Today, having a website is necessary to promote a business, an activity or an idea. However, to achieve the desired goal, the site must be well-referenced and well optimized. The objective is to occupy the first ranks of search engines, and in particular of results on Google.
An SEO technique, known as white hat SEO, is often recommended for natural and secure site optimization. But concretely, what do we mean by White Hat SEO? And what are the right methods to adopt to take full advantage of the benefits of this SEO technique? All these questions are answered in this article.
White hat SEO: definition and advantages
White hat SEO is a set of SEO practices that employ Google’s rules and guidelines to improve a site’s SEO. This method differs from black hat SEO by its ability to give the site a better position on search engines while remaining legal.
The white hat SEO solution offers several advantages. It is first of all a legal technique that protects the site which uses it against possible sanctions from Google.
This alternative is also a lasting solution. White hat SEO techniques allow a company, a brand, or an activity to gradually build a good reputation online, generate more traffic on the site and reach the expected targets.
White hat SEO, black hat SEO, gray hat SEO: what are the differences?
It should be understood that there are several methods of referencing websites. However, the use of black hat and gray hat practices is often prohibited by Google.
Black hat SEO is the set of strategies intended only for Google’s machines and algorithms to get the best position. The use of this technique allows faster referencing, but over a shorter period of time. In addition, the site that uses this method may be penalized by Google when the latter notices the maneuver.
Black hat SEO often results in:
- The publication of duplicate content;
- the use of doorway pages;
- creating thousands of links;
- the use of the script.
As for gray hat SEO, it is a strategy that unites white hat and black hat techniques. This referencing method often respects Google’s algorithms while using other optimization techniques such as link buying, registering old or expired domain names, or even registering the site in a directory. When not mastered, the gray hat SEO technique can also be sanctioned by Google.
White hat SEO: fundamental techniques to know
In order to best design your white hat SEO strategy, you must familiarize yourself with the essential techniques related to this solution. Here are five basic things to know.
1. Distribute quality content
« Content is king », This is the first rule to respect in order to optimize a website. It is therefore essential to regularly create quality articles for your site. To comply with Google’s algorithms, content must:
- Answer the Internet user’s questions;
- be unique, without plagiarism;
- contain at least 1000 words;
- be well written, without spelling mistakes or syntax errors;
- be well structured with short headings and paragraphs.
2. Take care of the keywords
By definition, keywords are words or series of words, linked to an activity, typed by Internet users during their search on Google. In this sense, to be well referenced on the web, the content published on a site must contain key expressions. The objective is to allow Internet users to quickly find the site thanks to a specific keyword.
Several tools are available online to find relevant keywords for a given activity. However, it should be noted that these key expressions should not be overused in a text. For best results, they are often placed in headings, in meta tags, and sometimes in paragraphs of text.
3. Get relevant backlinks
The white hat SEO solution also allows the implementation of a link-building strategy. Indeed, Google considers links to be evidence of the reliability and quality of content. There are two types of links to use to optimize a website: internal links on the one hand, and external links on the other hand. The first designates the links that connect the contents of the same site. The second, on the other hand, indicates link exchanges between two different sites. There are several ways to get external links.
Here are a few :
- Link exchanges;
- « guest blogging » ;
- « link baiting ».
4. Optimize the loading speed of the site
To be well referenced by Google, it is also necessary to reduce as much as possible the rebound rate on the site. Bounce rate is defined as the rate of visitors immediately leaving a site without visiting other pages on the site.
To retain visitors, you must then:
- Take care of the appearance of the site (its structure, design, etc.);
- ensure that the site is loaded quickly regardless of the internet connection and the device used (phone, tablet, computer);
- pay particular attention to the accessibility of the site by managing the links.
5. Improve site navigation
For a site to be well analyzed by Google, it must also be well structured and easy to find. To do this, it is first necessary that the pages of the site are unique, functional, pleasant to see, and responsive.
A well-structured site should also at least contain a home page, and offer page, a contact page, an “about” page, and other useful pages, without overdoing it.
Finally, a structured site is a site with content respecting languages understandable by Google. Consequently, an article published on the web must use HTML languages, respect the use of different tags and properly optimize the image, PDF, or video content.