Guest Posting and How NOT to Do It

Guest-Posting-Opportunities-thinkingAs any beginner, self-professed SEO expert will tell you, content marketing in the digital world is as easy as one, two, three. The basic steps of the process are always the following:

  • Nab a client.
  • Audit their website. Check for any technical inconsistencies, as well as for search terms, traffic, back links, etc..
  • Research the best keywords for your client. Make sure the selected keywords are competitive, in the sense that your client actually stands a chance at ranking among top SERPs for them.
  • Write as many guest posts on other blogs on behalf of your client with the selected keywords.

At first glance, nothing seems wrong with the above steps of the process, does it? After all, anyone who has been in SEO for a while now has at least one or two success stories in which they did use the above strategy – and it worked. So, then, where’s the problem?

The problem is when one starts looking at the above strategy as a ‘one-size fits all’ kind of solution. It’s no secret to anyone who has anything to do with SEO that Google now places a lot more weight on off-page factors than it used to. It is part of the search engine’s strategy for compensating for poorly designed websites, which do have good content, while also demoting gray hat tactic users from their high SERP rankings. Indeed, nowadays, it’s all about the almighty back link and the weight it has come to carry in the eyes of the Google search algorithm. And no one is really saying that guest posts are a bad way of going about the construction of a strong backlink profile. On the contrary – the head of Google’s anti-spam team, Matt Cutts himself, has stated that guest posts are one way of achieving this highly desired goal.

The key phrase in the above statement is ‘one way’. So long as guest blogging is part of a tailored, well-articulated strategy, it stands few odds at backfiring. This does not automatically imply that it’s the right strategy in all cases. Here are a few bits of information about the current guest post frenzy that seems to be sweeping the SEO industry:

  • Guest posts seem ‘safe’. They look good on paper and generally don’t take too heavy a toll on the overall online campaign budget. They seem to have a good ROI, when cost and visibility are factored in and while they work best on increasing traffic for the short-term, in theory, the initial investment is justified. This holds true even when a webmaster understands that a guest post on a given website isn’t going to instantly translate into a traffic spike or a boatload of conversions.
  • Guest posts satisfy the SEO industry’s need for stats and figures. They boost metrics and help webpages rank higher in the SERPs. As mentioned above, better ranking will not automatically mean more traffic, but it might just.
  • Guest posts are reliable, in the sense that they are one of those tested and true strategies. However, they are not the most creative type of strategy and should only be resorted to when one has access to genuine talent on the content writing

Author Bio

Paul Estcott runs a small content writing creative agency with an impressive roster of guest posting clients, from a wide range of fields. His tips for success are working with top talent and honoring deadlines with fierce seriousness.