According to the Search Engine Journal, 93% of web traffic comes from search engines. That means that your site and the search engine need to get along. There is just one consistent way to establish a positive relationship with search engines– search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization is essential for any website that seeks to have a decent amount of traffic. There are a number of ways to optimize your site, but not all of them are the same in the eyes of search engines.
If you want to run a lasting site with organically generated traffic, you will need to employ White Hat SEO tactics while avoiding Black Hat methods. White Hat SEO is the process of organically optimizing your site, while Black Hat is the process of trying to cheat the system.
This guide will show you the importance of using White Hat tactics.
What is White Hat SEO?
White Hat SEO is the process of generating search engine optimization in ways that Google encourages. In other words, White Hat means that you’re not cheating.
There is a lot of desire buzzing around the internet for quick, powerful search engine results. There are a few ways to achieve those results in a short amount of time but, unfortunately, most of them fall under the “Black Hat” category. In general, the easiest ways to get quick traffic are called Black Hat.
Why is Black Hat Bad if it Generates Traffic?
It would seem that the internet is the Wild West of the modern age, lawless and ripe for the picking. While that may be true in some senses, SEO is a different story. Search engines are created for the user, not those who are trying to attract the user.
Search engines are designed to give users high-quality content that is relevant to keyword searches. That’s why keywords are so important in the process of SEO. That being said, people caught on to this quickly and identified ways to blast the search engine with their keywords, coming up high in Google searches but low in customer relevance.
Think if, for example, you searched for a few “fun new ways to design your kitchen.” You make your search, see a hyperlink that seems relevant at the top of the search, and click it. You then find that the page you clicked is filled with text, repeating the words “fun new ways to design your kitchen.”
While the search engine was right in identifying a page that had the exact text you were looking for, it was wrong in assuming that it was relevant to you. As a response to this kind of tactic on the end of website designers, search engines got smart real quick.
There are roughly 200 hundred factors that go into a search engine determining a website’s relevance, some being more important than others. Judging by the quality of searches commonly found on the internet, we can assume that at search engine technology has algorithms to determine, with a fair amount of confidence, if a site is useful or not.
What Happens if I Use Black Hat Tactics?
While you may get a quick burst in traffic, you will eventually be identified by search engines as less relevant than sites who have utilized White Hat tactics. This means that you will come up extremely low on searches if you come up on them at all.
That’s right, you can actually be unlisted from search engines. If you don’t want that to happen, don’t even think about resorting to SPAM. SPAM is the plague of the internet, and if you approach anything close to spamming, you might as well just delete your page and start a whole new site.
Spamming could be anything from dishonest links directing users to your site, to wide-scale email blasts to people who have never expressed any interest in receiving messages from you.
So, What is White Hat SEO?
White Hat search engine optimization is the process of gaining keywords, backlinks, content, and traffic the honest way. It takes a little bit more time, and if you’re serious, money, but it is an investment fully worth making.
Keywords are an essential aspect of SEO, but you can’t go overboard with them like our previous example displayed. Keywords must be used tastefully and be naturally embedded in the content that you produce for your site. This brings us to our next topic; regular, quality content.
You should strive to create and maintain a blog that posts at least once a week. These blog posts should be quality, thoughtful, and useful to users. Additionally, you should seek to embed those keywords regularly throughout, making sure that they fit with the general style and tone of the article.
Another thing to consider is the placement of backlinks.
What are Backlinks?
These are links that direct people to your site from other sites. Search engines value a nexus of links to your site because it shows that you are relevant and useful to users. Backlinks are essentially votes in your favor.
Finding other site owners in your niche to link to you is a great start. You want to make sure that you find links regularly, as links do lose value as they age. Additionally, links from sites that are extremely popular are more valuable than links to relatively unknown sites.
Acquiring these links is a challenge that may take some time to achieve. Before your site picks up enough steam to generate links on its own, you may need to contact other site owners and offer them links in exchange for your links. You may also ask to write a guest post on their site.
Guest posts are great for everyone involved because it allows other websites to add quality content while giving you the opportunity to backlink to your site and gain a new audience.
Do More SEO Research
The difference between Black Hat and White Hat SEO is just the beginning of the knowledge that you’ll need for a successful site. Make sure to do a lot of research in the beginning, finding out new and interesting ways to rise to the top of search engines.
If you need any information about search engine optimization, we have everything you need.