The Importance of Guest Blogging
Since the release of Google’s Penguin update; the world of SEO has changed significantly. Many sites that were once ranked highly have now dropped off the face of the Earth and some that were struggling to get rankings at all have now been given a boost.
With the release of Penguin; Google are targeting those who have been adopting ‘black hat’ SEO methods and, in their blog posted shortly after the update was launched, Google stated that “We want people doing white hat search engine optimization (or even no search engine optimization at all)”.
With this in mind; link building strategies have changed significantly over the past 6 months. With the relegation of sites using black hat link building methods, Google are now giving much more authority to those who have ‘natural’ backlinks to their site. And, with the prevalence of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest; ‘tweeting’, sharing and guest blogging are now extremely influential as sources of ‘natural’ links. The theory is that if you advertise your product on any social media sites, and people share them, they are genuinely interested in what you have to offer and any links back to your site are therefore ‘natural’.
The downside to social media marketing is that it takes a lot longer than previous link exchange methods. Yes, you can share images relatively quickly but the most authority will come from good quality guest blogs which take time to write. You need to bear in mind at all times that this needs to benefit the blog host as well as yourself; there is no point spending ages writing a guest blog only to have it rejected by the host! Always make sure before you start writing, also, that you can have at least one anchor text link back to your own site otherwise the whole exercise is rendered pretty much useless.
Guest blogging is a fantastic digital marketing tool as it gets you noticed when you first start out. When you get your own website, chances are it’ll have zero authority. If you can write high quality, relevant guest blogs then potential audiences will start to associate your name or brand with useful and pertinent information. Authority from the host site will then flow through to you which will in turn help boost your ranking. This can be a lengthy process if you don’t have the time to be researching guest blogs and writing articles all day, but remember that SEO is a process in itself and it can take up to a few months to really see results in a competitive market.
Generally, guest blogging is useful as you will already be directing your posts at your target audience. Pay Per Click and other online advertising may only increase traffic to your site, but not necessarily conversion, as you cannot guarantee that your target audience is actually being reached. For example, if you post about your handmade jewellery on a blog that is dedicated to fashion then you are reaching your target audience straight away. Once readers see your post, they may continue to follow your work and share this with other like-minded social media subscribers. This is where Twitter and Facebook become useful as one ‘Tweet’ about your blog post or website can potentially be shared by thousands of viewers around the world.
Networking in this way is absolutely key to modern digital marketing. Should the worst happen and your site gets thrown out by Google because of a new algorithm update or because of a few bad backlinks; your social media standing will remain. You never know what Google may do next so don’t put all of your eggs in one basket and rely solely on one marketing strategy.