Guest posting for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and content marketing purposes has had a pretty bad rep. What was once used as the best way to gain links has been tainted by black hat SEO companies using dodgy link building practices with low authority sites, keyword stuffing and irrelevant links.
But despite its bad name, guest posting is still a core part of an effective SEO and content marketing plan. And it’s not just about building links either – it’s about providing high-authority sites with content that is relevant to their industry and useful for the target market to read. Guest posting, when done properly, can be seen as badge of honour for both parties. But like with any marketing tactic, there’s a good side to it and a bad. Here’s how to reap the rewards of guest blogging the right way.
1. A Great Way to Build Links
If you’re using guest blogging purely as a way to gain links then you should probably stop. Because the tactic used to be a highly respected marketing tool, most websites and businesses employed guest posting. It worked as a way to not just ‘build links’, but to also have another industry writer produce high quality content for your site and introduce readers to new, relevant ideas and topics.
But it wasn’t long before this tactic was compromised as a way to cheaply build links. Links were being placed on low quality sites, were too keyword rich or simply not at all relevant or useful for the site and reader. But quality guest posting is still out there with strong SEO value for building links – it just needs to be compatible with the following:
- Relevance: If the site you’re guest posting on has little to no relevance to the target market and industry, don’t bother! You want the article to have direct relevance to the site it’s going on, the pages it’s linking out too and the people reading it. Providing 1-2 internals links within the article should be about offering readers addition, relevant information to what they are already reading – not to spam with keyword rich anchor texts. Links should be natural and not misleading to the reader.
- Target the Highest Authority Sites: It goes without saying that you want the guest post to be on the most respected sites possible. These sites should have a lot of engagement with readers too and build trust with its audience.
- Never Compromise on Quality: Whilst links can hold great SEO value, your primary goal should always be to offer a high quality article to benefit readers. Write for humans first - then robots.
2. Traffic and Conversion Boost
Quality guest posting that’s written for the benefit of its target market is extremely useful for building traffic and conversions. People need to see this value and how despite its bad reputation, it can still work in the world of online marketing today.
One of the core elements of effective SEO is to get traffic back to your website. Guest posting on relevant, high authority sites helps to not just boost this traffic, but also a valuable audience too. It’s these visitors that you can convert to sales and longer term relationships through the use of smart content marketing strategies. A well-written guest post on an established site is the essential first step in this process.
A low authority site, with low DA (Domain Authority) but still reputable, can bring you more traffic and conversions than a larger website. This is because smaller sites usually have a very specific target audience who can better align with your customers. Whilst you do want to build relationships with high authority sites too, low DA sites can be highly beneficial too, especially if they are local.
3. Brand Awareness
Regardless of whether you are the one writing the guest post or accepting the piece for your website, the brand awareness for both sides is priceless. By driving connections and developing a solid network of publishers both large and small, it helps for your brand and message to get out there. This recognition on every level is extremely valuable and one of the primary reasons bloggers and reputable SEO companies should work together.
Perhaps you have a great blog that accepts a guest post opportunity from a respected brand, industry leader or writer. If this content is relevant it has the potential to widen your target market and tap into a whole new network of visitors. From a business perspective, you can never have too much brand awareness. And you don’t need to stuff your guest posts with links back to your own website to get these benefits either – one or two highly relevant links will do just fine.
4. Establishing Yourself as an Industry Leader
As you write more guest posts in your specific niche, you’ll begin to establish yourself as an industry leader. You become the voice for your brand and business and providing you are not being to salesy and tailoring the content to your specific market, this has the potential to be huge. It’ll also boost valuable networking opportunities with other industry leaders, your audience and potential customers. Again – this is something that works for both parties.
Guest posting is not dead. In fact, it’ll always hold a solid spot in any viable content marketing plan when done effectively. By writing and accepting guest posts for branding and exposure – not purely to build links – will reward both your SEO efforts and industry relationship building. It’s a tactic that’s perfect for natural SEO, enhancing your authority and getting your blog, business, brand or website out there to the right market.