9. Loading Speed
Website speed is one of the most crucial SEO factors. This can literally make or break your first impression on the audience. You may have done everything right with your website but if your website loads slow, visitors will just move on to your competitor websites which are faster.
Loading speed is important because it enhances user experience. Speed is also a factor that influences search engine ranking. Further, it makes it easier for the search engine crawlers to crawl your website. Having a short loading time that achieves the above-mentioned points also bestows you a higher conversion rate and a lower bounce rate.
You can check your website’s loading speed by using these tools like GTMetrix and Google Page Insights. These tools also provide you an idea about how to optimize your website for better loading speed.
White hat SEO tips through which you can achieve a faster loading speed are:
- Perform code optimization by removing commas, spaces, and unnecessary elements.
- Reduce the number of redirects.
- Use browser caching for fast reloading of the previously opened pages for returning users.
- Make use of a content distribution network.
10. Link Building
Another major SEO factor that determines page rankings are links. Link building is the process in which you attempt to acquire high-quality backlinks from other websites with the ultimate goal of increasing the authority and the search engine rankings of your website.
Backlinks are seen by search engines like Google as a proxy vote. It tells search engines that a website offers high quality and valuable content. When the backlinks are from sites that are popular (or are authority websites), they carry more weight. With the recent algorithm updates, Google has also ensured that link quality is stressed upon more than just the link quantity.
SEO professionals term link building as one of the toughest SEO tasks. It doesn’t have to be the toughest job anymore if you follow some simple white hat link building tips given below.
- Ask for backlinks from people in your network. These may be family, friends, colleagues, clients who have a website of their own. However, just remember to use relevant links that are same or similar to your niche.
- You need to work on building relationships for acquiring links. There are plenty of forums and social websites out there where you can get introduced to new people. You may even join certain groups that align with your website niche. Some groups are specifically designed for link building on Facebook.
- Another great way to secure backlinks is by giving testimonials on websites. You can ask for a backlink in exchange for posting a testimonial.
- Enlist your website in a good online directory that operates in your niche.
White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO
|White Hat SEO||Black Hat SEO|
|Goal||Strives to increase the visibility of a website and improve its search engine rankings.||Black hat SEO has the same goal as white hat SEO i.e. increasing website visibility.|
|Main Focus||White hat SEO focuses on providing value to the audience.||The main focus of black hat SEO is search engines and not people.|
|Risk||Since white hat SEO follows the guidelines given by search engines, they do not carry any risks of being penalized by them.||Black hat SEO services mostly use illegal and unnecessary moves. Even if these provide results initially, they pose a higher risk with time. It is one of the most important reasons why people must avoid using black hat SEO services.|
|Result||White hat SEO is a long term optimization process. It takes time to furnish results. However, once the results start showing they are often long term in nature.||Black hat SEO offers quick results. However, the quick results generated by them are often short term in nature.|
|Knowledge||White hat SEO knowledge can be easily acquired from various sources. Since they do not include illegal practices to manipulate search engines the resources for white hat SEO are freely available.||Black hat SEO requires a special kind of knowledge since they deal with manipulating the algorithms and the bots of search engines. It is hard to find people who are black hat SEO experts and it is even harder to find the knowledge to learn them as they are illegal.|
|Cost||White hat SEO costs are lower than black hat SEO costs. Moreover, the costs incurred here are transparent.||Black hat SEO is more expensive than white hat SEO services. This is because the black hat SEO involves extensive work and expensive tools to furnish quick results. Once opted for black hat SEO services, the cost can increase manifold in a short time|
|Keyword||White hat SEO practices involve extensive keyword research and proper targeting and usage of keywords in the content. Keywords are also used in a relevant context here.||Black hat SEO involves the use of unrelated keywords. They use keywords out of context and also engage in the practice of keyword stuffing.|
|Content||White hat SEO focuses on generating quality content. Content generated here is engaging and offers value to the audience.||This employs the use of bots to flood the comment section of text that contains one or two keywords to help with the ranking. However, these texts usually are randomly generated and do not make any sense.|
|Links||White hat SEO involves link building. They aim to obtain quality backlinks from authority sites and use them in a relevant context.||Black hat SEO, however, engages in buying links instead of building links. It also resorts to using invisible links to improve rankings.|
Things To Do If White Hat SEO Techniques are not Giving Results
When it comes to white hat SEO technique results, you must be a little patient. If it were like the black hat SEO practices you would have gotten instant results.
However, this is the main point that is both a good and bad point about the white hat SEO. Willingness, time, and effort are the three factors on which the white hat SEO success depends upon. It initially may take some time to see results with the white hat SEO, but when it starts to produce results remember that it will be long-lasting.
If you want to get an idea about how much time it will take then know that it is dependent upon the competition in your niche and the keywords you are using.
For the keywords that have high competition, you may have to rewrite the content a few times to make it rank. All these practices involving time and efforts are what white hat SEO is all about. It aims to deliver content that really has some value and is worthy of securing higher ranks in the search engine result pages.
These are a few important tips that will help the white hat SEO users to get the results they want for their websites.
Adopting these points will help you have an easy and safe website ranking. The white hat SEO services are helpful in a brilliant way. Use them to your benefit more!
Having any doubts about the right white hat SEO tactics for your site? Ask us in the comments below.
Did we miss any important white hat SEO techniques? Share with us.