In an increasingly (and sometimes overwhelmingly) digital world, web traffic is at the heart of business and content is key.
One of the best ways to reach the audience you want and need for your business is guest posting.
Essentially, guest posting means inviting others to contribute posts to your website and/or making posts for others.
In addition to helping to build exposure for both parties, guest posts can massively increase Search Engine Optimisation by increasing links within your post and putting links to your site all across the internet.
This is called link building.
Statistics from https://seotribunal.com have shown that 39% of global e commerce traffic comes from Google alone, so getting high up in search rankings is vital if you want your site (and in turn your business) to be seen.
If you go down this route, you’ll mostly get guest posts by reaching out to bloggers, who want to increase their business and digital footfall just as much as you want to increase yours.
At the same time, if you want to contribute guest posts to another site, reaching out to those businesses in the correct way is of vital importance.
A brief guide to SEO, rankings and how this all connects to guest posts
You most likely will have seen the phrase ‘search engine optimisation’ or SEO, floating past on your journey through digital marketing and depending on your level of experience you may or may not know what it means.
The job of a search engine is to scour the internet to provide the most relevant results to its users, scanning every piece of content uploaded in a system known as ranking.
There isn’t really a secret formula that will instantly get your site to the top of the list, but there are things you can include in your posts to optimise your chances.
They determine relevancy based on a number of things, including:
The first way that guest posts can improve your SEO rankings is through links.
Backlinks link to relevant sites and increase the relevancy of your posts to search engines, so when your collaborations result in contextual links, it then increases both your chances of moving up, especially if you’re working with a high authority site, blogger or company.
They also give your site exposure, which also increases your site’s authority in the eyes of search engines.
Guest posts will of course vary depending on the subject matter, but there are a couple of important ingredients that will make it the best it can be:
The core content of your post is the most important factor. It’s vital that your posts are entertaining enough to keep readers interested in your business, whilst being informative at the same time.
Generally posts that are easier to read are also better for SEO, as they’re easier for the bots search engines use to find and understand.
Keywords are also important, but don’t shove key words in where they don’t fit, as search engines can pick up on it!
Like the title of any post you make to your site, the title of your guest post needs to catch the reader’s attention, as it’s the first thing they’ll see – the words put into this part of the post and into the title tag are going to be what draws the reader into both your guest post and your business as a whole.
Headings help to keep your readers engaged, as they allow them to sift through the content of your post.
There are numerous techniques for sourcing guest posts and there are multiple locations that guest posts can be sourced from too. One of the biggest is, of course, social media.
Social media sites can often be a gold mine if you’re searching for writers. Simply searching for the hashtags ‘blogger’, or ‘bloggers wanted’ can give you a range of potential collaborators at the press of a button.
You can of course also make posts on your own social media pages advertising for writers and given the vast nature of many sites, you should be able to find people pretty easily.
Posts on sites built for professionals to find work and connect with others such as LinkedIn can also help massively, especially if you’re searching for reliable, regular contributors.
Social media can also give you an insight into the sites of your competitors, meaning you can get an inside look into the best writers in your niche.
Another technique promoted by blogger Brian Dean in his article ‘Guest blogging: the Definitive Guide’, is to use something called a reverse image search to identify key writers with good experience.
To do this, simply find any guest post that fits in with your business, then take the images that are often in writer’s bios and put the image’s url into a search engine.
You can then see all the other places that that image has been used, meaning you’ll be able to get all of their guest posts in one list.
Reaching out to bloggers is one of the most important parts of the process and the best way to build a good relationship with bloggers is to emphasise and use the fact that guest posting is mutually beneficial!
A friendly message or email is the best way to start off and featuring blogger’s content on your site can also help massively.
Openly connecting with bloggers over social media and promoting their content on your site are both fantastic ways of building a connection with potential collaborators.
After people have posted for you, you can also utilise emails and social media to keep up a continuous contact with bloggers and build a network of potential contributors to your site.
Soon, you’ll have strong connections to people within your niche and you won’t need to look far if you want to feature guest posts on your site!
Guest posts are incredibly important for boosting your brand on their own – but there are also ways you can optimise their content to make the most of the opportunity that they present.
As we’ve previously seen, you can adapt the content for SEO by, for example, adding organic keywords and ensuring that the text stays relevant to your audience throughout.
Spreading the word on social media whilst ensuring you use high trending hashtags will also allow you to get the most out of your guest post. Don’t just post your content and then leave it – spread the word and then others will spread it too!
Outside of the initial benefits once the post is up, you can also use to build relationships within your niche, by getting to know various content creators within your industry.
Guest posts can be a massive benefit to your business, in more ways than you might think and they’re actually pretty easy to source! There are also many ways to maximise the benefits of guest posts – so why not start using them on your site?