If you know anything about guest posting, you probably know it’s one of the most popular link building techniques. As links are one of Google’s top 3 ranking factors, it should be a key part of your content marketing strategy. However, if you purely use guest posting to build as many links as possible, you’re not getting all the benefits.
Guest posting can be a holistic marketing tactic, and just some of the possible advantages are:
Establishing your brand as an industry authority
Expanding your audience
Making your brand an active voice in the industry
Networking with other industry players
By following these tips, you can boost your brand’s reputation and SEO rankings via guest posting as well.
Get experts to guest post on your blog
Few realize that the benefits of guest posting can go both ways. Accepting guest posts on your blog can do as much for your brand and SEO as writing guest posts yourself. Look for example at this SEO company getting guest posts on websites like Forbes, HuffPost, Inc. and many more.
Can you think of any notable people in your industry with a huge reputation and social following? Now, imagine what it could mean for your blog to publish a piece by them.
First of all, of course, they will promote their own content to their own readers. Every one of their followers that reads the content on your blog will also get exposure to your brand. This can have a massive sharing snowball effect over the internet.
Secondly, publishing content from a high-profile figure is sure to boost your own image. It shows that you have the stature to attract someone of import and that they are willing to be associated with you.
Find the right site to publish your guest post
When it comes to link building, quality always trumps quantity. Instead of trying to spread as many links to your site as possible on as many websites as possible, try and be a bit more discerning.
The number of links to your site is only one half of the equation when it comes to link juice and your SEO ranking. The other half comes down to the quality of that link. The more authority a domain has, the more link juice links from that site will pass to your SEO ranking.
You can use tools Ahrefs or Moz like to find high-authority domains.
Other important factors to consider when choosing a publishing platform is:
How relevant is it to your niche? The more relevant a site is the more link juice you’ll get. Readers are also more likely to follow backlinks and find them useful.
How much traffic do they get? The more traffic a site gets, the more people will read your guest post and click links to your site. Easy as that.
Do you have to pay for links? Google generally doesn’t approve of paid links. The same goes for readers and paying for links may taint your image.
The same tools above, as well as many others, can be used to establish the relevance and traffic of a site. You should also read up on how to correctly label backlinks with the “sponsored”, “ugc”, or “nofollow” attributes to avoid Google penalties.
Pay attention to link density and trust flow
Spamming keywords and backlinks are one of the easiest things for the Google ranking algorithm to pick up. Avoid doing this at all costs, otherwise, your guest post might just do the opposite of boosting your SEO ranking.
Generally, it’s recommended that you have one or two backlinks to your site in your entire article. Some don’t even backlink to their own website in their article at all and just rely on their author bio and website name. It’s also recommended that you only use backlinks somewhere near the middle or end of your post. Try to only link to valuable content on your own site and not just to landing, sales, or product pages.
Linking to external sites are also fine. Of course, you should try to avoid linking to direct competitors. However, linking too much can also make the Google ranking algorithm suspicious. As a rule, only use a link where it’s necessary to back up an opinion or provide more information. Once again, linking to trustworthy, high-domain sources will increase your ranking and make you seem more professional.
Make sure your quality is #1
Ask any seasoned SEO expert and they will all agree on one thing: quality is king. You can follow any other tip on this list, but if your content isn’t good, it won’t do much for your brand reputation or SEO rankings.
Because you are promoting your brand on a new platform and to a new audience, some even argue your guest posts should be of higher quality than your own blog content. It’s like a job interview or meeting your in-laws for the first time - first impressions are everything.
Use it as a way to build industry connections
To make progress establishing yourself as an industry authority, don’t just write a guest post and leave it at that. Try and use this as an opportunity to build industry connections that could lead to valuable opportunities.
For example, if you can consistently create great content for a platform, that could lead to an understanding where your content is always promoted. They might even be able to put you in contact with industry influencers or experts who can help create and promote content for you.
Who knows what other opportunities can pop up?
Knowing how to pitch your guest post effectively by researching each publication and personalizing your outreach is key to striking up a relationship.
Have a guest writing goal and calculate the ROI
When you first start out, it can be hard to get the results you expect from guest posting. It’s important that you set a goal or target for your guest posts. That way, you can measure the results and see how successful you were.
Do you want to build links? Do you want to generate more traffic? How about brand or reputation building? Or, trying to land more guest posting, interview, or public speaking opportunities?
According to a study by involving 20 guest writing authors, increasing traffic was the most popular goal.
However, when it came to the results, most found that reputation or brand building was actually the most common benefit they got from guest posting.
In total, 65% of respondents achieved the goal they intended. Of the rest, 24% didn’t reach their intended goal while it was complicated or inconsistent for the rest.
The fact is that, without a pre-established goal, you won’t have any idea whether you achieved something or not. By analyzing your results, you can see how to change your approach to reach our intended goal (or improve your overall results).
If we look at the graph comparing expectations vs reality, we can see the correlation is pretty close.
This suggests that if you have a goal in mind that you are more likely to reach it. However, what is significant is the qualitative benefits of guest posting. Only 39% of writers expected it to help their personal or brand image, but actually 83% benefited from it.
So, even if you don’t see any quantitative results from guest posting, that doesn’t mean you aren’t getting any benefits. Guest posting can be an amazing tool to build your brand reputation as long as you guest post on reputable platforms, write great content, and put your best foot forward.
Guest posting is so much more than link building!
Sure, link building is one of the prime reasons to launch a guest posting campaign. However, there are many other reasons that can be just as, or even more, beneficial to your brand and SEO rankings. Looking at a guest posting as a brand-building tool will enable you to strike brand-awareness and SEO gold.
Joanna is an experienced blogger and a passionate digital nomad. She currently collaborates with a guest posting service Luckyposting. Joanna has an extensive background in digital marketing. She now focuses on sharing her experience about how various companies can leverage digital tools to grow exponentially. Usually, she spends her leisure time reading books or visiting professional marketing events to keep abreast of the latest updates. Joanna's latest news can also be found on Twitter.