What is White Hat SEO?

‘White hat’ is a term used in many different ways. In terms of SEO (search engine optimisation), white hat SEO relates to the performing optimisations. Or using certain techniques that primarily focus on appealing to the human audience as oppose to search engines. Those techniques and optimisations completely comply with search engine rules and conditions.

It is also sometimes refereed to as Ethical SEO.

Why would you want to use White Hat SEO?

You might be asking yourself, why would you spend the extra effort and go out of your way to use white hat SEO techniques? Reduction, and if not abolishment of the risk of being deranked or banned from a search engine is the answer.  There is also that the website user will have more interest in your website. Also they will naturally spend more time on the website, giving the search engine a reason to rank your website higher.

Some examples of White Hat SEO techniques.

1. Quality Content:

This is one of the most important aspects of SEO in general! Good, unique content will always attract more visitors. Based on the current search engine algorithms quality content will automatically make you rank higher. A search engines job is to try its best to serve their user with content that will not only answer their current question (search) but also expand that topic for them, and in general just inform them to a higher extent.

Lets look at an example.
A user searches for the phrase Web Design.
Let’s look at 2 theoretical websites.
Website 1 – has a single page with 2-3 paragraphs of text. The text simply explains that this company creates and designs websites and maybe some information about their location.
Website 2 – has 20-30 pages all containing information about different Website Development/Design techniques. Also explaining how their hosting works. Explaining why you need certain things over others by explaining technical details in some areas where needed etc. Now even by looking at it yourself you would want to visit Website 2 if you were looking for the term Web Design. Which website do you think the search engine would offer the user first? It is an obvious choice. Although it does show how good content can influence your website and its online visibility, regardless of your actual skill.

2. Use Structure, Titles and Meta Data:

This all boils down to how you use your header and in general, content tags. Try to minimise the amount of inline CSS or Javascript you have in your content. Make it easier for the search engine to identify where the content is, and where the design elements of your website are.

Headers of different weight and paragraph tags are extremely important for the search engine to try and understand what your content is about. It will use this information to try and rank it according to the topic. Due to some Black Hat SEO tehniques the use of headers and titles has been heavily misused. Consequently they have become a lot less important today. Although there is still some value left in them and still need to be used accordingly. NEVER have the search engine in mind but only what will make it easier for your users to read the information and learn from it.

3. Keyword Research and Proper Keyword use:

Don’t try to describe your website using keywords and base it from that. Instead try to think of things you would search for when you want your page to pop up.

For example.
If you are a Web Design agency and have one of your pages dedicated to your SEO services. You might be considering using certain SEO keywords BUT
Instead of puttingSEO as a keyword, where you will be competing with pretty much ANYTHING to do with SEO (Definitions, courses, SEO agencies etc). Try using keywords such as “SEO Cheap Colchester” (If you are based in Colchester of course) or “Get SEO services“. It is always recommended to try and use keywords that are extremely precise to you and your services. Unless you are extremely heavy on generic keywords and are capable of competing in a battle with the big guys. This in turn will lower your total outreach, but will lower the competition as well.

This is where keyword research comes in. The perfect balance needs to be found, where you could compete but at the same time be able to capture a big enough audience.

4. Backlinks:

Having a network of links that point to your website from other ‘trusted’ or ‘established’ websites can increase your rank dramatically. Important thing to remember is that you are NEVER to buy backlinks or to participate in backlinks networks. This is where backlinks are issued when you issue a backlink. All of that breaks most search engine rules and policies. The backlinks have to be related to your topic.
For Example.
Imagine you have a website that sells mobile phones.
Now you have the ability to submit two backlinks to your website.
Link 1 – Link back to your website from the official British Telecom website.
Link 2 – Link back to your website from a review page on Toys R Us.

This is an obvious choice for the search engine and Link 1 will provide a lot more more value to your website where as Link 2 might give little to no benefit.

The amount of quality inbound links therefore directly influences your rank within a search result. Even though you might be thinking of trying to get as many links as possible always keep in mind quality over quantity.

Conclusion

To conclude, it is not always easy to see which techniques are good and which are bad. That’s why at Sudakov Web Development we offer SEO services that provide in-depth analysis of your online presence to try and identify those problems before they start growing.