Recent changes in search engine giant Google’s algorithms have left many online businesses that adopted questionable tactics to get to the top, high and dry. With the big G wisening up to shortcuts that some people like to take, it certainly makes sense to build your brand with tactics that don’t get squashed like bugs with each algorithm change. This brings us to the question of the type of search engine optimization strategies that will benefit your business.
Black Hat Or White Hat SEO Strategies?
While black hat SEO strategies are not downright illegal, they are often shortcuts that get a business top ranking. This involves wilfully violating SEO rules and guidelines and involves ethical breaches to cheat the system. While this may work out in the short run to make quick cash, you run the risk of losing out in the long run or even get your business blacklisted by Google if they get wise to what you are doing. Spurious back links, loading client sites with links to your website, purchasing automated web traffic or cheating the system in any other way to believe that you are offering high value when you are actually offering low value, amounts to black hat strategies.
White hat SEO strategies, on the other hand, take long term growth and benefits into consideration. Imagine you have a physical business and need to attract other customer and build your brand image to compete with other businesses that were there before you. Reaching this goal does not happen overnight. You need to promote your brand, show customers the value of your products and services, attract customers with offers and work towards strategies to retain loyal customers. While this does take time, the long term benefits to your business are much more tangible than a short unethical marketing stint that may make you a lot of money for a while, but may also cause your business to be shut down by local authorities and have a fine slapped on you to boot! White hat SEO is similar – these strategies take care of your business in the long run, keep you on the right side of search engine giants, and give you stability and growth.
Do White Hat Strategies Take Long?
Yes and no. The benefits of white hat SEO strategies for your business are not visible overnight. However, they do not take as long as many may think. With a little effort, you can get your business ranked relatively high in just a couple of months – the ethical way. The simple rule is – optimize, optimize, optimize you content. Irrespective of whether you have a couple of hundred words of content or a thousand, optimize what you write for people before search engines. Avoid keyword stuffing and use webmaster tools such as those provided by Google and Bing. These tools help you take a look at your website just as search engines see it and assist you in optimizing it so that it reaches the right audience. After all, with the billions of websites out there, you need to give search engines the help they need to direct your products and services to the right customer base.
Once you have optimized your website, how soon can you see results? Well, optimized content creates more solid leads as it is written for human audience, which is exactly what you want to reach. Depending on your business’ competition and the level to which your business is optimized, you can expect to see positive results within a month or two. Remember that it does take a few days for your pages to be indexed even if you follow SEO rules to the letter. Patience is the key to SEO success, but it is certainly well worth it!
Which White Hat SEO Strategies Should You Use?
For the fastest and the most long term SEO success, you need to use as many white hat strategies as possible. Add these techniques to your existing SEO strategy and watch your ranking soar.
Build Natural Links – Instead of creating tons of social media posts and guest blog posts to create back links to your website, write quality content that will provide your readers with sufficient value so that they promote your website and link to it. Pour your heart and soul into what you write, and the results will be well worth the effort.
Link to High Authority Websites – Earning links to high authority websites carries much more value than merely buying back links. It tells others that your business has sufficient credibility to attract the attention of high authority sites and that your brand is well worth looking into. Earning links from high authority sites may take up a big chunk of your time, especially if you guest blog for them. However, you have the benefit of speaking in front of a new audience and presenting your services to more customers.
Keep Writing Consistently – Never give up on adding new content to your website. Create a business blog and add new content regularly. Focus primarily on text and add small pertinent images to enhance your content. Fresh content, served with intelligence, is essential to online success of any business.
Focus on Intent – While keywords are important to your content, you also need to focus on intent. Rather than stuffing your content with keywords that may or may not fit in to what is written, use phrases that are relevant to searches. Google and other search engines observe how users interact with your website and whether all your content appeals to them.
Use Rich Snippets – Semantic mark-ups or HTML tags and rich snippets tell your readers and search engines what your content is about. Apart from influencing your readers, these tags also summarize what is on your page and help you get more targeted visitors to your website.
Use Social Media – Social media is one of the biggest boosts you can give your business with regard to SEO. Since social platforms have a high ranking on their own, publishing details about your business create valuable links and help you reach a larger targeted audience.
In summary, while black hat SEO strategies may appear to boost your business like crazy for a while, the fall you face in the long run is much steeper than the rise. White hat strategies, on the other hand, require a bit of effort and care, but benefit you in the long run. Once you master the rules, you will be able to optimize your website and boost your business faster than you think!