How to guest post like a pro
In the world of SEO, the two biggest factors for increasing your search engine rankings is good content and backlinks. One link building strategy that has stood the test of time is the classic guest posting method. Why? Because it works.
However, these days guest posting will only work if you do it correctly. Gone are the times where you could just insert your link into any piece of content and start ranking.
In this blog, I will be highlighting some specific strategies to get the most out of your guest post backlinks, and how to guest post like a pro!
Write unique content that adds value
The first one is pretty obvious, but still many people overlook it. You need to ensure your guest post content is unique and actually provides value, both to the website you are publishing as well as the readership that will be accessing your post.
The general rule of thumb is if it isn’t good enough to go on your own website, you shouldn’t be trying to put it on someone else’s website. If you know the content isn’t very good but the website you’re posting to is still willing to publish it, perhaps you should also re-evaluate where you are posting your content.
Address a problem
In my opinion, the best guest posts come under a content marketing umbrella. If you’re just trying to blatantly advertise your service or products on another website, guest posts are not the right way. Instead, you should focus your guest posts on addressing a problem. Using our own web design service as an example, we can come up with some pretty common problems or issues which people may search on Google to resolve.
Some issues can be client-focused such as “how to find a good web design company”, other issues might be related to actual developers such as “how to enqueue custom scripts” etc. The idea is to find a specific problem people in your industry are facing, and write a valuable piece on how to fix such problem.
Present the solution
Now that you’ve found the problem to write about, you need to present the solution. The key here is to present your company, service, product or backlink as the solution. This is the hard part. You need to keep the content marketing tone and try not to sound too sales-focused, not to mention many people will not publish guest posts if they think the backlink is inserted too promotionally. In the end, you need to strike the right balance and work with the publisher to ensure everyone’s needs are met.
The idea of presenting yourself as the solution is to ensure your link is valuable, necessary and provides value in addition to the content. It will also help to boost the click through rate of the link, and the likelihood of your link being clicked is actually an important factor in Google giving weight to a backlink. Things to remember about this:
- Make sure your backlink is well within the content of the article, ie not in the footer or author bio.
- Make sure the content around the link actually drives people to click it, ie don’t just include it in a very neutral and benign way.
- Make sure the content around the link is relevant to the backlinks page. For example, a link to our web design page should include content about web design, development, our brand name etc.
Include the link naturally
Naturally including the link is very important to ensure your backlink looks trustworthy. Essentially, just follow the 3 bullet points above and do not try to force your link into the content. In our example, if we have a paragraph which happens to mention:
“web design is the process of…”
It wouldn’t be helpful to hyperlink the [web design] text to our page, as the content is not relevant to our landing page and has no reason to be linked here.
However, if we have a paragraph which happens to mention:
“according to Blue Whale Media, a web design company, …”
This would be very relevant to our landing page as it both mentions our brand name as well as what we actually are. It is useful to the reader to have a link to our page in this text as it provides more information and value about our company and service which is specifically mentioned.
So there you have it, the simple strategies on how to guest post like a pro. It doesn’t sound complicated at all, but actually putting it into practice can raise some issues. But that’s part and parcel of marketing, isn’t it?
If you’d like to learn more about SEO link building, you can read our own guide to link building in 2022.