When marketers are looking at their marketing strategy and how to generate traffic through links they face two choices on the techniques they can use, White Hat or Black Hat (hero or villain). Much like the guests in the hit show on Sky Atlantic Westworld, marketers must choose between white hat or black hat link building strategies to elevate their content marketing efforts.
Black Hat Techniques You Want To Avoid
Marketers who use black hat techniques break the rules in order to achieve high-rankings and these are some of the things to look out for.
Unrelated Keywords – One way to generate traffic through links is stuffing your content with unrelated keywords. It throws up an immediate red flag to Google and the search engines, because of how unnatural it looks.
Automated Content – It isn’t hard to recognise a bot comment in content. While the text will contain one or two keywords which will help the URL rank higher, it’s randomly generated and makes absolutely no sense to the reader.
Invisible Text – One of the most common black hat techniques is to hide text or links on a page to help improve rankings. Usually this will see sites add white text to white backgrounds, setting the font size to zero, or burying a link in a small character (e.g., embedding a link in a hyphen).
Doorway Pages – Doorway pages are basically fake holding pages that are stuffed with keywords that are easy for search engines to find. But once clicked, they automatically redirect visitors to a separate page.
White Hat Techniques That You Want To Use
To be a consistently successful marketer using white hat approved techniques is the best way to go – here are some of the best techniques.
High Quality Content – Creating high quality, engaging content for your target audience is essential. It has to be original, relevant to the rest of your site and be informative. Making it link worthy and share worthy is great for driving traffic.
Keyword Research and Use – Don’t stuff your content full of irrelevant keywords – instead research the words and phrases you wish to target/think people will use when looking for your site. Keep in mind that single words are not always the most effective target. Long-tail keywords can be much more specific to your product or service and thus be more effective in ranking higher.
Backlinks – Backlinks are incredibly important to Google as they act as endorsement of quality for your content and website. But always make sure that the backlinks that you use are relevant and correctly optimised. This will generate higher rankings in an organic way.
Meta Descriptions – Meta descriptions are key – they are the first sentences people see when looking at your page on search engines. But the main thing to remember is to write them for the consumer not Google. Engage the audience and make them want to click through to your page.
Although it will take longer to see results, the white hat strategies focuses on improving your search performance through quality content while sticking to the rules laid down by Google. Black hat may provide fast results, but eventually you will be caught and penalised.