The ever-changing online landscape creates one of the most challenging aspects of being an active blogger. You have to continually work to stay informed about what blogging activities, such as guest blogging, still impact your discoverability.
Google, the most popular search engine, makes hundreds of minor algorithm changes each year and occasionally rolls out significant bundles of updates, like Panda and Penguin, both of which had a major effect on search results.
Despite all of these changes to search engine optimization (SEO), guest blogging remains an effective SEO technique. Google continues to place a high value on outbound links and good quality content, which are two of the three most important ranking factors for SEO.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with search engine optimization techniques. But take the time to grasp a few basics concepts. You’ll not only understand the impact of your actions but also see how straightforward it is to increase your domain authority with quality content and the right type of links.
In 2005, Google introduced nofollow links. This was a solution to the spammy blog comments people left on blog posts to get a pingback from a site with a higher domain or page authority than their own. Now, most blog comments have the nofollow attribute that instructs a search engine not to follow the link or add any SEO value to the destination blog.
What does this have to do with guest blogging? If you agree to provide a guest blog post to another site, you only receive SEO value to your blog if the blogger offers you a follow link. Standard practice is to provide the guest blogger one follow link in a bio at the end of the article.
If you include links to your website in the body of your guest post, chances are the blogger will convert them to nofollow links, but they still have value. Even though bots and crawlers want to follow the links, these URLs can still provide referral traffic to your website when readers click on your active link.
The moral of this story is to think about the value of both types of links. Follow links can improve your page and site ranking, and nofollow links are opportunities to encourage referral traffic.
From a technical standpoint, all links are automatically follow links, and it’s the addition of rel=”nofollow” in the href code that alters the link. You can check whether links in your guest article have been tagged as nofollow by using the developer view and selecting View Source in a Chrome browser. Search for nofollow, and these occurrences will be highlighted. Then, you can see which links have been altered.
Host sites with a higher domain authority than your website will be able to provide more SEO juice for your guest post than one with lower or equal domain authority. So when you’re compiling your list of blogs to pitch your guest post, you can check their domain authority using Moz’s SEO tools.
Begin by entering your website into the tool to check your own domain’s authority. Then use the same process to check the sites you want to pitch. Keep in mind that Moz’s free tool limits the number of searches you can do within 24 hours.
Selecting sites with higher domain authority and that allow a follow link in your guest post can provide your site with increased authority to improve your page ranking.
Guest Post Pitching Articles
Here are some ideas about what type of articles to pitch to authority sites:
- Identify a topic the host has already covered but offer a different perspective. This provides an excellent opportunity for them to diversify their content.
- Identify the site’s top keywords and pitch a guest post, focusing on an aspect of the niche they haven’t covered extensively.
- Identify keywords or phrases that are popular within the niche and identify content gaps on their website.
Use Moz to get the keywords and top search information for the websites you’re pitching. New blog content is essential to websites as it keeps site visitors returning and encourages the search engines to crawl a website more often. Time and aim your guest blogging pitch right, and you could be the solution to their content creation challenges.
SEO is important, but your primary objective should be for your guest blog posts to add value to or a solution for your readers. When you make well-written and quality content your primary focus and choose sites that are in the same niche, your guest posts can attract referral traffic.
Nowadays, it’s common practice to Google an individual or a company to see what shows up in the search results. This is especially true when someone wants to hire or buy from you. When your content shows up on authority websites, this helps establish your subject matter expertise and increases the trust between you and your customers or readers.
As an author, you need to focus on writing books and maintaining an active blog, but you also must put effort guest posting on other blogs. You can’t exist in a bubble if you want to grow your audience. Therefore, you must step out of the comfort zone of your own blog and collaborating with others.
If this post inspired you to start or continue your guest blogging activities, tell me about your plans in a comment below. And if this article spurred you into action, please share it with your social network to inspire others to grow their audiences with guest blog posts.
About the Author
Jay Artale abandoned her corporate career to become a digital nomad and full-time writer. She’s an avid blogger and a nonfiction author helping travel writers and travel bloggers achieve their self-publishing goals. Join her at Birds of a Feather Press where she shares tips, advice, and inspiration to writers with an independent spirit.
Photo courtesy of artinspiring