Beginners SEO Guide for White Hat SEO
Your business is established, you’ve built your website, your social media pages are all up… but where are your customers? The old adage of “build it and they will come” doesn’t work so well in the modern era.
The internet is full of information and trying to have your voice heard above the rabble takes more than simply building a website and hoping for the best. You need to help your customers find your website and find you. To do this you need to understand how they find information on the web.
How is information found?
You would be surprised at how many people don’t understand how they find things on the internet. They simply type things into a search box and hope for the best. Sometimes that search box is located on Google, sometimes it is on a web browser, other times it might even be on Facebook. However, the majority of people, whether they know what they’re doing or not, end up scrolling through results from a search engine.
The most common search engine, with over 90% market share, is Google.com. Other options also might be Bing, Duck Duck Go, Yahoo or Baidu. Your customer types in their search phrase, and you hope that your business website will come up in the results. But in order for that to happen, you need to make sure that the search engine knows what your website is about – and that is where “Search Engine Optimization” comes in.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Commonly referred to as SEO, this basically involves looking at your website, considering the title of your pages, the descriptions of your images, the actual wording of your text and what your headings are. This analysis looks for keywords that relate to your business.
You might love to talk about the red roses that grow in your garden, but if your business is about accounting not roses you will find that those people who do make it to your website would be looking for something you can’t provide.
Optimizing Your Website
Google makes its money by being the market leader in information gathering. They want people to find what they’re looking for. So, they offer tips to help you optimize your website. Unfortunately, there is a major problem with this – it is a lot of work and requires quite a bit of in-depth understanding of how the different algorithms actually work to make a difference to your search engine ranking.
If you would rather focus on your core business, look at hiring an affordable SEO company that specializes in white-hat SEO techniques.
What is White Hat SEO
You were just coming to grips with the concept of SEO then someone mentioned White Hat (or Black Hat) and now you’re back at square one. Don’t worry, this isn’t actually too difficult to understand (although it can be complicated to master).
White Hat SEO is simply ethical search engine optimization. This means that no back-handed fancy “tricks” were used to try and deceive a search engine.
Black Hat SEO
In the early days of the internet search engines weren’t particularly sophisticated. Some sites, often selling porn or scams, would use techniques like keyword stuffing or cloaking to trick search engines into directing all traffic their way. While not illegal, these practices are considered deceitful and have been termed as “black hat”.
In recent times, as search engines have become considerably more sophisticated (more so than the majority of websites that they present even), these black hat SEO practices will most likely cause your site to be blacklisted so that it will never show up on a search engine at all. As hackers often use black hat SEO tricks to spread malware, you may find your site banned although no fault was done on your end: https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/security/hacked/request_review
How to use White Hat SEO
In a nutshell – write good content! Google, in particular, is able to detect what your site is about by picking up the use of certain keywords within a certain context.
However, you need to be aware that SEO works differently for different platforms. So, if your content is primarily on social media you might need to tweak your phrasing to be geared more towards this market, however, if your clientele is on YouTube, then you could look more at being aligned with this platform.