7 Simple Ways of Maximizing Value from Guest Posting

7 Simple Ways of Maximizing Value from Guest Posting

Guest posting valueGuest posting is dead, you should no longer do it.  Is that true?

Have you read all the talk about how Google doesn’t like people guest posting on other blogs any more?  Matt Cutts, who is the head of spam at Google, had a little rant about guest posting recently (the decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO).  The reason he did this was because too many people guest post just for link building and are not actually providing value.

In fact, there was so much talk about this you might be inclined to think that it is not valuable to guest post any more.

But that is not the case.

When you want to get your name out there, writing content on a blog site that has good reputation and a ton more traffic than you in your target industry is still, and will continue to be, a very important way to build your reputation and build traffic.

What this latest change does mean, though, is that you need to be more careful about who you guest post for and the content you deliver.  Here are 7 ways to maximize the value of guest posting and to ensure that you get benefit from it.

1.  Post on high authority sites within your niche

Google likes to see that you hang out with good company.

Good company is not sites that are considered low in authority and are not relevant to your niche.  Relevance to your niche is even more important than the authority of your site, because Google does also like to see that you are getting links from a wide variety of sites.  Some will be high authority and some will be low.

But if you’re investing time in guest posting you should at least know the authority of the site and try to focus your efforts on sites with a reasonably high domain authority.

To find out if a site is of high authority, the best thing to do is go to Open Site Explorer and type in the name of the site.  This tool gives you a rating of a website out of 100. It’s a proprietary ranking system developed by a company call Moz.  They rate millions of websites around the world and use many different factors to calculate that ranking.

 

Opensite Explorer

Check out your domain authority!

 

So, type in the website URL and check the domain authority.  The authority doesn’t have to be really high but you ideally want it to be close to 50 or above.

2.  Get links within the content

When you guest post on someone’s site, you generally get a chance to share your ‘bio’.  This is a short description, and possibly a picture, which is displayed at the end of a post.  When people get to the end of the post they get to see who the author is and, if you’ve written a great post, they may check out your site.

But if you can get a link to your website within the content of the blog post then this is even more valuable to you.  Google may start ignoring links within a bio but you will still benefit from a link within the content.

Think about the content you are going to write.  Make sure there is a really good, valid reason to link back to your content within the guest post.

3.  Help with optimizing the content

If you optimize your content for your site, it could do really well on Google.  But what about sites you guest post on, do they optimize the content correctly?

You might be wondering why you would want an article on their site ranking in Google when you could get that traffic on your own blog instead.

Well, if you’re writing an article about a topic that you would never rank for on your own site, then ranking for it on somebody else’s site, under your name, can be useful.  So you write it on a site with a really high domain authority and if you optimize the post correctly they may rank highly for this content.

For example, Andy Crestodina from Orbit Media wanted to rank on ‘Google Authorship’ but he knew that because this term was so competitive he wouldn’t rank on his own site.  So he wrote the article on Kissmetrics which is a really highly ranked site.

 

Andy Crestodina

This post is still ranking high in Google

 

If you write an article for a site and you really want to rank for a particular term, you should provide them with additional SEO-related information along with the article so they don’t have to think about it.

For example, give them a suggested ‘title’ and ‘description’.  This is what appears in search results and the title is what Google uses to help it index the content correctly.

In Andy’s example, the title is ‘Google Authorship Markup: How to get your pictures in search results’.  If the title was ‘How to get your pictures in search results’ it would have less of a chance for ranking for Google authorship.  Now, if people are searching for Google Authorship they will come across Andy’s post all the time.

If you check out the article you’ll also see that Andy links to a post on his site within this article (i.e. refer to tip number 2).

 

Andy's article

This is a link within the content back to Andy’s website

 

 

This link is good for link building and it will also drive traffic back to Andy’s site.  On top of that, it’s a smart link because it’s a useful and relevant guide.

Note:  Andy is a really smart guy and it is well worth following his blog.

 

4. Promote your guest post

If you commit to writing a guest post and you’ve done your research, and if the post is going to be on a good site, then it’s important that it does really well.  If it does well, and if it’s so good that lots of other sites link to it, this increases the value of any links you have within the post.

We mentioned Domain Authority earlier (click here to read more on domain authority) on but there’s also Page Authority to consider.  This is the ranking of an individual page on a website.  When a post is first published, it starts off with zero Page Authority and then it moves up, mainly based on the links to the content.  So if you have a link from the post to your content, the value of this link will go up if the page authority goes up.

Make sure you promote your guest posts as much as possible so your chances of backlinks goes up!

5.  Don’t overdo it on anchor text in your bio or content

‘Anchor text’ is a name for the keywords you use to link to other content.

Years ago, anchor text was really important and it was a great signal for Google to help it index your content correctly.  If you got lots of links back with the same anchor text then it’s more likely you will do well in search for results for that article using that ‘anchor text’.

But too many people knew this and used it to get their content ranked.  Google now doesn’t pay nearly as much attention to anchor text as it used to and, over time, it will probably ignore it completely.

Google is more likely to scan through the content to figure out what it is about, and then look at the paragraph where the link is and use this to work out what the link is related to.

So, you have to be careful with anchor text.

When someone guest posts on a site, they sometimes think this is a great opportunity to get some valuable links back to your site.  But it isn’t!

In the example below you have some keyword rich anchor text and you have 3 links back to Razorsocial.  This is called ‘trying too hard’!!!

Google will take one look at this and think you’re just trying to get backlinks.  It’s not normal to have 3 links like this all in one sentence, especially if they all link back to the same website.

 

Bio

Anchor text rich bio!

 

So, within your bio and within the content of the post, be careful about using too much anchor text.  Use it only if it makes sense, and don’t try too hard.  Think more about the sentence and help Google understand what the sentence is related to. Then, Google will figure out what the link is for!

 

 6.  Link out to other sites of authority

It looks very suspicious if you write a guest post and the only links within the guest post point to your site.  In any blog post you write, you should always link out to other authoritative websites; the same applies for guest posting.

Include a link to your content, but also include a couple of links to other sites of authority.  You don’t want your post to look suspicious.

 

7. Write great, detailed content

Finally, you need to write good, detailed content.  Neil Patel wrote a post last year about content length and search rankings.  He researched rankings and content length and found that, generally, the top 10 results in Google were posts that had, on average, over 2,000 words.

I seldom write a post that is shorter than 1,500 words.  Longer articles get more links, get shared more, and get talked about more.  The more effort you put into your content, the more results you will get.  I have written posts that are over 5,000 words before and they do much better than any other post!

So, don’t take shortcuts with guest posts.

Summary

Don’t be frightened off by what Matt Cutts said about guest posting.  He wants Google to filter out out all the spammy content and wipe out all the dodgy SEO link builders.  That is what Matt Cutts wants, and it is what you should want too!

So, don’t write poor quality content or just write for links.  Write high quality content on good, relevant websites and provide a ton of value.  Link out where it makes sense and don’t overdo it on anchor text.

Guest posting is still very valuable so do continue doing it.  As well as links you build up awareness, your personal authority goes up and you build relationships with more bloggers.

What’s next?

Here are some options:

1. Read this article on domain authority if you want to understand more about it.

2.  Share this post – We would love you to share this with your contacts.

3.  Comment below – We love hearing from you.  Let us know what you think.




 

About the author

Ian Cleary

Author: Ian Cleary is the Founder of RazorSocial and is super passionate about helping people leverage tools and technology to improve effectiveness of your social media presence.

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Ian, excellent! 6 and 7 are huge. I link out a handful of times on my blog. So key to do with for guest posts and your own posts. Be generous, build your authority and help out your fellow blogger.

    As for 7, do your best. Create something, detailed, helpful and epic to make a serious impact. Treat any guest post opportunity as a chance to become memorable. Doing so will help you attract many readers from the guest blog’s audience.

    Tweeted through Triberr!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you so much Ryan. I love that ‘a chance to become memorable’. High quality content and high quality sites! Thank you.

  • http://www.thetravolution.com/ Cristina

    I have guest posted on 2 very high ranking and notable websites but have received only little or one-time traffic to my site. I feel unmotivated to guest post now.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      It’s always good to guest post on high profile sites but if you’re not getting the traffic then I wouldn’t to it regularly. Ian

    • Andy Crestodina

      Sometimes I guest post on a great site, but get zero referral visits. But Did you make friends with the blog editors? Will that lead to other opportunities? Did the link show up in your Analytics > Aquisition > Trackbacks report or in ? This should be good for SEO.

      If you look for the benefit of each and every guest post, you may end up disappointed. It would be like going to the gym and asking “which of these pushups is going to make me healthy?”

      It’s a lot of work, but so is any kind of blogging. I make around half to two-thirds of my articles guest posts and I can’t begin to measure the benefits. Hope this is welcomed encouragement, Cristina!

      • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

        I love your analogies!

  • Andy Crestodina

    Thanks for the shout-out, Ian!

    Despite all the changes in the universe, I’m still a big fan of guest posting for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes I think of it this way: I might not be able to rank for very credible phrases on my site, but if I “borrow” someone else’s site (by writing a guest post for them), I can often succeed at winning visibility for more competitive phrases.

    I also like the collaborative nature of it. One party brings the content, the other brings the audience. It’s like chips and salsa… I think I’m ready for lunch.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you Andy, the master of guest posting. I’ll still guest post on the great sites. I agree with your approach! Great to hang out with you at SMMW!

  • http://www.blogmat.net/ Mohammed Saimon

    Nice and excellent staff Andy.. Thanks

  • http://www.antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    Totally agree with you. Lately I’ve been approaching some websites to do guest blogging and I’ve been telling everyone the same as you have mention: I don’t care about the backlinks (although they are not bad), and my main goal is to build up my online reputation.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Exactly Antonio, although a backlink within your post is nice!

  • heidicohen

    Ian–Guest posting whether it helps your search rankings or not, provides a platform that introduces you to other people’s audiences. BTW–before you blast out your request for guest posts, make sure that you know the site and check whether they accept guest posts. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Heidi, you’re right. Getting in front of other audiences is really useful and valuable!

  • Junaid Ahmed

    These are some really great tips of intelligent guest posting. Intelligent posting and using anchor text linking back to your site is still alive to get more traffic and to increase credibility of your website, only if it’s done intelligently. This is found to be a great post to bring high quality internet marketing services to improve lead generation process. Thanks a lot for sharing some great and experienced thoughts of yours.

  • http://workado.com/ Justin McGill @ Workado

    Good advice Ian. So many people think guest blogging is dead – you just need to do it like you’ve described and it’s fine!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Justin, yes it’s still useful!

  • http://www.blogmat.net/ Mohammed Saimon

    Great post. Thanks for shearing with us.

    Saimon from
    Blogging tips

  • BigcomDevloper

    Thanks Ian for sharing with us, According to me there are some major talking points were building pre-event momentum, maximising content value, and how to deliver that content in a way that the attendees will be able to implement.