Making Your Guest Posts More SEO-Friendly
Guest posts are a way for your business to provide high-quality content in exchange for a backlink. Having more backlinks from relevant and authoritative websites is a proven way to raise your Google profile.
However, there’s more to submitting a well-written, effective guest post than just writing an excellent article and posting it on someone else’s site. Plan on submitting high-quality, valuable content that appeals to the hosting website – ideally written in a style that matches their content.
While free content can be compelling, the explosion of this strategy has left the world with a negative imbalance between quality and quantity Writing guest posts requires expertise in copywriting, SEO strategies, and attention to detail. Implement these changes to your content to craft powerful guest posts that will drive traffic back to your site.
Choose Your Keywords Carefully
The effort of creating an SEO-friendly guest post begins long before you start writing the post per se. Your first concern is to pick keywords that would both attract search engines and won’t look out of place for your readers.
Most effort should be put into selecting the main keyword. Firstly, it should be closely related to the topic of your post. Secondly, users should use it in their Google queries often. Thirdly, it should have a competition rate low enough for you to have a decent chance of beating other brands competing for it.
Then identify a few secondary keywords related to the main one. These are also called LSI or latent semantic indexing keywords. One way to do it is to enter your main keyword into Google search and choose 3 to 4 search phrases suggested to you under “Searches related to.”
Structure is Key
School teachers generally teach you to write an expository essay in an outline structure. You start with an opening sentence, followed by a thesis. Three main points support your thesis, and each of those has supporting statements.
Blogs are unique because each header supports the thesis directly rather than having a hierarchical setup. Organize the paragraphs by theme, importance, time, or problem-solution. Guest posts should have short paragraphs with no more than 6-7 sentences in each. There should be a maximum of 300 words under each header. Your main keyword should appear in at least one header.
State Your Purpose Right Away
Although your teachers may have taught you to lead with a teaser sentence in school, blog posts should clearly announce their intention in the first paragraph. The volume of content demands that you grab your reader with your main message immediately. Declaring your message tells the reader — and Google — the main point of your post. The most important keyword used to rank the article should appear in the first paragraph.
Readability is Fundamental
In some ways, Google reads just like you. It assesses the topic of your text by reading the subheadings and the first sentences of paragraphs. It looks for transition words to determine the main conclusion reached in a paragraph.
The measurement of how well you structure your text, the order in which your sentences appear, and the word choices you make, all combine into a measurement called “readability.” So, it’s easy to conclude that a higher readability score translates into a well-written, clearly structured article that Google can easily understand and rank.
Blog Sentences Should Be Short and Active
The majority of sentences in a guest post should be 20 words or less and written in active voice. About one-third of the sentences should contain transition words such as because, therefore, or finally. These words help Google understand the relationship between paragraphs and sentences.
Keywords and variations should appear throughout the text. Carefully review the text for complex words with more than four syllables and substitute simpler alternatives.
Remember That You Write For People, Not Google
Not everybody realizes it yet, but SEO in its traditional sense is slowly but surely dying out. Google continually adapts its algorithms to favor the pages that give the most value to the reader. So, fooling search engines with usual SEO tricks is getting more and more difficult.
Filling your text to the brim with keywords no longer works. They should be used sparingly and strategically lest you achieve the results that are opposite to the intended. In the long run, content should be your primary concern, not keyword placement or optimal heading wording. Make sure you create great content that will interest the host blog readers, and you can be sure Google is going to be satisfied with you.
Write Longer Posts
Long-form posts are not just better at engaging with readers, but also better for SEO purposes as well. Writing a post that is at least 300 words long ensures that search engines get all the information they need to understand what the page is about and rank it more relevantly.
As for the best length of a post, there is no magic number that will mean certain success, but the general rule of the thumb suggests that you should write posts between 500 to 2,500 words while using as many words as you need to get your point across. If a post turns out to be longer than that, you may want to arrange for a series of guest posts with the blog in question and divide your content into several interlinked posts.
Don’t Overdo It With Keywords
Use keywords sparingly. The days of insane keyword density (up to 10 or 15 percent) are long gone. So you should be more concerned with not using your keyword too often rather than with using it enough times. Optimal keyword density these days is about 2 percent (or about twice per 100 words). Also, you should make sure to introduce them naturally – not because you should use them a certain amount of times. Basically, don’t make your text read as if you’re just trying to get your keyword count up.
Readability is the measure of great web content. The requirements for writing great content are different from those you may have learned in school. Short, active sentences that quickly make their point and clearly transition will be the most successful. Your readers and Google will be more likely to share your post if it is well-structured, clearly written, and compelling. This will result in successful backlinks and a higher Google profile for your website.
You may also want to read: Cautions and Advice for Guest Bloggers & New Content Marketers
Guest Blogging Outreach: How to Pitch an Article No One Will Turn Down
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