White Hat Local SEO Best Practices

Written by: Jason Bayless | August 13, 2015

In today’s world of constant Google algorithm changes, white hat SEO is essentially the only real way to get ahead of your competition and stay there. Consistently performing good local white hat practices means that the search engines will view your site or blog in a positive light and place it accordingly in their ranks.

White Hat SEO 101

Simply put, white hat SEO is a technique that uses ethical marketing practices in order to boost your site in the search engines without the need to resort to what’s actually considered cheating in the eyes of most people. These disreputable tactics are commonly referred to as ‘black hat SEO’ and often include many unscrupulous spamming methods including ‘keyword stuffing’.

On the other hand, white hat SEO employs honest organic methods and demands a certain level of quality regarding a website in order to successfully rise in the search engines. Therefore, certain factors need to be considered as well as optimized in order to ensure your success, some of which include:

• High-value, well-written content
• Good overall site architecture
• Good site performance
• Incorporate media, including images and video

Here are some essential white hat practices that will greatly enhance your chances to succeed in the search engines:

1. Keywords still have significant value.

Keywords still have certain value, as long as they’re used in an appropriate manner. Several SEO experts don’t bother incorporating keywords into the meta information anymore since Google no longer pays attention to them. Today, keywords contained within meta information are basically ignored by search engines now.

In the past, ‘keyword stuffing’ used to be a highly popular technique that black hat marketers employed in order to gain ranks in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Today, most reputable SEO content writers will readily refuse to write copy for a client that asks for a keyword density of more than 7 percent, as it greatly diminishes the overall quality of the content.

2. Content is still king.

Every online marketer knows that ‘content is king’, or so they’ve heard. However, this no longer holds true. Content is now essentially everything. Today, any site with poorly written or ‘spammy’ content won’t last very long. Google won’t hesitate to ‘slap’ these kinds of sites right out of the SERPs.

Good content should be:

• 100% original and not infringe upon the intellectual rights of others
• Very useful and highly relevant to your target audience and industry
• Well-written, which includes error-free spelling and good grammar
• Provide proper reference to the research resources and quotes if applicable
• Media should have a title, description, and ALT tag and if applicable, give recognition to the original artist

3. Keep providing outstanding value to your audience.

The best white hat practice to follow and to rank high in the search engines is to keep providing great value to your target audience as well as your particular niche.

This method includes the following:

• Generating fresh content on a consistent basis that’s actionable and shareable
• Building an architecturally-sound site that looks and performs well and can be used across virtually any platform, including desktop, mobile, or tablet
• Using different social media platforms to ensure that your brand is highly recognizable throughout many channels so your content can therefore be easily distributed

4. Guest blogging is an excellent white hat technique.

Guest blogging (writing articles for other high-profile blogs or sites) is still a great white hat approach to Internet marketing. But, there is a right and wrong way to go about it. It’s best to only guest post on websites or blogs that are similar or very comparable to your own domain authority. Why? Google may think your links were purchased if you appear to have a number of high-quality links appearing out of nowhere.

These are just some of the many white hat local SEO techniques you can use to boost your site in the SERPS. Remember, the only real way to stay on top is to get there in an ethical and fair way in order to ensure best results.