Ranking in the world of search engines wasn’t always that complicated. To make it to the first page of the search results, all you needed was adequate keyword research and good content.
As the years went by, Google’s algorithm grew ever so complicated. Content writers and marketers needed to adapt to this new reality. Everybody wanted to rank high, but not everyone was willing to invest in quality content.
Black hat Search Engine Optimisation techniques abused the system in an attempt to forcefully promote content. Google realised that the system was flawed and found new ways to promote high-quality content.
Fast forward to today, nobody really knows what really goes into Google’s algorithm. That is not to say that ranking high is impossible.
Masterful implementation of white hat SEO techniques can easily catapult you to the first page of Google’s search results. Keep reading to find out exactly how you can take advantage of white hat SEO to rank higher today!
It all starts with proper keyword research, the backbone of any SEO strategy. You know what you want to rank for, but have you considered all the parameters? Are you using all the right tools?
Head keywords are fine, but did you know that to rank higher you also need to weave in long-tail keywords into your content? Long-tail keywords are easier to rank for but usually have lower search volumes.
Generic head keywords are extremely competitive since they are searched for thousands upon thousands of times every month. But what do you really know about people who’ve typed ‘cars’ into Google?
Are they looking to buy a new car? Maybe they’re just searching for cool car pictures. Perhaps it’s your 8-year old son looking for the Disney movie. Who knows?
On the other hand, people who use long-tail keywords often know what they want. These queries are longer and express a desire to find, buy, or learn something (e.g. ‘which car insurance is best in Australia’).
Finding the right long-tail keywords shouldn’t be a problem as long as you know who your audience is and why exactly you want them to read and engage with your content.
White hat SEO wizards don’t always play fair (and why should they?). Another way to drive more traffic to your website is to get some ‘inspiration’ by closely examining your competitors’ target keywords. You could steal some of their high-ranking keywords and use them in your own content. Sounds shady, but we promise, everyone does it!
Quality over Quantity
We know, this has been said a million times already, but hear us out. It’s true that a bunch of blog posts can help with website traffic, but that means nothing if your content is not properly optimised.
While you could technically still rank with mediocre content, providing users with great content and good user experience could really make a difference. Google doesn’t just want people to end up on random pages. This is what Google’s algorithm is all about. This is the rule that SEO white hat wizards live by.
Think of your niche and audience. It’s easier to write about something you’re familiar with than trying to rank for terms that you hardly know anything about.
At times, you may have to produce content about something you’re not familiar with. Instead of paraphrasing other creators’ content, spend more time researching and learning more about the topic.
Google’s complex algorithm loves links. You gain a little boost every time you link to a credible source, but if you really want to rank high, you’ll need to earn backlinks.
Internally linked pages will help you rank higher. When you link your website’s pages to one another, you make it easier for Google’s bots to crawl and index them. Making sure that your pages are well-linked together is the first step to success.
What you’re really after, however, are links from other websites that link back to you. Whereas black hat SEO aims to trick Google through manipulative tactics, white hat SEO advocates organic link-building.
Organic link-building is not easy but really does pay off in the long run. Receiving links from authoritative sources tells Google that you’re trustworthy and authoritative yourself.
Naturally, you only want to be linking and receiving links from high-quality pages since the trust and authority of the linking pages is another ranking factor. It all matters: the page SEO of these sites, the anchor text of incoming links.
Always make sure that you’re not dealing with any broken links on your website. If you’ve recently removed pages or switched domain, do an audit and ensure that everything is redirected properly. If possible, try to keep the same URL structure.
More White Hat SEO Techniques
- Create evergreen content. Evergreen content is great because it keeps driving traffic to your website long after it’s been published. When creating new content, focus on topics that you know will be relevant in the months and years ahead. Keep your blogs posts alive with minor updates and revisions.
- Avoid keyword stuffing. You may think that SEO is all about filling your content with your target keywords. Keywords will indeed help your rank, but they need to appear naturally within the body of the text. Remember to write for humans, not search engines.
- Optimise for mobile. In 2018, 52,2% of all web search traffic was generated through mobile phones. Optimising for mobile in 2019 is necessary if you want to rank high.
White hat SEO aims to drive traffic to your website through honourable and approved SEO methods and tactics. If you want to know more about the differences between white hat and black hat SEO, do check out our blog!