White hat SEO techniques are damn important to master if organic traffic to your blog or website means anything to you.
Unfortunately, white techniques in SEO (and their corresponding practices) are becoming rarer and rarer. Infact, a huge percentage of the present generation of bloggers and webmasters have no idea what it means when one refers to – or speaks of white hat, grey hat or black hat in relation to SEO.
If you are such a blogger or webmaster, this entry is crafted specially for you.
If you theoretically know the differences between the three (3) major options of endearing your site to search engines but have not mastered the actual process of deployment, this entry is also for you.
More importantly, if you have been blogging for years and still are very poor when it comes to search engines and the intricate art of getting their attention and attracting free traffic to your blog or websites, this entry will also show you exactly what it is that you have been doing completely wrong.
Finally, if a hefty chunk of your traffic is organic – and you imagine that you are already a white hat SEO expert, this entry is also for you…here, despite the fact that you have been blogging for more than ten (10) years and optimizing pages for more than fifteen (15), it my personal guarantee that you will certainly learn something new that will surely benefit you, your site/blog, your clients and make you more money in the process.
However, before I proceed to discuss the best white hat SEO strategies available today, it is important that we treat first things first.
What Is White Hat SEO?
White hat SEO is a variant of the three (3) major types of SEO techniques available, deployed and in use today.
It is instantly differentiated from the other two (2) variants – grey and black hat – because it is considered ethical, non-manipulative and in the best interest of all parties involved: bloggers/webmasters, search engines and searchers of information online.
Accordingly, this type of SEO is promoted and encouraged by the big guns, all those who are ethically concerned about SEO, especially, search engines and those closely aligned with quality, non-manipulative content on the web.
The basis of white hat SEO is thus very simple and quite straightforward: bloggers/webmasters are encouraged to deploy honest methods of driving organic traffic over to their blogs/websites and accordingly, shun all the dubious and manipulative ‘tips’ and ‘tricks’ that are either aimed at gaming search engines (to wrongly trust a site) or misleading search visitors (into clicking on blogs/websites on the SERPs that do not – nor will ever solve the primary reason why the search query was entered into the search bar in the first place).
Accordingly thus, white hat techniques are a call to more sincerity, honesty and more ‘straightforwardness’ in the overall search process especially from the point of view of the search engines – emphasizing what is expected of the bloggers in the process.
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Having thus explained the whole concept of white hat SEO, it is apt that we now proceed.
White Hat SEO Techniques
The following are white hat SEO techniques that are guaranteed to rake in massive organic traffic if they are contentiously and religiously followed. It is also guaranteed that such techniques, if pursued faithfully, will certainly ensure that you rake in enormous amounts of free traffic that will awe even you.
This free traffic, you must note, converts excellently as it is traffic from hungry searchers who are already searching for something online. This means that, such manner of traffic is highly targeted and more likely to convert in a higher and brilliant fashion/manner.
Aside this, it is also instructive to note that, following these tips to the latter will also ensure that you avoid the challenges of a Google penalty and complete loss of the organic traffic you have so much fought for – and cherished.
If you will thus not appreciate the loss of little organic traffic you already have ensured, you’ll need to take these tips damn serious.
These are the best white hat SEO techniques available today:
1. Writing Long, Detailed, Relevant and Ever Green Content
The core basis of white hat SEO is that quality and good intent should prevail against sleazy, evil intended methods that serve no one in the long end.
Accordingly, the first white hat SEO method that chronicles this reality better than any other is the activity of writing long, detailed, relevant and ever green content.
Let’s break this into manageable bits so that you can better understand and attract the organic traffic of your dreams:
- It is quite impossible to write (short) meaningful content that would satisfy the curiosity of the searchers and pass the quality test of search engines. Accordingly, if you are to attract organic traffic the right way, you are advised and actively encouraged to write long form content, preferably with the aid of long tail keywords.
- Aside your content being long, it should be quite detailed…at this point, it is very important to point out that while some content can indeed be (very) long, they may not be detailed – and in the end, may constitute sound and fury only. To conform to white hat SEO standards and extant requirements, your content needs to be both long and detailed. When in doubt as to the detailed nature of your entry, ask: is there all there is to this topic/issue?
- It is not ethical to drive visitors to your site and after wasting their time, fail to offer them the information they came looking for. Accordingly, aside your content being long and detailed, it should also be relevant to the issue you have set out to discuss as contained in your content heading.
- Finally, as much as lies within your power, your entries should be evergreen. Evergreen articles/entries are posts/pages that remain relevant or valid for time immemorial. This means that, an article published as far back as 2010 should remain valid to readers who may come across such an article in 2020 (or beyond). If the article no longer holds true, it is your duty to update it or unpublish it completely.
2. Guest Posting the Right Way
Quite recently, the head of webspam at Google, Matt Cutts published an entry: The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO. In that article, Cutts bemoaned the current trend online where spammy guest entries were littered all over the place just for the purpose of attracting backlinks and earning unmerited organic traffic.
While not all guest posts are referred to in the entry by Cutts, it is sufficiently clear that bloggers and webmasters that are in the habit of sending over guest entries that treated no real issue, were 500 – 700 word long and against the express niche they served, will hence be penalized.
This means one thing: guest posting has to be done the right way for it to constitute part of the white hat SEO techniques for attracting organic traffic to a website or blog.
Accordingly, guest posts that are sent to other sites to be published should be very detailed, thorough, contain value and above all, be in a related/relevant niche to be taken seriously.
If guest entries cannot meet the criteria above, then, it is smarter to simply not guest post at all!
3. Building Links Correctly
The third white hat method of endearing a site to search engines is to build links correctly.
Link building, till tomorrow, remains the pillar of organic traffic and one of the most evergreen ways search engines use to determine the authority and suitability of a site before it ranks it up the SERPs.
However, if links are built from sites that are suspicious in themselves, the links are built too quickly or the links are built from sites that are not completely related to the one in question, it is easy to see that manipulation is intended and in such an instance, either grey or black hat would be quoted instead.
To conclude on links (and link building), it is important to note that, the best form of link building is organic link building: the reality of writing ‘linkable content’ and allowing other web users/fellow webmasters in your niche to link to your content because of its awesomeness.
4. Avoiding Link Cloaking
Links are an important part of the overall reality of building/running websites/blogs. However, they can easily cause problems for you if they are not properly handled.
It is not for nothing that most of the Content Management Systems (like WordPress) expressly denote their links in a different color from the rest of the text on a page. The reasoning is that, a reader should be aware that the what he/she is now clicking is a link and not anything else.’
If you leave the link – distinguished from the rest of the content, there is no challenge. However, cloaking the link with a color to blend with the rest of the page text is at great variance with SEO best practices and definitely, note any of the practices that will qualify as white hat.
Aside changing text color, it is important to note that, altering affiliate links to look like anything other than the fact that they are affiliate links is also at variance with SEO best practices, especially, if you are concerned about being a white hat adherent.
5. Accurate SEO Descriptions
The fifth white hat SEO tip is to ensure that your article/page descriptions for the SERPs are not just accurate, but they also project exactly what the content they describe is all about.
This means that, if your content is about snakes, the descriptions should not start talking about reptiles in general, giving your readers an idea that they are about reading an entry that is very broad and which covers all about reptiles when in the real sense, you are only treating snakes and in particular, the King Cobra.
The reasoning behind this is simple and straightforward. If you keep deceiving visitors with your SERP descriptions so that they can land on your pages and posts, they will also bounce off as soon as they land – leaving you with a huge and unimpressive bounce rate.
With a high bounce rate, Google and the plethora of other search engines will definitely rank down your site and page down, citing poor user experience. With this reality, instead of garnering more organic traffic, you will lose even the little that ordinarily would have accrued to you.
Do you understand?
6. Zero Tolerance for Keyword Stuffing
It is quite difficult to attract organic traffic, if you do not channel your content or build your site around well set (and rankable) keywords.
This means that, to enjoy organic traffic, you must target a keyword or set of keywords which you intend to create your content to revolve around. It is these keywords that drive traffic back to your site when they match the search queries that searchers input into their browsers.
However, the sixth white hat technique is to the effect that you must not stuff these nice little keywords into your content if you are intent on ranking for the keywords in question (at all).
This implies not only liberal use of these keywords in your content but also, their sensible use. This means that, should you decide to use your keywords in the H1 and H2, the rest of the content/post/page should be immersed with other keywords – preferably, the (numerous) variants of the main keyword.
As a rule, the main keyword should be used not more than 3% of the overall content – if you are not to annoy either the search engines or the human visitors who will inadvertently click through to see what you have and whether or not it will serve their thirst for the knowledge/wisdom they are seeking.
7. Creation of ‘Readable Content’
The seventh white hat technique in driving organic traffic to your blog is to ensure that your blog content is written in a very readable manner. Readable manner here means the following:
- Paragraphs are short, contain short sentences and no paragraph runs more than 5 or 6 sentences.
- Your content is written in very simple and straightforward grammar that is easily understood by your audience.
- You ensure that you get your English straight and keep contractions and shortened forms to a bare minimum.
- Importantly, you eliminate the use of complex words and ensure their replacement with easier understood words/vocabulary.
Doing this will surely that your content is readable and more importantly, you comply with the numerous white hat requirements for driving organic traffic over to your blog. This should be quite simple and easy – don’t you agree?
8. Keeping Internal Links to a Manageable Minimum
Everyone who has managed a site before understands (clearly) that external links are a delicate matter.
However, not everyone understands that internal links (links from your own site) can also prove deadly if not properly managed and if abused, may properly constitute a black or grey hat SEO tactic that will surely go against established SEO standards for the creation of readable and consumable content.
This is how it goes:
Internal links pass PageRank unto the landing pages that they are directed against. This means that, right on your site, the entries that are given the benefit of an internal link are on advantage SEO wise because this proves two things:
- Relevancy of the post/page to the entire site/post/page.
- Coherency of the entire web page in the overall scheme of things.
These two (points) are interesting pillars of SEO and both search engines and users have come to respect and understand them as such. If you however abuse them, it is safe to conclude that you are on your own and are properly outside the realm of white hat SEO or its dictates.
9. Correct Use of the ‘H’ Tags
The heading tags (‘H’ tags) are denotative of the headings/sections that a blog post contains – headings which would ensure that the overall entry is properly understood to the reader and makes sense to the search engines.
However, the heading tag is today used more for its SEO purposes than for its intended purpose (which is to guild readers online and more importantly, give search engines a clue/set of clues as to what they are indexing or about to index). For SEO purposes thus, these tags are blatantly manipulated and keywords stuffed in them in order to ensure rankings and SERP domination…
This is a bad practice and definitely, not the white hat variant that you should imitate.
To correctly use the heading tags in such a way that you’ll conform to express white hat standards, you must ensure that you do not stuff keywords in your heading tags. Like keyword stuffing generally, many bloggers and website administrators are now in the habit of dubiously stuffing keywords right into their H tags so as to project to search engines that their sites are about what they really are not.
So, what is the best approach when you are faced with the heading tags question and you are desirous of playing by the rules of white hat SEO techniques?
The following tips will certainly help:
- The title of your document/blog entry is already your H1 – kindly introduce your major keyword at its beginning and do not bother with using the H1 again throughout your content.
- The H2 – H6 should contain other variants of your major keyword as revealed by your keyword research tool.
- It is permitted to have the same heading tags for more than two headings of your content…this is to say, you can have 1 H2 tags or 10 – it all depends on the weight you wish to attach and how you want both visitors and search engines to perceive that weight.
- Your content can have only an H1 and an H2…there is no express rule that states that you must use all the heading tags available to you right up from H1 to H6!
- Finally, the important keywords you wish to rank for should be wrapped up earlier on in your content, preferably in an H2 or H3…please, note that as from H3, the weight of the heading tags dramatically reduces and both search engines and blog visitors look at it as such.
This is all so far as heading tags and their use in a white hat manner is concerned. If you follow this guild, you will certainly have no further challenges playing by the rules or getting into trouble for not adhering to best practices.
10. Proper Use of Anchor Texts
Anchor texts are the visible text you see that physically cover a (clickable) link.
Many bloggers have been using anchor texts without an idea of what they are or the power these little blue links have to either make or mar your blog when it comes to conformity with white hat.
Usually, an anchor text is supposed to be descriptive of the link that it conceals – so that visitors would have no special need of guessing what the link contains before clicking. Unfortunately, for many, it has become common practice to hide affiliate offers, PPC offers and a plethora of other options that have nothing in common with the anchor text in question for the sole sake of ensuring that the link is clicked on/Page Rank is passed.
This is one of the hideous black hat SEO techniques that you must avoid today if you are going to play by the white hat rules.
If you are interested in white hat techniques so that you can drive insane organic traffic to your blog, kindly understand that, your anchor texts have to be descriptive of the links they conceal.
Let me explain: if an anchor text is about the fastest cars in production today, avoid using ‘here’, ‘see here’ or ‘take a look right here’. Instead, consider using: here are a list of the fastest cars in production today.
Writing your anchor texts in such a manner ensures that:
- The search engines place due emphasis on the anchors when they are ranking a page (and correctly do so);
- Users/readers of your blog are not mislead when they click through, thinking you are serving ‘A’ and instead are confronted with either ‘B’ or ‘C’.
Anchors, luckily, do not require any special genius to write…simply get the best description of the link and use it as the anchor and you will be just fine…don’t just make the whole process either ambiguous or misleading!
Closing Thoughts on White Hat SEO Strategies to Enable You Drive Insane Organic Traffic to Your Site
These are the most powerful/major techniques available at your disposal today so far as white hat and its compliance for both SEO and the enhancement of user experience is concerned.
If you follow these tips religiously – and keep in mind that anything meant to manipulate the system, deceive searchers or ensure ‘sharp’ moves is expressly prohibited – you will do just fine.
Remember too that, keeping to these simple tips here is also one of the safest ways to ensure that you do not land into a Google penalty and lose all your hard earned organic traffic in the process.
A word, it is always said, is quite enough for the wise 🙂
Recommended Further Reading to Master the Art of White Hat Compliance
This entry, while detailed in its own respect, is still way incomplete, if you are to master the entire art of white hat and how to play it safe in a manner that both search engines and your readers will have no other option but to respect you.
If you’ll appreciate more information, I’ll suggest one of my books (available on Amazon), SEO 101: Search Engine Optimization Made Easy For WP Beginners. This title covers everything you need to know as a beginner who is intent on playing according to the rules of search engines.
The cover price is a mere $3.99.