Have a website, but it’s not ranking in Google or any other search engines? You’ll need to perform search engine optimization (SEO). It can help your website be found more, which will increase your business’s visibility and get more traffic to your site.
And thankfully, there are many things you can do to improve your site’s ranking and visibility. However, not all are good for your site in the long run. In fact, if you carry out some of them, you might get penalized with dropped website rankings, lower organic traffic, or even removal from search engine results.
That’s why you should only use what are called “white hat” tactics. They’ll help you achieve a better website, get more eyes on your site, and improve your overall online reputation, which will pay dividends much later.
What is White Hat SEO?
White hat SEO refers to ethical SEO strategies for improving a website’s search engine ranking. White hat SEO is based on established guidelines by major search engines like Google and Bing.
The opposite of white hat SEO is black hat SEO. These tactics rely on unethical and harmful practices like keyword stuffing and buying backlinks. Black hat SEO may give you temporary benefits, but in the long run, these are risky and won’t be as effective, especially as search engines constantly change their algorithms to improve them.
Do note that when you use white hat SEO tactics, it will take time for you to see results. But be patient and remember that you are building a sustainable foundation for long-term website success.
What are some white hat SEO tactics that you should be doing?
There are plenty of white hat SEO tactics that can be done to improve your website ranking and help you get to the first page of search engine results. Here are five tactics you should note.
Memorize Google’s Guidelines
While there are plenty of search engines, Google, right now, is undoubtedly the most known one. That means you should be basing your tactics on what’s allowed in their particular guidelines. The Googe Webmaster Guidelines will give you an idea of how Google will find, index, and rank your site.
And when you know these, you’ll be able to optimize your site that meets Google’s standards, and will help you avoid practices that may lead them to blacklist your site permanently.
If you also want to rank in other search engines, do the same thing–find out their guidelines and apply them to your website.
Prioritize User Experience
User experience refers to how visitors, well, experience your website. Ideally, they should experience fast loading times and easy navigation. And if you have a lot of content, users should be satisfied with what they find on your website.
Things that can dampen a visitor’s experience are the opposite, such as confusing menus, slow loading times, and annoying and unnecessary pop-up menus. These things will likely lead the user to close the window on your business and try a different website.
Remember: The longer users stay to browse your site, the better. After all, they’ll refer you to their friends looking for the same thing, either via word-of-mouth or on their social media channels.
But that’s not all: when they stay longer, that signals search engines that your website is relevant for what they’re searching for. That will make the search engines give your site a better ranking.
Keywords Are Still Important
Keywords got a bad rap because a black hat SEO tactic included stuffing a website and its articles with keywords but not necessarily giving a visitor the result they needed. Imagine if you’re looking for a barber in your area, so you searched “barber near me.” Then when you clicked on the top result, you’re directed to a website that sells scissors and clippers.
Thankfully, the search engines made improvements, this time considering keyword context and user intent to make things more specific. On your part, you should now search for keywords relevant to your business and which ones you can rank for. You can use them in your content, your titles, headers, and so on. Don’t forget to use them naturally and not force the placements.
Build Your Links
Get more traffic to your website by getting linked to by other websites. Now, again, don’t do black hat tactics, which involve getting irrelevant websites to link to your site, which, again, will penalize your ranking.
What you should do instead is talk to businesses who would mutually benefit from partnering up with you and are also relevant (but not similar) to your offer. One way to do this is by guest posting on their blog; they’ll do the same to yours. That way, you can link to them, and they can link to you, and both of you will get points from Google and other search engines, boosting both of your popularity.
And speaking of links, make sure always to check your links in case any of them suddenly become broken ones. It can affect user experience! Always replace broken ones with new, relevant links.
Put Mobile Users Ahead
Accessing the Internet nowadays is easier via mobile devices. The big question is, is your website optimized for mobile users? If yes, then there’s nothing you have to worry about.
However, if your answer is no, then you have to make sure you have a mobile version of your site. It has to be just as good as your website’s desktop version–everything has to be smooth and properly loaded.
If you don’t give in to the increasing number of mobile device users, you risk getting left behind by your competitors–and, again, having your rank decreased by the search engines since people don’t visit your site.
White hat SEO tactics are important for you to rank in search engines and achieve long-term success. There are plenty of white hat methodologies you can apply to your website for better ranking, such as what was discussed above: adhering to search engine guidelines, using important keywords, and building relevant links. Ultimately though, you should make sure that visitors have a very good user experience, whether they’re viewing your website through their computers or their mobile devices.
Again, it’s important to remember that using white hat tactics won’t produce instant and fast results. They will, however, help you build sustainable and long-term success by helping to establish your site as a valuable and credible resource for users. That, in turn, will lead your business to have more visitors, more traffics, and more conversions.