In this article, you’ll find a complete guest post link building guide.
Guest blogging in SEO can be a great way to get high quality links to your site, but only if you do it the right way.
As you’ll discover below, there are several factors you should consider when getting guest links during a link building campaign to improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO).
And this guide will explain how you can use guest posting to build links effectively in digital marketing to increase your website’s rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).
What Are Guest Links?
Guest links are incoming hyperlinks to a website from other sites through guest posts. A guest link can be a good link building strategy for SEO because guest links help your website improve its SEO score, visibility in the SERPs, drive targeted traffic to your website.
Guest Post Link Building Guide
1. Determine Your Link Building Goals
Before you start any guest post link building campaign, you need to determine your goals.
What do you want to achieve with your guest blogging? Do you want to increase website traffic, improve your search engine rankings, or get more leads and sales?
Not every guest posting opportunity has to be directly related to SEO or improving a site’s keyword rankings. Some guest articles can be written with the sole purpose of getting high quality leads that convert to sales.
You also want to be clear about the number and type of links you want to build with guest blogging. For example, you might want to create 10 links in a month, which means you’ll have to reach out to at least 10-20 sites to land this number of backlinks.
Once you know your goals, you can start looking for the right opportunities to achieve with guest posting.
2. Find Good Link Building Opportunities
The next step is to find good link building opportunities for your efforts.
There are several ways to do this, including the use of search engines, directories, and social media sites. You can also use tools like Majestic, Ahrefs, Semrush, and LinkMiner to find high quality links that are pointing to your competitors’ websites by scanning their backlink profiles.
A quick method that doesn’t require any SEO tools is to use these advanced search operators in Google to find guest posting opportunities:
- keyword intitle: “write for us”
- keyword intitle: “write for me”
- Keyword intitle: “contribute to”
- Keyword intitle: “submit” + inurl:blog
- Keyword “submit a guest post”
- Keyword inurl:/guest-post/
- Keyword “guest post”
- Keyword “guest post by”
- Keyword “accepting guest posts”
- Keyword “guest post guidelines”
- Keyword “guest author”
- Keyword “guest article”
- Keyword “guest column”
- Keyword “become a contributor”
- inpostauthor:guest keyword
- inpostauthor: “guest blog” keyword
- inpostauthor: “guest post” keyword
3. Review the Site’s SEO Metrics
Before reaching out to a website owner about writing a guest post, it’s essential to review their SEO metrics. This will give you a good idea of how their site ranks in search engines, what kind of traffic it gets, and if the website would be a good link to have in your own site’s backlink profile.
You can use backlink analysis tools like Moz, Semrush, and Ahrefs to get this information.
Some SEO metrics, along with their importance level, include:
- Traffic: A website should have at least 1,000 monthly visitors to be considered for a guest post. Any lower, and the may be penalized by Google, not have enough content to rank yet, or is poorly optimized for SEO.
- DA and PA: Domain Authority and Page Authority is also important because the stronger these metrics are, the more valueable the guest blogging link can be to transfer PageRank to your site. However, keep in mind that some websites can manipulate these SEO factors to increase them. That’s why it’s always good to measure the monthly traffic as well. A high DA site, for example, with very little monthly traffic is a red flag and you shouldn’t get a link on that site.
- Backlink Quality: Check the target site’s backlink profile. If it has a good number of high quality links, then it’s probably a safe place to get a guest post. But if you see a lot of bad backlinks or toxic backlinks, then stay away from it.
- Outbound Links: If a website has a high number of outgoing links, then you may want to avoid it for guest posting. Also, if the outbound links are random and not related to the site’s niche, then definitely skip this opportunity. There’s a strong chance that it’s a PBN website made solely for guest blogging purposes to earn money and not a legitimate site. Best case scenario the backlink you get would be ignored by Google. Worse case is that it gets your site penalized for participating in a link scheme.
- Niche: You should aim for guest links on sites that are in the same niche or at least the same general industry. Backlinks on topically releveant content can be better for SEO. For example, a dentist website can get a good link from another site that blogs about teeth cleaning products, but a shoe review site would be a mismatch in audience an topical relevancy.
4. Contact the Owner About Writing a Guest Post
Once you’ve determined that a website is a good fit for your guest post, it’s time to reach out to the owner and pitch your ideas. This can be done in several ways, including email, social media, or even telephone.
Email is the most common outreach method; however, you must ask the right way so that your message is not ignored or marked as spam. Check out this guide on how to ask for backlinks the right way to increase your chances of getting a positive response.
5. Pitch Your Guest Post Ideas
When pitching your guest post ideas, be sure to include the following information:
- The goal of the blog post.
- The main points you want to cover.
- How the blog post will help the site owner achieve their own SEO and traffic goals.
- A list of keywords that you’ll target with the post to help it get ranked high in the SERPs.
- Links to some of your previous work to prove credibility.
Don’t mention anything about the number of links you want to include in the post or try to persuade the owner to give you dofollow links. Being aggressive in your pitch like this can backfire and get your ideas ignored.
Instead, talk about the value your guest post will bring to their site and audience. If the website owner is interested in your pitch, they will likely ask for more details about your post and let you know ahead of time how many links you can add and if they’ll be dofollow backlinks or not.
Once you’ve agreed on all the details, it’s time to start writing.
6. Write A High Quality Guest Post
When it comes to guest blogging, the quality of your post is key. Not only will a high quality post help you to get more readers, but it will also make it easier for you to get published on other websites.
To write a high quality guest post, make sure your content is informative, in-depth, free of typos and grammatical errors, has proper heading structure, and relevant to the website’s audience where you’re publishing it.
Don’t skimp on the quality of your guest post, especially if you’re using this article to gain more leads and sales. Every post you publish online should act as a branding piece for your website. So put a good amount of effort into the article like you would for a post that’s published on your own website.
7. Add Contextual Links to the Post
For your guest post to be effective for link building, you need to include contextual links within the body of your post. Contextual backlinks are links inside the post that help improve both the user experience and the search engine optimization of your guest post.
Users will find the contextual link beneficial for learning more about a topic and SEO will be improved for your website when the anchor text contains the target keywords you want the linked web page to rank for in the SERPs.
To add contextual links to your post, simply include links to relevant resources within the body of your text. For example, if you’re writing a guest blog post about web design, then you could include a contextual link to a relevant article or tutorial on your website inside the post.
But don’t go overboard by adding numerous backlinks in your guest posts. Instead, aim for 1-3 contextual backlinks that lead to different pages on your site. Also, check out this other guide on anchor text optimization ratio for SEO. You’ll want to follow the tips in that guide how to build optimized anchor text to your site’s homepage versus an inner page.
8. Add a Homepage Link In Your Author Bio
When you submit a guest post for publication, most websites ask for an author bio. This is a short paragraph that introduces you to the readers of the website, and it’s also a great opportunity to include a link to your homepage for SEO and branding purposes.
To add a homepage link to your author bio, simply include your brand name with a hyperlinked URL that leads to the root domain of your website. You can see this in practice by reading the author bio at the end of the guest post link building guide.
9. Submit the Guest Post for Review
After your contextual links have been inserted, and your post is complete, the next step is to submit the article for review.
Most websites will have a team of editors who will review your post for quality and adherence to the website’s editorial guidelines. If your guest post is approved for publication, it will be published on the website with your links inside the content as well as a byline that credits you as the author and/or an author bio box at the end of the post.
10. Build Backlinks to the Guest Post
The final step in this link building strategy is to increase the PageRank of your guest post. By doing this, you’ll improve the link equity that gets passed to your website through the contextual links.
Most people who write guest posts skip this step and it can cause the article to have very little PageRank SEO power due to the fact that the post itself has low Page Authority. Just because you have a guest link on a high Domain Authority site, doesn’t mean it will pass a lot of PageRank value.
Therefore, you should work to build backlinks to your guest posts. The more high quality links you can create that lead to that article, the better it will be for SEO in your website’s backlink profile. If you want to do this at scale, then check out this other page with recommendations on a high quality link building service. Any of those companies can help to power up your guest post backlinks.
BONUS TIP: Ask the Site Owner to Create Internal Links to Your Guest Post
Here’s another powerful link building strategy you can use for guest posts.
Once your guest post has been published on a target website, you should ask the site owner to create internal links to your post. This will help improve the internal search engine optimization for the content and increase its visibility to readers of the website.
Web pages that get more internal links are known to have better rankings in Google. Plus, Google has even gone on record saying that the more links a page has internally, the more important you’re telling the search engine crawler that the content is on the site.
You don’t want a guest post that becomes an orphaned page without any internal links. Otherwise, it can send a signal to Google’s algorithm that the page is not meant for users to find, and therefore, shouldn’t be ranked as high in the search engines for its target keywords.
Additional Tips for Building Guest Post Links
- Quality Over Quantity: Don’t pursue guest links just for the sake of increasing your backlink count. Focus on obtaining high quality links from authoritative websites. It’s better to have 1 high PR backlink than it is to have 10 low PR backlinks.
- Provide Value: When reaching out to potential websites for guest posts, make sure to offer something of value, such as high quality content that can’t be found anywhere else online or a valuable resource that’s created soley for the site owner’s audience.
- Keep It Relevant: Make sure your guest posts are relevant to the host website’s audience. Topical relevance is important for SEO.
- Manage Expectations: Let potential host websites know what you expect in editorial control and linking before submitting your post. You don’t want to write a high qulaity article only to find that all of your contextual links are removed when its published.
- Follow Up: Make sure to follow up with every website after submitting your pitch and after final article submission if you’re not getting an immediate response. Some website editors are busy and you don’t want to your hard work going to waste. Plus, some sites may have a strict publishing schedule that have your content slated for 1-2 months in the future, which you should know about ahead of time.
How Many Links Can Guest Articles Have?
A guest article should have 1 link for every 500 words written, which equals 2 links for every 1,000 words. However, a guest article can have more links than this recommendation if it improves the user experience.
Now, this is just a general guideline for the number of links you should include for your own website in a guest post. You can also add links to other sites throughout the content if they add value to the reader.
The best strategy for guest articles is to include both outbound authority links to relevant content on other websites as well as backlinks to your own site. Having a good mixture of links like this is better for the user experience and improves the quality of the guest article.
Guest Post Link Building Summary
I hope you enjoyed this guest post link building guide.
As you discovered, guest blogging can be a great way to improve your website’s SEO metrics and get more traffic to the content that counts. However, you need to make sure you only publish high quality guest posts on reputable websites to get the most PageRank value from your link building efforts. Otherwise, you may end up harming your website’s reputation.