What Is Guest Blogging in SEO? A Guide for Beginners

Guest blogging/guest posting — The practice of contributing a post to another person's blog in order to build, exposure, relationships, links, and authority. Primary ranking factors in Google are links and in SEO guest blogging offers a strong golden chance to get a link back from another website, in addition to the other marketing considerations.

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Market Your Business with Guest Blogs

Guest blogging forms a relationship with the blogger hosting your post, taps into their audience for additional exposure, and helps you to maintain authority within an audience.

It is simple: you write a blog article for a particular blogger and get a backlink in return, generally in the bottom of the article which is called the Author Box.

Bloggers are interested in posting finest content on their blogs which they can use to attract new readers, as well as share with their current audience. This makes guest blogging a win-win solution for both website owners, who want to rank higher in search engines (and need links to do so), and bloggers who are concerned to attract more readers to their blog.

Things to Keep In Mind

What to Consider When Guest Blogging

Review the work of Neil Patel. There is an external link in almost every paragraph. You see, Neil knows that links add value to a post by giving further information and additional resources. Be like Neil.

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Guest blogging is a powerful online marketing tactic. Today in 2017, guest blogging is likely one of the best methods to build powerful links.

In this article you will find valuable information on how to guest blog in the right way and minimize risks.

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If the blogger is judicious and inclined to spend time sorting — and editing — posts from outside sources, then guest blogging can be a great source of valuable content for a blogger’s audience.

A vital part of editing any outside contribution is reviewing links within the content. You shouldn’t include a link unless it makes editorial sense.

To be on the safer side, examine guest posts for quality and ensure that you link to only quality websites that add value to the web.

Check external links regularly with a tool like Screaming Frog in order to make sure the websites you are linking to are still available, not returning a 404, or redirecting you to different content.

How to Find Sites Accepting Guest Posts and Outside Contributors

There are two main methods to find sites for the purpose of guest blogging:

  1. Prospect the web (search with Google, social media, mine resource lists, etc.)
  2. Use websites that connect publishers and bloggers.

Following are the cool ways to find blogs for guest blogging via the first method — prospecting the web

  1. Search for Lists of Top Blogs

The first step in prospecting is quite obvious: type a phrase like “Top [specific industry] Blogs List” i.e. “Highly paid jobs Blog List” into Google and review the results.

Go through all the blogs listed one by one on every page in search results

Most probably you will get really great blogs this way, but only few of them might accept guest articles from contributors.

  1. Advanced Search with Search Strings

 Google has many search strings to help you give particular material on the web, which you can combine into search strings.

There are an almost unlimited amount of combinations that will help you to find blogs that are interested in receiving guest posts.

A few example search strings:

  • “guest author” “keyword”
  • “guest post” “keyword”
  • “keyword” inurl:contributors
  • “keyword” inurl:authors
  • intitle:”guest post” “keyword”
  • inurl:”keyword” “contributor”
  1. Follow People or Companies who Actively Guest Blog

One of the best way to get great guest blogging opportunities is to contact others who regularly contribute quality guest posts to industry-related websites.

Most people and organizations share their posts via social media profiles. One time I ran across a Twitter profile that was primarily sharing their guest posts, so I managed to considerably extend my own list in a short period of time.

Try this search string to find sites where a specific person or company published a guest post: “person name” OR ”company name” “guest post”.

There are many other ways to get relevant blogs, but these three approaches should keep you busy for a long time.

I’d love to hear your own prospecting ideas in the comments section

Break it Down

What Are The Different Types Of SEO?

At Syndiket, we believe four types of SEO exist – and we have an acronym to represent those 4 types of SEO. The acronym is T.R.A.P. 

“T” stands for Technical, “R” stands for Relevancy, “A” stands for Authority, and “P” stands for popularity. Search engine optimization has many smaller divisions within the 4 types, but all of them can be placed into one of these 4 buckets.

Generally, technical SEO for local businesses carry the least importance for ranking. Technical SEO has a bare minimum that is required and this usually includes things like site speed, indexation issues, crawlability, and schema. Once the core technical parts are done, minimal upkeep is required.

Relevancy is one of trivium elements of SEO. It has equal importance with popularity signals and authority signals. Relevancy signals are based on algorithmic learning principles. Bots crawl the internet every time a searcher has a search. Each search is given a relevancy score and the URLs that pop up for a query. The higher the relevancy score you attain, the greater your aggregated rating becomes in Google’s eyes. Digital marketing is a strange thing in 2020, and ranking a website requires the website to be relevant on many fronts.

Google’s Co-creator, Larry Page, had a unique idea in 1998 which has led to the modern-day Google Empire. “Page Rank”, named after Larry Page himself, was the algorithm that established Google as a search engine giant. The algorithm ranked websites by authority. 

Every page of a website has authority and the sum of all pages has another authority metric. The authority metric is largely determined by how many people link to them (backlinks). The aggregate score of all pages pointing to a domain creates the domain score, which is what Syndiket calls “Domain Rating”, per Ahrefs metrics. The more a site is referenced, the more authority it has. But, the real improvement to the algorithm came when Google began to classify authority weight. 

If Tony Hawk endorsed Syndiket for skateboarding, it would carry a lot more authority than 5 random high school kids endorsing Syndiket. This differentiation in authority happened in 2012 with the Penguin update. Authority SEO is complicated but VERY important.

Popularity signals are especially strong for GMB or local SEO, but popularity and engagement are used for all rankings. The goal of this signal is for Google to verify its own algorithm. You can check off all the boxes, but if your content is something real people hate, Google has ways to measure that. Syndiket has proprietary methods of controlling CTR (click-through rate) but we also infuse CRO methods into our work to make sure people actually like the content. Social shares and likes are also included in this bucket.

The Inconvenient Truth: Some Bloggers HATE Being Asked About Guest Blogging

Sites that do not seek guest posts may not be open to outside contributions, at all.

Be ready to face failure because it might be possible that you don’t receive a reply. Good blogs receive constant emails pitching guest posts, so they may not even reply. This is actually true if you email a blogger who doesn’t accept guest posts.

Why do some blogs not take outside content? The answer is simple – the tactic has been spammed in the past by SEOs who are not interested in audience. They send cheap and poorly written articles, only concerned about the link.

All good blogs have real readers and care deeply about the content they publish, so they review each copy sent to them, which is VERY time-consuming. After so much spam they’ve given up and prefer not to accept guest articles at all.

Bloggers are really busy people; don’t expect them to do extra work – reading lengthy emails. Make sure your email is as short and concise as possible, while personalized and offering explicit value to the person you’re emailing.

How Guest Blogging Improves SEO

Backlinks

The main influence guest blogging will have on your site’s SEO is through your site’s link profile. As you contribute to new sites, you should ensure new links on new websites (where you contribute your post).

Backlinks are one of the most vital ranking factors in SEO, and will remain in near future. 

There are a few aspects to how Google estimates a link. This comprises the domain and page the link is on, the arrangement of the link on the page, and the anchor text (the clickable part of the text).

Here I will explain how to effectively use the links you earn via guest blogging to improve your SEO strategy.

Link Placement

Preferably your link will be placed within the body of the article, suitable to the surrounding context and supporting the blog.

Guest posts often have a biographical paragraph that tells about your (or your company) background. In most cases the author includes a link explaining their background within the bio.

That is acceptable, but you should be ready to ask the blogger for a link in the article’s body, especially if it serves value to the reader, post, and makes sense in context.

Why is a link in the body important?

Because it looks more natural for the reader, for your website and should support your post. It is not only good for SEO, but it’s more likely to actually be clicked by readers and you will be able to get more traffic. 

 Anchor Text in SEO 

Anchor text is the clickable words that form a backlink- words hyperlink.  

Here is the html for the creation of a link: 

<a href=”http://www.syndiket.com/videos/seo-quick-tips-anchor-text-with-syndiket”>This is an example of anchor text.</a>.

By writing as above, the anchor text would be shown as “This is an example of anchor text.”

Different types of anchor text are:

  • Branded: your brand’s name, i.e. Syndiket, syndiket.com.
  • Keyword rich: the specific keyword you want to rank for i.e. “link building agency”, “link building company”, “link building service”.
  • Partial match: a piece of the specific keyword you want to rank for, i.e. “Syndiket is a link building firm”, “this company who specializes in links”, etc.
  • URL: the full or partial URL of the page, i.e. http://www.syndiket.com/videos/seo-quick-tips-anchor-text-with-syndiket.
  • White noise: this, here, that, link, click here, etc.

Anchor text tells the user and search engines alike into what the page is about, and can have a large impact on rankings. For example, if you want a particular page to rank for ‘social media marketing’ on Google, then you might want to have lots of links with that particular anchor phrase pointing to that certain page. 

However, it’s not as straightforward as writing your keyword in every link — otherwise Google will take your link acquisition efforts as manipulative.

All people will not use the same anchor phrase to link to your page. You must have links that are not only SEO-focused in order to build links with a natural profile of anchor text. 

One of the easiest ways is just to build value added links, and make sense in context. By building these links you won’t be able to use the perfect same anchor text over and over again.

Important Question: How Many Keyword-Rich Anchors Are Safe to Add?

SEO’s are not aware of the specific equation of Google’s algorithms, they only knows the rules. NO SEO or SEO company is able to provide the perfect recipe for a mix of anchor phrases for high rankings.

However, in order to minimize the risk, I prefer to keep keyword-rich links no more than 20% of all links. Ahref did a good study on how anchor text influences rankings. You should  go through their studies if you’re concerned about the ratio of keyword-rich anchor text. 

Tip: in order to maximize the effect of anchor text as you build links you should inspect your current link profile for your entire site, and the anchor text usage.

By this you will be able to build a natural, diverse profile with other link building activities (e.g.: links from forums or Q&A websites).

The Inconvenient Truth – You Will Be Asked to Pay for Publishing

 Bloggers will ask you for money in exchange in order to publish your content. It may be called a ‘sponsored post’, ‘native advertising’, ‘editorial fee’ or any other creative phrase. The main point remains the same – you are asked to pay for the link, which is against Google’s policies.

This activity is not recommended in the long run as the risk isn’t worth the reward. It’s directly against Google’s policies to pay for links, and if you get caught doing it you will face a manual penalty. 

Building a link profile that looks natural is the most important thing about link acquisition. This means there should be various types of links.

Beware: Dropped Domains and Private Blog Networks

It is possible that while searching for blogs you will most probably come across blogs built on dropped domains and PBNs (Private Blog Networks). 

In Short dropped domains are expired domains with a link profile, which SEOs purchase, add low-quality content, and then sell links. This is a technique to grab by an SEO whose main concern is selling more links.

 It is not wrong to buy an expired or old domain but a lot of hard work is required to make it an authority website. Also you need to be sure that the old links really affect the site’s rankings.

To cut a long story short Private Blog Networks (PBNs) are websites (sometimes thousands of websites) that were built privately (meaning, Google is not aware of the ownership). The goal of a PBN is to serve as a source of backlinks for a main website. SEOs building such networks are interrupting Google’s Guidelines, and Google has a record of finding and punishing PBNs.

There is a website called Wayback Machine which accumulates the record history of the websites which means how the particular website looked in the past. 

Not all websites are what they seem to be, so it’s a good thing to review a website’s backlink profile and past editions in the Wayback machine.

How to Spot Low Quality Websites?

Spending a lot of time on a website to approximate its quality is one method but it is possible that you end up looking at the wrong website entirely. If you thoroughly scrutinize every aspect of a website you will end up wasting a lot of time; it’s likely not the best method you are looking for.

Following Tips will help you while auditing a link provider or a website

  1. List of Websites

Most PBN and expired domain owners have a vast list of websites under similar IPs, where they ask for payment and accept almost whatever quality content passes the CopyScape plagiarism test. 

If a webmaster replies with a huge list of other domains they control for you to post on, they’re not the type of sites you want to be on.

  1. Domain Name and Domain History

It is good to review a domain history whenever you are examining a new website. 

First of all look at the domain name. Generally good websites have good and suitable domain names. 

Second step is to check a site’s historical backlink profile by using a backlink checker Majestic. 

Third and the last step is to thoroughly review the website itself by using the Way back  Machine. 

  1. Traffic

Valuable websites contain decent traffic. You want links from websites that serve to an actual audience.

Obviously the best way to see how a website is doing in search is to request access to Search Console and Google Analytics, but that’s not usually possible, so you can use SEMRush or Ahrefs.

SEMRush enables you to compare traffic changes after the release of an important update of Google’s algorithms.

Good websites should be seen in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). That doesn’t mean on the first page, but you should clearly see the website in the SERPs for their important SEO keywords and within the top 50. 

If the data shown by tools is not sufficient for you, you may want to manually check rankings of certain posts published.

  1. Links

If you didn’t analyze the backlink profile of the website during the domain history check, you’ll want to do so before you pitch a site.

A good website should have a good link profile.

 Ahrefs is good at counting live and disappeared links while Moz’s DA (Domain Authority) is also a good litmus test for the authority of a given site therefore use these tools instead of being fooled by expired domains or a PBN. 

 If Google shows sitelinks for the domain search query this is an indication that this particular is pretty good 

Finally…

In addition, always remember one thing – your guest post can rank in search and give you or your brand some extra attention and maybe even clicks, depending on the traffic amount.

 I have written a 1500-word guest post on SEO-friendly blogging which not only tells you how to rank but also tells you how to understand your viewers taste for better engagement and conversions.  These articles will help you to achieve optimization in SEO friendly blogging.

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Syndiket Marketing 
1033 Demonbreun St, Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 551-5257

Syndiket is a Nashville based digital marketing agency with a strong emphasis on SEO, PPC, & Web Design. Your clients are searching for you. Be there with Syndiket.

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