Link Building is a funny thing. It’s never been seen as a proper SEO strategy in the white hat world and it almost always ends up becoming a spam tactic. Every effective way to build links and improve ranks has ended up being abused. From reciprocal linking, directory submissions, article submissions, press releases, blog comments and some others in between. For a while now, guest blogging has been the hottest link building trend and just like the rest it’s been suggested by every authority out there, even Google, well kinda. Here’s a neat statement from Matt Cutts which he made back in 2014
“There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there.”
Matt Cutts Blog – Matt Cutts, Google Search Quality Team
As with any recommended link building practice, guest blogging has acquired a reputation as a spammy link building technique. There is however a proper way to do it, and add real value to the guest site. If done correctly, guest blogging can be the best the link building technique.
You can get links from relevant high authority sites
Guest blog posts have been done on a wide variety of sites. The types sites you reach out to will determine the degree of authority and the relevance of your post. Don’t be afraid to aim high! You never know who wants content from your business’ industry.
Here’s a tip: If you want to know if a site has high authority, look at their social profiles. If they have a large number of followers and an active, engaging audience you’ve most likely found yourself a high-authority website.
Brand exposure for your business or your clients
Guest blogging usually takes an indirect approach to market a business or service. There’s always a gap to add a self-promotion paragraph or short sentence directing buyers to your landing page. Be careful how you do this though, webmasters tend to have a negative view to an over direct approach.
Traffic that converts
When you’re writing an article for a relevant site that has an audience from the same geo location of your business you can expect some solid traffic. These users were most likely doing research on the product and came across your guest blog. Hence you can expect high conversion rates from users who click through from your guest post.
There is another side to this. If you write crappy short, sweet articles you won’t get the effectiveness of a long, well researched, well-written article. As always content is king. Always think of the user and write the post for them. Don’t focus on the traffic, backlink or exposure. Doing this will guarantee quality traffic.
The strategy can be scalable if the right steps are put into place
There are trillions of websites out there. With guest posting you can target as many sites that are relevant. Set some targets for yourself and you’ll find it becoming natural. Start off with something such as contacting ten webmasters a day. Write a post a day, get a post published a day. Start small and scale it up to what works for your team and resources.
Sometimes guest posting may not produce the results your looking for. There could be several reasons for this. Seasons effect the response rate you’ll get, during holidays you simply won’t get a reply and depending on the industry you might get a 1 in 50 success rate.
Best of all it’s free (If it’s not, it’s a sponsored post)
Well, not completely free but it satisfies the requirement of a non-paid link. You’ll have to spend time finding the sites you’d like to outreach to then draft a unique email for each. Wait for a response, follow up and build a relationship with the webmaster. Once an agreement has been reached you’d need to write the content and send it off. Once approved and published you’ll have your link.
Guest posting does take time and hard work. In Matt Cutts words “Link Building is sweat plus creativity”