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White Hat SEO: The Ethical Guide to Improving Your Website Ranking

There are more than 30 million small businesses in the United States. So for you as a small business owner, this means one thing: lots of competition.

One of your main goals should be figuring out how to outdo your competition. But this can be easier said than done.

A great idea, however, is to engage in white hat SEO techniques to increase your website ranking. Here’s more information about how to make it happen.

What Exactly is White Hat SEO?

First of all, let’s start with the basics. What is white hat SEO?

Basically, white hat SEO is using Google-approved site optimization strategies. It’s doing things that are seen as favorable in the eyes of Google and following their rules.

This means you’re optimizing your site for humans, not search engines. You’re creating content that’s engaging and valuable to your audience. And you’re playing by Google’s policies.

Black hat SEO is the opposite and includes using shady tactics that aren’t approved.

Perform Keyword Research

A fundamental part of white hat SEO is doing keyword research. But it has changed from what it used to be.

Now Google has a feature called RankBrain which utilizes machine learning to produce search results. In the past, it was crucial to include your keywords in a certain phrase or order. But RankBrain is much smarter and can understand nuances, synonyms, and stemming.

So instead of using the same keyword over and over, it’s a good idea to use variations throughout your webpage. This will let Google know what your page is about without having to include a specific phrase a million times.

Optimize Your Page Titles

It’s also important to work on your page titles. Every page on your site should have a unique purpose that you can identify in the title. This will assist both users and Google in understanding the point of each webpage.

In your title, include the relevant keyword that you want that page to rank for. And if you’re a business targeting a specific geographic area, be sure to include that too.

For example, if you own a bowling alley in Memphis, TN, your home page could be “Bob’s Bowling Alley | Memphis, TN.” This gets your company’s name, the keyword bowling alley, and your geolocation all included which will help Google grasp the purpose of that page.

Too many businesses ignore this part of their website because it seems small and unimportant. But it really does have a big impact on your rankings. If you just label your pages as Home, Services, and About Us, they will not do well on Google. It’s that simple.

Optimize Your Images

Also, remember to optimize your images. There are a couple of things you should to your images to improve your rankings.

First, size your images correctly. If you upload massive images to your site, it will take longer for them to load, which slow down your site and make it so you drop in ranking.

Instead, keep them small. There are lots of image compressing tools out there you can use.

Additionally, name your images correctly. In the file name, include keywords you’re trying to rank for. Don’t just call them image 1 and image 2.

Lastly, work on your image’s alt text. Since Google’s bots can see images, alt text is something you can include that helps the bots know what’s in your images. Also, include your keywords here.

Have Short URLs

Another white hat SEO technique has to do with your site’s URLs. For the best results, keep them short and direct.

URLs are another thing that Google’s bots crawl as they come to your site and it can help them understand your site’s structure and the specific purpose of each page.

Also, be sure to use that page’s keywords in your URL too. And if it’s longer than one word, use hyphens to break up words. 

In terms of length, 3 to 4 words are usually the maximum you should have. More than that and it’s too complicated. 

Acquire High-Quality Backlinks

Last but not least, grow your link profile. This is an SEO basic that still totally applies today. And it’s definitely a white hat strategy.

There are two main ways to get backlinks. The first method is to create great content that people automatically want to link to.

This is the ideal situation because all you have to do is create and publish the content. The rest of the work is done for you. But while this is amazing, it does not happen very often.

The more realistic scenario is you creating a piece of content and then promoting it to lots of bloggers asking for a link. In this situation, they would post your article on their blog and then link to your site in the post, giving you a strong backlink right to your site.

The key thing to remember here is to go after sites with high domain authority. Links from sites with low authority won’t benefit you much at all.

Website Ranking with White Hat SEO Techniques

White hat SEO tactics are the best way to improve your rankings on Google. And remember that when you improve your rankings, you’ll also increase your site traffic, leads, and sales.

Now that you’ve read all about these SEO tactics, what’s next for you in improving your website ranking? It’s time to put them into action.

Contact us today for help with us. We’re happy to lend a hand.

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