White hat Vs. Black hat SEO | Which one do you use?
You may have heard the terms 'White Hat' and 'Black Hat' SEO, but what do they mean, and which one do you use?
Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation is the authority on getting your content shown at the top of search engines. Most people are aware of this, and how it can benefit them and their content. However, many have not been made aware that not all SEO is created equally. There are two main types of SEO you should know about - black hat, and white hat.
In short, black hat SEO focuses on optimising content for the search engine, not the audience. This means that the content may appear high in search engine results, but when somebody actually tried to read your content, you're met with nothing but complaints. Black hat SEO is the Sith (for any Star Wars fans out there) of the marketing world - it offers a quick and easy way to get to the top of search rankings, but overall it's pure evil! 😈
There are several characteristics of black hat SEO - are you committing any of these deadly sins?
Black hat SEO loves duplicating their content to create maximum keywords. For the search engine, this is great, theoretically increasing your chances of appearing higher in search results for certain keywords - but it leaves your audience re-reading the same content over and over. You may see an increase in initial visitors to your site, but how many will return if all you do is reshare the same content?
This is a super sneaky one - hiding text to gain the benefits of the extra keywords, without having to show it on the page. The thing is, though, all it takes is one user to highlight over the text, or inspect it in more detail to reveal your deception, then your reputation is down the drain.
Personally, I think this is the worst member of this list. I hate it. What's keyword stuffing? It's writing an SEO article about SEO and stuffing the keyword SEO into every sentence as many times as you can so you appear higher on search results for SEO. It's annoying and unreadable - please stop.
Cloaking & Re-directing
This is one of the most deceitful members of this list. Your audience click to your page thinking they're getting information about one thing, only to be transferred to a completely different site. It may seem genius to forcibly direct your audience to where you want them to go, but I guarantee not many users will stay on your site after you pull this one.
This isn't necessarily a malicious or deceitful tactic, more of a bad practise. There are plenty of sites on the world wide web that have lots of links, but none of them are relevant. You've got lots of people visiting your site through backlinks, but none of them are actually interested in what you have to share.
White hat SEO is the Jedi of the marketing world (to keep the Star Wars references going). This is the proper way to do SEO, to help you reach the top of search engine results for your target keywords, while also placing the end-user as its focus. White hat SEO focuses on delivering relevant, valuable content and using that to elevate your content.
There are also a few key traits that make up white hat SEO - use them as guidance for how you should carry out your own SEO.
The content posted under white hat SEO is super relevant to the keywords used, focusing on the intent of the user. This means that, when users do visit your site, they find the content they were expecting to.
This not only helps boost your search rankings, but also makes your site more accessible. If an image failed to load, for example, these text descriptions could help give a hint as to the content of the intended image. It also makes your content way easier to manage and search further down the line.
Let's take you back to primary school - spelling, punctuation and grammar. Making sure everything is spelt correctly has multiple benefits, the biggest being readability. Not only that, but it ensures your keywords are spelt correctly - if they aren't, it'd be pointless including them!
When designing a site using HTML (hyper-text markup language), there are certain standards you need to meet. White hat SEO makes sure all tags and code overall meets these standards, making life easier for everyone involved (a lot of web-building platforms such as Wix, or WordPress ensure this by default).
Unique and relevant page titles
Page titles are essential for letting both the audience, and the search engine know what a given page is about. White hat SEO not only means making these titles super relevant to your page content, but also making sure they're unique to avoid confusion and to help each page stand out.
Last but not least, the only true way to do backlinks successfully. Get links from sites that are relevant to your business, and carry a high domain authority. These are far more valuable than the first links you can get your hands on.
Do you stick to the white hat SEO techniques, or have you been naughty? If you need help walking on the light side, do not hesitate to book a call with us today.