If you own an e-commerce website, you most likely understand the importance of coming up with inbound marketing and generating traffic using links. You might also know about White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO strategies, whereas both of these SEO techniques achieve the same objectives of ranking your site higher on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
In this article, you will be taken through a detailed guide about the differences between these two marketing strategies. Therefore, you will be able to decide which is best for your e-commerce business.
White Hat SEO
Also known as Ethical SEO, this SEO strategy adheres to the terms and conditions given by notable search engines like Google. The use of this SEO strategy helps to improve your site’s ranking on the search engine result page while being ethical, safe, and more efficient.
The use of White Hat SEO techniques yields better results since search engines are trying to ensure site rankings are as fair as possible. When utilizing this strategy, there are three criteria that you need to follow:
1. Focus On Human Audiences
White Hat SEO techniques ensure that your website is useful to its users. This goes in line with Google’s goals, which is offering its users with reliable and quality results. Therefore, this is, without a doubt, an essential aspect of ethical SEO techniques.
The best thing about this is that this ensures to enhance user experience. These techniques include increasing your site’s loading times, so people won’t have to wait long and making it a lot easier to check the website more. You should also post engaging and informative content that provides your visitors an insight into your website.
2. Adhere To The Search Engine Terms
A good sign of a White Hat SEO is when it follows the terms and conditions of search engines. These guidelines are well elaborated in the terms and conditions to guide site owners about the ethical ways of optimizing a website.
Following the set guidelines and not trying to construct devious ways of manipulating the search engine algorithms, is considered as utilizing White Hat SEO techniques.
4. Take A Long-Term Approach
Any SEO strategy that follows the guidelines set by search engines usually takes time to improve. Since they provide website users enhanced user experience, it will take time before achieving desired results, therefore having patience is essential.
This strategy generates a long-lasting impact in the long-run. Making it possible to attain your desired rankings in search engines. Using this strategy also prevents you from dealing with penalties due to shady black hat techniques. Here are the different White Hat SEO Strategies that you should consider using:
5. Creating High-Quality Content
It is important to always come up with quality content to make sure search engines rank your website as unique and that it contains relevant material. This is vital because you are creating high-quality content that answers the questions being asked by your target market. You need to make sure your content is well organized; this will surely make people engage in your website
6. Using Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are an HTML attribute that provides a summary of the webpage which search engine displays under the link of a webpage in search results. This is to ensure people can get a brief description of the website they’re about to open. When writing a meta description, you should not use a lot of keywords. You’ll just have to explain what your website is about briefly.
7. Using Keywords
Keywords can either be phrases or words which are used by individuals when doing an internet search. The use of keywords makes it easier to find your content on the internet. They should be used in your article, page titles, and meta descriptions.
You need to use both short and long-tail keywords that are appropriate to your site to improve your rankings in search engines. Short tail keywords are a few words that typically describe your content. On the other hand, long-tail keywords are phrases and are more specific than short-tail keywords.
Here are the things you need to consider when using keywords:
- Using Appropriate Keywords: This involves using phrases and words that are relevant to your niche. It is best to research the keyword you intend to use before you start to write content.
- Keyword Density: Although there is no set rule outlining the recommended keyword density, a ratio of one keyword per 200 words is what most SEO practitioners recommend. Make sure to avoid keyword stuffing, as Google often penalizes this.
8. Use Of Social Media Platforms
One of the best ways of proving to search engines about the high traffic your content is generating is by using social media. You will benefit from this because your social media presence offers an alternative avenue for backlinks that generate more traffic to your website. Social media shares also affect your Google rankings.
Therefore, you should make sure to have an active social media presence since this will be proof that your content is thorough and reliable.
9. Using Internal And External Linking
Hyperlinking helps your content to be interconnected with other articles. One way to do this is by internal linking, which involves arranging hyperlinks accordingly to the topic. It will then direct readers to another page with related and relevant topics within your website. The use of internal links will encourage people to engage in your site more. Furthermore, these links are easily accessible to readers and play a crucial role in improving your entire website.
On the other hand, external links are hyperlinks that direct users to reliable sources. It may look that you’re redirecting your readers away from your website when it is not. Linking to reputable web pages will make your website reliable. Moreover, this makes it easier for search engines to know the nature of your content, which is crucial for SEO purposes.
Black Hat SEO
In SEO, unethical and devious techniques are referred to as black-hat strategies or also known as Spamdexing. The goal of Black Hat SEO is to manipulate search engine algorithms to increase the ranking of your website. These strategies lead to a considerable increase in the ranking of your site. This is usually a short-term strategy and only lasts for a while, as search engines thoroughly check for instances like these.
Any site that is discovered to be using the Black Hat SEO strategies is penalized by being ranked lower than before and, in some cases, entirely getting banned. Here are some of the most commonly used Black Hat SEO techniques:
1. Automatically-Generated Content
Websites using Black Hat SEO techniques usually use bot-generated or automatically-generated content to take advantage of the keywords and get a higher ranking on search engines. The use of bots to generate content is prevalent, and you might have encountered one in the past.
Spotting an automatically-generated content is simple since sentence structure usually does not make any sense. Furthermore, the content is never related to the topic, and the keywords are the only one that matters.
2. Content Scraping
This is someone reposting your content to their websites. Spam blogs that are created using this technique are optimized around a specific keyword or topic. Google uses canonical links to make sure the content is original. Google has taken measures to penalize such material, so it is best not to make use of this technique.
3. Keyword Stuffing
This involves having your content filled with unrelated keywords to control where your page is ranked on the search results. An excellent example of this is the use of identical word phrases or trending keywords throughout your content in a manner that it sounds unnatural. As a result, your page also ends up ranking in unrelated queries as well as causing users a horrible user experience.
4. Integrated Indivisible Text or Links
Individuals who employ black hat SEO techniques understand the need to remain anonymous. They do this by placing links at certain places on pages that can’t be easily noticed. Some of these tactics are including a link in small font sizes.
5. Link Farms
A link farm is either a site or a group of websites that have been created specifically for link building. This dubious SEO technique happens when a site owner either decides to pay a provider to get a substantial number of inbound links or enters into a mutual agreement with another website for reciprocal linking.
Since most search engines use inbound links as one of the ways of establishing the ranking of a site, using link farms will boost their ranks.
This technique worked in the past; it is a lot harder to execute nowadays because search engines can now easily detect backlink profiles that don’t look normal. Search engines will know if you’re using this technique as those websites linked to yours are unrelated.
This is an SEO tactic that gives users and search engines a false impression that a site has information related to their search. Cloaking usually involves presenting readers with different content from what is needed to be shown to them.
Some SEO practitioners choose to use this black hat SEO technique to make their content rank for a broad range of terms unrelated to their content. Also, spam sites do this to prevent search engine bots from knowing about the spam content that is being fed to users. An excellent example of this is when you show your website guests an image, and it has hidden texts and links in its HTML.
7. Buying Links
Some will sell you links for a price, and this includes using PBNs. You should never fall for this trap since these links are, in most cases, not of excellent quality. Therefore, you only end up wasting your money on something that will not boost the website rankings.
Why People Still Use Black Hat SEO Strategies
Some people decide to use Black Hat SEO strategies because they think that search engines can be deceived. Algorithms do have some blind spots, using Black Hat SEO techniques aims to capitalize on this weakness to make a quick buck out of it.
Those who decide to use Black Hat SEO strategies are not willing to provide the best experiences to anyone who visits their website. They seem not to care or consider the consequences of their actions as well.
What Are The Consequences Of Employing Black Hat Tactics?
There are two consequences you will face if you choose to employ black hat SEO techniques and these are:
1. Manual Penalties
Manual penalties are any manual changes that are made by the Google reviewers to your website after assessing the adherence to the Google quality guidelines. Google usually penalizes any site that is discovered to be using black hat SEO techniques. There are reviewers from Google who are responsible for these penalties, and they state if the website should be flagged because of going against the set guidelines. Sites that have had manual actions taken against them might entirely fail to show up in the search results.
This means the use of this black hat SEO strategy ends up having the opposite effect that was intended.
2. Algorithm Updates
To give the best results, search engine algorithms are implemented to retrieve data from the search index. These algorithms usually get updated regularly to improve the user’s overall experience. Websites that are following the set guidelines are ranked higher, and those using black hat SEO techniques get punished with lower rankings on the search result pages.
Bottom Line: White Hat Strategy Is The Winning SEO Technique
After reading this article, you can now fully understand the difference between White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO. This gives you an idea of why doing White Hat SEO strategies is better as it does guarantee to improve your rankings on search engines; by generating genuine leads that will boost your e-commerce business.
Furthermore, it is a long-term solution that improves the online presence of your business, and it is evident that white links, not black links are best for your e-commerce business.