Just like social media, email marketing and pay-per-click advertising, blogging is a digital marketing tool that generates visibility and engages an audience to support business growth.

Hosting a blog on your own website is also a valuable SEO tool — when done right, it works to boost your website’s ranking in search results as it presents an opportunity to optimise content on your website for search engines.

So, when you’ve nailed your own blog, what other blogging strategies can you implement to ensure your search engine results ranking continues to climb and stay at the top?

Introducing… guest blogging

We’re all guilty of falling victim to routine or complacency, and as a consumer can become tired or bored of reading the same old thing. This is where guest posting can produce a range of benefits for your business.

Guest blogging or guest posting is essentially contributing a post to a third party blog — that is, a blog that isn’t your own.

This inbound marketing tactic presents a valuable opportunity to secure backlinks from another website to your own — one way that Google and other search engines determine your site’s authority.

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Is guest blogging good for SEO?

There’s no simpler way to put it — yes. Guest blogging is a winning content marketing strategy and that delivers a host of benefits.

Sharing your content through a blog post on another high-authority site can:

  • Reach an entirely new audience
  • Grow your brand awareness and credibility
  • Build a profile as an industry expert
  • Attract and drive referral traffic
  • Build authoritative backlinks
  • Develop a following (eg on social media)
  • Boost your domain authority.

And all of this will have can have a transformational effect on your ranking in search engine results — providing your guest blogging program is well researched, carefully planned and strategically executed.

Sounds easy, right? Guest blogging might be one of the most powerful SEO tactics and on the surface seems pretty straight forward. The truth is, guest blogging is an intricate process that takes a significant amount of work to successfully execute but can pay dividends if investment is made well — and should be just one part of your overall SEO strategy.

There’s lots to consider

Before you start writing, start planning and start researching. And if you don’t yet have an SEO strategy to inform your guest blogging, then make it a priority to engage an agency that knows this biz inside and out — you won’t regret it.

An SEO pro will take all the hard work out of the guest blogging process but here’s some of the basic things that they may work through with you before pen is put to paper.

Remember, these barely scratch the surface and don’t even shed light on all the background and technical work that goes into planning the details of a guest blogging program.

What are you hoping to achieve? When you define your goals, make sure they are SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. They may be related to business performance, such as increasing leads or clients, or they may be directly related to website performance and include metrics such as increasing referral traffic.

With a clear focus and goal, the rest of the process becomes easier to plan.

Examples of measurable goals include:

  • Increase referral traffic by X%
  • Generate X leads from guest posts
  • Secure X high quality backlinks to relevant content

Consider also putting a timeframe in place — for example ‘within 30 days of the guest blog being published’ as this will make it easier to measure.

Your guest blogging program should focus on topics that serve to achieve your goal. Here you need to flesh out a content map for your guest blogs by drilling down into the analytics of your website.

Which pages of your website do you want to target? What is the page’s current performance? What is the goal for the web page? What topics are relevant and would be interesting for readers? What style of blog is most suitable — a how to guide, top tips, thought leadership or case study?

So, you have a goal and you have your content ideas mapped out. But who is going to host your content? Finding relevant, credible and authoritative sites can be tricky and there’s a myriad of ways you can go about it.

When it comes to finding a site that accepts guest blogs, there’s a lot to consider — and even more at stake. If you publish guest blogs on website that are seen as poor authority, spammy or the like, then your guest blogs could do more damage to your business if you get penalised by search engines like Google.

You’ve pitched your ideas and won a guest post on a reputable site. Providing you’ve carefully considered and executed every step of the process, this should be the easiest task — after all, you are the expert on the topic. However, writing for SEO is a different kettle of fish.

You’ll need to write compelling, long-form content that is broken up into small, digestible paragraphs. Optimise your content for on-page SEO, add links to other guest posts, data and to your own relevant content, link internally to article from the site you are publishing on, and use graphics and images.

Despite all the hard work done in the previous steps this is where execution proves the key to success. If you’re not sure about what’s required when writing for SEO, we suggest engaging someone who is. It would be a shame to see all the hard work up to this point be thrown by the wayside!

Once the blog is published, make sure you track the results. Compare your results with how you were performing prior to the guest blog — look at the analytics research you carried out earlier in the process.

Get more success from guest blogs with an expert

A digital agency that specialises in SEO strategy will take this process several steps further to make sure your content is right and is purpose-written for SEO, the blog placement is right, all the technical details are covered, and your goals are achieved.

They’ll also make sure that any guest blogging program works hand in hand with the overall SEO strategy which will guarantee you better and more sustainable results.

The SEO landscape is complex, detailed and ever-changing — it takes a lot of work to stay on top of these trends let alone execute the strategies that will drive your SEO and guest blogging success.

By engaging an expert, you will avoid wasting your time and money and get back to doing what it is you do best — running your business.

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