There are several different tactics that are used for modern search engine optimization. One of those options is called “White Hat SEO.” In basic terms, white hat SEO tactics are optimization strategies that focus on the human element of the search process instead of adapting techniques and tactics that are geared toward the search engine itself.
Many of the SEO tips and tactics that are offered as free advice to internet marketers today would actually be considered white hat SEO. Things like keyword research, content relevancy, link building, and organic content that reads easily while containing all of these things all fit into the white hat world. It’s more of a long-term solution instead of something that can provide short-term gains.
Every marketer has their own preferred approach to SEO. Some see white hat SEO as a joke. Others see it as the most ethical method of optimizing a website. The advantage of going white hat instead of black hat is that you don’t have to burn your site time after time as you look for advantages that the search engines haven’t found yet. White hat is about visitor value, plain and simple.
Are you looking to improve your domain’s search engine rankings? Then here are some proven white hat SEO tactics that will work to improve the value that visitors see in your website. Just beware: going white hat means you’re committing to an SEO marathon instead of a 100 meter sprint to experience success.
1. Your Content Will Become the Backbone of Your Website
In order to get organic results, you’ve got to create organic content for your website. This means that you’ve got to invest into a good writer or spend time boosting your own writing skills to accomplish this. Good content will read well, explain difficult concepts to someone who doesn’t know anything about your industry, yet still prod a visitor into your sales funnel. There are three key features that must be included in this content in order for it to be successful.
Keyword research needs to happen.
If you don’t know what your target demographics are searching for on the internet today, then there is no way for you to be able to craft organic content that your audience will find interesting.
Longtail keywords are always better.
Most searches today are phrases or sentences instead of simple search terms like “SEO.” If you include some of these search phrases naturally into your content, especially with the use of subheadings, then you’ll be able to speak to Google, Bing, and every other search engine that you’ve got some value to share.
It must have a call to action.
Here’s the trickiest part of organic content: combining an effective call to action with the search terms that are bringing people to your website in the first place. If you can implement this, however, you’ll find that visitors will come and want to enter your sales funnel.
2. You’ve Got to Focus on Value From the Very Start
Google has consistently stated that the best way to be ranked highly is to have high value content on your site. Value content also helps you convert more visitors into customers over time. There’s only way good way to show value on today’s internet: prove your expertise. If you can show that you’re an industry expert and that you’re way is both unique and effective, then a perceived value to your content will be obtained. As people implement your ideas, they’ll need to see that you really can solve problems for them. If you can’t solve problems, all the black hat SEO in the world won’t solve your conversion problems for you.
3. Sometimes You’ve Got to Give It Away
Building quality links is one of the most difficult white hat SEO tactics there is today. To do this in the ethical way, you’ve got to create lots of worthwhile content that people are going to want to share on their local networks. This will eventually create links back to your site and over time, high quality sites will take notice and start bringing links to you as well. You’ve also got to offer your own outgoing, high quality links, to other websites in order to get them. It’s a fine balance that must be walked. If you’ve got too much incoming or outgoing, a search engine and your average visitor is just going to view your site like it’s a one-way street.
4. You Can’t Forget About Your Anchor Texts
This might be the most overlooked white hat SEO tactic of all. When you put in a website link into your content, just saying “click here for more information” isn’t going to provide you with a rankings boost. Putting in anchor text that directly reflects what the content being linked to will provide both you and the other site with a slight rankings boost that can add up when duplicated multiple times.
5. Related Phrases Still Count Toward the Keyword Detail
Most internet marketers have realized that having a keyword density of 8% in an article isn’t very feasible. Who wants to see the same keyword in an article 40 times in just 500 words? No one. Not only are keyword dense articles difficult to read, but they don’t really lend to a better search engine ranking either. If you take one keyword, however, and use related phrases and subjects that go to your core subject material then you’ll essentially replicate the keyword stuffing sites of the past.
6. Scraping Content is a Big No-No
Here’s something that you might not have known: if you rewrite a website so that the content you’ve created is duplicate, but worded differently so it isn’t registered as a duplicate, you’re still going to penalize yourself. Duplicate content in spirit still infringes the natural copyright that exists with original content. You cannot scrape content today and rewrite it to maintain a consistent, long-term advantage. You’ve got to write 100% original content and if you don’t, you’ve got to source the materials AND provide an outgoing link to them. The same is true for photographs and video content that aren’t 100% yours.
7. Speaking of Sources…
Whenever you’re quoting facts or statistics, you’ve got to point to where you obtained that information. If you wrote an essay with quotes in it for school, your professor or teacher would make you list your references, right? The same is true with internet content today. If you use a source, put a link to that source in your materials. This will show readers that:
A) You’ve done your research.
B) You really do know what you’re talking about.
C) You’re not afraid to have someone test your theories by reading your sources.
It takes 5 seconds to put in a link to show your research. That’s a lot easier than listing an APA reference and the benefit is that you reduce the risks of being accused of copying something, making up a statistic, or conning someone into purchasing goods and services that you’re providing.
8. Multimedia Options Are Just As Valuable As Content
Having different types of multimedia within your content will help you be able to keep a reader’s interest. The average person is going to read about 30 seconds of content before giving up on it. That’s about two, maybe three paragraphs at most. If you break that content up with pictures and videos, you’ll be able to maintain the attention span of a reader and lead them naturally down your page of content to its conclusion. Images and videos have a direct link to visitor traffic as well. Every photograph, graphic image, or video that you put into a post will increase its overall visibility to the search engines.
9. Guest Blogging, When Done Correctly, Can Provide Awesome White Hat Results
Guest blogging takes a little time, but it can provide your domain with massive gains. The issue that internet marketers face is that they take guesting opportunities on blogs that aren’t within their own domain authority. If you have a website about cooking and you take a guest blogging opportunity on a website that talks about manufacturing engine parts, then you’re wasting your time.
Why is it necessary to stay within your own domain authority? Because Google has emphasized the penalties that come from purchasing incoming links. If you are buying links to your site, then you’re playing with fire. If there is even the appearance that you’re purchasing links, however, you’re still going to be playing with fire.
There’s another benefit to guest blogging within your own domain authority: it shows off how much of an expert you really are.
10. Quantity and Frequency Don’t Matter As Much As Quality
If you’re on a tight budget and trying to do everything on your own, then you don’t have to write 10 posts per day in order to give your site a boost. The focus is on the quality over the quantity or the frequency of your posts. In a perfect world, of course, if you can combine massive quality with massive quantity, you’re going to be winning the white hat SEO competition. The average person, however, will still benefit from providing a good take-away, great grammar, proper spelling, and a unique take on whatever subject you’re discussing.
11. Context Matters
If you ask three different people what their take on American politics happens to be right now, you’ll get three very different answers. Someone in France might have a different take on the subject than someone in Russia. The context of your information matters not just because a different context means original content. It also means that you can slide into a niche subject as an expert and boost your rankings through your own evaluation of source information that you’ve obtained. If you copy and paste your life away, then the only thing that you’re really doing is deleting the validity of your own expertise.
12. Write About What You Know
Authenticity rules the day when it comes to white hat SEO. If you or your writers are discussing subjects that they know nothing about, it will show. The content seems wordy, boring, or like someone hired their third grade kid to write the content for them. People see through fake content and they leave. Then they tell others about how fake you are. Pretty soon, not only are you not getting traffic, but you’re not getting sales.
13. Make It Catchy
Have you ever noticed what grabs someone’s attention when they pick something up to read it in traditional media forms, like newspapers or media? It’s the headlines and the graphics. People are attracted to what they can see and understand in just a split second of observation. If you can create attractive headlines or have interesting graphics associated with each post on your site, then you’ll build traffic over time that may just make Google consider raising your page rank.
14. Be Patient… Be Very, Very, Very Patient
These tactics will work. It is just going to take some time for them to work. You’re building up a reputation, one visitor at a time, that will eventually translate into results. As long as you’re creating unique content, sharing it along your social networks, and working to promote yourself ethically across your domain authority, then eventually you are going to succeed. It just may take months to start seeing results.
The moment you decide to do something for the search engines instead of for the visitors to your site, then you’ve stopped using white hat SEO tactics. That means you’ve decided to cheat in order to achieve fast results. The content in white hat SEO always comes first. By following these tactics, you’ll be able to enhance the quality of your content, make it useful to the average person, and those organic results can translate into more conversions over the long haul.