Guest blogging has become a widely-used content marketing and SEO strategy over recent years. This involves writing unique pieces of content for placement on websites that are not your own. As a blogger, it can give you much needed exposure outside of your normal areas, and from the point of view of the person or organisation featuring the guest blog post, it mixes up their own content and style, can provide inspiration or a different perspective on a topic of mutual interest, and takes the pressure off of them from consistently having to dream up new material. So it’s a win-win for everyone.
What is guest blogging?
The basic definition of guest blogging is pretty straightforward – it means posting on another person’s blog as a guest.You contribute content to someone’s blog and in return you get an external backlink to your own blog and instant exposure to a wider audience.It’s a simple concept but why exactly is guest posting a good idea?
Yes it is likely to improve your search rankings.
Guest blogging as a marketing strategy has specific Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) benefits. This is because, on many occasions, the host website will allow the author of the piece to include a link back to their own website. And since high-quality website backlinks are one of Google’s top ranking factors, this in turn can lead to an increase in search engine rankings. This shouldn’t be your sole reason for guest blogging though, your primary goal should be to educate, inform and / or add value for readers, within each and every article you post.
One of the key benefits of offsite guest blogging is that it allows you to gain a wider brand exposure because you are more likely to reach new audiences within more of the key areas within your target market. Moreover, by producing amazing content (and writing about the topics that interest the people in your sector most), you are increasing the likelihood of the audience remembering your brand or, better yet, enabling targeted traffic to your website, which could result in conversions.
Are there any associated risks?
It is vital to point out that guest blogging is only beneficial if used in the correct way. Guest blogging has, in recent times, become a prevalent SEO technique, which means that it is also open to abuse. Guest blogging has naturally become a prime target for spammy link builders to post poor-quality content on any, and every, website they can, simply as a means of redirecting to the reader to a page they almost certainly won’t have any interest in.
Google themselves have voiced their concerns, making it quite clear as to what they consider good, and bad practice. Matt Cutts, the former head of the Google WebSpam Team, has openly stated his views about “low-quality, spammy sites” using guest blogging as a means to draw in audiences.
Good SEO companies will employ an ethical approach to their marketing strategies and will have full awareness of (and follow) Google’s webmaster guidelines with regards to link schemes.
As far as ‘ethical’ SEO is concerned, so long as you are using guest blogging as a means to provide unique, insightful content (which actually delivers the audience value, rather than as a quick link-building tactic), you are on the right track.