Are Guest Posting Services Worth The Investment?
It doesn’t matter what type of business you have or how many years of experience is under your belt, no one can deny the benefits of guest posting. When I was wrote an article talking about growing my IT business at Hale Associations, I discussed the importance of building meaningful relationships with your online peers.
This is where guest posting services can be a big benefit to branding your business and growing organic traffic.
I recently did a search via Google on guest posting services. I found a lot of different companies offering guest post services. However, when I looked at the pricing for guest post, my jaw nearly dropped to the floor.
Google And Guest Posting
Google has not been shy about how they feel about guest posting. Google knows that sites that offer guest posting services are often involved in link building. Many guest posting websites, platforms, networks and companies have been penalized for it. So that leaves the big question, is there a right way to do guest posting?
If an article adds genuine use to a user, then yes. Here’s the thing, every website plays in these boundaries. However, it’s how guest posting is labeled that gives it a bad wrap. When we refer to guest posting as outreach (because in many ways, outreach is) we perceive it much differently.
If an authority website contacts you for an interview or you’re asked to contribute to their website, this differs over guest post. Now, you’re contributing. So I imagine there’s a difference Google views this differently. When Google refers to guest posting, they are talking about networks and platforms that advertise guest post. More so, they are referring to platforms that are without a question involved in link building schemes that add no real value to the end user.
Guest Writing Pricing
I won’t mention any names, but I saw many services offering $400-$500 for one guest post! Damn, I thought, “maybe I chose the wrong IT service.”
It looked like most pricing on guest writing opportunities used domain authority as a pricing indicator. And that’s fine I guess, DA is an important SEO metric. But remember, DA can be influenced by spam links. “That’s all I’m saying, I’m not knocking the metric.
It clearly shows that these guest posting companies know what drives SEO rankings.
There’s no question in my mind that link building remains one of the top SEO ranking factors. This is really why you see high pricing models. But you have to be aware of such services as they could risk your business. We know for a fact Google is against it. If you’re not appearing in results tomorrow, what will that do to your business?
Guest Post In SEO Today
Do guest post still work? Of course they do and very well. But there’s some key details to remember (and you better make sure you know this).
- Topical trust matters (more so than DA)
- Don’t post your content just anywhere (the site must be relative)
- The more footprints you leave, the more risk involved
- Aggressively using anchor text can get you penalized
- Google is against guest posting tactics
- End user has to be first, SEO last
High Authoritative Inbound Links
These high quality authority inbound links are very powerful and more the serps. However, these are one of the hardest backlinks to get. Through guest posting services and blogger outreach, you can get the opportunities you need to help your business thrive online. Consider quality always when guest posting and offering value to the visitors.
This goes back to the importance of building genuine relationships with others in the your niche and industry. It’s a crucial element in SEO, link building, guest posting and online marketing.
The quality of your backlinks plays a big role in where you website ranks in Google. You can have all the backlinks in the world, but if they’re not relative and of high quality, you’ll never achieve the SEO rankings you need to be very successful.
Not only are these backlinks hard to get, they are often the most time consuming. But effort can pay off as these will be the types of backlinks that can push your website up the leader board.
Is This White Hat SEO?
Honestly, it depends who you talk to. It can actually be a little bit of white, black and grey. The approach we do for guest posting is a white hat approach. All of the big SEO gurus do it, even down to your small business SEO’s. And for good reason, it’s effective at increase keyword rankings.
With guest writing, you don’t want to target just any website. You want to target platforms that are relative to your niche. Look at our 2016 ranking factors for Google. Relative authority links are positive serp movers.
Your focus should be quality and “real sites.” Let me explain. Your backlinks on sites that don’t have live signals are going to be less valued then backlinks from sites that have real traffic.
Brand mentions, social signals, traffic metrics, all of these give SEO value.
Honestly, I’ve never been big on the color sequences of SEO.. These are industry built terms that don’t matter. It’s either approved or disapproved by Google, it’s that simple.
Building Authority Relationships
Another big benefit for guest posting is the relationships you build. These genuine business friendships are priceless. At some point, all of us need someone. This is a great way to get your foot in the door if you’re new and it’s a great way to establish thought leadership if you’re a seasoned vet.
On day one, you should be doing outreach. Matter of fact, you should be doing it prior to your launch. You can build an Excel spreadsheet with contacts to keep track of everyone you reach out to.
There’s nothing wrong with targeting high authority leaders in your industry, but rarely will they reach out to someone that’s new on the block. But it can’t hurt, you have to start from somewhere.
Here’s some tips to help you build industry relationships;
- Mention the person via social media
- Mention the person via a video or article
- Mention someone’s business
- Review a person or company’s product/service
- Ask to guest post on their website/blog
- Ask them to guest post on your website
- Do a top 10 list and ask for expert opinions
- Interview someone in your industry
- Offer your advice, expertise or help
Outreach Can Mold Relationships
Guest posting can be a bad term to use in this case, but the benefits of true genuine outreach can’t be overlooked. I think I’m in the right saying this, authentic outreach is effective when the the content published is for the user. That should be thought one. I know it’s hard not to think about the SEO perks, but in Google’s eyes, anything published should have the end user at the forefront.
So yes, guest posting can help you build relationships. But again, it’s risky business. Guest posting should be done in a white hat manner, which probably changes the terminology all together.
We know that authority platforms do this all the time. It’s no different than signing up with an authority website and publishing content. Sure, this may or may not be viewed as guest posting. Perhaps guest contributing is the proper terminology.
There’s risk and reward in all that we do and guest posting is just one that falls into this category.