SEO is often referred to as a marathon and not a sprint. In recent times, it’s got harder to maintain and grow your business reputation – particularly in an age of digital marketing – and it becomes more and more important for brands to gain and sustain site visibility just by using organic search.
SEO (search engine optimisation) is aimed at increasing site visibility by using organic methods. SEO is not a gamble – it’s all about creating content that people look forward to reading and sharing and satisfies their search intent. White hat SEO strategies are still the most genuine and trustworthy techniques that will add goodwill to your brand and ultimately add greater value and longevity to your website.
What is white hat SEO?
White hat SEO techniques refer to techniques used to optimise websites to adhere to the rules and conditions set up by large search engines such as Google and Bing. White hat SEO techniques include generating and promoting quality content, adding relevant keywords, fast and easy site navigation and – more importantly these days – being mobile-friendly.
Marketers follow white hat SEO strategies by using SEO tools and techniques to maintain the integrity of a website, while staying within the rules and regulations of the search engines. Implementing white hat SEO techniques is a long-term way to create an ethical and sustainably successful website and business.
Here are six white hat SEO strategies to boost organic traffic.
1. Content strategy
According to Hubspot, 82% of marketers who blog every single day acquire customers on their websites. It’s highly important to generate unique, insightful and quality content to rank better on Google.
Content that is holistic and covers aspects such as features, usability and history will generate higher value. Include all elements such as images, multiple pages, videos and infographics to cover all that a reader looks for. Research has also shown that long-form content gives higher ranking than short-form content. The obvious reason for this would be because long-form content can cover greater details and more specifications in one article.
So, if you are aiming for better traffic results, make sure that your content is comprehensive and relevant to your audience.
2. Content marketing
Most of the content marketing strategies focus highly on generating quality content and disregard the fact that marketing the content is highly important. Content marketing is essential for the distribution of your content to increase the visibility and audience engagement.
When there is compelling content created, you should have strategies to leverage it. Identify key platforms where you can publish your content and connect to your potential customers. You can distribute your content on your own corporate blog, write it as a guest blog post, add it on branded social media networks or third-party social networks, and even issue press releases. Maximising engagement so that more people are attracted to your site will increase conversions and leads.
3. Site navigation
One of the easy things that could slip out of your mind while focusing on other important things is your own website, when in fact your site should be one of the most important parts of your SEO strategy.
Your website was developed some time ago and could have grown organically. Over a period of time you have added quite a few new options to your website and this might make the entire site look shabby and unstructured – something that can have a negative impact on your SEO strategy.
You should devote enough time to look at your site structure and organise it better to give an easy user experience. It should be streamlined to logically categorise the pages and should look like an organised filing system. The website crawlers should enjoy the experience which means a higher rank for your website.
Your users are the main reason you built the website in the first place. The easier you make it for them to navigate through a simple and well-planned website, the higher your chances of them staying on your site and lowering the bounce rate.
Keywords are a powerful tool in the SEO world and the most important thing that you should optimise for when you start with your white hat SEO strategy. Using keywords has also been the most efficient technique to get a high search engine rank for your website.
Try using Google search to find relevant and high-intent keywords. Google will automatically suggest a search query when you start typing anything, and with this you can create a list of keywords for your article. You can also use tools such as Google AdWords’ keyword planner, Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest, and Ahrefs to search for keywords to get your website pages a higher ranking.
Choose relevant keywords and include them throughout your content but don’t overdo it by adding too many keywords, keyword stuffing as it is known.
5. Link building
This is one of the most common white hat SEO techniques. A good backlink profile is one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm for ranking a website on Google’s first results page. Over the years Google has built intelligent algorithms that can weed out the ‘bad’ links, but having more quality links still results in a higher score if they originate from diverse and authoritative domains.
Derek Miller, SEO Manager at CopyPress, says: “When it comes to building backlinks, the best tip I can offer is creating a link-worthy resource on your site.”
Follow two simple steps for link building: first create high-quality content, then promote it. Take the help and advice of testimonials, guest blogging, social media, forums and mutual partnerships to gain backlinks.
A report from Hitwise states that ‘more than 60% of searches are now performed on a mobile device daily’.
In recent times one of the top White Hat SEO strategies is for a site to be mobile-friendly. A few years back, this would not have featured in the top six techniques for white hat SEO, but in the last few years, its relevance has increased hundredfold due to the increase in the use of mobile devices to browse websites.
This definitely is a message loud and clear that you simply cannot have a website that is difficult to view on a mobile device. Your site should be optimised for various screen widths and should be easy to read. There are mobile testing tools that can be used to check if your website is mobile friendly, including Google’s free Test My Site service.
With Google in the midst of rolling out mobile-first indexing, this is even more critical. This means that Google will be using the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking so mobile users find what they are searching for with ease. It is more important than ever that your website is fully responsive in its design.
Start white hat SEO strategies with a realistic goal. Ranking a website is a continuous process, and does not happen overnight. The above six strategies will help you to slowly and steadily achieve your goal.
Always remember that though black hat SEO strategies can get you the fast ranking that you always wished for, it won’t last long or attract the quality traffic to your site that creates sales and enquiries. Google is getting smarter by the day, and any such tricks that you implement will be momentary.
A writer specialising in digital marketing content, Uma Bhat is passionate about writing compelling blog posts, social media content and web copy, and aims to produce content pieces that increase engagement and drive leads. Uma’s blogs are published on Cloohawk and Medium, and she is also a guest blogger for numerous websites.