Guest posting as an SEO strategy for building links has existed for many years. As Google has altered how it uses links to evaluate the content or cracked down on link spam, the practice has become a hot topic in the digital marketing sector. And with Google’s update in July 2021 focusing on backlinks and other link abuses, you may be tempted to abandon guest posting altogether.
However, guest blogging remains an effective SEO technique. How to use SEO content to improve your approach, as well as how to do it correctly, are discussed in the sections that follow.
Know SEO Blogging Basics
When writing a guest post for another website, you should approach it the same way you would your own articles. Whether you’re writing for your own blog or someone else’s, you should always adhere to the SEO blog writing fundamentals described in this Search Engine Journal article. The following tips illustrate Google search optimization best practices for blog content creation.
One or two is sufficient, but avoid keyword stuffing in guest blogs. Using natural variations and related keywords will assist in preventing this issue. In addition, it will make your guest blogs more interesting to your readers.
Use headings and subheadings.
They assist search engine web crawlers such as Google in comprehending your blog post. Additionally, they make your articles easier for readers to digest. Additionally, chunking your guest content into snackable sections makes it easy for the website owner to repurpose.
Utilize meta descriptions
Meta descriptions are the brief summaries that appear beneath the title link of a search result. Typically, they range from one to three sentences. Include your primary keyword or keywords in your meta descriptions as well.
Utilize alt image text
Alt text is used to describe images within a blog. It is an additional tool that aids web crawlers and makes your posts accessible to the visually impaired. You shouldn’t keyword-stuff your alt image text, but it’s acceptable to include a keyword if it makes sense.
Use appropriate anchor text for links.
You should link to other high-authority websites. However, it is crucial that you use SEO-friendly anchor text for your links. This article on anchor text from the SEO professionals at Moz suggests:
- Relevant to the page you’re linking to o Not keyword dense – that is, containing zero to a few keywords
- The language that is clear, concise, and not generic
Consider more than keywords and links
According to Melissa Fach of SEMrush, Google has spent nearly a decade trying to convince content creators and SEO professionals to emphasize link building and keyword optimization less. Instead, they want to highlight web content in search results that align with their mission to provide high-quality, useful, accurate, and informative content that matches the intent of the searcher.
Most Google algorithm updates and search models, from Panda to Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) and others, have aimed to eliminate thin content from search engine results pages (SERPs) or enhance their search engine’s comprehension of context and search query intent.
Consider Google’s stated mission when developing your SEO guest blogging strategy, and focus on searcher intent. Concentrate on creating guest content that addresses search queries, common customer questions, pain points, and widespread issues. When writing articles for yourself or other websites, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience.
Google Quality Ratings for Search Results
Google published the first version of its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines in 2015, and the most recent version in 2020. The purpose of this guide is to provide Google’s Search Quality Raters with clear criteria for evaluating the quality of search engines and search results. As part of its stated mission to provide useful, relevant, and informative content in its search results, Google employs humans as evaluators. When approaching SEO and guest blogging for each version of the publication, you must pay attention to two primary factors.
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness is a content standards that Google uses to provide high-quality pages in its search results. They want to provide their users with trustworthy content written by subject matter specialists. Consider the topic of the website or blog as well as the area of expertise it covers when writing guest blog posts.
Your Money or Your Life
YMYL is a content standard Google employs to determine whether a page’s content may negatively impact a user’s “happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.” This standard is applied to topics including health and safety, finance, news, the law and government, shopping, and groups of people. When considering the possibility of providing guest content, you must evaluate the topic and website to determine who should write the copy. Can you write it, or do you need to hire or interview a specialist or specialists to assist you?
Utilize guest posting strategy
We could devote an entire article to describing how to locate and select online publications and blogs to which to submit guest articles. Stick to websites in your or your client‘s specific niche. Keep in mind that larger publications may be more selective and may not accept guest posts. In addition, they typically plan specific content objectives and campaigns months in advance.
Once you’ve identified the websites you wish to contact regarding guest blogging, conduct independent research in the following areas:
Comply with the blog’s rules
It is your responsibility to locate a blog’s guest posting guidelines and adhere to them. If there are no posted guidelines and you can’t ask in advance, examine three to five blog posts to determine the site’s formatting, length, and image requirements.
Do not rely on the online publication for subject matter
Utilize the same SEO tools and strategies when conducting topic research for your own blog. Examine the blogs of the sites you wish to target in order to identify content and topic gaps between them and their competitors. Companies such as SEMrush and Ahrefs provide tools for locating topics and keywords, as well as for conducting competitive analysis.
Select evergreen topics
Whenever possible, select topics that will remain relevant over time. It is acceptable for some things, including statistics, procedures, laws, and trends, to change. Once your guest article has been published, continue to monitor it and notify the publisher via email of any potential updates they could add.
Avoid guest posting pitfalls.
Google and online publications in general have modified their approach to guest posting over time. Popular websites in your industry that once solicited guest posts, including via email, may have ceased accepting submissions. And Google frequently modifies its policies regarding the use of links in guest articles. Listen carefully to their announcements.
In addition to keeping up with Google’s updates and enhancements to how they index and display content in their SERPs, there are certain practices that will hurt your SEO rather than help it. In order to avoid making mistakes, avoid the following guest posting bad habits:
- Spamming blog editors – To pitch guest posting to webmasters, blog editors, and company SEO or marketing teams, avoid using standard email templates. Your email will typically be ignored or reported as spam, and you are doing yourself and your brand no favors. Instead, focus on establishing genuine relationships with editors and communicating with them directly.
- Do not purchase links – You should avoid link-building schemes, exchanging backlinks, and purchasing links as part of your guest content SEO strategy. Google has become very effective over time at removing this type of content, and their most recent core algorithm update, released at the end of July 2021, was designed to eliminate link spamming. You can learn more about this update on this page, and for more information on Google’s recommended linking practices, visit this page.
- Don’t disregard the quality of publication websites – Do not pitch a guest post to a website simply because it is in your niche or related to the area of expertise of a client. Analyze the site’s quality and refrain from submitting blog posts if you find issues such as negative reviews, poor content quality that either doesn’t cover topics or contains numerous grammar and spelling errors, keyword stuffing, etc.
How To Search Technology Guest Posting Sites:
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- “submit guest post” + “Technology.”
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In spite of Google’s ever-changing guidelines, including how they evaluate links, guest blogging remains an effective SEO tactic. Educating yourself on how to research and approach online publications, keeping abreast of Google’s updates and announcements, and employing the same SEO fundamentals on your guest blog as you do on your own website will ultimately aid in its success.