Using guest posts (or guest blogging) as a part of your digital marketing strategy can be extremely fruitful, but before you start headlong into a guest posting campaign, it is vital that you first identify the best style of guest post for your company. Read on to find out how to maximise the potential of guest posting and see the impact on your sales.
What is guest posting?
First of all, let’s take a closer look at guest posting. Essentially, a guest post is a piece of writing that is posted on someone else’s site (usually a blog). Most guest blogs are written to be informative, providing the reader with something new and interesting (otherwise – no-brainer – they’re not going to read it!). Embedded within this informative text, is a link where the reader can find more information on a particular element discussed within the blog.
Why are backlinks important?
The links you include within a guest post serve many purposes and should be chosen carefully. Critically, you must link to a page on your own site for the purpose of directing traffic to your own company. You might also want to link to one or more informative (and crucially, authoritative) sites which can give your reader a more in-depth account on something mentioned in your blog.
The link to your site has three purposes:
– 1. It gives the reader an additional angle or further material to read, linked to something in the blog.
– 2. The presence of a backlink can direct traffic to your site, which in turn can promote sales by having visitors see the services you provide. Even if this traffic doesn’t convert to an immediate sale, it can promote brand awareness.
– 3. Finally – and this is where things get even more interesting – this backlink on an authoritative site improves the way search engines classify your site and offers a huge boost to your SEO. Basically, quality backlinks lead to improved ranking in Google.
Spend time understanding your clients
Understanding your customers is fundamental for all sorts of reasons. Knowing their interests, the websites they are likely to look at, as well as their behaviour patterns will all provide insights which can help you write an appealing blog.
A company selling hiking gear spent time carrying out a focus group to gain a better understanding of their customers’ overlapping hobbies. It became apparent that many of them also had a parallel interest in bird watching. This knowledge and understanding helped inform their future guest post strategy, and engage with their customers – and potential customers – in a more strategic and mutually beneficial way.
You might think you know your target audience well, but if you are in the process of expanding into other countries, it is sensible to consider what cultural factors might also affect sales. Having a handle on the ways in which different markets operate can be time-consuming and complex. Nevertheless, using multilingual SEO effectively is central to ensuring your site is discoverable through organic search in all the countries in which you operate. As this requires an in-depth understanding of multiple markets, it is usually wise (and cost-effective) to use the services of a specialist agency.
Improve your position with Google
The greater the number of high authority links your site has, the more relevant and high authority Google (and other search engines) will deem your site to be. Other factors are considered as well, such as the length of time visitors spend on your site, what percentage of people visit your site but then leave immediately (known as your ‘bounce rate’), and how often you are shared on social media. How many organic backlinks you have is a crucial part of how the Google algorithm decides on where you should rank, which means that they need to be planned carefully into your guest post.
While a higher search engine ranking might not be your immediate target if you are focusing on driving sales, by improving the visibility of your site when people search for relevant terms, you will directly impact on the amount of traffic you attract – which in turn, generates a higher rate of sales. Let’s look at this in more detail.
Say you own a website selling premium cat food. You have a fabulous website and have decided to write a guest post informing people all about how fantastic your product is, in the hope of persuading cat owners to switch brands. The problem is, your Google ranking is not too impressive. In fact, 100 different cat food companies rank higher than you. Chances are, you won’t appear anywhere near close enough to the top of a Google search when potential customers search for a relevant term, and your target audience will struggle to discover you.
This is where your guest posting strategy can help. While your main aim might be to generate sales, you also clearly need to work on your Google ranking. Including natural backlinks to your site (which seem much less ‘spammy’ than link pages with dozens of links and as such, are valued much more highly by Google) will help to improve this, and in the long run this will have a greater impact on sales, too.
Guest posting has long been hailed as a simple but highly effective way of attracting web traffic and, in turn, having a positive impact on sales. Having a better understanding of exactly how the process works will help inform your strategy and generate far more sales in the long run.