When you’re developing your SEO campaign, it’s important to understand the different types of SEO your business can use — and ensure you choose the type of SEO that will drive the best possible results for your business.
Here are four main types of SEO techniques you will come across:
1. White hat SEO
White hat SEO techniques are the best way to improve your SEO ranking over time and optimize it. These are the tactics that Google recommends you use to help your site rank better in the results. They abide by Google’s search engine guidelines and drive positive results for your business.
These techniques include:
- Creating high-quality content: High-quality content brings valuable leads to your page that are interested in your business. This helps improve your ranking to help you reach more interested traffic. You can create multiple types of industry-related content, including blogs, ebooks, videos, and infographics.
- Optimizing HTML: Cleaning up your site’s code will help your site perform better. This includes practices like cleaning up messy code, eliminating white space, and reducing unnecessary text. This will help your site perform better.
- Sharing on social media: Social media helps you drive traffic to your site. You can boost your website’s engagement and drive leads to your page. It helps you improve your ranking.
- Making your site user-friendly: If you want to keep leads on your site, it must be user-friendly. This means creating an appealing design, a well-structured navigation, and making your site engaging with photos and videos.
White hat SEO techniques take time to produce results. The results, however, are worth it. You will have lasting growth and continue to help your site perform better in the search results.
You will know if you’re doing white hat SEO techniques correctly if your site’s ranking is impacted every time Google updates their algorithm. When you properly practice white hat SEO techniques, you may see a drop in your rankings when the algorithm changes. This doesn’t indicate you are using bad techniques, but rather, indicates you are using white hat techniques properly and will need to adjust.
It takes a little bit of time to adjust, but you can easily get your site right back on track. White hat SEO techniques are the best way for you to improve your site’s ranking in the search results for the long haul.
2. Black hat SEO
Black hat SEO techniques exploit search algorithms to get higher rankings.
Some businesses use black hat SEO techniques because they drive fast results. People want the immediate gratification without putting in too much work. The downfall, however, is that black hat SEO ends up hurting businesses in the long run.
There are numerous tactics that fall under black hat:
- Link spamming
- Keyword stuffing
- Hidden text/links
- Using irrelevant, popular keywords
- Over optimizing HTML headings
- Copying content
- Buying links
These are just a few tactics that companies will use to optimize their site. While these tactics do improve ranking, it does not last. Google catches on to these techniques and if you’re caught, your site will suffer severely.
Search engines will punish your business and even ban your site from appearing in relevant search results. Since Google only wants to produce relevant search results, it will ban people who take a short-cut to try and get to the top of the rankings.
3. Gray hat SEO
Gray hat SEO is the middle ground between white and black hat SEO. This technique isn’t quite good for your site, but it isn’t listed as bad. Hence why this is a “gray” hat SEO tactic because it falls into a gray area.
These SEO techniques aren’t banned by Google, but they aren’t considered an acceptable way to obtain leads. Gray hat SEO techniques are risky, but marketed as the “affordable solution.” Companies that offer gray SEO techniques reduce their costs because they are using questionable methods.
Here are some examples of gray SEO techniques:
- Clickbait articles
- Spun content
- Link exchanges
- Paid reviews
These are tactics businesses will use to improve their site’s performance in the search results. Gray hat SEO techniques aren’t quite banned by Google, but they aren’t the best way to help your site grow. It can lead to negative effects that hurt your business rather than help it.
4. Negative SEO
Negative SEO is a unique situation for your business. It isn’t perpetrated by your business, but rather, someone else. You will see negative SEO scenarios between businesses and their competitors.
When you see a business using negative SEO, they are trying to hurt their competitors’ reputations. Companies use gray and black hat techniques to cause harm to competitors’ businesses. They implement these techniques to decrease a business’s rank so they can improve their own.
There are a few strategies companies will use with negative SEO:
- Building unnatural links to a competitor’s site
- Posting negative reviews
- Hacking websites to modify content
The intent with negative SEO is to harm other sites for personal gain. It is hard to control this because other companies are damaging your site. When you’re running your SEO campaign, you must constantly monitor it to ensure that there aren’t any unusual or unexpected spikes/drops in activity or performance.