Using SEO tactics will definitely benefit your business. But, not all SEO is created equal. Keep reading to learn why SEO is so important for your marketing efforts and why you need to be careful about what type of SEO you use.
What Is SEO?
First things first. What is SEO? Search engine optimization, or SEO, involves using tactics to improve the ranking of online content (website, landing page, blog post, etc.) in organic, non-paid search engine results in order to drive more traffic to that piece of content.
The Different Types Of SEO
There are three different types of SEO, all of which are not created equal:
- White Hat SEO
- Black Hat SEO
- Gray Hat SEO
White Hat SEO
White hat SEO refers to SEO tactics that are in line with the terms and conditions of the major search engines, including the almighty Google. Using white hat SEO tactics improves your search rankings “while maintaining the integrity of your website.”
Here are a few examples of white hat SEO tactics:
- Using keywords in your meta tags
- Including keywords in your image Alt tags
- Getting other sites to link back to yours, otherwise known as backlinking
- Creating mobile-friendly content and websites.
Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO is essentially the opposite of white hat SEO. It’s defined as the practice of using SEO tactics that are not in line with the terms and conditions of the major search engines to increases a site/page’s rank in search engines. Engaging in black hat SEO is a violation of “the search engines’ terms of service,” and will negatively impact your business.
Here are a few examples of black hat SEO:
- Invisible Text – Inserting a list of keywords in a piece of online content in white text on a white background so they are not visible to the reader.
- Keyword Stuffing – Purposely Overusing keywords in a piece of online content.
- Cloaking – Providing search engines with one set of content and site visitors with another.
- Blog Spamming – Spamming other sites’ blogs by posting links to your content as comments in order to increase the number of inbound links or backlinks to your site.
While black hat SEO will definitely drive more traffic to your website, it’s a big no-no, and your business should avoid using it at all costs. Plus, using black hat SEO tactics can get your website penalized or even banned from Google as well as the other search engines, which would be detrimental for your marketing efforts.
Gray Hat SEO
Gray hat SEO is a little on the tricky side because “the terms of service regarding the issue are unclear.” It’s an SEO practice that’s riskier than white hat SEO, but it’s not as frowned upon by Google and the other search engines as black hat SEO. However, using gray hat SEO could potentially get your site banned from the search engines, so it’s a tactic you’ll want to steer clear of just to be on the safe side.
One interesting thing about gray hat SEO is that it can change on a dime. An SEO tactic that’s considered gray hat one year might fall into the white or even black hat category the next year. This is just one of the many reasons why companies using SEO for their marketing efforts should stay abreast of current SEO trends.
Here are a few current examples of gray hat SEO techniques:
- SEO Squatting – This is the practice of “buying expired domains that are relevant to your keywords and then adding a few pages of content with a few well-placed backlinks to your site.”
- Using Spun Content – Spun content is essentially plagiarism. It’s the practice of copying content from another site, but changing around a few words here and there, and then passing it off as if it’s fresh content.
- Paying For Reviews – This consists of paying people to write positive online reviews and testimonials for your products and services.
Why SEO Is So Important
Making sure your company’s website is SEO friendly can boost your business and help you gain more leads. Here’s how:
- SEO improves your site’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings on search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, which results in more visibility for your company and more traffic to your website.
- SEO helps get high-quality leads to your site by attracting people who are actively searching for your products and/or services.
- SEO saves your company money on advertising. SEO is not a form of paid advertising, so you can acquire quality leads without putting a ton of money into ad campaigns. Plus, SEO is ongoing, so your posted content will continue to attract leads as long as the pages are live.
How EmoryDay Can Help You Grow Your Business
Ready to take your marketing efforts to the next level by leveraging white hat SEO tactics in your content? See how EmoryDay can help you grow your business! Our team of expert marketing specialists have the skills and experience needed to help optimize your content for SEO.