Guest blogging can be a very effective way to build backlinks to your website. But you must be careful not to arouse the suspicions of Google and other search engines when link building. There is a right way and a wrong way to build credibility on the Internet, and in this post, we’re going to talk about how to build backlinks without triggering red flag alerts.
The benefits of backlinks
The more high-quality, contextual, relevant links you have pointing to your website from other sites, the more search engines see you as a credible authority in your niche. Keep in mind that quality is important here. If you have thousands of crappy, irrelevant links pointing to your website, you could get penalized. Your link profile should appear natural. (Ideally, it should be natural, and we’ll talk more about how to get natural links in a moment.) The search engines are smart enough to know if you’ve been using spammy tactics to get your website ranked, and they’re only getting smarter by the day.
How to get natural backlinks
Natural backlinks are, quite simply, backlinks that happen naturally. They aren’t contrived or incentivized in any way (i.e. paid backlinks). They happen naturally when you create amazing content that other people want to share. Let’s say you create a high-quality resource such as an E-book or an infographic, full of helpful information that people might be searching the internet for. Naturally, that content is going to get shared by others. People share content in different ways: through social media, through word of mouth, or by adding a link to that content on their website. The more great content you create, the more chances you have of it being picked up and shared on other websites, thus resulting in links that point back to you, and increasing your credibility in the eyes of search engines.
How NOT to get backlinks
There are certain things you should avoid doing to get backlinks to your website:
First off, don’t pay for them. Search engines are smart enough to know when you’ve paid for a link, and paid links won’t be given much clout, if any.
Don’t reciprocate. Reciprocal links cancel each other out. Exchanging a link for a link will do nothing to boost your website rankings, and search engines will know that both links were incentivized through the exchange.
Guest blog with caution. That brings us to the title of this post: the right way to guest blog. If you’re going to offer to do a guest post on another site, make sure you’re not just doing it to get a link. There are definitely benefits to guest blogging, including the benefit of link building. But you must approach guest blogging opportunities as natural PR opportunities. This means trying to find legitimate, relevant websites that are looking for useful content that you, as an expert in your niche, can provide, and offering to do a guest post. If they give you a link back to your website, great. If not, it’s still beneficial to you, since it increases your chances of being seen by that website’s audience. It’s likely that they will not only give you a backlink; they’ll also post the piece on their social media pages. And that basically qualifies as free advertising.
There are several ways to find blogs that will allow you to guest blog. You can do a simple Google search for your main keyword phrase and add the words “write for us” or “guest posts” to the query. The resulting list of blogs will be those that allow guest posting. Go to each result and do your research! Make sure the site is relevant to your niche before reaching out to the site owner to pitch your content. Also be sure the site does not already have similar content posted to it before pitching.
There are also guest blogging communities like MyBlogGuest, where bloggers can find other blogs to guest post to. Proceed with caution when looking for opportunities in those communities, and make sure your content is relevant to the sites you want to post to.
ThayerAds is happy to accept relevant, high-quality guest posts from online marketing and SEO experts. If you’re interested in being a contributor, contact us here!