White Hat SEO: Top 5 Tips on improving your SEO

White Hat SEO
White Hat on a computer monitor

What is White Hat SEO?

‘White Hat SEO’ is the term used for SEO tactics that are in line with the terms and conditions set out by major search engines, including Google. Equally, you can brush up on what SEO is on our post ‘What is SEO and why is it important?‘.

The opposite to to this is Black Hat SEO. Black Hat SEO is the term for SEO tactics that are not within the search engine’s terms of service. White Hat SEO refers to any tactics that have been approved by the search engine’s terms of service. Additionally, this will increase the search rating of your website whilst maintaining the integrity of your website. These tactics are in line with the guidelines Google has outlined and you can find more information on all of them here. These tactics are the best way to increase your search ranking without even spending a penny though it may take some time to kick in. It can be up to 6-12 months before you will start to see the effects, regardless, don’t let that put you off because these will work in the long run.

White Hat SEO just out of the top 5

  • Have compelling Title Tags and Meta Descriptions – These are 2 of the most important Tags on your page. If these are not enticing, people will not click on your page.
  • Optimise your Images – Make sure to use the best file format, compress those images, add in Alt Tags and lastly, use lazy loading to make sure crucial content in displayed
  • Loading Speed is Key – Use Googles PageSpeed Insights tool to analyse you pages loading speed, as this is a primary ranking factor
  • Internal and External Links – Make sure to build an internal link structure to establish a hierarchy for your website. Also the right External links will increase your credibility

Our Top 5 White Hat SEO Tips

1. Be familiar with the webmasters SEO Guidelines.

To make sure you are adhering to the White Hat SEO tactics laid out by the Webmasters. You can see Google’s Guidelines to help you understand what you will need. By sticking to this you will not enter the ‘grey’ area of Black Hat SEO.

These guidelines inform you on how Google finds, indexes and ranks sites. Learning about these will give you an insight into how and why Google ranks sites an will allow you to optimise your site safely. It also details illicit methods that can lead to your site being blacklisted or banned permanently.

You may want to consider performing an SEO Audit of your website. Tips on how to do this can be found in our post: How to Do an SEO Audit: The Ultimate Checklist. This process will help you further your understanding of SEO and help you improve the effectiveness of your current strategy.

2. Publish relevant, unique and quality content

Publishing original content that is unique and helpful to the users. That does not mean that it has to be in depth and extremely long. Though Google doesn’t recommend a specific post length, we think, for the best results you should aim to hit at least 1000 words. Try to solve hard problems and share your learnings, data and challenge the way that people think.

A great way to do this is to find topics that are relevant and trending in the industry and tackle them from a different angle with new data and perspectives. Having great quality content that is unique will need to be relevant to the users, this will be touched on when we talk about the User Intent. In Contrast, if you decided to produce content that is ‘low-quality’, often duplicated and only intended to get people to a page, this is Black Hat SEO. Stay clear of this as is those bots at google catch you, you will have to start all over again.

3. Use Keyword tools and place them strategically and organically

Using keywords is important. Using them organically and strategically is better. The best tool to use for this is the Google Ads Keyword Planner. Conducting keyword analysis will help you stay away from keywords that are overly competitive and identify the best short and long-tail keywords to use on your site. This will also help you to match the User Intent (there’s that phrase again).

Another good way to brainstorm long-tail keywords is to go to google and search for something. Google will then give you options on how to finish off the search. These are the most common search’s related to what you’ve typed already. E.G. If you type in ‘Harry’, google will list the most common search’s i.e. ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Harry Kane’, ‘Harry & Megan’ and ‘Harry Styles’.

Begin to type the words you want to rank for note the phrases that Google suggests, these key phrases tend to be less competitive whilst also being more appropriate to your page.

To use keywords organically on your page try to utilise them in page titles, meta descriptions and image alt tags. This is very important as it will boost your SEO greatly. Additionally, you don’t have to have the exact match keyword in your content. For example, if your longtail keyword is ‘Vegetarian pizza recipes no tomato‘ then this could be hard to get into a sentence naturally. Search engines will recognise those words within a sentence like this ‘these are the best recipes for vegetarian pizza with no tomato that I’ve ever tried’.

It is important not to over do it with keywords as this would be classed as ‘keyword stuffing’. Overuse of the keywords in Titles, Headers and meta data is deemed as a Black Hat SEO technique. Try to incorporate them naturally to avoid any danger.

4. Consider User intent

User intent (also called ‘Search Intent’) is highly important to understand when creating your content. This is the search query that the user has typed into their search engine. The better the match to your page, the higher you will appear.

Firstly, understanding what people are going to search for and satisfying search intent is a top priority for Search Engines. By doing this you will pass their test and be much more likely to appear on the first page on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Also consider how people search for what you are providing. Test it out on colleagues, family and friends. Furthermore, use Googles search function to pinpoint the best way to match the users Search Intent.

There are 4 common types of search intent:

  1. Informational – when users are searching to learn about a subject
  2. Navigational – when users are looking for a specific page or website
  3. Commercial – when users are trying to learn about a product before making a purchase
  4. Transactional – when a user is intending on completing a purchase or action.

Also make sure to use this along side step 3 and match the Keywords to the intent of the user.

5. Strive for a positive User Experience (UX)

The User Experience (otherwise known as UX) plays a big role in improving your Search Rankings. Google would much rather send you to a page that users find easy to use, loads quickly, is well structured and is mobile friendly.

There are several ways to improve your UX as shown above but the mot common ones to look out for are:

  • Headers and Sub-headers – using these will help build a structure to the website that helps the likes of Google to better understand your content. Using Sub-headings within headings (H1, H2, H3) will make the text more accessible an readable to users.
  • Make the Content Visually Appealing – Visuals like Images, videos, screenshots and infographics will also help readers understand your content better as it will help segregate the the content and get the points across
  • Avoid using intrusive pop-ups – In 2017 Google introduced guidelines that would penalise sites that use intrusive pop-up ads. They can be seen as annoying and cause users to leave the site. It is wise to use these sparingly. Find out more on this here.
  • Use White Space – Including white space on a webpage will increase legibility, branding and focus. The Interaction Design Foundation stands by this in their article and so does Google! Using white space in fundamental in a good design.
  • Mobile Friendly Sites are Key – 99.4% of the UK used mobile phones as of January 2021 so if your site is not mobile friendly you could be missing out on a huge audience. However, it is also crucial when it comes to UX because Google uses mobile-first Indexing. Use Google’s mobile-friendly test to check your site.

These tips will help you improve your UX. Not to mention that you Loading Speed will also have an impact on your UX.

If you found this information useful and would like to learn more take a look at our other posts helping with a variety of Digital Marketing tips.

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SEO Strategies that generate traffic in 2022

We have evolved to find answers to our everyday questions within our fingertips for its convenience. It influences our searching style, either within short keyword searches or phrasal searches. To adapt to this, search engines had to continuously update their algorithm to create better search results for their users. This also means that the practice you once knew a couple of years ago is probably not as effective today.  Here are the eight industry’s latest strategies that generate traffic in 2022.

Strategies that generate traffic
We have evolved to find answers to our everyday questions at our fingertips

1. Pick a Primary and Secondary Keyword

Pick one primary keyword to represent every page on the website, and keep it relevant to the message, branding, and available products or services.  This will be followed by a series of secondary keywords to support it. To help with this, external services like Keyword Magic Tool can be used to find your primary and secondary keywords.

2. Keep the Content Original

To build a remarkable branding, produce quality content that is original, comprehensive, and timeless to show your unique standpoint and expertise and enables them to build a relationship with you. In a long run, the search engine’s algorithms will pick up on unique content over generic or duplicated content. This practice also will put you as a superior on that topic compared to other results, which will increase searches and visibility over a long period.

3. Optimize Page Title and Meta Description

During the search process, internet users are overwhelmed with endless answers and results. This is when the page title and meta description could make or break your click-through rate as they are the first thing your audience will see on the result page. To optimise this, keep the page title between 30 and 60 characters, keep the meta description under 160 characters, and include target keywords in both and unique for every page.

4. Use Concise, Descriptive URLs

A simple URL can help search engines understand your page and give you a more user-friendly appearance in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Include primary keyword, keep it shorter than 60 characters, and make it easily readable to the users

5. Generate Backlinks

an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website, also widely known as Backlinks, is a critical ranking factor. It increases the site’s authority and improves the SEO over time. To strategize this, find out who your competitors get their backlinks from through a third-party generator. Once this is done, get listed in those industry directories, join professional industry associations, and expand your networking groups and organizations. These practices can increase trust and eventually establish credibility.

6. Improve Page Speed

A page speed correlates closely with SEO ranking. This is a result of the amount of time a user spent on your website, also known as the bounce rate. Google PageSpeed Insights is a free SEO tool that scores your desktop and mobile page speed. If the score is low, you can remove any elements on the website that are unused or could be further optimised and simplified. A common factor for a slow page speed is the images’ size and formatting that are not optimised to separate devices. For instance, the same image viewed on a phone does not have to render at the same pixels as on a desktop, and vice versa.

7. Conduct Regular Site Audits

Schedule a Site Inspection procedure into your monthly calendar to ensure that the site remains purposeful, user-friendly and updated. This will give an opportunity window to spot broken links or slow load times. This can be done by creating a ‘Checklist’ to inspect the health of each page. Get a copy of our ‘Site Audit Checklist’ file to evaluate your site’s health and ensure you don’t oversee any critical issues.

Conduct Regular Site Audits
Carry a regular website audit to spot broken elements and keep the search engine ranking high.

8. Treat Competitors as References

Your competitors are likely to have an identical set of content and audience in the market. By exploring your competitors’ websites, you can learn more about their effective content mediums and adapt the positive points to your website and improve the negatives to make it work better.


SEO is a constantly developing area that is always looking to change its ranking factors and what it determines to be “good content”. It is crucial to continue with the SEO basics and meet the minimum standards. Stay in the know with the latest practice can help you always stay ahead of the game.

Download our FREE ‘Monthly Site Audit Checklist’

If you’re not sure where to start, our ‘Site Audit Checklist’ file can help you evaluate your site’s health and ensure you don’t oversee any critical issues. Get a free copy of the ‘Monthly Site Audit Checklist’ for you to learn, experiment, and develop creativity in generating traffic to your site. The kit includes in-depth tips to produce the results you want and conquer the SERPs within the 2022 practice, and beyond.