White Hat SEO – A 5 Point Practice
White Hat SEO is contrary to Black Hat SEO that I wrote about in my last post. While black hat SEO is tactical, white hat SEO is a practice. White hat is pitched towards your website audience against black hat that is focused towards manipulating search engines (SEs). White hat is ethical and has a long term ROI benefits.
So how is this done? I’ll try to keep it simple with our 5 point practice at Interactive World.
- Quality “content” is the key: Take this article for example. The purpose of this article is to provide concise information to visitors on how white hat SEO needs to be done. This means your content has to be qualitative, factual and relevant. “Is there a pertinent message that I am offering?” is the question you need to ask before hitting publish.
- User experience – Put yourself into the user/ audience’s shoes. Create content that allows them to take away learning as compared to gibberish that a lot of online content contains today. A great user experience will lead to a lot of buzz for you in cyberspace.
- Engagement – Is the content engaging for your audience? Does it add value by way of information? Does it stimulate thinking and drive an interaction? Will it elicit “social signals” from the readers of your article? Sharing it in social media is an easy way to find out. If people share your content, they have found it to be interesting, concise and engaging. Such social media marketing provides a signal to SEs about popularity of content thereby marking it upwards.
- Go technical – Ensure that the page titles and relevant meta content is used appropriately in the webpage. The navigation structure is clearly laid out for a great user experience. XML sitemaps are present and working. Sitemaps ping SEs when you publish fresh content and provide crawlers with a map of links to crawl and index.
- Check your servers – Poorly maintained servers with inadequate bandwidth make your websites sluggish. Google has indicated that sites with long loading times would be penalized. Load time is a factor today since a sluggish website will also make your visitors turn away.
In a nutshell, do not build websites or content targeted towards search engines. Practice white hat SEO to focus on the user of a website to succeed. These practices are legit and work for your benefit in the long run. Black hat on the other hand may give you a short term advantage but it won’t last long.