White Hat vs Black Hat? Whatever could that mean? You might be thinking that a battle in the Wild Wild West is about to go down. While it might not be exactly that Old Western battle that involves cowboys, vaqueros and prospectors, there definitely is a battle between brands in standing out in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The way that brands accomplish just that is via Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Most good brands would work towards focusing their SEO strategies around their ideal consumers. There are others who focus their SEO strategies on trying to trick the search engines like Google and Bing in order to get ahead. The latter my friends is what we call Black Hat SEO.
Six Black Hat SEO Tactics To Avoid
Black Hat SEO is best defined as the practice of obtaining website traffic by means of foul play against the rules of the search engines. While Black Hat SEO may get you some wins in the short term in terms of attracting web traffic, it can doom you in the long run in a way that you’ll never recover. With that being said, I’m about to describe to you six of the most common Black Hat SEO tactics you’d be wise to avoid.
There are some who try to use keywords that are not relevant to their cause just for the sake of attracting search engine traffic. It might bring you plenty of traffic at first but at the end of the day, the users will bounce away from your site. Eventually you’ll lose your credibility with the online users and the search engines.
There are some that will use the same phrases over and over again throughout their online content just for the sake of trying to attract search engine traffic. For example, take a look at this sentence below:
“Come shop at out Doggity Dog Shop and get the Doggiest Dog Dog clothing for your doggity dog so that your dog is the doggiest dog of all the doggity dog.”
Definitely a head-spinning experience for online users (By the way, I love dogs 🐶. They’re so adorable as is my sister’s dog Zeus.) Like with irrelevant keywords, it won’t end well when it comes to where you’ll end up in the SERP. Not to mention that you’ll bore and annoy the online user.
There are some that will seek backlinks towards their site just for the sake of attracting website traffic. Seeking just any link from websites that provide no relevant content from what your brand is about will make you look spammy. Obviously, participating in online spammy-like behavior won’t go over well with the online user and could even get you penalized by the search engine.
There are some that will attempt to fool the search engines into giving their site a higher ranking by showing the search engines a different set of content than what it actually is. Most of the time, the actual content is of low quality and provides the online user content that gives them no value or worse, a negative experience. This is an absolute NO-NO and could get your site greatly penalized or banned entirely from the SERP.
There are some that will comment on the blogs of others or let others comment on theirs just for the sake of obtaining link juice in hopes of getting higher rankings in the SERP. Let me tell you something, simply blogging on posts that have nothing to do with your cause will do you no favors and will make you look spammy in the face of the online user.
There are some that will take content from other pages and then put it on their own page making it look like it belongs to them in hopes of getting a decent ranking in the SERP. Let me tell you that will not go over well with the search engines and could get you penalized. Also, that is online plagiarism as we all learned in English class during grade school.
As you can see here, Black Hat SEO tactics will do you no favors in the end. On the contrary, it will greatly hurt your standing with both the online user and with the search engine. In other words, DON’T do it. Black Hat SEO is poison, evil and potentially deadly when it comes to your standing with the search engines. Thankfully, there’s a better way to go by making your brand’s voice heard in today’s online world. That something is the exact opposite of Black Hat SEO which is called White Hat SEO.
Five White Hat SEO Tactics To Embrace
White Hat SEO is best defined as the practice of obtaining website traffic via online consumer-oriented means that actually focuses on building relationships with your ideal target audience while being within the rules of the search engines. While this route may take time for you to see strategic results, it will pay off in the long run while helping increase your online presence towards your potential customers in a positive way. With that being said, here are five of the most common White Hat SEO tactics that will help you achieve quality results.
What everyone must do in order for their ideal consumer to find you is to think like them. Study their search intents at every stage of the customer journey. Are they asking a question? Are they ready to make a purchase? These are questions to ask yourself before choosing keywords that are most relevant to what you offer and that will best attract your audience to your website. Keyword research will make a big difference when planning your content that will help attract the right people to your website.
Relevant And Quality Links
When it comes to link building practices, it is important to not just seek any links. Definitely focus on seeking quality links that are most relevant to your cause. Focusing on getting those right links will help your brand stand out towards your audience in a positive way. It will also be a win-win situation for both you and your linking partner as they would both benefit from that quality web traffic due to your discipline in seeking the right links. In other words, Quality over Quantity wins out here as it does in countless Digital Marketing situations.
Just like when it comes to link building, the best blogging practices come when you focus your efforts on those who are most relevant towards your cause. When reaching out to the blog owners, important to be authentic when composing that message. Show interest in their work and offer something that is of value to them that will help grow their cause. Using the Quality over Quantity approach while showing genuine interest in your outreach approach will help lay the foundation towards achieving strategic online results.
Quality User Experience (UX)
Definitely important to give your online audience a quality experience while they browse your website. Websites that are easy to navigate and up-to-speed are more likely to be viewed favorably by your online audience. In order to ensure maximum success, making your content easy to find in the least possible amount of clicks or taps will help your audience find what they’re looking for in a much quicker fashion. It also is a great idea to ensure that your videos on your site are no more than one minute and make sure that your website is optimized for mobile as mobile takes up a large percentage of today’s online searches.
People Over Search Engines
When it comes to developing your actual content, it is important to develop an approach that is Customer-Centric. While you do need to ensure that your website is visible to search engines, you also need to think of your customers first. When placing your keywords into your online content, do so in a way where your sentences are clear, understandable and easy to read. Ensure that your web content focuses on the needs of your ideal consumer and helps lead to resolving their inquiries. Focusing your Digital Marketing strategies on being the solution to the problems their ideal audience faces will help your brand stand out in a positive way. Also, don’t be afraid to share your story in a way that resonates with your audience and inspires them to take action. Taking the Customer-Centric approach to Digital Marketing will help your brand stand out against your competitors in today’s online world.
As you can see here compared to what you saw in the Black Hat SEO section, White Hat SEO is much more likely to yield you strategic results that will help lay the foundation towards long-term relationships. White Hat SEO is that magic potion that will help catapult your brand towards new heights. Ranking highly in the SERP does take hard and does take time but at the end of the day, staying true to your end goal towards customer-centricity will pay dividends for the better.
White Hat SEO Wins Big In The Wild Wild Online World
As you can see here, White Hat SEO is the Good while Black Hat SEO is the Bad and Ugly. In today’s online world, Good is what wins all the time, every time. The key to success is by implementing an online strategy that is relevant to your brand’s cause, focuses on authentic outreach strategies and focuses on the needs of your target audience. In other words, Quality Over Quantity and People Over Search Engines is how you accomplish your Digital Marketing goals. By staying true to your brand and showing long-term commitment towards your goals, you’ll be on your way to success in building your online presence and grow your brand for the better.
What SEO strategies do you feel will help grow the online presence of brands in the long run? What SEO strategies do you feel we should all avoid? Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below.