A Definitive Guide to White Hat SEO for Digital Marketers
Any digital marketer is aware of efficient SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies that can help them boost their digital marketing plan. Search Engine Optimization has two approaches to SEO. One among them is White hat SEO- an ethical way and the other one resulting in penalization in the long run. The former boosts the organic traffic & popularity of a website. It provides high-relevance content to the users keeping their interaction with content a priority. If you are a digital marketer or just starting as one, we tell you everything you need to know about White hat SEO. Read further to know more about them here!
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, as the name conveys, is a technique to improve the quantity and quality of traffic on a web page or website from a search engine. This traffic is majorly driven by unpaid traffic rather than direct or paid traffic. It helps Google rank relevant content higher when someone searches on it.
Importance of SEO for Digital Marketers
Knowledge of SEO plays a crucial role for digital marketers because:
- It helps them drive traffic to websites, web pages, or landing pages.
- It helps websites rank higher and be better than competitors.
- The increase in traffic eventually increases conversion rate and return of investment.
- It helps promote a website or brand every time users try finding something relevant to the website’s content.
Learn in-depth SEO and SEM practices with the Best SEO Course
Check out the curriculum for the most advanced Digital Marketing Master Course from IIM SKILLS
Types of SEO
There are seven different types of SEO. Let’s know about each one of them:
White Hat SEO
This type of SEO refers to the optimization techniques that follow Webmaster Guidelines and complement Google’s algorithm. Few ways like creating high-quality content, descriptive meta tags, and having a mobile-first approach are a part of it.
Black Hat SEO
It works opposite to White Hat SEO and reaps the benefit of Google Algorithm’s loopholes to help it rank better on search engines. Keyword stuffing, page swapping, or using invisible texts are a few ways that are a part of Black hat SEO.
Grey Hat SEO
SEO agencies use this technique to get quick results. This approach is a blend of ways from the White hat and Black hat SEO. Creating multiple social media accounts and linking them to a website is one of the techniques of Grey Hat SEO.
The main aim behind this is to make the competitor’s ranking suffer. Hence, these methods help them take the benefit of this situation to outrank their competitors. Few techniques that are a part of negative SEO are, hacking a website, creating duplicates of a website, or scraping a website’s content.
Every measure that you take to make your website or web page rank on search engines like Google is a technique that falls under On-page SEO. Optimizing meta tags and descriptions, writing quality content, and having a high-speed website are a few techniques that are a part of on-page SEO.
It refers to everything done outside your site to rank higher when users enter their search queries on Google. Getting brand mentions, guest authoring, and social bookmarking are some well-known techniques used for off-page SEO.
It helps the Google bots crawl and index your websites and pages for future use. A website search engine can crawl easily with structured data, and an XML site map follows all technical SEO guidelines.
Know more about the basics of SEO
Now that we learned about different types of SEO let us find out more about White hat SEO below.
What is White Hat SEO?
It is a technique that targets a specific set of groups without hacking search engine algorithms. It maintains the integrity of your website using tactics that are in line with the terms and conditions of search engines like Google.
This technique helps in building natural links to other websites. High-relevance content and user popularity help generate these organic links.
Why is White Hat SEO Important?
It is crucial because it encourages search engines like Google to prompt what users are looking for quickly.
- It’ll help you improve the website ranking by creating quality content using trustworthy backlinks on search engine platforms.
- Practicing it saves money in the long term & yields a lasting result.
- It improves the customer experience of the website.
- In the long run, search engines like Google distinguish how users consume quality content and their experience.
What are White Hat SEO Methods?
These techniques help double traffic on the website. Following are the methods that you as a digital marketer be mindful of while working on a website:
Keep a Mobile-First Approach
A website that’s mobile-friendly ranks higher because people tend to use their mobiles for searching. It helps drive more traffic to the website and eventually a higher conversion rate.
High Website Loading Speed
Building a website that loads faster and drives higher traffic is always helpful. Often when users land on a page and leave without doing any action, that’s the sign of a low website loading speed. To remain updated with your website’s loading speed, use tools like page speed insights.
Easy to Navigate Website
A website that has easy navigation tends to garner higher traffic. When users land on a page and get an answer to their queries, that’s when you know a website is easy to navigate.
Focus on the Website’s User Experience
It improves customer satisfaction, ease of use that leads to a positive experience. Using methods like A/B testing will get insights into what is working for users. It will also help you in understanding customer behavior.
Researching the keywords for their search volumes before adding them to your site using tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and Google Adwords is very important. Ensure your website’s title has the keywords.
Check out the best Keyword Research Tools
Avoid any Keyword Stuffing across The Content
Avoid Keyword stuffing so that the content written doesn’t get penalized and is understood to be spammy. Thus, it saves the website from violating the Webmaster Guidelines.
Use Description Meta-Tags
Using description meta-tags helps the crawler understand the relevance of the content. Adding such tags can prove to be beneficial for the SEO of the page.
Use Alt Texts for Website Images
Adding adequate alt texts for images is always helpful. It adds to the relevance of the data and SEO of the page. It helps the crawler understand the information given on a website or web page to fulfill the user intent. Google’s algorithm also indexes images in such cases and pushes the website to be a part of image-based search queries.
Try Google Accepted Schema Tools
Using Google accepted Schema tools for a competitive edge can boost traffic to your page. Search engines understand and crawl a page easily. It improves the click-through rate of the website.
Link the pages that are relevant to your website or webpage. It helps build trust and domain authority that eventually improves the traffic on the website. Internal linking and outbound linking both play a crucial role in such cases.
Have accurate and complete data on business listings to build a website’s credibility. It is crucial to convey the same information on every listing to avoid any information discrepancy.
Write High-Quality Content
As we all know, “Content is King”. It stands true in every case immaterial of the type of content users consume. Hence, giving relevant and conversational content on the website with a strong content marketing strategy is always helpful.
To help a website rank higher, practicing these methods is always helpful. These practices will help digital marketers build a website that gets higher organic traffic. Search engines like Google are a powerful source to get traffic to your website using the above practices. Following these practices result in lower traction on the website.
Is it Advisable to Implement White Hat SEO Methods?
Yes, a digital marketer must implement these methods. Google’s algorithm makes sure to rank only content that’s relevant to the search query entered by the user. It benefits the site owners as it drives traffic to their website or web page without deceitful tactics.
As we say, “Content is King” creating content that meets a user’s needs helps Google categorize the page or site as relevant to their search query. Following the best practices helps a page or site be more searchable. A website that gives users a top-notch experience and helps them find answers to their questions works effectively.
Tips to Remember
- Focus on getting quality backlinks.
- Add backlinks only related to your niche.
- Include your target keyword in the URL.
- Write high-quality and error-free content.
- Add meta titles, descriptions, and alt text wherever possible.
- Add call to action wherever possible.
- Avoid plagiarism of content.
- Build your page with user-friendly UX and UI along with fast loading speed.
Disadvantages of White Hat SEO Methods
Following are the disadvantages of these methods:
- These methods have a limited scope. It works only for on-page SEO but has restricted applicability on off-page SEO.
- Though it results in enhanced search results, these methods take time for a website and can be equally complex at times.
- These methods also incur high initial costs.
While these disadvantages may seem to be valid reasons, we suggest you do not stop here. Read ahead to find why we recommend you follow Webmaster guidelines and use these methods to rank your content.
Difference between Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO
Let’s discuss a few crucial differences between the White hat SEO and Black hat SEO to enhance our understanding of both of them.
Black Hat SEO:
- Focuses on search engines.
- Gives a quick return on your website rather than a long term investment
- Techniques like keyword stuffing, link farming, building doorway pages, and spamming are a part of it
- Results in website banning and penalization due to unethical practices
Read on to know more about keyword stuffing, link farming, building doorway pages, and content cloaking.
Keyword stuffing is a Black hat SEO technique where you add keywords unnaturally within the content. It reflects negatively on a website long-term because it creates a terrible user experience. The different types of keyword stuffing include:
- Repeating words or phrases pointlessly
- Adding words that are out of context from the content
- Using keywords that are not related to the content
A Google algorithm update named Florida penalizes keyword stuffing.
Link farming is the process of linking unrelated sites or pages to your website that you hide from actual site visitors. It may potentially put you at a site flagging risk. You can check a link farm by checking its page rank. Search engines like Google do not consider such link farms legitimate and do not allow them to rank.
Panda and Penguin are Google algorithm updates that penalize websites that are content farms or follow linking practices.
Content cloaking is a Black hat SEO technique that helps the site rank even if there is no connection between content and the user’s search query. Hence, you should avoid this approach to SEO because it results in long-term penalization. The most common content cloaking examples are:
- Showing an image page to users but an HTML page to search engines.
- Adding a keyword only when a search engine requests it and not a human query comes.
Creating doorway pages is a Black hat SEO technique that drives visitors to other pages. People make several pages with similar content to build links to the actual web page. A person using them gets penalized if they don’t offer value.
People hide in a small font or the same background color many times. These are also a part of the Black hat SEO practices. The website owner may place this text for the crawler and not for readers. Using sneaky redirects misguides the reader to some other page and search engine elsewhere.
It is a Black hat SEO method too. Such methods used on a site can give a quick result, but Google penalizes anyone owning it. It is better to follow Webmaster guidelines to get long-lasting results and avoid after effects. In case if these guidelines are violated the website ends up losing its credibility.
More Professional Courses at IIM SKILLS
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is the White hat method approach to SEO legal?
Yes, it is ethical and not legally objectionable to use the White hat method approach to SEO.
2. Is Black hat SEO illegal?
No, Black hat SEO isn’t illegal but violates webmaster guidelines resulting in penalization.
3. What are the top SEO tactics?
The top SEO tactics are:
- Prioritizing quality content
- Satisfying user intent
- Keeping mobile-first experience
- Focusing on content marketing
4. What is White hat link building?
Driving traffic to your website through search engine optimization techniques is known as White hat link building.
5. What are the three types of SEO?
There are three types of SEO:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
These are a lot of tactics digital marketers follow to build a website that garners traffic. Being a digital marketer, you need to know the difference between a White hat and a Black hat SEO. While there are many methods to drive traffic to your website, knowing these tactics is always helpful.
Find out about all the advantages and disadvantages of using strategies you choose before proceeding further. It gives you an upper hand in ensuring that every strategy you are looking to follow produces the desired result. To prove that you are one of the best digital marketers out there, knowing how to leverage these strategies at the fullest will always help you stand out and gain recognition.
To understand how a digital marketer plans every strategy, you need to know how search engines like Google crawl through the content. Make the most of such strategies and understand their pros and cons to align your expectations beforehand. Turn this knowledge into traffic that converts. It’ll be easier to implement these strategies if you read how to implement each one of them.
Learning SEO requires a lot of prerequisites & this blog will help you bridge the gap. This blog will give you new tips which everyone may not know. So, the more knowledge you get about SEO, it’ll help you drive traffic better using the best possible practices. If you are beginning your career as a digital marketer, keeping all these points in mind will help you get the result you need.
Digital marketers like you need to know the importance of SEO, its types, and everything about it. It’ll help you understand everything you need to know while helping your clients and finding more about your role through the process.
You may find it difficult to understand at first, but gaining knowledge will help you expand your horizons. Learn everything about White hat SEO, its advantages, problems, and methods while establishing yourself as a learned digital marketer.