What is SEO, really? For those of you who are unfamiliar with the general idea of SEO, it is the process by which a website can increase the quantity and quality of traffic to the website. This is achieved through a range of methods including keyword research, technical optimization of the website, and link building. All these activities ultimately serve the goal of building a website that Google and other search engines see as a reputable and trustworthy source of information, product, or services in its preferred industry.
What is SEO writing?
SEO writing is the process of planning, writing, and fully optimizing a website’s on-page content with the goal of ranking well in a search engine results page. A website that is well written for SEO should focus on the keyword or query of a user, covering only what the searcher wants to know. Digressing into tangents or changing to a subject different than what was advertised will likely cause users to leave your site and can dilute your keyword relevancy.
In writing for SEO, keywords should be used naturally within the flow of the article and appear anywhere from 4-5 times for every 400 words. Going overboard on the use of keywords is what we call keyword-stuffing and is not a viable or useful tactic in the eyes of Google and other search engines.
While there are many other aspects to writing for SEO, writing content that is grammatically sound, clear in focus, and concise is incredibly important. Users may be able to forgive a few small issues, but the more they spot errors or faults in the writing, the less likely they are to trust the content. Writing well is a key component to demonstrating expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
What is White Hat SEO?
White Hat SEO, and its counterpart Black Hat SEO, refer to the methods and practices that a webmaster uses to optimize a website. White Hat tactics are SEO tactics that fall in line with the policies, terms, and conditions of the major search engines (the good guys). White Hat SEO generally avoids any penalty or warnings against their website by using the principles and accepted methods laid out within the respective search engines terms of service. Examples of these include:
- Creating strong keyword-focused content.
- Using structured data to markup information on your website so Google and other search engines can more easily crawl and understand the site.
- Optimizing the site for mobile accessibility.
- Creating a site that loads fast on any device.
- Writing and implementing keyword-focused title tags and meta descriptions as well as using a logical heading structure within your content.
- Optimizing the site for user experience to ensure its easy to navigate.
Generally, if you use common sense when optimizing a website, and do not partake in any activities meant to purposefully deceive the search engines or user, you are wearing your white hat.
What is Black Hat SEO?
The antithesis of White Hat SEO is Black Hat SEO. Black Hat SEO employs tactics and practices that are not inline with the accepted best practices, guidelines, and terms of service laid out by search engines. Black Hat SEOs are generally considered unethical and these tactics can lead to penalties and outright banishment from search engines.
A webmaster engaging in Black Hat SEO is usually looking for a quick and easy way to boost a page’s ranking within a search engine results page. Some of the most common forms of black Hat SEO include but are not limited to:
- Hidden Text or Links.
- Creating pages with plagiarized content and claiming it as your own.
- Link manipulation or link schemes, including purchasing links.
- Sneaky redirects that send a visitor to a different URL from their original request.
- Pages with malicious intent like phishing, viruses, or malware.
- Other examples can be found on Google’s webmaster guidelines support pages.
Anvil strives to always remain in the realm of White Hat SEO. If you would like an assessment of your site to make sure you are following the best white hat SEO practices, contact Anvil Media.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a subset of Search Engine Optimization focused on targeting and ranking for searches in your businesses’ local area. Local SEO is great for businesses of any size that operate within a geographic area or out of a brick and mortar location.
At its root, Local SEO is about ensuring a potential customer in your geographic service area can find your business and visit your website. Much like traditional SEO, the core of successful Local SEO is having a well-optimized site that is easy-to-use and provides the user with clear, concise information related to their query. Some of the key elements of local SEO include:
- Ensuring your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) are accurately and clearly displayed on your website.
- Performing keyword research and optimizing the businesses website for local terms.
- There are several local keyword research tactics including creating service/location terms, looking for keyword ideas on local message boards like Craigslist, and researching the terms your competitors are ranking for.
- Creating listings on Google My Business, Bing Places, Apple Maps, Yelp, and other locally focused directories.
- With any listing created across the web you want to make sure your NAP is always accurate and consistent across the web.
- Managing your reputation.
- With local rating sites like Yelp, it is important to monitor your reputation among your local customers. While the goal is to always provide a level of service that will earn you the best score, managing any negative reviews in a constructive and helpful manor can help demonstrate your dedication to your customers.
If you would like to learn more about how Anvil Media approaches SEO you can view our Anvil Media Search Engine Optimization Services.
Search engine optimization is a multifaceted and complex set of practices and concepts that marketers use to help build, update, and maintain a website. We hope this article answered a few of your questions regarding SEO. If you or your team have any questions about SEO or are curious to learn more about how Anvil Media can help optimize your web presence visit our website today!