Your backlink strategy is one of the key aspects of a great SEO plan, along with writing great content, linking internally, and ensuring fast load time. But a strategy that drives low-quality link value back to your site is both a waste of your time and bad for branding.
That’s where legitimate, high-quality guest posting comes into play. This tactic allows you to get placements on sites that are not only good from a domain authority standpoint, but that also garner respect as a brand. Having your name, website or brand associated with theirs looks good to their reader, and potential customer, while adding legitimacy and value to your backlink strategy.
Backlink Strategy: Refresh With Great Guest Posting
Stop reaching for the low-hanging fruit. Instead, use the tactics I’ve learned in the eight years I’ve been doing high-value guest posting for businesses big and small. Incorporate them into your backlink strategy to see the organic rankings you’ve been looking for.
Did you know this exact tactic that drove a 99 percent increase in organic traffic for a client of mine? Check out the link building case study.
Develop Proprietary Data for Guest Post Pitching
One of the best ways to get legitimate, high-value guest posts is to have great data. This is helpful to you in two ways: 1. It informs your pitch, allowing you to provide a fresh and unique angle. 2. It allows you to link to something within the article that is valuable for the reader, and adds supplemental value to the content of the article.
Sites that allow external links in guest posts are looking for links that:
- Source quotes properly
- Source data as needed
- Provide supplementary value
Linking to a report or blog post with proprietary data allows you to do exactly that, whether you’re sourcing a data point or recommending the reader delve further into the topic with your report. There are many ways you can collect this data. Depending on your industry, you may be able to look internally for data. Look at all the reports from companies like Buffer and Hubspot that pull data from their own customer base and work.
Conversely, you could survey your customers, readers or subscriber base, if you have a large enough audience to statistically relevant results. See how Buffer did this with their State of Social 2019 report.
Another option is Google Surveys. You don’t pay to sign up for the tool, but you do pay per response, but can get results from a substantial group of people that you don’t have to gather yourself, like from your subscriber base or readership. Build this into your budget for the quarter so you can get the data you need.
Before getting the data, be sure to ask yourself: how can we best angle and pitch it? You want to make sure you get results that can be shared in a way that show you’re the expert in your field. As you write the questions, keep this in mind.
Provide Actual Value, Don’t Just Get a Link
I’ve worked with many editors and publishers for 5+ years because my work is great and I’m easy to work with. How can you replicate what I’ve done? Here are a few easy tips to follow.
- Pitch unique angles.
- Submit well-written content.
- Don’t regurgitate information from similar articles.
- Back every statement with stats and expert insights.
- Communicate regularly and consistently.
You can learn more about how I maintain these relationships in my article, I’ve Written More Than 700 Guest Posts: Here’s What I Learned.
If you want to write great guest post content to support your backlink strategy, you may need to hire a writer who can create content that makes a good impression. If your content doesn’t cut it, most editors aren’t afraid to send it back, or ask you re-write; this ends up taking more time on your end for the same outcome.
Conversely, you can also work with a freelance or guest posting expert to ensure your brand is being featured in high-quality content. If you’re interested in how I work and provide guest posting services, please get in touch.
Don’t Use a Backlink Outreach Tool
If you’re sending mass emails asking for your blog post to be included in a list of resources or a live blog post, think again. Anyone editor managing a great blog or publication—the kind you want to guest post for—will delete it immediately. This is nothing more than spam.
Another issue is if you’re reaching out for guest post opportunities in this same automated manner. As an editor myself, there are few things I dislike more than getting random emails from people pitching articles that have nothing to do with our brand or blog. This is often what happens when you use an outreach tool.
Blindly sending emails based on keywords is the biggest mistake you can make; an editor that sees these messages automatically associates that brand with spam outreach practices, which isn’t a good look for you.
Instead, do your research manually. It’s not easy, and it takes time, but the outcome is high-value contacts and a better first impression for your brand.
Have Placement Site Standards
The key to everything I’m saying is “high-value.” By high-value, I mean a site that passes the sniff test for domain authority, overall look and feel, consistency in posting and more. Get together as a team and determine what your standards are going to be and then stick to them. As you research for sites, every single blog you pitch should pass your internal “siff test.”
I encourage you to follow this to the letter because it’s tempting to bypass these parameters when you find a site that’s just below the domain authority requirement and has a “Write for Us” page, for example, AKA, you feel you may be more likely to get the guest post placement.
Again, however, I remind you: don’t take the low hanging fruit. It may be easier, but it won’t provide enough value to be worth your time. Not to mention, almost none of the sites I write for have a “write for us” page. If you have a great pitch and great writing samples, editors will want to publish your work.
Focus on the Knowledge You Can Bring to the Guest Post
You bring a lot to the table, so focus on sites that allow you to best showcase your knowledge. This is where the thought leader aspect comes into play and it’s one that will bode well for you. Editors want contributors who can share from personal experience, which is always more powerful for the reader.
This may mean that your team ghost pitches for your CEO or another C-level employee. Again, this means you have to have a great team in place who you can trust to be the face of the brand with great communication and smart outreach techniques.
If you’re ready to take your backlink strategy to the next level, boosting your brand and your SEO, use these tips to revamp your outreach process. Need help? Let me know.