White Hat SEO methods are meant to improve the performance of your organic search engine marketing campaign, while adhering to the terms of service laid out by Google, click reference.
What Does the Term ‘White Hat SEO’ Mean?
White Hat SEO is the opposite of Black Hat SEO. Generally, search marketers who practice White Hat SEO (or ethical organic search marketing) techniques try to improve their organic rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs), while maintaining the integrity of their website and following Google’s steadfast set of rules.
Some examples of White Hat practices include:
Offering quality content, products and services
Using relevant keyword-rich meta tags
Making your website easy to navigate
Why are Ethical SEO Techniques Important for Good SEO?
In short, engaging in suspicious behavior can get your site banned from Google and other search engines, which should be a big deterrent for any search marketer or Web master. As the undisputed king of the search engines, Google is used by millions of people every day, and each user presents an opportunity for your website to be discovered. That said, Google has the power to drive tons of traffic to your website, so being banned from Google would result in a dramatic drop off in traffic and sales for business websites.
Considering all the work that goes into your website, think about how devastating it would be to get banned from the Internet’s most popular search engine. Adding insult to injury, once you’re banned from Google, it can be impossible to get re-listed again. A lifetime ban from Google would have tremendous consequences for your website, which for many companies could very well put them out of business.
Should You Use White Hat SEO Techniques for Your Website?
Implementing White Hat SEO practices is the most effective means of establishing a principled and successful website and business. In addition, practicing ethical search marketing ensures that your website will have longevity, authority and credibility with the search engines.
Let’s look back at each of the above examples of ethical organic search techniques and go deeper to see how to implement each one.
Offer Quality Content, Products and Services
The key to getting traction in the search engines is to author great content around your quality products and/or services. People like good content and so do search engines because good content makes for a good experience for the user. The better your content the more likely people are to visit and explore your website and buy your products.
Using Relevant, Keyword-Rich Meta Tags
A big part of ethical SEO is the inclusion of meta tags in your “off page” site content. Meta tags include meta descriptions, title tags and to a lesser degree meta keywords. Treat your title tags and meta descriptions like ad copy and include target keywords and a strong call to action. For the record, meta descriptions and title tags are the “ad copy” that displays for your website in the SERPs when users run a search query and can be the difference in whether or not a user chooses to click on your site.
Making Your Website Easy to Navigate
Organizing your website to be user-friendly and search engine-friendly is another important part of ethical SEO. To do this, you should map out your pages ahead of time and create a logical hierarchy, grouping pages in a tree with home page first, followed by top level category pages, then leading down to more specific tertiary product pages as drop downs in the sub navigation. This logical formatting makes is easy for both users and search engine spiders to navigate your site and discover information.
When in Doubt, Play it Safe
White Hat SEO practices produce effective, ongoing and principled enhancements to your website and are always good business practice. Unethical SEO practices may deliver quick results, but the results are short-lived. Plus, getting on Google’s bad side is the equivalent of a death sentence for most websites. By following ethical search marketing practices, you’ll stay in Google’s good graces.