Is Guest Blogging Still an Effective SEO Strategy?
Blogging your way to a great SEO ranking? You should be. Great blogs are full of great content which in turn not only help solidify your stance as an expert in whichever industry your business happens to be in, they are also one of the best ways to boost your page higher and higher with Google and other search engines. Every marketer knows: you can’t have great SEO if you don’t write great blogs.
But what about having someone else do the writing? Guest blogging used to be a well-respected part of any solid SEO strategy but it has gotten some poor publicity in recent years that have knocked them out of “best practice SEO” category. It’s a move that perplexed many digital media agencies and bloggers alike, so in today’s blog we decided to take a closer look at the role of guest blogging and its effects on search engine optimisation to draw our own conclusions.
What is Guest Blogging?
Rather straightforward in it’s name, guest blogging is simply offering your blogs to others to publish on their website or publishing others’ blogs on your own. Logically, whether you are the guest blogger posting to others’ blogs or the host blog allowing selected others to post to yours, a guest blogging strategy offers bloggers (or companies that blog) a way for their name to reach new target audiences that might otherwise be more difficult to break into, potentially offering a myriad of social media exposure, an increase in brand authority, even low-cost research in terms of content marketing strategy. But what about its effectiveness in terms of search engine optimisation?
Is Guest Blogging an Effective SEO Strategy?
Although its impossible to know the exact algorithms Google and other search engines use to rank websites, it’s no secret that one of the keys to a higher ranking is backlinks, which help exert your popularity, pushing your site higher and higher up the search engine results page. Guest blogging is a good thing and recent talk of guest blogging as a dead SEO strategy is misleading at best and flat-out wrong at worst, although the way that you do it will need to be updated to reflect changes in online audience demands and thus updates to the all-important Google search engine algorithm.
In the past, the key to successful backlinks was in the quantity you could produce, so guest blogs started appearing anywhere and everywhere, ultimately creating websites that were so full of irrelevant content that visitors couldn’t find the information they went to the website for in the first place. As a result, Google (and other search engines) updated the way they view backlinks, namely by penalising sites that had connections to others it deemed irrelevant. The system of rewarding quality backlinks, however, remains steadily in play, which means that, as long as your guest blogging contains quality content and is linked to relevant websites, using guest blogging as an integral part of your SEO strategy is a solid option that can yield great results.
How I Can Use Guest Blogs to Increase My Search Engine Ranking?
They say that content is king, but that’s not really true. Relevant content is king and Google repeatedly states this in its SEO recommendations. Anything that appears on your website, including content provided through guest blogs, should offer readers fast, helpful, quality information specific to your site’s audience base. This means that any guest blog you agree to publish must follow Google’s E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness) standards. Conversely, if you are writing a guest blog for another site, it will be a waste of time and energy in terms of SEO strategy if you don’t follow the E-A-T model, too, as not only will the backlinks you aim to achieve with it fail within Google’s new algorithms, you can actually be penalised for it, setting your SEO efforts back even farther from where you started.
When it comes to successfully using guest blogging as a part of your SEO strategy, other things you should and shouldn’t do include:
• Do focus on content but also pay extra attention to the grammar, flow, and organisation of any blog published on your website. Nowadays, SEO is not only about the specific words you use but the context in which they are used.
• Do view and approach guest blogging as a win-win situation. The best websites can use great blogs to boost their SEO and the best blogs can use the influence of the best websites to boost their own ranking. And both can be done simultaneously.
• Do write (and accept) guest blogs written specifically for the website in which they will appear. Having the same copy of a blog appear on multiple websites will be penalised by Google as duplicate content.
• Don’t mention your company name or allow a guest blogger to mention their company name within the blog, unless the blog is specifically about the company or a product or service it offers. Doing so can be seen as spam and Google’s algorithms will penalise your SEO for it.
• Don’t include or allow any links within a guest blog unless they are exceptionally relevant. Even natural links, if not blatantly obvious ones, can be seen as spamming by Google’s algorithms and your SEO will be penalised for it.
• Don’t brag or allow your guest bloggers to brag. If the blog is written by someone with relevant experience or expertise, this will naturally shine through in the content. If not, bragging can make you both appear less trustworthy and your SEO will be penalised for it.
Overall, when done right, including guest blogs as well as writing them is still an effective digital marketing -including SEO, strategy that your business should seriously consider.
Still not sure how to best accomplish it?
Give our team of digital marketing experts a call and let us help you design the perfect strategy that can build your business and your brand with quality, relevant content researched and applied to your target audiences across a spectrum of digital platforms.