Guest posting, guest posting, guest posting.
I’m pretty sure we’ve read enough posts over the last three weeks to make us all sick. Well, here’s one more for you!
I think all good marketers can agree that guest posting should have never been used as a scalable link-building tactic. Instead, it should have been used only to build your brand, generate referral traffic and maybe get a good link out of it.
Now that Senior Cutts is on a witch-hunt, what is a marketer to do? And the answer is… Keep guest posting!
However, if you’re going to guest post, there are seven tests you should run on a site that you’re looking to post on. These tests will ensure, or hopefully ensure, that you’re getting the most out of your guest post and that Senior Cutts isn’t going to come after you.
1. Does the website receive traffic?
Although sometimes hard to tell, you can do a little bit of digging to see if the website receives traffic.
Look at a few of the webpages title tags and see what keywords they are optimized for. Run a few of those keyword searches in Google and Bing, and then see if the website shows up. You can also look to see if they’re bidding on any PPC traffic.
As you’re doing your digging, make sure that the site isn’t just receiving a couple visits a day that are only for 30 seconds or less. You want sites that are averaging a good amount of daily visits that are preferably more than a minute long each time. That way you know visitors are actually reading through content instead of just accidentally clicking on that site or reading a blog title and the first paragraph and then moving on to a new site. Running the site through Alexa should be enough to give you a good idea.
2. Does the website have a social following?
Most good websites are proud to display how many friends or likes they have on Facebook or how many followers they have on Twitter. They usually do this in the sidebar on their blog or somewhere else that’s easily seen.
If you can’t see this data on their website, head over to Facebook and Twitter and search for their business name.
3. Does the website have a blog that produces more content internally than through guest posts?
One dead give away of a blog that you do not want to guest post on is if the entire blog is filled with guest posts! Read through the blog and see if employees of the organization are writing frequently on it.
When the website accepts guest posts, are they full of self-serving exact match or partial match anchor text links? You probably want a site that uses both.
Another dead give away of a blog that you do not want a guest post on is a blog filled with guest posts that are full of self-serving back legs. A good guest post includes links not only to your own website but to other valuable resources found around the web, as well as internal links to other posts on the website or other landing pages on the website.
4. Do the blog posts get shared socially?
Most blogs these days have social share buttons, so you can quickly get a sense if the content is being shared socially.
I’m not talking about one or two shares. These can be accomplished by simply sharing the content through the blog’s social profiles and maybe through an employee or blogger’s social profiles. You should be looking at 10-15 social shares at a minimum across several different blog posts to see if the content is really valuable, engaging and generating good social interest.
5. Do the blog posts attract any backlinks?
Some people think that just creating a blog is going to build you links. Well, that’s not true because it’s what you do with the blog that builds links. And you want a blog that’s attracting quality backlinks because with recent Google updates, only quality updates matter.
A way to tell if a blog attracts quality backlinks is by the “link bait” content it has, which includes text articles, videos and infographics. Types of link bait to look for are list posts, breaking news posts covering a major industry issue, posts taking a stance on popular and/or controversial topics and interviews with trusted experts in your industry.
6. Do the blog posts receive any comments?
At the end of every blog post there’s a section where readers can leave comments. Go to it. If you don’t see any comments, on any of their blogs you read, then it’s a safe assumption that no one is reading their blog or their posts aren’t worth commenting on, so stay away. If there are only spam comments, then you also want to steer clear.
If under the comments section there is good discussion and lots of it of from different readers, especially on numerous posts, then you’ve likely found a winner.
7. Are the blog posts on topic with your business?
No matter what your business is, you want to stick to guest posting with blogs that write topics related to your business and its brand.
If a blog has a bunch of random posts that for the most part don’t relate to one another, then there’s a red flag for you. Those blogs are all over the place, and you can bet that the loyal audience of your industry that you’re looking for isn’t going there in search of your kind of posts. But if you find one whose blog posts are mostly centered on topics that relate to your business and its industry, then readers who are into those kinds of topics are most likely frequenting that blog.
So while you may be tired of hearing about guest posting, it really is a good thing to do. Just remember to do these fairly quick seven tests on a site before you submit a guest post to them. Happy guest posting!
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.