SEO is an ongoing focus for businesses looking to improve their visibility and popularity online, with it now forming a critical portion of a business’ digital marketing strategy. SEO is now considered a professional discipline and with algorithms growing smarter by the day, must form an integral part for any business looking to be competitive and succeed.
Guest posting for SEO is just one element of a successful SEO strategy. Our SEO experts at Woya work with guest posting on a daily basis, and here we help explain the basics and demonstrate why it’s just so important.
An Overview of SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and is the practice of optimising web content online in order to improve the understanding of it that search engine algorithms hold. In turn, this allows the content to be displayed where relevant search terms are made, putting the brand in front of the target audience as appropriate and as often as possible.
SERPs, Search Engine Results Pages, rank their listings as they deem relevance and so it is critical for organic reach and visibility that the programs behind the search engines are able to understand what a website is about, who it’s for and what can be gained from visiting it.
SEO is made up of many elements, both on-site and off-site.
On-site factors include:
- Accurate technical coding
- Good accessibility and responsive design
- Excellent usability and easy navigation
- The creation and publication of relevant, useful content
Off-site factors include:
- Mentions of the brand, its product/s and/or service/s on other online entities
- Links to the website from other relevant (and preferably high-authority) sources
- Advertising placements linking to the site
- The overall public perception of the brand elsewhere online.
Combined, all of these elements provide search engine algorithms with a picture of the business and allow it to better target where it appears in search results by users. Generally speaking, when SEO is referred to, its practices are specifically applicable to Google due to its high market share – but most SEO efforts will also improve rankings on other search engine sites, too.
Organic search results are those that appear free of charge as a result of good SEO but these may rank below paid-for advertising placements. Paid advertising will yield better results when working in conjunction with successful and comprehensive SEO, and so cannot be relied upon alone.
What is Guest Posting?
Guest posting, or guest blogging, is the act of writing and publishing blogs on a website or other online presence that isn’t directly owned or operated by the brand in question. Generally, these posts are published on websites or blogs that are in a similar industry or niche to the business and there is a link back to the initial website. Guest posting for SEO is an inbound marketing tool used by digital marketing specialists.
Guest posting can sometimes work on a mutual basis, so when a business or individual begins to create content for other sites, they offer guest spots for others to contribute on their own blog.
The standard practice toward guest posting for SEO is that the business interested in expanding its content reach will approach relevant third-parties to enquire. These websites should be within the business’ niche, hold aligned values to the brand and be relevant to the target audience’s interests. In some cases, guest posts may be featured on a more generic basis in order to gain a strategic mention and backlink from a high-authority digital presence, but the content must remain relevant and true to the brand.
The Benefits of Guest Posting for SEO
Guest posting holds many benefits for both parties, including numerous for SEO. These include, but are by no means limited to:
The attraction of traffic back to the brand website
Increasing traffic back to the website from a link (or onward search following from consumers’ attention toward a brand mention) increases the SEO ranking of the site as well as improving the chances of a desired conversion being followed.
Increased Domain Authority (DA) from external links to and brand mentions
Domain Authority (DA) is a scoring system for search engine rankings developed by software company Moz. This score predicts how well a website is likely to rank in SERPs (primarily Google) by ranking it on its prestige and content authorship, quality of information presented, information centrality and impartiality and competitive situation. While not a prescriptive force, a high DA is representative of good SEO and it will increase in line with build-up of positive mentions and links from third-party sources.
Boosted brand credibility and awareness
Businesses appearing on domains other than their own helps increase their exposure amongst new audiences in order for more people to hear about them and gain an awareness of their position, product/s and/or service/s, but such features also increase their credibility. Public perception is that high-authority websites will only accept guest posts or features from authentic and trustworthy sources and so this image will be projected onto those featuring.
Extra exposure of the business amongst its target audience
Provided the site featuring guest posting is appropriate to the business’ niche, it offers up a fresh opportunity for the brand to enjoy extra exposure amongst a relevant audience – ideally, those fitting the target brand persona as those most likely to make a purchase. This targeting can be hugely beneficial and allows for tailored marketing communications upon the click-through.
Relationship building within the industry
Guest posting helps businesses get in front of target audiences and consumers but also others in their industry, and building and maintaining strategic relationships can be mutually beneficial and open up vast opportunities for the future.
Positioning of the business as an industry expert and authority
Consumers are more likely to do business with and make purchases from brands they believe know what they’re talking about and are experts in their field. Guest posting allows businesses to position themselves as industry experts and thought leaders in their field, gaining competitive advantage above others and centring their vision and presence in line with the business’ desired perception.
What is a good Guest Posting Strategy?
Guest posting for SEO should by no means be a ‘one-and-done’ activity but instead should be something done regularly across a variety of websites. Once resource and budget has been allocated to guest posting, appropriate places for features should be identified. In doing this, businesses should consider:
- Is the site’s content and positioning relevant to the brand?
- What is the site’s Domain Authority – and is it high enough to amplify the business’ SEO ranking?
- What’s the expected traffic level for guest posts?
- Does the site have an active and engaged following likely to interact with and/or share guest posts?
- Does the site share its guest posts and featured content through social media channels?
- Do the business’ target audience or brand personas visit the site and consume content on it?
Provided all elements align with the business, a full guest posting strategy can be created and should include tangible and realistic goals the business will strive to reach, the creation and publication of current and appropriate shareable and educational content, and a great pitch.
There are some websites that will, for a fee, publish just about any guest post no matter its relevance but it is always recommended to avoid these sites as their haphazard approach toward publication and backlinks will not rank them as an expert domain in any field, and may even harm the business’ overall ranking.
Incorporating a Guest Posting Strategy into your SEO Plan
A comprehensive guest posting strategy is an important part of the SEO puzzle, but it can be difficult to know when and where to start.
Woya Digital include the creation of guest posting strategies as part of our SEO services and with years of expertise in the field, hold great relationships with a variety of high-authority domains who offer the hosting of guest posts from relevant brands. If you’re unsure of whether a site’s guest post rate is fair or their reach is sufficient to boost SEO, ask our team – we’ll be happy to advise and offer some recommendations on how to proceed.