What is White Hat SEO?


Karah Blandford, Account Specialist at Ontario SEO
Karah Blandford
January 4, 2021
What is White Hat SEO?

In a previous blog, we covered black hat SEO and its implications on a website’s ranking and SEO value. If you’ve read that blog, congratulations – you now know what not to do as you develop your SEO strategy. At Ontario SEO, we work with Google to provide exceptional user experience and value to users instead of exploiting those loopholes that back hat SEO’s take pride in.

When it comes to developing a sound SEO strategy that will increase your visibility on the Search Engine Results Page (without going behind Google’s back and gaming the system), where do you start? We’ve covered why it’s important to follow Google’s guidelines and the key strategies you can use to start climbing to the top of the SERP.

Why is White Hat SEO Important?

Using White Hat techniques inoculates you against algorithm updates and penalties.  When you play by the rules you get to reap the rewards when algorithm updates target black-hat and spam techniques. Creating quality content and a good user experience is almost always rewarded by the search engines and user, so it is a wise investment, even if it is not a fast one.

White Hat SEO Strategies

Ontario SEO has helped build SEO strategies for hundreds of businesses. We know that some rules are meant to be broken…but trust us when we say that it’s worth building your website on solid ground.

There are far too many SEO tactics to cover in just one blog post, but all great SEO tactics have one thing in common – satisfying the user (or searcher). Search engines have become highly sophisticated machines, but their goal remains the same: to provide valuable information that is relevant to the user’s query. To develop an SEO strategy for your business that produces long-term results, you need to make this your goal as well. Below are key SEO strategies you should implement on your website.

Mobile First

In a world where more than half of worldwide traffic comes from a mobile device, it is critical that your content is optimized for viewing on a smartphone. This is an easy win and should be something every business implements when building or updating a website.

To check if your website is optimized for mobile viewing, you can use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. The tool also comes equipped with recommendations to improve your mobile website experience.

Quality Content

Content will always be king. We love a content-driven SEO strategy; it is critically important that your website content provides value to your target market. SEO experts know that competitive websites are more than just a collection of words and adhere to Google’s E.A.T standards to create content worthy of a 1st page SERP ranking.

E.A.T is an acronym often used by SEO’s and refers to website quality. It stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Before rolling out a new content marketing strategy, it’s important to assess if the strategy satisfies the E.A.T standards Google favours.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is our first step in any new SEO project. A technical SEO approach encompasses a variety of tactics that make a website easier for search engines to crawl and understand a website. Diagnosing and fixing technical website issues can often lead to fast improvements in search engine rankings.

A good technical SEO strategy will prioritize the largest issues including:

  • Improving indexing and crawl efficiency
  • Implementing mobile-friendly website design
  • Ensuring fast website speed
  • Eliminating website errors and broken links
  • Using proper redirects
  • Responding to security issues

Satisfy User Intent

There are several categories of user intent – informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional. Everyone expects to find a specific answer when they search on Google. To get that lucrative 1st page ranking, your website content needs to answer a question or provide a solution to a problem.

You may have already mapped out the core keywords that you want to rank for, but you should also create content for longer queries users may search before making a purchasing decision (long-tail keywords). If your content satisfies their questions and provides value, you will be top of mind when they move to the purchasing phase of the sales funnel.

White Hat SEO Techniques are Timeless

White hat SEO is an effective way to improve your visibility on Google without the risk of penalties. Although black hat SEO tactics can be tempting, it’s always recommended to play on the other side of the fence. White hat SEO takes time and effort with slower results, but doing things properly will ensure your business builds foundational visibility that will contribute to the success of your website for years to come.

If you aren’t sure how to build an effective white hat Search Engine Optimization program, let’s talk. We’ll work with you to strategize a comprehensive plan to get you ranking by the rules.