White hat SEO techniques are widely accepted, ethical, user-oriented methods of driving website traffic and increasing visibility on search engines.
These techniques adhere to Google’s webmaster guidelines and include providing original, quality content; using effective, relevant keywords; creating useful backlinks; and designing an easy-to-navigate website.
Following best practices for white hat SEO may result in a higher SERP ranking, but according to Google’s webmaster guidelines, “these techniques aim to improve a site by focusing on visitors instead of on ranking higher.” This stresses the importance of user experience and putting your customer first while developing content.
Using black hat (unacceptable) methods can result in being banned from Google. Black hat methods are implemented to deceive users simply to increase search engine rankings. This includes using automatically generated content, publishing material borrowed from other sites or using sneaky redirects.
Best practices for white hat SEO:
- Create long-form, high-quality content that is frequently updated and relevant
- Give your users a good experience by making your site easy to navigate with content that’s formatted for easy readability
- Avoid an abundance of ads and pop-ups on your site so your visitors don’t mistake it for spammy behavior and decide to exit your site
- Make sure your site is designed to work equally well with any mobile device
- Use descriptive, keyword-optimized title tags to ensure consistency in your site’s search engine ranking
- Take advantage of SEO keyword tools to better follow Google’s guidelines