Everyone longs for the traffic that the first page of Google can equate, but getting there often seems elusive.
With continued releases from Google that change how a page ranks, pursuing better rankings can seem like an illustrious time trap for most businesses.
Yet successful businesses know that regardless of the potential pitfalls, the opportunity is worth the cost. So if it is worth the effort, then it is important that your investment of time and resources is not penalized by Google.
Why White-Hat SEO?
While some companies (even some SEO agencies) utilize gray and even black hat techniques, it is important to realize that Google's algorithm updates primarily target these companies who employ nefarious SEO schemes to increase their rankings. Once Google makes an algorithm change, more of these companies fall off and their site traffic dwindles.
Companies who are risk adverse should not shrink back from pursuing SEO objectives. Quite the opposite, in fact. While these gray and black-hat SEO marketed websites are being de-indexed by Google, like cream, the white-hat SEO marketed companies are rising to the top. Furthermore, Google is becoming better at identifying quality web content and industry authorities based on the quality of the website and the social indicators that surround any given site.
Key Aspects to Focus On
Achieving successful white-hat SEO is a process that requires a focus on the right areas. In SEO, there are two categories that you will need to focus on, on-site SEO and off-site SEO. Within each, there are 9 aspects for ranking well in SEO, which you can read more about here: 18 Aspects of SEO.
However, here are four of the best objectives to hone in on first:
1. Perfect Your On-Site SEO
This may seem like an obvious point, but many companies overlook this entirely and it can be the difference between page 10 and page three of Google. If you are uncertain about your on-site SEO, you can visit Nibbler to have your site analyzed. For a more in-depth analysis of your site, you can visit MySiteAuditor.com and sign up for a free account. Once you have your scores, focus on the areas that you are scoring low in.
Related Article: SEO Automation: Does It Really Work?
2. Produce Quality Content
On the internet, there are countless examples of poor quality, everything from articles with bad English from foreign spam sites to scraping text directly from other sites and posting it as new information. If I can tell you anything about creating good content, it is to always post original content. Even if the post is yours, don't post it multiple places. When writing a particular post, know that you are creating it to live in one home on the World Wide Web.
3. Acquire Links Back From Quality Websites
Once you have enhanced your on-site SEO and have been posting quality content on your own website, you need to acquire quality links from other websites. Google views links to your site as social confirmation that your site is a valid and legitimate website that has some value as an authority. It also is kind of like your home address, if you are in a bad neighborhood, you will likely get that reputation. Likewise, if you have too many links coming in from spammy online neighborhoods, you will also get a bad reputation with Google.
4. Share on Social Media
Social media is important for getting your website and your content out there. If you are regularly posting on social media, then people will see your posts, click to them, read them, and hopefully, share or link to them. Google also uses the data it gets from social media channels to gauge your site's importance and relevance.
Once you begin down the road toward white-hat SEO rankings, don't let up. While you don't want to move so fast that Google flags you, it should be a daily push. At the beginning of every day, you want to ask yourself “where are we at?” Realistically, you should almost view it like you would view sales, because SEO equates sales, in the end.
Related Article: Why Links Will Always Matter in SEO Marketing
A Pursuit of Excellence
According to Brian Tracy, success is like a recipe. People have made it before and their success does leave tracks. If you follow the recipe, you will get the dish. Like all success, you cannot take shortcuts in SEO. As I mentioned before, taking a shortcut can land you Google's “F” list and it can cost you a lot of money.
In addition, don't delay to do the right things. For instance, don't focus so much on your off-site objectives that you fail to perfect your on-site SEO. If you have the right mentality about SEO, you will realize that your on-site objectives will form the foundation for everything else. Delaying to “get it right” will only delay your results, leave you frustrated, and cost your company more money. Take the extra time earlier on, because it will ultimately save you a lot of frustration.