Want to know how to finish your knitting project? Trying to find the perfect restaurant for your anniversary? Or maybe you are looking for a new lens for your camera and want to find out other people’s opinions?

Whatever information you desire, it no longer takes days of research. Instead, you pop on your favorite search engine , make a few queries and you’re on your way.

More information is created every two days today as we did from the dawn of civilization to 2003. Yep, that’s a lot of content.

Yet if you’ve ever done a search, you know there’s some good content out there … and a lot of bad. By creating a blog – which you can do for free on sites like Blogger and WordPress.com – you have the ability to create as much content as you want, and say whatever you want to say.

Some people create legitimate sites for their business, planning to be in business years down the road. They do everything in a quality way, hoping their content will wind up I the hands of people that truly want to do business with them.

Then there is the other crowd. These are the Internet marketers that don’t care as much about quality and longevity as they do instant results. They want to leverage what they create today to bring in as much money as they can … today. They don’t care about tomorrow; they just want the money today.

How are you building your site? How are you creating your content? Do you do things to your website/blog in order to gain traction today? Or do you care about your impact years down the road?

White Hat SEO

What is the ultimate goal of search engines like Google and Bing? Nope, its not helping business owners get their sites listed at the top of their favorite keywords and phrases. Instead, a search engines’ ultimate goal is to provide top quality results to people doing the searches.

When someone heads into their favorite search engine and types a phrase looking for information, they want that person to find the best results possible. They don’t want them searching through non-relevant information. They want them to see results that pertain directly to what they had in mind. So the more their algorithms can “think” like the average person, the better the results will be.

Ultimately this helps you as a business owner if you are doing things the right way. If someone types in “looking for a pet photographer in New York City”, and you have blog in which you create content every week about relevant things that pertain to your pet photography business in New York City, you will be rewarded with high rankings every time this search, or something similar, is made.

White hat SEO concentrates on using SEO strategies, techniques and tactics that focus on a human audience as opposed to the search engines. It completely follows search engine rules and policies, and assumes over time it will be rewarded for playing things the right way.

By focusing in on what your customers want, what they are asking for, and how they perform their searches, your SEO tactics will provide the type of content they will find useful.

Your goal with your site and your SEO campaign should be to gain relevant traffic to your site, not simply more traffic in general. Targeted traffic will always win over general traffic every time. Would you rather have 10 people that may do business with you, or 100 people that have no desire to use what you are offering?

Dig Deeper: 7 SEO Myths That May Be Impacting Your Site Results

Black Hat SEO

At some point in the past, I’m sure you’ve typed a phrase into Google or Bing and had the results be anything but what you desired. The “junk” that appeared was nothing more than a ploy to get you to buy something. You knew it, and you backed out of that result as fast as you could.

Black hat SEO concentrates on getting to the top of its pinpointed search terms as fast as possible, and does anything it can to remain at the top and in front of a searchers eyes. It artificially boosts its ranking to gain the fast traction, the fast sales, instead of focusing on building something of quality over time. Its aggressive in nature, and uses things like keyword stuffing, invisible text, doorway pages and spam.

The Internet is filled with content. And when an unsuspecting newbie decides to build a website for their new photography business, they begin searching for ways to grow their business. Because black hatters are good at what they do, many “free reports” and “ebooks” exist teaching this unethical method. Even though people that have been online for years know these methods simply don’t work anymore, unsuspecting newbies find them and try them, opening themselves up to being banned from the search engines altogether.

Dig Deeper: 3 Ways To Make Sure Your Blog Posts Are Perfect For Search Engine Placement

So what should you do, especially if you are just starting out?

Ask yourself two questions.

What am I trying to do with my SEO?

What is my ultimate goal for my business?

As a small business owner, if you take pride in your brand and understand that you are building up your business for the long road, focus in on what’s most important to you. Sure, I understand making money now is necessary and important to you. But don’t fall in the trap of trying things today that will completely unravel your business down the road. Think longevity. Think long term results. Think momentum over the next few years as your business becomes stronger and stronger.

The sites that publish great content time and time again are the ones that win overall. If you think from a human perspective – what do I want when I search and what do my customer want when they search – you’ll win every time.

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