3 Things to Research Before You Pitch a Guest Blog Post
Utilizing guest blog posts to help market your content and improve search rankings.
From both a PR and SEO standpoint pitching and reaching out to bloggers has been a trend over the last several years. With over 77 percent of internet users reading blogs it’s a natural place to pitch our client’s story. “Blogger relations” is a skill set that every PR pro needs and getting bloggers to write about our clients is important. However, bloggers can easily get overwhelmed with the amount of content and maintenance it takes to run a successful blog. To combat this fatigue, one strategy that has seen good results is a guest post approach to blogger relations. Rather than pitching a blogger to write about your client/product/initiative, you pitch a pre-crafted “guest post” for their site. If all goes well, the blogger gets free excellent content and you get exposure for your client. It’s a win-win right?
This strategy helps boost search rankings because the post you pitch can be chock full of links that point back to your client’s website. Links are still a huge factor in determining where your website ranks in Google. Links signal popularity to a search engine and we know that popularity (links) combined with relevancy (keywords) create a well ranking website. The link game has shifted over the years but links are still the backbone of SEO and should be sought after. If your client’s website is optimized for search and you’re trying to promote it, you need to do some research before you start pitching bloggers. Here are a few things to research before you pitch a guest blog post:
1. Blog Relevancy
It’s a no brainer but whatever blog you are pitching needs to be extremely relevant to your client’s niche. Pitching a tech article to a blog about backyard gardening will not go over well. If the blog “needs” your content and they publish your article it will not look right in Google’s eyes. Google wants links to look as natural as possible and the site’s that you pitch need to be relevant to your subject matter. Using non-relevant sites to build back links could look like a link scheme to Google and they could in turn un-rank your site which would kill all traffic from search.
How to: The best place to start gathering a list of relevant sites will be through modifying searches or using customized searches in Google. A lot of SEO research programs offer site finder tools as well but the easiest and most cost effective place to start with is Google.
2. Blog Activity
How often are posts going up on the blog you are pitching? Is it a nice looking site? Decent traffic and participation? Getting an article up on a dead site that has only monthly posts will do little. What you want to look for is a site that someone cares about and actively publishes on. A lot of subjective questions fall into the activity research but site traffic is something that can get measured.
How to: Get a free account with Compete to quickly get traffic estimates. Lots of other traffic estimator tools exist so just poke around the web and see which one you like the best.
3. Blog Domain Authority
This is the one technical side to guest posting that needs to get considered. In short, domain authority is a score of 0-100 that represents how a website performs in search engine rankings. Domain Authority is essentially the “strength” of a website. Over 150 signals are used to calculate this metric into one single score and getting a link from a higher scoring site will “pass more juice” than a link from a lower scoring site. However, getting an article on higher scoring site will be more difficult as there is more traffic and competition on sites with high domain authorities.
How to: Targeting sties with a domain authority in 30s or 40s is a good place to start as these sites could grow and their domain authority can jump prospectively. You can easily check the domain authority of the blogs you are pitching at Moonsy. Drop in the blog’s url and it will give you a domain authority number, super easy.
A spreadsheet will be your best friend to keep track of your urls, traffic and domain authority for the site’s you are researching for guest pitching. Once you have completed your research, filter through your collected data and rank the blogs you want to go after. For a more in-depth look at guest posting for SEO purposes I highly recommend checking out the ultimate guide to guest blogging.
About Jason Poulos:
Jason Poulos is a PadillaCRT and Buzz Bin alumus. With a degree in communications design from VCU as well as experience in web development and digital marketing, Jason brought a unique blend of assets to PadillaCRT. In 2012 Jason helped win four awards for his SEO work on PureCanadaMaple.com.