Whether you’re making a website for fun or you’re doing it for your company, finding out that search engines don’t recognize your website can be frustrating. If a search engine won’t display your website on their results pages, there’s a huge chance that you won’t have any visitors to your site. This is especially true today, since the days when people simply type the website’s URL in the address bar have already gone.
When people look for a particular service or product, they’ll start their search at search engines like Google. In order for your website to have any traffic, it must do well in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Fortunately, you or your business can achieve this feat through various search engine optimization (SEO) practices.
White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO
Before implementing any SEO strategy, it’s important to keep in mind that not all SEO techniques are permissible and ethical. Google has a habit of constantly updating their guidelines. That way, webmasters will refrain from practicing any unethical SEO strategies, referred to many in the industry as black hat SEO. From spamming a website’s comment section to spinning and stuffing keywords all over your content, there are plenty of black hat SEO tactics—all of which have the goal of boosting a website’s ranking. But this ranking doesn’t last long in the business. It can often ruin your business’s reputation.
On the other hand, you have SEO practices that don’t apply any unmerited or unfair advantage to one website over the other. Many experts refer to these practices as white hat SEO. Instead, it ensures that the playing field is equal, making the competition to be on the first pages of a SERP fair for everyone.
Essentially, white hat SEO aims to focus on improving one’s website for the sake of a human audience instead of tricking the algorithms used by a search engine. Thus, you can say that white hat SEO practices always keep the users in mind. On the other hand, black hat SEO focuses on tricking Google’s algorithm.
Why You Must Use White Hat SEO
Essentially, if you use black hat SEO techniques, Google and other search engines will ban your website. As mentioned earlier, since potential visitors usually use search engines before stumbling on any website, getting banned from any search engine will result in a drastic drop in your web traffic. This effect translates into the loss of profit for your business.
Additionally, there’s no guarantee that Google will re-list your website once you’re banned. A lifetime ban from Google, simply by refraining from using white hat SEO, will have tremendous consequences on your brand. So if you’re not an expert on SEO and want to rank well in search engines, it’s in your best interest to leave the job to professionals like Digital Sisco.
White Hat SEO Techniques to Drive Organic Traffic
Now that you know the difference between black hat and white hat SEO and why you should always apply the latter, it’s time to know some techniques that’ll drive more traffic to your site this 2022. As mentioned, since Google regularly updates its guideline, what was working last year may no longer yield the same results this time. For your reference, here are the top white hat SEO techniques that’ll drive more organic traffic to your website:
- Good Design and Navigation
Google has several factors and algorithms when ranking a website, one of which is your website’s bounce rate. A high bounce rate is caused when users quickly leave your website. Users leaving your website quickly can be a result of bad navigation and design. If you don’t want to have a very high bounce rate, ensure that your website has a good design and user-friendly navigation. This way, users will stay longer on your website, reducing your bounce rate.
Moreover, a crucial element that’ll contribute to your website’s design is the color contrast ratio. With a good contrast ratio, your website becomes easier to read, which will improve user experience (UX). Also, make sure that your color combinations are consistent in all your promotions and ads. This way, customers will associate your colors with your brand. Fortunately, there are already plenty of tools available on the internet that can help or test your website’s color contrast ratio.
- Make Your Website Mobile-friendly
Various articles have already proved that mobile users have significantly increased. In 2020, there will be around 6 million mobile internet users, which is a huge leap from 3.7 million in 2016. With this number alone, Google has focused on the mobile-first indexing system. This means that you should have a mobile-first approach when applying your SEO efforts. (3)
As a start, whenever you’re designing your website or you’re hiring an expert, make sure that your new or updated web design is easily viewable on mobile devices. The texts, pictures, and content should quickly load too.
The first two techniques mainly revolve on your website’s UX. But that’s not the only white hat SEO technique you should focus on this year. In fact, you also have to make sure you’re choosing keywords related to your business. When choosing keywords, refrain from picking those that have a very high difficulty and search volume. If you choose these keywords, it’ll be challenging for you to rank against websites that are already using them.
If you don’t have any idea how keyword research works, you should first find a keyword search tool. By having this tool, it’ll be easier for you to generate possible keywords. Once the tool already generates keywords related to your industry, select ones relevant to your industry and then plan your content around them. When it comes to white hat SEO, choose medium-range keywords that have a difficulty of around 50–70. (3)
Additionally, keep in mind that keywords are often categorized as short-tailed or long-tailed. The former has a very high keyword difficulty, while the latter focuses more on the customer and isn’t that difficult compared to the former. As such, the people you’re planning to target with long-tail keywords have a huge chance to avail your products or services. This means that if you want a more focused and specific way of gaining traffic, start implementing long-tail keywords.
- Create Link-worthy and Long Content
If you want more organic traffic this 2022, start creating content with over 1,500+ words. Additionally, you have to make sure that the content you’re writing is link-worthy. But how can you make link-worthy content?
First of all, link-worthy content focuses on the proper usage of keywords. After using the right keywords, don’t forget to promote your content on your social media channels. Keep in mind that articles, blog posts, product pages, and guides are among the types of content that’ll affect your SEO greatly.
- Build High-quality Backlinks
Just like in previous years, backlinking is still a foolproof white hat SEO tactic that can drive a generous amount of traffic and improve your website’s authority. By building high-quality backlinks, the content you’ve written will be considered an authority by a lot of people. Google will then consider your site as an expert in the industry, rewarding you by showing your website on its first page.
In order for your website to have value, make sure to avoid placing spammy links and focus on high-quality ones. This is especially important since Google will now analyze your content and check the authority of the links you’re placing. If Google finds out that you’re using spammy links, they’ll penalize you, which will affect your brand’s reputation adversely.
A rich snippet, shown on a search engine’s page, refers to the additional information that’ll add value to the result. From a searcher’s perspective, when they see that the result has a snippet, they’ll already have an idea of what the content is all about simply by looking at the results, making it more appealing. Since it’s appealing to them, having a rich snippet is shown to have more clicks or click-through rate (CTR), allowing you to have more traffic.
To add a rich snippet, you need to have structured data on your website. That way, Google can show a snippet. This data or code will inform Google to extract the relevant data so it’ll be shown in their SERPs.
Take note that you can’t use rich snippets in any type of content. Focus on adding a rich snippet on the following:
- Businesses and organizations
Final Words: White Hat SEO Takes Time
Although it’s rewarding, white hat SEO techniques won’t deliver the promises it brings overnight. In fact, it’ll take approximately a month or more for your website to see any improvement in rankings. Even if it takes time, you can always use this opportunity to learn more about other white hat SEO techniques through various sources. Just remember to avoid using black hat SEO strategies. Essentially, it’s important to be patient when applying white hat SEO.