Consider guest posts as a way to build domain authority.

If you read our series last year on the beginner’s guide to SEO, you will be well aware that one of the key metrics that Google and other search engines use to decide rankings is authority. Here we’ll discus how guest posts can help build your domain authority (DA).

Suppose your next door neighbor decided to start a news website called Jim’s News Site. If someone typed “latest news” into Google, where do you think Jim’s site would rank? You don’t need to be an expert in SEO to know that the first page would contain sites like CNN, the New York Times, Fox News and so on. Poor Jim’s site would probably be several pages into the results.

Of course, sites like CNN have a strong and established reputation, and everyone knows that. But how do the Google bots know? How do they establish which sites are the more authoritative in other areas, whether it is web design in Long Island or take out pizza in Queens?

Backlinks and Domain Authority

A backlink is when another website links back to yours, for example within guest posts or articles. Google sees that as a vote of confidence. Again, think of those famous news sites. If you were to mention the latest development in the trade war with China or the likely runners for the 2020 election in a blog post, you would probably link to a story from CNN or the New York times as a reference.  Chances are you would not link to Jim’s News Site. Take a look at a site like ahrefs.com and you will see that CNN has 284 million backlinks. That’s enough to tell any Google bot that this is an authoritative site that people trust.

Domain Authority is a ranking score developed by the people at Moz to predict how well a site will rank. It uses several metrics, including the number of backlinks and the quality of the domains that are doing the linking. The metrics give an overall score between 0 and 100. Unsurprisingly, CNN has a very high Domain Authority of 88.

Now even with the help of the best SEO consultant, you will not get as many backlinks as CNN. But the point is to have more than the other businesses in your sector. Hoping that sites will read your content and decide to link to it is one way. However, if your content marketing agency in New York suggested a strategy of sitting back and hoping for the best, you would be justified in wondering if there is something a little more proactive you can do. That’s where guest posting comes in.

Building authority through guest posts

As the name suggests, a guest post is one that is supplied to a site’s blog or news page by a guest author. Done properly, guest posting benefits everyone.  The site where it is posted gets some fresh and interesting content while the contributor gets to include a backlink to his or her site.

There are thousands of sites out there that accept guest posts, but you need to be careful as to how and where you pitch your offer. DA looks at quality, as well as quantity, when it comes to backlinks. In our years in the New York SEO space, we have seen some horror stories where well-meaning guest posters have contributed to low quality sites and done themselves more harm than good.

The concept works both ways, and high quality sites with good DA will be presented with scores of pitches every day from sites wanting to submit guest posts. Even if Jim writes a high quality guest post, a high ranking site with good traffic and DA might be reluctant to include the backlink to Jim’s News Site.

Developing a strategy for guest posts

Guest posting is a powerful tool, but doing it successfully is more complex than simply writing a post, including a link and contributing it to a site. You need to choose your target, approaching them in the right way. You need to ensure the guest post you present is acceptable . And then incorporating a link using keyword-optimized anchor text too is necessary. All these things take expertise and experience.

If you would like to discuss how to incorporate guest posts into your online marketing and how to help boost the DA and ranking of your site, get in touch with us at Hummingbird Web Design on 516-883-3851.

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