White Hat SEO Best Practices

Written by: Jason Bayless | September 02, 2015

If you want your content to get a large following, one of the best ways to do that is to engage in an SEO campaign. Optimizing your content for search engines will help you achieve higher search rankings and get the social signals that you need to be seen as an expert. However, if you are going to do SEO, you need to do it correctly. What are some best practices for white hat SEO?

What Is White Hat SEO?

When someone refers to white hat SEO, he or she is taking about legitimate methods to optimize your content to be found. Some methods may include the use of keywords that people will want to search for and using photos and videos in content to make it more attractive. The photos and videos will then be shared either with the blog post or article or as a freestanding entity. Another legitimate method of optimizing for search engines is to create your own social media pages where you post links to your content and build relationships with others who will want to read and share it.

Paid Advertising Is Increasingly White Hat

In 2015, there is no shame in buying advertising on search engines or elsewhere on the Internet. You can buy followers on Twitter, buy likes on Facebook and have your content promoted on Reddit or Tumblr. If you are looking for a quick boost in traffic, you should consider buying advertising space on search engine results pages. This will allow your company to be placed at the top of the search results where those who want and need what you have to offer will click on your link.

Create Content That Is Relevant and Authoritative

These days, you want to create the same quality content that you would see in a newspaper or a magazine. In other words, don’t be afraid to create articles that are 2,000 or more words in length and include statistics and interviews from related sources. This is the type of content that people want to read and share with their friends. If you do want to create listicles or other shorter pieces of content, don’t forget to put in attractive photos or videos so your readers feel like they got something of value for clicking your link.

Tell People Where They Are Going When You Post a Link

If you post a link on Twitter or on any other site, be honest about where they are going. For instance, if you say that your link goes to an article about money management, don’t take the reader to an article about guns or a pornographic video. Under no circumstances should you take your potential readers or site visitors to landing pages or any other page where they cannot leave by hitting the back button. Even if you don’t intend to spam or otherwise trick your readers or site visitors, it will come across as annoying and spammy.

Don’t Spread Lies or Rumors About Others

Negative SEO is a tactic in which you leave fake reviews about a competing company or entity online. The content is then optimized to rank on the first page of results about that other entity. When a searcher sees the negative content about this entity, they will be motivated to go elsewhere for content or to make a purchase. If you are discovered engaging in such activity, your site could be removed and your reputation ruined.

If you want to make yourself visible online, you need to create content and promote it in an ethical manner. Although you may get a temporary traffic boost by engaging in black hat tactics, online marketing evolves so quickly that your efforts may not work for long enough to be worth it.