Last January, Google advised SEO strategists to stop using guest posting as a link building tactic. Some SEO strategists were abusing guest posting, resulting in a lot of poor content and spammy links.
Does this mean SEO should abandon guest posting altogether? No, it means SEO strategists need to make sure their guest posts are high quality and offer value to their readers.
Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind for guest posting in 2015.
DO Post on High-Authority Sites in Your Niche
Make sure you're writing guest posts for sites aligned with your business and marketing goals. One of the benefits of guest posting is the opportunity to introduce yourself and your brand to a new audience of potential customers. If you specialize in computer repair and guest post on a food blog, chances are those readers aren't going to become customers. Be deliberate about where you guest post, and make sure the site is in your business niche.
DO Create Unique and Useful Content
When you're writing a guest post, make sure your content is original and beneficial to your readers. People share articles that present interesting perspectives or new information they haven’t read anywhere else. The more unique and useful your post is, the more likely people will share it, leading to links.
DO Develop a Relationship with the Publisher
If you find a great site for guest posting, don’t approach it with a one-and-done mentality. Instead, develop a relationship with the site owner. Read her posts and reach out to discuss her writing. Find out how she decides what to write about and what her web visitors like to read. This will help you better customize your content for her site. Instead of pitching a single guest post idea, consider pitching a series. This shows the publisher that you’ve put serious thought into writing for her site and will give you more opportunities to earn links.
DON’T Post on Every Site You Can Just for Links
This is spammy and the reason Google originally condemned guest posting. If you’re unsure whether to guest post on a site, ask yourself, “Would my post look out of place on this website?” If the answer is yes, move on and look for other opportunities.
DON’T Pass on a Site Just Because It Has a No-Follow Policy
Even if the links coming from the site will be no-follow, it’s still worth guest posting if you’ll reach a new audience of potential customers. Focus on increasing traffic to your website and gaining brand exposure. If you think guest posting on a no-follow site will do that, go for it.
DON’T Think About Links
This may sound counterintuitive, but thinking about earning links shouldn't be your first priority with guest posting. Concentrate on creating quality content for a site in your business niche. If the content is good and reaches the right audience, the links will come.
For more information on link building, check out the free webinar replay of Outreach 101: Building Relationships. You’ll learn the secrets to effective link building and how to establish relationships with businesses and industry influencers.
All the best,
Kate Nolen is a Digital PR Coordinator at Stream Companies, a full-service Philadelphia-area advertising agency.