Guest posting is a powerful SEO tactic you can use to build relevant links, gain referral traffic, and help build your brand’s authority across the web. But how do you find a guest post? What makes a good guest post? And what tricks do you need to know to be successful when you do it?
Guest Posting for SEO – A Checklist
Guest Posting for SEO is a time-honoured tactic of acquiring links, used by more people than care to admit it. But this SEO strategy is fraught with danger (and potential Google penalties) so always remember the following rules if you’re seeking to go down the Guest Post route…
Your goals will define your guest posting plan, so setting this up is the first step you have to take. Are you trying to generate leads, just get traffic, or are you just trying to build backlinks to boost your website’s Domain Authority? Once you have an objective in mind, you need to find websites (ideally with large audiences of real people) that align with your goals and that are niche specific. While of course having a high Domain Authority. Then you can start the out-reach process.
Go to Google and search for queries like “keyword + guest posting sites,” “keyword + submit a guest post,” or “guest posting opportunities” to find websites that are open to guest post applications. This will list blogs who allow you to do guest posts (for a price!). One quick ‘cheat’ when researching a website is to look at the amount of outbound links from the articles they post, that promote or sell a product or service via linking back to the website selling it. Because if you’re paying for a guest post you always want that all important link. If they have too many out links, or the links look ‘spammy’, avoid the site like the plague, because if you see it’s obviously a site set up for ‘selling links’, then so can Google!
3: Check the anchor text
Anchor text is the words that are actually hyperlinked in the article. For example, if a website has a branded link, they might have something like ‘CENTRAL COAST SEO & WEB DESIGN (being the company name) in the article, hyperlinking that. But they might also have something like ‘SEO SYDNEY’ and hyperlink that to the specific page they’re trying to rank for the term, ‘SEO Sydney’ (for example). This is known as an ‘exact-match anchor text’. And while the latter was the go-to anchor text of choice, pre-Penguin. It is now frowned upon. And all the SEO-savy sites that do guest posts know this. So, if you see a site that does a lot of exact-match anchor text in their articles, avoid it. Because it’s very likely that it’ll be penalised by Google as it is obviously a site ‘selling links via guest posts’. And if the site is penalised, then your link will either be worthless (best case scenario) or else pass on some form of Google algorithmic penalty via the link to your site.
The more traffic a website actually generates, the more powerful your Guest Post link will likely be. One way of working out how much traffic a site gets is to look at how many ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ each blog post generates. Because that is indicative of traffic volume. Google also takes blog comments into account to help determine whether or not a site is ‘real’. There is no specific number you want to see. However, the higher it is, the better. If the blogs only have one or two comments each (and I’m talking about real comments remember, not ‘bot’ comments which stand out like the proverbial dog’s…well…you know), then chances are there’s not much traffic coming to the site. Doesn’t mean you won’t get some benefit from the link mind you (so long as the site isn’t penalized). Because you probably will. Just not as much as if it’s a high DA site with real traffic behind it.
When you find the site or sites, you’d like to guest post to, start writing out your pitch. This is what the site admins will use to determine whether or not you’re a good fit. Make the pitch compact, talk about something specific related to the website, and give them a few topics to choose from. And don’t forget to ask them to send you a ‘rate card’. Because unless you’re an expert in a particular field, and thus a blog post from you on their site would help them as much as it helps you, then you’re going to have to pay for it. And remember, buying links is expressly against Google’s guidelines, so…treat wearily…
When the mods accept your pitch and okay a topic, it’s time to craft your post. Do research on Google using keywords related to your content and look at the top results and see what comes up/what’s relevant. Create an eye-catching title that’s unique, draft your sub-headings, and fill in the blanks.
However, if you’re paying for the opportunity (err…link), then don’t worry if your blog post isn’t Shakespeare. Because it doesn’t have to be. Because all the owners of the website care about is that they get paid, and that your article isn’t too spammy looking (and thus alerts Google to what you’re doing). And honestly, if you’ve written an amazing article on a topic that you specialise in, my advice is to post it on your own website, so Google’s Panda algorithm will give you the love for it, not somebody else’s site. Where guest posting is concerned (at least guest posting you’re paying for, rather than guest posting you’re invited to do because you’re an industry expert, etc), near enough is good enough. So long as the content reads okay, you’re fine. But keep the amazing content you write for your own site.
Let Central Coast SEO & Web Design Do the Hard Work For You
Guest posting is an art, and easy to get wrong. And by ‘get wrong’ I mean you can get your website punished in Google, and burn through your marketing budget at an alarming rate (with nothing to show for the spend). Ultimately, link building is an activity best left to the professionals, lest you fall into Black Hat SEO territory rather than White Hat SEO territory. With twenty years’ SEO experience, we know how to utilise ‘off-page SEO tactics’ to boost your SEO results. So why not give us a call on (02) 4339 4034 and we’ll talk you through how you can rank on the first page of Google from just $495 p/m + GST, with unlimited keywords and no lock-in contracts.