7 Ways To Use White Hat SEO For Performance Based SEO
When it comes to performance based SEO, you want to keep your eye on the White Hat.
White Hat SEO, that is.
White Hat SEO is a practice used to improve search performance that doesn’t stray from the terms and conditions of a search engine.
The opposite of White Hat SEO is Black Hat SEO and, to some extent, Grey Hat SEO. And either of the latter can get your site banned from the mighty Google and other search engines.
You don’t want that.
It’s important to know the difference between White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO in order to get the best performance based SEO.
We all know that Google is king. Or queen. It depends on your perspective.
Whatever the case, it’s visited by hundreds of millions of people per day, with each visit representing a potential new user for your site.
So yeah, it’s a powerful source of traffic to your website. And being banned from Google can have devastating results.
Plus, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be re-listed. A lifetime ban from Google could be the equivalent of death to your site.
If you want an ethical and sustainable website and business, implementing White Hat SEO practices is your best bet.
1. Do your (keyword) research.
This is not to be confused with keyword stuffing, which may initially get your website high search rankings, but they won’t be sustainable.
Keyword research is still important in 2017.
But Google now understands language nuances like stemming, synonyms, and answers and it isn’t providing as much keyword data these days.
So people are turning to Moz and Ahrefs to help them with performance based SEO.
With the newer generations of keyword tools, users can develop content that incorporates a series of contextually relevant phrases. And they are wise to do so.
You just need to be sure to avoid stuffing every variation of a phrase found in a keyword batch onto a page.
It won’t go well.
2. Give mobile priority.
Some experts in performance based SEO began promoting this approach back in 2015 when Google threatened a mobile update that soon became known as “Mobilegeddon.”
That first update wasn’t as bad as anticipated. But the importance of mobile could not be ignored.
Then toward the end of 2016, Google gave notice that “after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”
So that means you better have a mobile-friendly page or you’re going to take a hit.
Unsure as to whether your site meets the mobile-friendly criteria? Just log into your Search Console account and view the Mobile Usability Report. Google will report mobile issues there, so you can take the appropriate action.
3. Claim your business listing.
It’s not tough.
And it’s a really easy win, since less than half of all businesses claim their business listing.
But as Google continues to improve its ability to deliver hyper-local results, it’s crucial to have complete and accurate data in one of Google’s My Business profiles.
Twenty percent of all searches have local intent. Among smartphone users:
- 94% searched for location information
- 51% visited a store
- 48% called a store
- 29% made a purchase
So it’s obvious that mobile search and local search are deeply intertwined.
4. Focus on good user experience (UX).
According to a study from the Oxford Journal, “The goal of UX design in business is to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product.”
Google has always encouraged webmasters to make providing a good user experience their top priority. And since algorithms are getting more sophisticated, websites stand to benefit the most.
It goes even deeper than writing clean code.
It’s easy to incorporate UX best practices.
The first objective is to determine a user’s intent. From there, you develop a methodology for ease of navigation while evoking a positive emotion that leads to an overall positive experience.
You can always turn to the web to find templates and advice. But be sure you incorporate A/B testing, since each person has his or her own biases that will ultimately determine how a web page is constructed.
With A/B testing, you can run experiments to figure out what is working and what isn’t. Then just continue testing until you get it right.
This is some solid performance based SEO.
5. Have a content marketing plan.
And make it one that’s better than your competitors’.
Content is one of the top two Google ranking factors, so it’s a pretty big deal to get it right. This presents a healthy opportunity for those willing to invest the time to make that happen.
But be warned. Avoid purchasing thin content and spun content stuffed with keywords.
If SEO professionals or companies claim that they’re going to curate your content, and provide you with a slew of industry-specific articles that are 500 words or less, then chances are you’re purchasing thin and/or spun content.
Thin and spun content is easily created by purchasing software designed to programmatically generate content based on a keyword, or through article buying and submission services.
Many times thin content is really just keyword-laden content passed to different customers repeatedly as performance based SEO services.
This sort of content is easy to spot because it’s usually loaded with grammar, syntax, and spelling errors which typically lead to some nasty search engine penalties. Possibly even de-indexation.
So then how does one create the ever-important ‘great content’?
Well, great content is actually innovative content. Once you’ve found your ideal audience, it boils down to having empathy with your prospects and customers.
And don’t forget about “conversational” search queries.
These are the rich answers in response to “who, what, when, where, why, and how” queries. The churn rate for rich answers exceeds 55%.
Furthermore, some experts believe that conversational search/rich answers technology is now being applied to voice search as well. With devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home gaining market share, voice is the fastest growing type of search.
And it’s growing exponentially.
6. Don’t underestimate the importance of links.
So we mentioned earlier how content was one of the top two ranking factors. Links are the other. So it’s in your best interest to not ignore these.
The key to the best performance based SEO is to get the right kinds of links. They need to be relevant to your site. These could be links that require a human editorial review.
These are the kinds of links that are not bought, but earned.
One of the best way to earn relevant links is to build a resource center. Not only will a resource center attract links and help to build trust and authority, but it can work on just about any kind of website.
So what is something you don’t want to do here?
You don’t want to buy links or participate in paid backlink services. Paying for links is not performance based SEO. And anybody who says it is should be avoided.
Buying paid links could be advertised as high page rank links or links from websites with a PR greater than three. But buying links unleashes the potential for serious penalties to your site.
And even worse, paid backlink services being peddled as performance-based SEO services can leave you with links that just disappear without your ever noticing.
7. Avoid excessive internal linking.
Excessive internal linking can be achieved in any number of ways.
It might be site wide footer links, stuffing navigation with useless links, and/or creating pages with only a long list of links to other pages.
Excessive internal linking was once THE thing.
It could be used to quickly launch a website’s search rankings and backlink profile to the first page of search engines.
Many SEOs added this linking strategy to their shiny toolboxes and tried to pass it off as performance based SEO.
And while it did garner positive results for a while, eventually the moralisitic search engines would no longer tolerate such deceptive SEO behavior.
Participating in excessive internal linking is now seen as extremely counter to one’s search rankings.
So how do you know if you’re taking part in excessive internal linking?
The basic rule of thumb here is to limit the number of links on a page to fewer than 100 links. That shouldn’t be too tough.
In the end, it comes down to this:
To increase organic traffic to your site, you don’t have to manage thousands or even hundreds of signals.
If you keep your focus on the above seven White Hat practices to get the best performance based SEO, you will see a significant increase in the traffic coming to your website this year.
You can always turn to experts in SEO marketing to help you identify the most effective performance based SEO for your specific needs.
Have you found any White Hat SEO practices to be especially beneficial to you? Feel free to share your story and help others!