Each month, the Groove Commerce team places a strong emphasis on developing and implementing strategic eCommerce search engine optimization techniques for our clients. These strategies range from content creation to page titles, meta descriptions, link building, and everything in between. Each element works together to build an all-encompassing strategy to gain stronger rankings and maintain a visible online presence.

A major emphasis of our link building strategy is placed on guest blogging, which provides countless benefits beyond solely SEO purposes. Below I’ve provided some insight into guest blogging, discussing what it is, why it’s important, and most significantly, how to get started with your own guest blogging strategy.

What is Guest Blogging?

You may be asking yourself, what is guest blogging? How will it benefit my company, and what kind of return can I expect to see from this type of content creation? While guest blogging is a facet of our search engine optimization strategy, it provides a strong return that reaches beyond SEO results. Guest blogging is when an individual provides content for another blog, in order to receive backlinks, reach new audiences, increase traffic, and build brand exposure and credibility. This works so well because other blogs are often looking to add quality content to their site. In exchange, they offer guest writers the opportunity to include several backlinks in their post, generating SEO value and hopefully increased site traffic. Generally guest blog posts ask for an author bio, providing the ability to give a brief background on your company and experience. This is a means of increasing exposure, reaching potential new audiences, and garnering interest in your brand and company. Placing content on other blogs builds credibility, solidifying brand reputation and establishing your company as an expert voice in the field.

Who Should Guest Blog?

Guest blogging is a great strategy for those looking to build their business online. As previously mentioned, it has proven success with building links, driving traffic, and enhancing an online presence. However, guest blogging is not exclusively for online businesses. It can be a great way to build a brand voice and gain exposure through various mediums for smaller, niche businesses as well. As long as blog exists that complements your industry, guest blogging is possible.

Benefits of Guest Blogging

We’ve touched on the many benefits of guest blogging, but below we will discuss each benefit more in depth, showing how valuable this tactic can be to build business.

Build Backlinks

For SEO strategists, this is the primary reason guest blogging provides such valuable opportunity and return. Generally speaking, blog owners are usually looking for free, knowledgeable content, and in return will allow a guest blogger to add links to their post. This poses a simple solution for link building, whereas often times encouraging sites to swap links or add a directory listing can be tedious or costly. Placing content with targeted keywords on other blogs is one of the easiest, yet most effective ways to gain authority backlinks.

Gain Traffic

Incorporate conversion rate marketing to gain traffic to your website. Guest blogging is a highly effective way to not only drive traffic, but drive quality traffic. Generally speaking, the target audience of your guest blog would also have a strong interest in your brand, company, or product. Therefore, this encourages more traffic for your site, with a smaller bounce rate and higher retention.

Increase Exposure

A guest blog helps build brand presence, and often targets new audiences that may not have previously been familiar with your products or services. This type of exposure can be invaluable, driving referral traffic that may have been lacking otherwise. Additionally, often guest blogs get shared throughout social networks, increasing potential for exposure.

Promotional Opportunity

Guest blogging is not intended to be a promotional vehicle, however, it can present the opportunity to gain traffic through incentive codes or offers. Check with the blog submission guidelines to see if this type of promotional marketing is permitted. Additionally, sometimes bloggers write product reviews on their sites. If a blogger offers to do this, provide a promotional code that can be used by the blog readers.

How To Get Started With Guest Blogging

There are a variety of ways to get started with guest blogging. The first step is identifying your objectives with guest blogging, and what ways you want to see these initiatives impact your business or branding. Next pinpoint markets to target. If you offer upscale furnishings, what type of modern eCommerce web site design blogs would be impactful? If you sell cosmetics, what beauty blogs would be good for reviewing your products? Consider your product and niche, and look for blogs that complement this. Next, the easiest way to get started is by a simple online search. Using industry keywords + guest blogging can generally pull up some quality results. However, be prepared to try several searches and sift through lesser quality results.

Some blogs make the guest blogging process easy, listing out blog credentials and submission qualifications. Other blogs don’t openly offer guest blogging, but in these circumstances it doesn’t hurt to reach out and propose a blog idea. Try to personalize and tailor your pitch, while highlighting your expertise as well as why your blog can make a significant contribution.

Other ways to approach this process is to use tracking tools to target sites where your competitors receive backlinks. Check and see if these sites contain blogs with relevant information for your industry. Propose an idea to contribute to their blog as well as a topic and outline.

Still stuck? There are a vast amount of tools that can help ease the process. Technorati has an online directory of topic blogs in niche industries. Google Blog Search and Alltop also allow you to search for top relevant blogs.

Now What?

Now that you have secured a guest blogging opportunity, there is only one thing left to do – write! Choose your topic wisely. It should be a topic where you can easily highlight expertise while still being informative and interesting to a target audience. Think about the demographics of the blog readers, and tailor your blog eCommerce strategy towards this audience. Next, write quality content. Quality doesn’t mean quantity. Many blogs are looking for shorter, sweeter pieces – and these are often the most effective types of content. People are looking for content they can easily and quickly digest. Therefore, pack a quality amount of information into a concise piece.

Generally speaking, most blogs allow up to two links per guest piece. Use a few of your top keywords, and link these in your post. Try to limit your links so as to not appear like spam. Next, write a short author bio. Most guest blog submissions request this, as well as an image or two.

After the writing and linking is complete, the last step is to proofread. Remember, this guest blog is a representation of your brand and company, so ensure that it reflects quality thought. Now you are just about ready to go, submit your guest blog to your target site. Most blog authors write back, letting you know when your blog was published, how many links were included, and whether it received any comments or social shares. Use these metrics to measure your success, and tailor your future guest blogging outreach strategy. Were these markets effective? Did you gain any referral traffic from the site? Evaluate overall effectiveness and adjust your strategy from there.

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