There are many different techniques that you can use to boost your website’s traffic and increase conversions. SEO is one of the most popular tools that marketers use. However, there are many companies that advertise “guaranteed SEO.” In other words, they want customers to believe that their SEO tactics will produce results no matter what.
Unfortunately (for many different reasons), guaranteed SEO results are a myth. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use SEO successfully! In this article, we will debunk the myth of “guaranteed search engine optimization” and learn the difference between Black Hat and White Hat SEO tactics. Lastly, we will learn the top 7 tried and true SEO tactics that you can start using now.
What is SEO and Why is it Important?
First off, let’s discuss SEO and why it matters. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of optimizing a website for search engines. In other words, it is a digital marketing strategy that focuses on improving your website’s rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are two main types of SEO: on-page and off-page. On-page focuses on everything that you can do directly on your website. Off-page encompasses the strategies that occur outside of your website. Improving both sections can help you to increase your search engine rankings. If you rank higher on search engines, then more users can find you and interact with your content. There are a ton of different strategies and the best ones for you depend on your needs. That being said, there are no techniques that provide guaranteed search engine rankings. Effective SEO takes time, effort, and an effective strategy to work.
3 Reasons Guaranteed SEO is a Myth
#1: Guaranteed SEO Goes Against Google’s Guidelines
No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google. This information comes straight from Google’s guidelines. They even warn users to beware of companies that make this claim. Some companies even claim that they have a “special relationship” with Google and have priority status for submitting websites. However, Google has made it clear that this is never true. In fact, using shady SEO tactics can actually backfire. If you do something that Google thinks is deceptive, they will penalize your site. This can cause a drop in rankings and may even lead to being removed from search results completely!
#2: Requirements are Changing Constantly
Another main reason why guaranteed search engine optimization is a myth is that the requirements are always changing. For example, Google is making changes to its own guidelines constantly. What counts as “optimized for search engines” changes along with it. In today’s digital landscape, things become outdated fast. This makes it impossible to promise optimal results every time. The only way to “guarantee” good results is to try your best to keep up with the changing guidelines and practice quality SEO techniques.
#3: SEO is A Long-Term Process
Lastly, results can’t be guaranteed because SEO is a long-term process. Many marketers say that with SEO techniques, you have two options: low risk with long-term benefits or high risk with short-term benefits. Risky SEO practices may provide benefits in the short term, but they don’t provide results that last. The only SEO tactics that really provide results are the ones that are done slowly and organically. If a company claims otherwise, then they are most likely untrustworthy.
Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO
Many companies that claim to provide guaranteed search engine rankings are using Black Hat SEO techniques. Black Hat SEO refers to shortcuts used to increase search engine rankings quickly and often without following guidelines. People who use Black Hat SEO are looking for short-term gains. However, these ultimately come with risks. Some of the most common Black Hat SEO tactics include:
- Keyword stuffing
- Link-farming or trading
- Hidden text and/or links
- Blog comment spamming
White Hat SEO, on the other hand, refers to long-term practices that boost SEO while still maintaining the integrity of your site. Basically, this means employing tried and true techniques that improve your site without trying to “hack the system.” Instead of relying on tricks that provide “guaranteed SEO,” it is better to stick to the methods that really work. The techniques that are typically used in White Hat SEO include:
- Using relevant and accurate keywords
- Keyword analysis and research
- Writing optimized title tags and meta descriptions
- Backlinking to reliable and valuable external websites
- Link-building by writing useful content
7 Best White Hat SEO Practices
#1: Be Mobile-Friendly
In a world where people are spending more and more time on their phones, it’s extremely important to make your websites mobile-friendly. In fact, mobile usage increased by over 10% between 2020 and 2021! Not only will being mobile-friendly make your users happy, but it will also help you with your SEO. Google has said that pages that don’t easily transition to mobile versions will appear lower in search results. Likewise, mobile-friendly sites will see a boost in rankings. Focus on making all aspects of your site easy to navigate on mobile devices and you will see some fantastic results.
#2: Pay Attention to Local Searches
Local SEO is a very important part of a well-rounded SEO approach. Local SEO can help your website (and business) stand out from the crowd. In fact, when users search for a specific business, a “3-pack” of the best local results will appear. Getting into Google’s “3-pack” is a fantastic way to boost traffic and increase conversions. The best way to improve local SEO is to claim and optimize your business’s listing on Google My Business.
#3: Focus On User Experience
User experience is a huge part of quality SEO practices. Google has always made a point to encourage webmasters to focus on improving user experience first. As Google’s algorithm gets more sophisticated, it is able to better recognize websites with great UX design. This, in turn, will help websites to increase their search engine rankings. There are many different steps you can take to improve UX design. All of these practices involve making your website easier to use and more aesthetically pleasing. Having a well-made website is one of the only ways that you can truly guarantee SEO results!
#4: Do Your Keyword Research
You do not need “guaranteed SEO” tactics when there are plenty of tried and true methods you can employ. One such method is keyword research. One of the most basic ways to increase search engine rankings is to use relevant keywords throughout your website. The best way to find these keywords is to research the kinds of phrases surrounding the topic of your website. There are tons of sites that can help you do this. Try to include the best keywords in important sections, like title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs.
#5: Have a Great Content Marketing Plan
Content is one of the top 2 ranking factors for Google, so it is very important to get it right. Many creators talk about having great content, but what exactly does that mean? In the end, you will want to make sure that your content is creative, effective, and useful for your website’s visitors. Try to be consistent while also staying fresh and current. Creating a content calendar can also help you to have a backlog of great content to post on a regular basis.
#6: Use Schema
Schema is a collection of HTML tags that can be added to a web page. In other words, website schemas are “tags” or words that marketers can use to communicate with search engines like Google. Using schema tells search engines what the website’s data means. This is a rarely utilized part of SEO, but it is becoming increasingly helpful. Plus, you won’t need to learn any new coding skills. All you have to do is add bits of schema vocabulary to your HTML.
#7: Link Building
Lastly, one of the most important White Hat SEO techniques is to build up your internal and external links. Internal links are hyperlinks that direct users to another page on your website. External links are links that direct the user to a reputable link on another website. You will need to utilize both types of links to improve your SEO. Create great content and fill it with links to other reputable websites. In return, ask other quality websites to link back to your site. It may take a bit of work, but the results will be worth it in the end.
Why You Don’t Need Guaranteed SEO Results
By now you hopefully understand why guaranteed search engine optimization is a myth. Any company that makes such a claim is most likely using Black Hat SEO tactics and should be avoided. The only real way to truly improve your website’s SEO is to use tried and true White Hat SEO practices. To check out how your techniques have been working, you can have an agency perform an SEO audit of your website. The team at SEO Design Chicago can go through all aspects of your optimization efforts and provide you with expert recommendations on how to further improve your site!
- What is guaranteed SEO?
- Is guaranteed SEO a myth?
- What is White Hat SEO?
- What is Black Hat SEO?
- How can I use White Hat SEO for my website?