Guest blogging for the purpose of natural link building remains an important SEO strategy. Guest blogging, if implemented correctly, can significantly boost your rankings, online visibility, brand awareness and authority and drive increased traffic and conversion. Successful natural link building through guest blogs takes time but those efforts pay off.
Guest blogging refers to posting content on other websites in collaboration with authors and service providers in your field. Companies invite guest authors to post on their blogs, for both the benefit of the guest blogger and your web products. Guest bloggers provide backlinks to their own products as well as useful links relevant to the topic, generating organic backlinks to boost your Google rankings and brand awareness.
Guest blogging, however referenced, has been used by SEO specialists for decades. Though Google is always shifting its algorithm to combat black hat SEO strategies, guest blogging remains a tactic largely immune to changes in the SEO landscape. This is because guest blogging, when done correctly, drives collaboration and quality content.
Below are five reasons to use guest blogging for natural link building and five tips for incorporating it into your marketing content strategy.
Benefits of Guest Blogging
- Natural link building to your online products: Google continues to incorporate backlinks as a measure of quality. In short, the more websites linking back to your products speaks to your value as a resource in the Google algorithm.
- Increases traffic to your websites: This manifests as your ranking increases in the Google search engine result pages (SERPs). Increased traffic also results from readers clicking on the links in guest blogs at the recommendation of the author.
- Increases brand awareness: In short, it builds on your reputation as a service or product provider as experts publish referrals and testimonials to the benefit of your brand. Guest blogging speaks to your online authority.
- Requires networking with collaborators in your niche: The process creates partnerships and allies in the industry. It is an opportunity to learn from new ideas, exchange wisdom and to grow as businesses.
- Generates leads: Ninety percent of consumers cite online reviews as influencing their buying decisions. Testimonials and recommendations from guest bloggers result in conversions.
How to Pursue Guest Blogging to Generate Natural Links
- Create a long-term content marketing strategy and incorporate guest blogging: What are some services you provide that you want your guest bloggers to reference? What features about your products would you like to highlight? What are your keyword targets? Your guest blogging strategy should coincide with your long-term content strategy. Your long-term content strategy should result from careful work identifying targeted long-tail keywords, keyword difficulty and competitive analysis.
- Build a list of possible collaborators: Familiarize yourself with experts writing in your field. Find influencers in your niche. What online sources are inviting guest blogging? If they’re already incorporating guest blogging as a strategy, your pitch will be well received. Google, forums and social media are great resources for discovering future partners and collaborators. Find well-regarded influencers through Google, Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. Analyze their success with organic link building. Do they have a large following? Do you value them as a reader in your field? Is your marriage made in heaven? If they’re receiving a lot of organic traffic with their own content, you’ll start receiving a piece of that.
- Carefully consider your pitch and outreach: This is where offline networking strategies are valuable online. Don’t just write a carefully crafted pitch and anticipate a long-term partnership will result. Take time to get to know influencers. What are they interested in writing about? How can you help each other? Why did you choose them and why should they choose you? Great business networking takes time. Step away from the worst of social media and online dating as a model for online networking. We value those who value us in meaningful ways. If your influencer trusts you and your product, the content will be magnificent. Be wary, however, of allying with guest bloggers/publishers who don’t allow your own bio and product pitch.
- Speaking of content, now is the point to produce some: One of the great benefits of guest blogging is generating quality content. Don’t choose a guest blogger writing borderline-valuable material. Provide guidance in the content you desire and be receptive to their suggestions. One of the amazing benefits of collaboration are new ideas. Also, provide examples of your voice. Using guest bloggers also helps businesses save money with their content writing budgets.
- Analyze the results and adapt: Give your content strategy time. Great material and partnerships don’t always generate results overnight. Give yourself a six-month to one-year timeframe for measurement. Also, adapt your guest blogging strategy to changing trends in the field. As trends change, so should your content strategy. Current trends, news and shifts in the field should result in course correction. Guest blogging is a fantastic way to implement these corrections.
One final tip: Be cognizant of “nofollow” linking. Ensure that your partner in these collaborations is aware of your long-term goals. Guest blogging achieves its greatest potential in natural link building if those links can be followed by Google bots.
There has been a lot of speculation about the decline of guest blogging as a strategy. Yet, it continues to flourish and survive changes in SEO. The reason for this is simple: Guest blogging, when done well, benefits search engines, consumers and businesses.
To use guest blogging successfully, you need to start with a content strategy. You need great partnerships and quality content. You need to invest in these partnerships. The best guest bloggers will care about their reputation. They’ll also be eager to learn and build meaningful partnerships. Consider your networking with guest authors as an opportunity to examine your services and offerings. It’s a timeless business strategy in a new set of clothes.