— January 3, 2019
Guest posting to help with a company website’s SEO has changed immensely over the years. When guest posting has just come onto the scene, it was more like the wild west of marketing than anything else. People were not sure how the next search engine algorithm update by Google could impact website rankings. With a few updates Google exposed brands using questionable techniques like that of Expedia showing that even large brands were cutting corners in their marketing approaches. This also highlights how competitive certain niches are when it comes to guest posting and link building in general. The following are ways that guest posting has changed over the years in digital marketing.
Content Quality Has Increased
There was a time where guest posts could be done with terrible grammar but as long as they had a link they could help a company market. Google put a stop to the effectiveness of these articles as too many blogs were accepting any and all content. Now blogs that post content need to have real readers rather than be a website simply used to accept money to publish guest posts. While the latter still have a bit of value, those companies looking for sustainable marketing should opt for the real sites even if the content they have to create takes long or is more expensive. Content consumption is continuing to the grow as well with mobile devices in nearly all people’s hands. This has made the consumer more selective on the content they will spend their time reading, watching, or listening to. For this reason certain clickbait type titles have lost their appeal to many people scrolling through their social media feed.
Engagement Is Now More Important
Engagement on a website can impact the ranking of the website as well as interaction with their content on social media. For this reason it is important to use social media to promote content as you want the content having as large of a reach as possible. Websites and brands that have done this can become household names like that of Barstool Sports who has readers they affectionately call Stoolies. The creation of engagement and a sense of community should be done via social media when promoting content produced by a company. Guest posting does not have to be impersonal either as a brand could tell a personal story as well as what they have learned through good and bad times.
Blackhat Techniques Have Dropped Off
Blackhat techniques used to work plain and simple until search engines started penalizing companies and websites utilizing these techniques. Hiding code in an infographic is a perfect example of blackhat techniques emerging in guest posting. Paying for a post to be published without the website letting readers know about the payment is another more prevalent technique. This is against FCC regulations and can be considered “Payola” by some but there are still bloggers that participate in the practice. Blackhat guest posters will continue to be around until their techniques are completely nullified which could be impossible due to the risk that innocent bloggers are punished.
Bloggers Have Become Much Pickier
Bloggers used to think of content pitches as a way to fill their website with content when they did not feel like writing. Bloggers have become aware of what accepting content with links to gambling and pharmacy sites could harm their site’s rankings making it less valuable to post on. Even irrelevant links or links that add no real value could have a negative impact on the site. For this reason bloggers have become more discerning with who they accept content from as well the links within the body of the guest post. The best blogger outreach techniques focus on building rapport with the blogger rather than sending a cold pitch in an email. Bloggers can make a living off of their site so they have become more protective of what they put on them.
Tracking Tools Have Developed To Make Content Strategy More Accurate
Tracking tools in marketing have been developed to allow marketing departments to easily identify content that will bring in traffic. The data that is collected could be from social shares, visits from the guest post, and sales closed due to a lead the guest post garnered. The days of guessing what will work are over as it is irresponsible not to use the data to turn it into an actionable content marketing plan. Even tracking tools for email pitches can track open rates, response rates, and even links clicked in the pitch. Find out which tools can start making your content marketing campaign run as smoothly and efficiently as possible cost wise.
Guest posting will continue to be a marketing tool that companies will use for years to come. This does not mean that the guest posting niche of marketing will not continue to change as it is constantly evolving. How have you seen guest posting change in the last few years?