Top 5 White Hat SEO Techniques for Beginners – Rank the Way Google Wants You To

Filed in SEO by on February 22, 2018 0 Comments

white hat seo techniques


White Hat SEO Techniques

So you may have heard of search engine optimization before (SEO) but if you’re not sure what white hat SEO means then you’ve come to the right place. In this article we will provide an overview of white hat SEO techniques as well as what we think are the best places to start for a beginner so your website ranks high on Google and stays that way.


What is White Hat SEO?


White Hat SEO refers to the ethical way of using Google’s approved SEO techniques to make sure your website’s search performance does well on a search engine results page. Using white hat SEO techniques means maintaining the integrity of your website and staying within the search engines’ terms of service, thus ensuring that you do not end up banned from the search engine, which could have drastic consequences to your website and business. White hat SEO is opposed to black hat SEO, which is essentially a way of cheating the system to improve your site’s ranking. This method may see short term results but in the long term it is best to go with White Hat SEO techniques so you don’t have to worry about being banned from Google and other search engines!


Google’s Basic Principles to SEO are:

  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Don’t deceive your users.
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
  • Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.

For a full list of Google’s guidelines see the link here.


So now that we have an understanding of white hat SEO let’s dive into the techniques that will help you properly rank your website.


White Hat SEO Techniques #1 – Content is King


While content is the main thing that will drive traffic to your website and help you rank high up on a search engine’s list, this is only true if your content is actually valuable to your audience. Gone are the days of quantity over quality and you can forget about using text spinners to reformat old content. If you want a search engine to love you give them something to love with content that is original and does not plagiarize any existing work. When using research from other relevant sources make sure to quote and cite where applicable. Also, make sure your content is relevant and interesting to your audience with proper grammar and proper spelling. If you add any images or videos include a title, an ALT tag and a description if necessary. An ALT tag is text that describes a picture. This helps search engine crawlers understand what a picture on a page is, without being able to see the picture. Use this information in your website’s HTML code to describe what an image is about.




White Hat SEO Techniques #2 – But Keywords Are Not


How can keywords not be useful in SEO you might say? Well Keywords are still important to use in website content, including blogs, images and video and PPC/Adwords but must be used correctly. For example, Google does not look at keywords in the Meta information anymore and most SEO professionals won’t bother putting keywords there.  Keyword ‘stuffing’  was also another common (black hat) SEO practice intended to ensure that the word associated with the product/company was noticed. However, we all know this makes for some awfully written articles with barely any information because every second word is the same.  Now, a better SEO practice is to use similar words throughout a piece of writing as well as the main keyword. Key phrases are also good to use and its important that they are used in titles, sub-headers and throughout the text too. Here is an example,

Keyword = SEO Analysis

Use this keyword a couple of times in the text, in the headline and a comparable sentence in the sub header.  Then use related words and phrases throughout the piece for context. In this example, related words could be:

  • SEO software
  • SEO tools
  • Search engine optimization
  • Search tools

You can check out Google’s Keyword Planner here, which is a great tool for this.




White Hat SEO Techniques #3 – Think Links


Backlinks are an important part of SEO, one which will help your website rank high on a search engine’s list and once again quality over quantity applies here. Quality links are those from other websites, which are regarded highly by search engines and are relevant to the content of your page. While low quality links are those from sketchy websites or ones that are not at all relevant to your audience. Also, keep in mind that after Google’s Penguin algorithm update, they penalize people who use paid services to get links to their site.

Now let’s take a look at an example of good linking from Chuck Price of Search Engine Journal:

Let’s say we have a website that sells telephones.

Link A: Link on the homepage of the British Telecoms website. = Good

Link B: Link on John Smiths Beer and Ale appreciation links page = Bad

As Price says, “The amount of quality [backlinks] to your site therefore has some relevance on how high up the search engine your site is placed. When sourcing links you should be thinking of quality over quantity and deep linking to pages within your website not just the homepage.”

As we can see here the point is to get the right kinds of links. Links that are relevant to your web page and links that require a human editorial review.

So how do I get these links, you ask? Well there are various ways but let’s take a look at a few of them:

       1.Write awesome articles

As we keep saying quality is everything, so the better your article the more backlinks you will get. Your articles should pay close attention to spelling and grammar, stay consistent on the topic and edit before posting the final version. Tutorials and top-ten list articles based on proper research are good examples of the kind of posts that could get backlinks from other websites as references.

      2. Start Commenting

For a simple and free, yet effective way to build backlinks start using the comments section on  do-follow forums and do-follow blogs. Commenting is an excellent way to get quality one-way backlinks as well as more traffic and better search engine rankings.

      3. Look out for Broken Links

To earn quick backlinks from high-quality pages find broken links on a website (related to your niche) and email the content owner to notify them. While you’re at it, give them a similar link from your website, and ask them to update their post.  You can speed up the process by using tools like  or visit the target website pages, and then use browser add-ons like Check My Links or LinkChecker to find the broken links.

      4. Build a resource center.

A resource center works for  just about any type of website and a good resource center helps to build trust and authority, earning high quality backlinks. The perfect content to include in a resource center is useful information, which can be in the form of articles, guides, schedules and even how-to videos. In many cases, it is important to have an expert develop the content.

A great example of a resource center is Square One Insurance: Their impressive “Home and personal safety resource centre” gives tips on how to protect your house and family.



White Hat SEO Techniques #4 – Take Advantage of Schema, is a collection of different HTML tags that can be added to a web page. These tags create a better description, which appears in search results (commonly known as rich snippets). Schema is often used to create rich snippets for Organizations, Events, Music,People, Products, Recipes, Review Ratings, and Videos. Schema let’s the search engines know what your data means, not just what it says.  Here’s a great example from Kissmetrics, “let’s say the word “Neil Patel” appears on an article. The search engine sees this, and produces a SERP entry with “Neil Patel.” However, if I put the right schema markup around the name “Neil Patel,” I’ve just told that search engine that “Neil Patel” is the author of the article, not just a couple random words. The search engine then provides results that display better information for the user who was searching for “Neil Patel.””

So as we can see some of the benefits are, Schema can be useful to users and make search results stand out, Schema makes it easier for search engines to understand a web page and microdata can improve click-through rates. Plus, in 2014 (the most recent data available), Searchmetrics reported that more than a third of Google search results incorporated Rich Snippets supported by Schema, but only 0.3% of websites were actually using the Google-approved Schema tool. So even if that percentage has improved since then, we can see that Schema provides a great opportunity for a competitive edge.




White Hat SEO Techniques #5 – Go Mobile


Google is currently pushing mobile, letting everyone know that “pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”  Therefore, the Google index is going mobile first and if you don’t have a mobile-friendly page, then it is unlikely you will rank well on this search engine. Especially if you are a websites using intrusive interstitial ads. In case you aren’t sure as to whether your website meets the criteria for being mobile friendly, log in to your Search Console account Then, choose “Crawl” -> “Fetch as Google” to let Google crawl your site and evaluate its mobile/desktop compatibility.  You can also view the Mobile Usability Report and take the appropriate action from there to ensure mobile compatibility and thus a higher ranking. However, Google is not pushing mobile first for no reason. As Marcus Miller, from Bowler Hat: SEO, PPC & Digital Marketing Agency in Birmingham, UK writes, “the following are three key stats that I have lifted from Google’s promotional materials that clearly illustrate the importance of mobile optimization:


1. Today, More people search on mobile phones than computers

2. People are 5 times more likely to leave a site if it isn’t mobile friendly.

3. Over half of mobile users will leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.


In order to Optimize for mobile it is important to minify code, leverage browser caching, and reduce redirects as this will greatly improve the download speed of your page. In addition, make sure that your images are no bigger than they need to be, are compressed for the web and that they are in the right format. PNGs are usually better for graphics with fewer than 16 colors while JPEGs are often better for photographs. Another important factor to optimize for mobile is ensuring that you don’t block CSS, JavaScript, or images. Back in the day some mobile devices couldn’t support all of these elements, so webmasters of mobile sites blocked some of them or all of them. But now that is almost no longer true, and the Smartphone GoogleBot wants to be able to see and categorize the same content that users do. These elements are also critical in helping Google understand if you have a responsive site or a different mobile solution. It is also important to use HTML5 over flash because flash plugin may not be available on your user’s phone and they won’t be able to see your hard work and valuable content. Similarly pop-ups are annoying to close on mobile devices and can contribute to a higher bounce rate, so avoid using pop-ups if you want to be mobile friendly. Also consider your site design  “Above the fold” is no longer important now that we scroll endlessly while designing for touch screen navigation is very important as this can lead to accidental clicks if your buttons are too big, too small, or in the way of a finger that’s trying to scroll.

In conclusion there are no shortage of white Hat SEO methods to help your web page rank high on a search engine’s list. However, we think these 5 techniques are an excellent place for beginners to start. We hope that this article provided a good overview of what White Hat SEO techniques are as well as useful tools and ways to implement these strategies on your website. So what are you waiting for? Start implementing these white hat SEO techniques today and make Google your best friend.

Read about more SEO techniques in our post “9 Steps and SEO Tools to Get Your Website Ranking



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Jessica Zeitz

Jessica Zeitz

A natural born writer, Jessica started journaling from the age of seven, following her passion in school with a diploma in English literature and a bachelor’s degree in Communications. After graduation, she spent a year traveling South-East Asia and discovered the world of remote work where she was able to combine her love of travel and writing by freelancing. When she isn’t writing or dreaming up her next destination Jessica enjoys pickling and poetry.
Jessica Zeitz