Guest Posts: the Link Building strategy that generated 400% increase for us
SEO has always been one of the most used traction engines for us within Meetime, and there is no result in SEO without the proper Link Building Strategy . And for months we tested everything, even building links in Wikipedia articles (by the way, it works well for redirects and getting leads), and what brought the most results to our rankings are the links coming from Guest Posts.
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And it's understandable: links along a text are more natural to search engines than if you register your site on CrunchBase (or any company registration). These registration sites generate “no-follow” links, which “tell” the search engine not to follow your link, and this generates low power of influence on the ranking.
OK, Guest Posts work! But how to scale this link building strategy, do the production and distribution of external content if Meetime's Marketing team is limited to the CMO and 25% of the CEO , and these scarce resources are dedicated to in-house production?
And the answer (almost obvious) came after some time: we outsourced our content production for Guest Posts to Contentools editors , and our Link Building work is all about finding portals to publish these articles. Simple, and functional!
The result? 400% increase in content generation outside Meetime's blog. What used to be summarized in 4 (maximum 6) monthly Guest Posts turned into 24 articles. And we will tell you in detail how we implemented this link building strategy and its short-term results, in a practical and detailed post.
The secrets of our link building strategy
1. The solution
Our partnership with Contentools has been around for quite some time: we produced an eBook on Content Marketing for Software Companies and a webinar on How to Use Content Marketing to Scaling Sales . But until then, we hadn't made a partnership that involved contracting the SaaS that the company provides.
Through it, you can automate content (publication) through integration with your wordpress, generate workflows within your team, monitor delivery and deadlines of work, integrate the company's social media, etc.
We have included a screen of our Dashboard below so that you can learn more about it.
2. The pillars of the link building strategy and the working method
The first relevant information you need to have about this link building strategy is how demanding the articles are: we chose shorter and more superficial posts, around 800 to 900 words .
It was never intended to make in-depth posts, with more than 2000 words, as this would add complexity to the process and would take a lot of speed away from Link Building . If you plan to copy this strategy (that's fine by me) keep in mind the simplicity of production.
Another pillar of this implementation: clear and well-defined themes . This reassures writers that you're not going to start writing about Yoga and end up with Electromagnetism. In addition to security, this speeds up the process even more, as the writers' mindset is always on the macro-themes you stipulated.
For example: we decided to write about Entrepreneurship and Management, Digital Marketing and Sales . This covers the vast majority of partners we would approach and gives stability to the production process.
Our third fundamental strategy: referrals ! If you want a vision similar to yours in the article you need to provide the writers with all the important references you read and consider essential. And this needs to be done with all the details, because if you leave all the research work to the editor, your post will not have your DNA. In addition to the rework of rejecting the post, sending feedback to the writer, receiving a new version and only then approving it, in the week after the start. Speed, Batman!
And lastly, the element that supports all the others in this link building strategy: the discipline ! You'll have a job of providing and approving 6 posts a week, and generating ideas isn't as fast as it sounds.
If you submit your ideas on Wednesday your writers won't finish the articles until next week, and all is lost. Not to mention the effort needed to find portals and give vent to articles produced in the previous week. No discipline at all, don't even start the project!
3. Implementation of the content strategy
As important as the link building strategy itself is its implementation. And this requires filling in and transcribing all the generated insights, which will serve as support for the writers. Below, we will discuss the main points of a good strategy.
3.1 Buyer Persona (from partner blogs)
This is a delicate point and it guides all the formatting of articles. You will not be working with your own personas and the challenge is to guide the writers as to the personas of the blogs you will post.
And since you probably don't even know them yet, you need to draw some generic profiles and start working anyway. Take a look at how we create the personas here on the Meetime platform :
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Persona 1 – João, experienced entrepreneur: João is 45 years old, and is in his second venture that has lasted a few years. He is still learning his first Digital Marketing tips and mastering finance like no one else. Entrepreneur with a background in Business Administration, with no technical background in programming. João is looking for tips on Entrepreneurship in general. As a main characteristic, he usually leads by example, and has discipline with schedules. João belongs to Generation X, which seeks stability and values itself for the skills acquired.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Persona 2 – André, CEO of a new startup : André is 25 years old and is in his first business, a startup in the technology field. And that's why he's an early-adopter , and loves testing new services and technologies. It uses LinkedIn and Facebook as its main social networks, and seeks guidance on managing its startup on the topics of: metrics, customer service and sales. He has basic domain of startups-related subjects, but Finance is not his strong point. André is from Generation Y , restless and protesting, who values merit.
One last note: you shouldn't confuse them with your company's personas . It's tempting to just reproduce, but if you do, your editors will produce other content, totally inappropriate for the receiving partner. Therefore, identify more generic profiles and assume that risk initially.
Note that at no time do we mention SaaS or Inside Sales , vital to Meetime's business and that are part of our ideal persona. That's because we work in a niche where the majority can't be found, and if we narrowed it like that we wouldn't find enough blogs to publish.
3.2 Content Strategy Details
Here you will have 4 fields to fill in and define important points of your link building strategy:
I – Keywords: the keywords you would like to write. We use this field to place the macro themes we are interested in.
“Entrepreneurship, Startups, Finance for Entrepreneurs, Digital Marketing, Customer Service, Online Sales, Inside Sales”
II – Goal: clearly specify the goal of the work.
“Our main strategy is to take the most generic content and make them Guest Posts on other partners' blogs, as Meetime's content will remain internal. This will speed up the number of links pointing to Meetime, improving our organic positioning. So the target persona is the blogs we're going to write, so it's not possible to draw a very specific profile, but a more generic one. Informing you of Meetime's persona would do little good. We can talk more about this!”
III – Brand's voice: the brand's voice, how it communicates and the type of language it uses. See below how we filled it out.
“Our brand communicates in a technical and fun way at the same time. In the field below are some examples of posts, to take as a basis.”
IV – Sources of Information: here you detail all relevant information sources for the project. We chose to work post by post, but we filled this field with Guest Posts that we had already published before the project to give an idea of the language we exemplify in the Voice of the Brand field. Don't forget to include any and all references that you think are important.
“Here are some guest posts we've written for partners, including Contentools:
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<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>http://contentools.com.br/agencias-de-marketing-de-conteudo/4-dicas-para-encontrar-o-dna-do-seu-marketing-de-conteudo/
4. Results achieved in 2 months
Yes, SEO is a work of months, a year at least to have expressive results. But even so, with this link building strategy, in two months of work we have already felt a difference in the weight of Meetime's domain and organic accesses, in some words that we intend to rank. See below the evolution of ahrefs , a tool that maps and analyzes internet domains.
In two months they are:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>17 more domains ;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>6 million less ranking positions;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>3 points in Domain Rating , which gives an idea of the “weight” of the domain in relation to others;
Ahrefs extract as of October 2015
Ahrefs extract in December 2015
And the data that faithfully reflects this increase in the domains pointing to are organic accesses, growing since then. We had a 50% increase in monthly organic visits (719 in September to 1079 in November). This sprint on Guest Posts was the only relevant action in Link Building we did in these two months and the result was sensible. See the RD Station print below:
Is it Worth Investing in Guest Posts as a Link Building Strategy?
There are several posts about the importance of the Guest Post within the Link Building theme. In ALL the readings I've done recently about SEO and Link Building, I've seen an aspect of common agreement: search engines are increasingly intelligent and are able to detect natural forced links, and they already give less importance to footer links, in addition to the already known ones. less important “no-follow” links.
In Guest Posts you usually get "do-follow" links, which are links where the blog "authorizes" the search engine to follow your link, giving it more authority. So, yes it is worth investing in Guest Posts.