SEO Basics: The Workings Behind Guest Blogging
Search engine optimisation is often split into two parts – on page and off page. While the on page optimisation comes down to the site itself, the off page part is vastly effected by how many good, trustworthy links are pointed to a webpage.
So how do we go about getting those links? A really great way that’s hugely popular with SEOs is guest blogging.
The idea of guest blogging is simple: you send a well written article to a blog site and they post it, providing a link or two back to a site of your choosing in return.
In reality, it’s a little bit harder than it reads on paper.
What’s Behind Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is a process.
It begins with an idea for an article that fits into the same category as the site it’d eventually link back too. For example; building links to a site that sells windows and doors? An article about home improvement is a good way to go.
Once the article has been written, it can be pitched to blogs. The blogs to aim for should focus on the same niche as the article. To continue with our example, the home improvement article would be a great fit for a home improvement site, so find a home improvement blog and offer them the article.
If the blogger accepts the article, they’ll post it on their blog.
Or sometimes, you might find a brilliant site that you’d like to write for. In which case, you might approach the blogger with an idea for a guest post and if they like it, you’ll write the article and they’ll post it on their blog.
But Why Do We Do Guest Blogging?
There’s a whole bunch of reasons we guest blog. It’s not just about getting a link for SEO purposes – guest blogging helps your site in a number of ways.
For starters, there’s your reputation. If you write a really great article that gets published on a good site, people will take note. If they see you doing this again and again, they’ll start to see that you know a thing or two about that subject.
Your reputation will improve when you interact with people in the comments of the article too. You might start to build relationships with the owner of the blog as well as the commenters.
Forming relationships with important and popular people in your niche could be the route to getting your articles on even better sites – reinforcing the idea that you are an authoritative and knowledgeable figure about your subject.
If you link to social media profiles, you’ll undoubtedly start to build up you and your company’s social media following too. And that’s something that’s becoming more and more important these days and is a really great way of getting more attention towards your company.
The link to your site isn’t just for the search engines to follow – people will click this to see more about you and your company. With more traffic, should come more sales and enquiries, helping your bottom line.
And of course, as discussed before, guest blogging is also used to gain links back to a site for SEO reasons. The search engines look at the amount of links a site has going towards it, and assign a level of importance for the site with regards to this.
For Google, this is called Pagerank – a ranking determined by how many links, as well as the quality of those links that are pointing to a particular site. It’s one of a number of factors that Google use to control where a page will rank in the search engine results page.
So, to go back to our previous example again; the article that has been written, based on a topic that fits under the same niche as the site we want to improving ranking for, should contain a link or two back to that site. This’ll help increase our sites Pagerank and ranking position.
Finding a good blog to post these articles on is important too. A blog with good Pagerank of its own will help boost yours further when they link back to our site hopeful, unlike a blog that isn’t doing quite as great.
Finding A Place To Pitch
I did a blog post a few weeks ago about search query operators for narrowing down what you’re searching for. A great use of these is while searching for a place to post your guest blogs.
Instead of blindly searching the web for a blog to post your home improvement article on, a search query operator will not only help to cut out blogs not relating to home improvement but will also help towards only showing sites that allow guest posts. A query to get these results might look like this:
“home improvement” blog “write for us”
This query aims to find a “write for us” page on a home improvement blog. Not every site that accepts guest blogs might have a “write for us” page set up, so it can also be worth searching with a query like this too:
“home improvement” blog “guest post”
The trick with these queries is to great creative. A combination of different queries will produce different results, and any could show up a blog you could pitch your article too.
Anything More To Remember With Guest Blogging?
While guest blogging looks like an easy way to get links, it does require a lot of work if you want to get all of the extra marketing benefits (traffic, reputation, sales) and not just a link.
And even “just getting a link” isn’t easy – the links have to be placed in articles of good quality. Not only will you have problems getting a decent blog to accept a low quality article, Google will not care much for a link attached to something badly written – it might look like spam. So don’t just bash anything together, put some real effort into your article!
If you have any more tips on guest blogging, please drop them in the comments below.