A-Z Guest Blogging Practice for SEO & Organic Traffic

Are you an SME (small-medium enterprise) owner? Or, are you perhaps a brand market of a large multinational corporation who is considering the move from traditional to online marketing?

The size of your business and the products or services it sells are less critical in the context of this discussion. The starting point for any business organization is to attract its brand’s target audience; thus, robust digital marketing strategies must be devised and implemented.

While the online space levels the playing field and allows businesses of all sizes to compete with each other, there are billions of websites and blogs available for consumption. Thus, if your company does not follow digital marketing best practices, it runs the risk of falling by the wayside.

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The secret to business success in the online world is to drive organic traffic to your brand by establishing your company and brand as a credible authority in its niche. And, the best way to achieve this goal is to ensure that your brand is seen as a thought and market leader in its field is to develop a robust content marketing strategy.

Statistics show that circa 53% of the world’s population has access to the Internet via one or more devices like a mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer. When broken down by first-world economies and emerging market economies, the figures are slightly skewed towards the first-world countries: Circa 87% of people who live in the developed world have access to the Internet versus only 7% of people who live in the developing world have access to the Internet.

Digital marketing, SEO, & content marketing: Its relevance to Guest Post Blogging

Succinctly stated, digital marketing is just marketing using digital channels like guest post blogging, social media marketing, email marketing, as well as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It has the same outcomes as traditional marketing. And, it has replaced, and will continue to replace, traditional marketing because the modern consumer is attracted to a brand via the online space.

Content marketing is a “strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Additionally, content marketing forms a cornerstone of the larger SEO and digital marketing strategy. Actually, useful content should be at the core of all marketing strategies.

The way consumers search for a product or service is to type the request into the search bar of one of the search engines like Google or Bing. As an aside, Google is well-known as the world’s biggest Search Engine; thus, when we talk about Google further on in this discussion, we mean all search engines.

Search engines have complicated indexing algorithms or web-crawling spiders that work their way through all the content available on the World Wide Web. This content, in the form of blog posts, web copy, as well as social media content, is indexed based on keywords and linking URLs found on this content. And, when a consumer searches for a particular brand using the brand name as well as relevant keywords, the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) returns all the websites linked to the search terms.

What is guest post blogging?

Succinctly stated, as Google uses content to rank and index websites according to its brand and product names, content focus, and authority, which in turn, provides the raison d’etre for content marketing and guest post blogging. Thus, the questions that beg are:

  • What is guest post blogging?
  • How do you incorporate it into your content marketing strategy to drive traffic to your brand’s online presence and convert visitors into returning customers?

At this juncture, it is vital to note that one of the most challenging aspects that all brand marketers need to overcome is how to increase conversion rates. Once a consumer has converted into a customer, brand loyalty kicks in, and the customer should remain loyal to the brand.

Thus, by way of expanding on the answers to these questions, let’s look at a definition of guest post blogging:

In summary, guest post blogging is essentially a digital marketing strategy that posts blog content on websites or blogs other than your company website or blog.

Its key aim is to use authoritative content to drive organic traffic to the brand’s website or online presence. Thus, it is correct to assume that guest post blogging must form a fundamental part of content marketing.

As highlighted above, the value of a well-written, relevant, authoritative blog post cannot, and must not be underestimated. For example, most content available for consumption on the World Wide Web This content should ideally be written by a native speaker and writer of the language. Otherwise, your website and the blog that the content is posted on, run the risk of being penalized by Google.

Neil Patel of neilpatel.com, a well-recognized authority on all things digital marketing reiterates with the following quotation:

Google’s on an uncompromising mission. It wants to give its users access to accurate information, unique content, and the finest writers. It continually tweaks and improves its algorithms so that the best of the web gets the exposure it deserves.”

Therefore, if your brand’s online content is well-written by a native English speaker, is feature-rich, full of facts, and indicates to Google that your company is a thought leader in its field, then you will rank on the Google SERP. Unfortunately, there is a flip side to this statement. If Google considers the content to be poorly written, spammy, and irrelevant to the brand, your website will be penalized. And, it is extremely difficult to recover from a penalty. Thus, it is vital to make sure that your guest post blogs are always of an extremely high standard. At this point, it is vital to define the concept of organic traffic because Google punishes what it perceives to be paid traffic and rewards web traffic that it deems organic. The quintessential definition of “organic traffic” is web traffic generated by visitors that land on your website as a result of unpaid search results. Organic website visitors find your website after searching for your brand’s products or services using a search engine.

Advantages of guest post blogging

wordpress, blogging, blogger

It is vital to note that, as with all marketing efforts, there is a financial cost to guest post blogging.Therefore, it is supremely important that SEO’s ensure that the company sees a positive return on investment (ROI) on any digital marketing spend, especially in the area of content marketing and guest post blogging.

And, as referred to in the previous section, well-written and well-structured, authoritative blog posts add tremendous value to the brand’s marketing strategy. The age-old adage “content is king” still stands today.

Thus, let’s consider some of the direct and indirect benefits to guest post blogging:

Link juice is the phrase used by SEOs to “refer to the value or equity passed from one page or site to another. This value is passed through hyperlinks. Search engines see links as votes by other websites that your page is valuable and worth promoting.”

Link juice is primarily passed on through the indexing of do-follow links contained within the guest post published on a blog. This is where the real value of good content is noticed. Google passes on the value of the links contained within the content to the brand’s website. If the article links to high-value sites, then the link juice effect is positive. On the other hand, if the article links to spammy, low-quality websites, Google will punish the brand and the blog.

Thus, obtaining link juice from websites like Forbes, Inc, and other high-value sites will increase the value of your brand’s online presence.

The value and effect of referral traffic is similar to that of link juice.

Succinctly stated, one of the instant advantages of guest post blogging is the referral traffic that your brand’s online presence should receive. Let’s assume that you include at least one link pointing back to your root domain within each blog post. Consequently, you will notice an uptick in referral traffic from the external sources.

 For example, if your guest post gets 1 000 views and 10 percent of these browsers click on your link, the net result will be 100 free visitors to your site. And, since the guest posts that contain the link to your website are permanent, your referral traffic statistics will increase with time.

This is an indirect benefit as it is challenging to measure the increase in brand reputation. However, the increase in this metric should not be underestimated.

How does guest post blogging increase brand reputation?

In summary, the more your brand name is linked to high-quality content that is posted on high-value guest post blogs; the more your company will be seen as an authority in its niche. This, in turn, will attract more visitors to your website, and increase the chance of your brand’s target audience converting into returning customers.

Another way you can increase your brand’s authority and value is to highlight the fact that your products have been mentioned in blog posts on authoritative sites like Forbes, and Inc.

Link building drives the raison d’etre for guest post blogging. Why?

In summary, Google’s search and indexing algorithms use the quality and number of links pointing to your brand’s websites, or online presence to determine the website’s (domain’s) total authority. In other words, the more influential your brand’s backlink profile, the more trustworthy its website will be, and the higher Google will rank it on the SERP.

Thus, the more high-quality, authoritative articles you publish on guest blogs with links back to your brand’s website or social media presence, the more exposure and higher search rankings on the Google SERP. The aim is to get your brand ranked in the top three to five URLs returned on the SERP.

Implementation: Guest post blogging best practice methodologies

As stated above, the fundamental aim for, and rationale behind, guest post blogging is to establish your company’s brand as an authority in its niche.

Mike Murray notes in his article titled, “Rise Up in Google SERPs With the Right SEO Website Content,” “When brands prioritize publishing higher-quality content but doing it less often, it can impress visitors and pay off in brand recognition, trust, and content sharing.”

And, if your brand is dropping down the SERP, increase your guest post blogging effort. As long as the content remains of a very high standard, and it follows digital marketing best practices, your organic search traffic will increase.

It is vital to be mindful of the fact that, while guest post blogging is widely accepted amongst industry experts as one of the leading ways to prove authority, it can also go horribly wrong. Thus, it is vital to ensure that your guest post blogging strategy follows SEO best-practice methodologies.

Relevance

It is critical that your link is relevant to the content in the blog post. Google’s search engine algorithms, specifically BERT, are capable of determining whether the guest post blog’s content is relevant to the linking URL; otherwise, Google will consider the article spam and penalize your brand’s online presence.

What is BERT?

Searchengineland.com states that BERT is,“Google’s neural network-based technique for natural language processing (NLP) pre-training.” Essentially, BERT helps Google “better understand the nuances and context of words in searches and better match those queries with more relevant results.”

The original Artificial Intelligence method for interpreting search queries is known as RankBrain. It considers “both queries and the content of web pages in Google’s index to better understand what the meanings of the words are.” In other words, when you enter a search word or phrase on the Google search page, RankBrain returns results based on what it thinks the answer to your search question is.

With the advent of BERT, RankBrain no longer needs to work on its own. It now functions together BERT to return improved search results based on their interpretation of the search phrase.

Anchor texts: Keywords and keyword phrases

Part of the design and implementation of a successful content marketing strategy has to include the development of a keyword strategy.

What is a keyword strategy?

In summary, users search for products and services using keywords and keyword phrases. For example, if you are looking to buy a coffee machine online, you will type the keyword phrase “coffee machine” into the Google search page. Google will then use both BERT and RankBrain to determine which brands sell coffee machines and return a whole list of websites related to coffee machines.

Thus, if you are a coffee machine supplier, you want to make sure that your brand’s website is linked to the anchor text “coffee machine.” As highlighted above, the primary way to achieve this is to publish guest blog posts with content that includes an anchor text or focus keyword that is associated with your brand’s website or online presence. It is vital to ensure that this content is strictly related to your brand and focus keyword. Finally, the closer the content is related to the keyword and linking URL, the higher Google will rank it on the SERP.

Therefore, it makes sense that developing a keyword strategy is a fundamental part of guest post blogging and content marketing.

The next question to ask is how do you develop a keyword strategy?

By way of answering this question, let’s consider the following:

The first step is to compile a list of all the words and phrases that relate to your brand and its products or services. Part of the overall SEO or digital marketing strategy is to create target audience persona-types. These persona-types come in handy when considering which search phrases will likely be used to search for the products or services your company sells.

Secondly, it is equally important to look at which anchor texts or keyword phrases your competitors are ranking on. This will provide reliable information on which keywords your brands should be targeted.

Long-term keywords are keyword phrases that comprise several words that are related to your company’s products and services. If we look at the example of a coffee machine mentioned above, a long-tailed keyword will look like this, “the best self-cleaning expresso coffee machine.” Thus, when your target audience searches for the best self-cleaning expresso coffee machine, your brand will be in the top search results returned on the SERP.

Expertly written and well-structured content

As highlighted more than once in the text mentioned above, it is critical to publish content that is grammatically correct, relevant to the anchor texts, and factual. Google likes in-depth, accurate, and descriptive content. And, Google ranks the linking brand highly as it is seen as an authority in its niche.

Apart from writing well-researched, relevant copy, it’s vital to follow these pointers to ensure that the content meets Google’s requirements:

  • The focus keyword or keyword phrase must be included in the title, preferably at the beginning of the title. It must also be added to the H1, H2, and H3 headers.
  • Write for your brand’s target audience, not Google.
  • Keep the content’s paragraphs no longer than three sentences.
  • Add several H2 and H3 headings. It allows readers to focus on the salient points that the article is presenting.
  • Use listicles it the topic allows it.
  • Ensure that your content’s topic is eye-catching.
  • Prioritize long-form content or articles that are at least 500 words long. However, Google seems to rank content that is between 2000 and 2500 words highly. Of course, there is no maximum word-count limit. Relevance is the key here. Do not keep writing just to increase the word count. As soon as the article loses its core focus, the linking URL runs the risk of dropping down on the Google SERP.

Final thoughts

While Google and other search engines continue to change their indexing and ranking algorithms regularly, one thing remains certain. The only way to rank in the top three to five results on the SERP is to publish well-written authoritative content in the form of guest post blogs. The more blog posts you publish, the higher the chance you have of ranking at the top of the SERP, irrespective of how Google changes its ranking and indexing algorithms.

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