Everyone knows that in the movies the bad guys wear black, and the good guys always wear white. The same is true in the world of search engine optimization (SEO). As such, SEO is often categorized as either white hat or black hat, and as you can guess, one is good and the other is both bad and harmful for your website.
Simply put, black hat SEO refers to the use of unethical practices that trick search engines into ranking websites higher. This can include techniques like keyword stuffing, spamming forums, non-company-related social media sites with links to your website, hiding content on a page, etc., all of which can get your site in big trouble with Google, but that’s not all. Often, black hat SEO employs content manipulation tactics that do not benefit your target audience. This causes your audience to lose interest in your page because of text that’s not relevant to their interest in home care, which defeats the purpose of having a website altogether.
White hat SEO, on the other hand, refers to the usage of optimization strategies, techniques and tactics that strictly follow search engine rules, best practices, and policies, and that focus on a human audience, i.e., your potential customers and referrers! The biggest distinctions between white and black hat SEO are that:
- White hat SEO requires a lot of intensive work. There are no shortcuts.
- Black hat SEO tactics violate the rules of search engines, like Google, and can result in a site being blacklisted, or un-indexed from a search engine, from which it can be very difficult, time-consuming, and costly to recover.
- White hat SEO will never put your website at risk.
- White hat SEO works really, really well.
How to Earn Your White Hat
Being bad is easy. Anyone can pop on a black hat and start cramming in keywords and playing fast and loose with the rules. But in SEO land, earning your white hat takes time and effort. Building a strong, sustainable SEO strategy is a process, and results don’t appear overnight. The following are some of the top white hat ways to get better home care SEO results:
- Link Building
Link building is an extremely important aspect of SEO that sounds simple enough, but is actually quite tricky. Link building refers to the process of getting external website pages to link to a page on your website. There are several ways to approach link building:
- Blog commenting: Find high-quality blogs that are related to your business and comment on their posts with a link that leads back to a page on your site.
- Submissions: Write and submit press releases to news organizations, submit your website to online directories, etc.
- Guest blogging: Network within your industry and ask if you can write a guest blog for another site. For example, does a funeral home have a blog on their site? Ask if you can submit a blog about what to do when a family caregiver passes before the care recipient, a common and not often discussed issue.
- Offer Quality Content
It used to be that search engines were only concerned with the keywords on your website and not the content. Oh how the times have changed. Today, Google is much more interested in whether or not your website provides quality content that is geared toward the user, i.e., someone searching for home care or someone searching for information on how to help someone aging in the home. In other words, your site needs to have well-written, regularly updated content that people searching for your services will find helpful.
- Don’t Neglect Your Metadata
Nearly all metadata is invisible to your website visitors and customers, but it is very much visible to search engines. The metadata we use most for SEO, alt tags, title tags, meta descriptions, etc., is read by search engines whenever a page is crawled. This metadata is used to communicate important information to the search engine. The title tags and meta descriptions for each page on your site can actually be seen when the page shows up in a Google search. Check out this example from a Google search for “Atlanta Home Care”:
Let corecubed Deck Your Site in White
SEO is a complicated, ongoing process that can produce some amazing results for your website. The SEO experts at corecubed stay up to date on the latest and greatest white hat SEO practices, and we know how to use SEO to help push your site to the top. Spend time doing what you do best – caring for your clients – and let corecubed care for your SEO. Contact us today to learn more about our home care SEO services.