In a recent article I wrote – the focus was on backlinks – and how user engagement on your website is becoming more important for SEO than backlinks. Coincidentally, shortly after I published that blog Google announced a warning for webmasters about building backlinks through guest blogs. You can view the entire Google message here.
If you’re not familiar with guest blogging, it’s a tactic many website owners have implemented over the past decade. The idea is to find a blog on the Internet where you can “guest write” an article for them. If you own a website with a blog, you’ve likely seen many people reach out attempting to write a guest post for you. Most of this is spam.
Is guest blogging all about spamming? No. In many cases, a guest blogger can add a ton of value to a website. What Google has noticed, however, is an increase in spammy links from these “guests posts,” with violations consisting of:
Stuffing keyword-rich links to your site in your articles
Having the articles published across many different sites; alternatively, having a large number of articles on a few large, different sites
Using or hiring article writers that aren’t knowledgeable about the topics they’re writing on
To be fair, none of this is really new. We’ve known for years that keyword stuffing, duplicate content, and poorly-written content is bad. I think what’s “new” with this warning is Google’s ability to identify link spamming that in the past may have not been as obvious.
I think guest blogging still has its place, despite the warning. However, as a website (and business) owner you should be thinking about strategic partnerships. Who shares the same target market as I do? If you’re an aesthetic practice, high-end salons, med spas, boutique stores, and spas are a good start.
If you focus on developing a partnership then the conversation is more about helping each other gain exposure by driving visitors to a website procedure page, specials page, or an event sign up page, to name a few. The backlink is simply an ancillary benefit, but the main goal is to tap into a new segment of your target market interested in your services, much like Google AdWords or Real Self spotlights.
Start thinking about how you can produce top-notch, interesting content that you can share on websites, blogs, and social networks where your patients are. If you generate backlinks, great! But isn’t highly-targeted traffic better? The answer is, undoubtedly, yes!
If you run an aesthetic practice and you have any questions about guest blogging, blogging, or SEO in general, drop us a line here. You can also reach us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.