Whatever industry you’re in, you will likely find yourself competing for page views. While great content attracts visitors, it is not enough on its own. Driving traffic to your website is vital whether you’re blogging for a profit or as part of a larger marketing campaign for your business. That is why you need a link-building strategy.
You may have tried buying backlinks, but it’s a risky strategy that could do more harm than good. Guest posting – writing content for other websites in exchange for a link back to your website – is one of the best SEO strategies you can use to build links.
Backlinks from high authority websites have a positive impact on your search engine rankings and improve the chances of your website getting noticed by the right people.
Know where you are
Before you go any further, you need to know where you rank compared to your competition. In other words, you need to review your website’s performance and compare it to other websites in your niche. Knowing where you stand can give you an idea of the amount of work you need to put in.
Start by choosing the keywords you want to rank for, and then use a Google search to find out which websites are top rankings for those keywords. If your content isn’t as good as theirs, you need to improve its quality or rethink your content strategy to be competitive.
Identify the locations you want guest posts to target
Not all backlinks are created equal. Some will help drive traffic to your website, while others will not have a huge impact (or may even have a negative outcome). It would help if you chose your landing pages strategically.
Fortunately, there are several easy-to-use tools that can help. I use the following criteria to identify suitable locations for applying for guest post opportunities:
Relevance to my niche.
Monthly traffic of 3,000 or more visitors.
A Domain Authority (DR) score of 50 or higher.
A Trust Flow score of at least 15.
Make your content user friendly
SEO is always about the user. Virtually all Google updates are related to easy-to-use content.
Google now presented the so-called Core Web Vitals. These are key figures that evaluate the user experience of a website and also sponsored posts.
Learn more about the behavior of your users on your website. That is more important than technical optimization.
The usability of a page is made up of many different factors that add up to a convincing website and ensure an optimal user experience. In a nutshell, this means: The website visitor can get to the desired destination quickly and easily. He’ll find what he’s looking for on the website.
But user-friendliness also creates trust. And trust is a great asset for business success on the Internet. If a user feels that they are in good hands with you, they are more willing to act – that is, to order in the shop, fill out the contact form or call.
Reach your target websites
In most cases, you are completely new to the people who manage your landing pages. Hence, you need to find the right person and email them to match.
If you don’t know the website owner’s name, start searching LinkedIn for the website name and job titles, such as “Editor” or “Content Manager.” Once you’ve found a name, I recommend using an email finder to look up their contact information.
Write a subject line that will grab the reader’s attention
Website owners and content managers are busy people. You may receive hundreds of emails every day. Hence, you need to grab their attention with a fascinating subject line to convince them that your email is worth reading.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Keep the subject line short and straightforward.
Personalize the subject line with the recipient's name or the website's domain name.
Use an emoji (this can increase the chances of your email being around 56%!)
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different subject lines until you find two or three that work with your audience.
Use a template for email exchanges
The best outreach emails are clear, straightforward, and concise.
Do not be fooled into piling up flattery to get the editor to agree with your proposal. Treat your outreach email like a business proposal (which it is!) And focus on these key points:
Who they are
What do you need from them?
What's in it for you?
Your email should be professional. Greet each other in a friendly manner, introduce yourself and summarize your concerns briefly and succinctly. If you’ve published content on well-known websites and are a recognized expert on a particular subject, you should mention that too. Social security is useful when the publisher doesn’t know you or your work.
Wait a few days and then send a polite follow-up if you don’t get a response. If you still don’t get an answer, assume the answer is no and move on to the next prospect.
When running your cold outreach campaign, don’t worry too much about getting rejected or ignored. Sometimes, this happens to everyone, and it’s best to learn how to dismiss it and move on. Once you’ve got the green light from an editor, it’s time to come up with some great topic ideas.
Develop ideas for guest posts
Don’t stress if it looks like every subject under the sun has been covered before. Do you want to know a secret? It did! Unless you’re writing about current scientific research or breaking news, it’s okay to revisit existing topics.
Original content creation is all about getting a good angle. What new perspective can you bring in, and how can you approach an existing topic differently? Let’s say you want to write about email marketing. Writing for a non-profit audience is very different from writing on the same topic for B2B business owners. Make sure you understand the audience and the site’s point of view before submitting a pitch.
Do a Google search on the topic you want to find out what it’s already there. I like to use the Keywords Everywhere add-on for Chrome as it shows you keyword search volumes and suggests alternatives that you can use: