In one of our previous blogs we touched upon the basics of white hat & black hat SEO, including what they are and what effect, for better or worse, they can both have on how Google ranks a website. To quickly recap and summarise what we have already covered, conducting white hat SEO will allow your site to grow and rank higher on Google's search engine results page, it can however take some time until results start to show. Black hat SEO on the other hand can show positive results quite rapidly, leading to a short-term increase in traffic and sales, but as black hat SEO practices are frowned upon by search engines, sites that carry it out will soon be penalised.

Conducting SEO, both on site and off, is a very important part of having a website, especially if you want it to be successful; but knowing that you have to carry it out is not the same as knowing how to carry it out well, and Google will penalise you for conducting black hat SEO whether you knew you were doing it or not. Ignorance is not an adequate defence so the only thing you can do is make sure you're properly educated, which is where our 5 top white hat SEO practices come in.

Produce Meaningful, Readable Content

In times past it was possible for a site to rank for a particular keyword or search term simply by using it over and over again in descriptions, meta-data, category titles, etc.; but this is not the case any more. Spamming your site with keywords is a notorious black hat SEO practice, and it is something that search engines are very keen on spotting and slapping with penalties.

The content that you produce on a site has to appear like something that a person would actually read, and not just like it is trying to appeal to a search engine's algorithm; spotting spammed content is a search engine's way of trying to ensure this. Targeting keywords and search terms is still a necessity, but when you're producing written content on your site make sure that you use them sparingly, and never more than 3 times per 100 words.

Get Rid Of Duplicate Content

Google and other search engines want to make sure that those who use their service are getting the most accurate and reliable results possible, so the last thing they want is a results page filled with ten different sites giving the exact same response. Ensuring your site a free from duplicate content can be difficult, especially if you're an e-commerce site which sells a range of products also available elsewhere, but it is undoubtedly worth it.

The difficulty of ensuring that a site is full of fresh, original content is that it can be very time consuming, but then again anything worth doing is. Product titles and descriptions are a good place to start, as making sure your site's listing of a popular product is different from the majority of others will make it more likely to appear when searched for. It will not guarantee a site's place on page one, but it's a good start.

Update Your Site Regularly 

Search engines want to provide those who use them with up-to-date sites that are regularly tended to and looked after, not ones that are stagnant and have been allowed to fall into disarray. Having a regular influx of new product listings is a good, reliable way of ensuring that your site appears active and well looked-after, but if you're not the kind of site that gets new products regularly, or that has no product listings at all, there are still plenty of things that you can do.

Writing blog posts, like this one, on a regular basis is a great way of showing that your site is active, and the more you write and have on your website the more keywords and search terms you will be able to target. Bear in mind that you have to produce good quality content consistently to see any long-term benefit, churning out 10 blogs in 10 days is pointless if after that you have nothing, it is better to pace yourself and maybe aim for one a week or one every fortnight.

Share Your Content

Creating blogs and articles is a great white hat SEO practice, but you also want actual people to read it and, ideally, share it. Obviously when a post is shared, on social media for example, it achieves a greater reach and there is an increased possibility of people reading it and discovering your site and what it has to offer; but there is another benefit to it as well.

When any of your site's pages are shared or linked-to search engines take notice, after all it makes sense to assume that a piece of written content that is shared by multiple people is more worthy of being read than another piece that has had no interest shown in it whatsoever. Having external site links is a very positive thing, but they need to be real and garnered organically, as aggressive link-building is a black hat SEO practice that will get your site severely punished.

Appeal To People

Conducting white hat SEO is beneficial to any site, but it can make you jaded. A website that appeals to a search engine is useless if it does not make actual people want to hang around, read what it has to say and possibly buy its wears. A good website will have achieved a balance that allows it to appeal to both man and machine, and in many ways that is what conducting white hat SEO encourages.

A good example of what we mean would be a site's meta-data, which is the title and small blurb that appears on google and attracts people onto the site. Naturally, keywords need to be used, but it also needs to inform the reader, quite concisely, what the page offers and then pull them in, ideally with a call to action.

Post By Alem