Many brands resort to black hat SEO tactics to get ahead of the marketing game, but that’s not the way to go if you want people to find and stay on your web page. Black hat SEO is (basically) like cheating. By using these techniques, you’re essentially trying to swindle Google’s ranking system.

This is because black hat SEO consists of many incriminating techniques that Google is not a fan of, such as:
  • keyword stuffing
  • spammy backlinks, and
  • broken links.
The list really does go on! So, if you really want to have your website optimised for Google, then you need to incorporate white hat SEO tactics.

However, as far as 2020 goes, this form of SEO has evolved but the consensus of it has remained the same: As long as you’re attracting web views in an ethical manner, you’re in Google’s good books.

Defining white hat and black hat SEO

If you’re not too familiar with these terms, here’s a quick recap:

White SEO is when you utilise various techniques to get your website on the first page of search engines in a very ethical manner. You have no ulterior motives and are not trying to cheat the system by finding the ‘quickest’ way to get your site on the first page.

However, if you’re stealing other people’s articles and paying for links to manipulate Google, then you’re in black SEO territory — and that is not where you want to be. According to WordStream, “These practices are against the search engine's terms of service and can result in the site being banned from the search engine and affiliate sites.”

You get the point.

Black hat = bad
White hat = good

How to use white hat SEO in your marketing

So how do you go about using white hat SEO tactics? Well, considering that this type of SEO is based on long-term strategies, you need to be sure to come up with a step-by-step plan that will guide readers to your webpage. Slow and steady wins the race, in this case.

White hat SEO is all about the consumer, with search engines coming in at second best. So, for example, instead of placing keywords that you think search engines are more likely to pick up on, you would use keywords that your audience would be more likely to click on.

There are several ways to go about employing white SEO tactics. Some of these include:

1. Using the skyscraper technique: This technique involves finding well-performing content (with great keywords), writing a better article based on the topic that this content focuses on and then reaching out to high-quality websites to then ask them to link to your new, and hopefully better, article.
2. Producing high-quality content: This means using the correct keywords (ones that people will actually search for), looking at your analytics to see which type of content is performing the best and utilising an excellent content strategy.
3. Focussing on the user’s intent: Putting the scope on the users means ensuring that your webpage is user-friendly, that the page is loading fast enough (less than five seconds, peeps), and that you have a progressive web app in place for all your mobile audiences.
If you want to know more about the best ways to optimise your web page for SEO, check out these Seven steps to an SEO-friendly website, infographic style!

How white SEO is going to help your brand

Although there are no laws against using black hat SEO, Google’s guidelines do allow for a more tactful way of getting more views and engagement, and these techniques stem from white hat SEO methods.

So how is this type of SEO going to help your brand? To start off with, your brand will be able to maintain its good reputation with consumers, and with Google. Without having to resort to using ‘spammy’ links in order to garner traffic to your page, people will be able to find genuinely insightful and resourceful information, which is very good for your reputation.

You’ll also be able to obtain good, measurable ROI. This is because more consumers will be willing to return to a page that is packed with great content, fast page loading times and a well-designed user interface. A great page equates to a great brand, and if your page is user-friendly, then more people will be willing to purchase or use your products or services.

Do you think black hat practices should be made illegal? Let us know in the comments section below.

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SEO ensures that your content is actually read. If you want to find out how to get the most out of the copy of your website, then check out these 15 Tips to whip your website content into SEO shape.