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Thinking Hats & SEO

Six types of SEO According to Hats Thinking.

1. White Hat

A well-known term for most SEO pros, White Hat thinking in this context depends purely on facts, statistics, and data points. This is the most objective way of approaching a situation. So who Should Wear This Hat? Data analysts and analytics specialists are typically naturals at adopting this approach. So why Is It Needed for SEO? Looking purely at the data is a perfect starting point for discussion. It keeps everyone focused on the objective truths of cross-channel performance. Data without context is meaningless, of course, so this approach in isolation lacks the color needed to understand consumers.

Thinking Hats & SEO
People using search box for query, engine giving result. Vector illustration for SEO work, SERP, online promotion, content marketing concept

2. Yellow Hat

The Yellow Hat approach brings optimism to the table, focusing on the potential benefits a strategy may bring for brands and consumers. Who Should Wear This Hat? Anyone can be an optimist, so this could be a mindset that all parties take on for some time. Equally, this could be handed to one person as a responsibility; the key is to maintain some structure. Why Is It Needed for SEO? We tend to have many ideas, so it is easy to scrap some of them before their full potential has been explored. Taking an alternative view allows for full exploration of an idea, even if only to retain some of its components.

3. Black Hat

The Black Hat is anathema to advanced SEO pros, but the concept does have value in this particular context. We can use this interchangeably with the “devil’s advocate” approach, where someone purposefully points out obstacles and dangers for the project. Who Should Wear This Hat? No one really, but be aware of the dangers of people offering SEO solutions and little transparency into the how. Keep an eye out for negative SEO attacks.

4. Red Hat

The Red Hat approach relates to feelings and emotions, often based on the gut reaction to an idea. This can be very beneficial for a digital project, as we can sometimes be overly rational in our data-driven approach. Who Should Wear This Hat? It can be helpful to assign this role to someone who works closely with the target audience or analyzes and interprets a lot of audience data. Why Is It Needed for SEO? When fighting for vital – and dwindling – consumer attention, first impressions matter. Content marketing campaigns can depend on getting this right, so it’s worth listening to gut instinct sometimes.

5. Green Hat

The Green Hat brings creativity and spontaneity to the process, tackling challenges from a new perspective when possible. Where others see obstacles, this approach will see new opportunities. Who Should Wear This Hat? Anyone can be creative. However, it may be best to assign this role to someone who feels comfortable sharing their ideas with a group and not easily disheartened if they don’t take off! Why Is It Needed for SEO? There are best practices, but those only take us so far. They are a leveling force; new ideas are what make the difference. In an industry as nascent as ours, there are plenty of trails yet to be explored. The Green Hat brings that element of innovation to a discussion.

6. Blue Hat

The Blue Hat organized the thinking process and took ultimate responsibility for bringing together the different strands into a cohesive whole. Who Should Wear This Hat? The project lead or the person closest to the brand’s objectives can help keep things focused. Project managers also have a natural affinity for this role. Why Is It Needed for SEO? SEO is an increasingly diverse set of disciplines, which makes this role indispensable. To maximize the organic search opportunity, various departments need to be working in tandem on an ongoing basis. The Blue Hat keeps this collaboration going.

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