Hold tight folks because Google has just released another update. Affectionately named Hummingbird, it’s got the SEO community all a flutter with confusion reigning on what SEO tactics Google is targeting this time. Early signs are that its websites packed with ‘long tail’ phrases and articles that answer specific questions that will get a boost. But as always, the SEO community (the ‘black hat’ segment anyway) is circling its wagons and waiting to see the impact before coming up with a counter strategy.
SEO is an ever changing discipline that’s forever playing a game of cat and mouse with Google’s algorithm. But you have to wonder why bother with SEO at all when there’s a strategy that continues to work whatever cuddly sounding, yet, brutal, updates Google throws into its algorithm?
Guest blogging is a ‘white hat’ and safe SEO strategy
If you have a blog and have seen an upsurge in people offering to write guest posts, you’re not alone. A lot of SEO agencies have moved on from spammy tactics of submitting cheap, mass produced articles to article directories but are now focused on quality links over quantity.
More so now than ever, you need links from relevant, high value sites if you want to get the nod of approval from Google and be ushered higher up the rankings. So it’s sensible for copywriters (or, if we’re being picky about titles, ‘content writers’) to offer guest posting services.
Guest posting also offers an opportunity to reinforce your ‘added value’ credentials by offering a content marketing strategy to go with the words. Along with advice on what to write about, how to install WordPress and developing an inbound marketing campaign, clients need to know where they can publish their articles to get the most link juice.
Here are six ways of finding places where you can publish your content:
Technorati – The granddaddy of blog search engines, Technorati catalogues over 112 million blogs, from celebrity news to sports to business. Pop in your keywords and do a search for blogs that cover the same topics as your client. It’s sensible to target those with the highest ‘authority’ first and build your list from there.
Google Blog Search – Search for ‘[keyword] guest post’ to reveal targets for your guest blogging campaign. To find out which offer the highest quality links, you can use a handy browser plugin called ‘SEO Quake’ to reveal a website’s Page Rank and SEO power.
Target industry websites – Visit the websites of some of the big players in your client’s industry. Many of them will have a news section or a blog which could benefit from some inspiring and insightful content. You can use LinkedIn to track down the best person to submit your proposal to, in which you explain who you are, what you want to write about and how they will benefit.
Help A Reporter Out – This service sends out daily emails from reporter looking for sources for stories. While US centric, it’s worth checking out if your client is in an industry worthy of some mainstream coverage.
Press releases – There are plenty of free press release distribution sites you can use to publish articles disguised as press releases, but they’re a waste of time. Your client needs to shell out for a paid service, like PRWeb or DWPub, to give their news some legs and a highly valuable backlink. In fact, many marketers rely on weekly press releases alone for their entire SEO strategy.
Spy on where your competitors post content – This is a rather cloak and dagger tactic, but if you’ve ever wondered how your competitors get such high rankings it’s easy to find out. Websites like Open Site Explorer, ahrefs, Majestic SEO and desktop applications like Traffic Travis and SEO Spyglass can be used to reveal your competitors’ backlinks profile. All of these tools offer a sample of results for free, but you’ll need to stump up the cash to get the full report. You can then see where your competitors are publishing articles and then target these sites yourself to mirror their SEO strategy and uncover high PR sites that accept submissions.
While it’s early days, Google’s new update sounds like it could benefit website copywriters/content writers. Its focus on promoting sites that answer questions reinforces the need for businesses to be constantly publishing information that answers questions, builds rapport and attracts visitors. So along with developing a guest posting strategy, you can mention to clients that they now need more content on their own site too. A double whammy of benefits thanks to Google’s ever more sophisticated search engine.