If you’ve been in the business of site management or blogging in the past couple of years, you’ve probably heard that guest posting/blogging is on a downward spiral or even dead. Other ways of promoting your content have emerged and have made it obsolete. Even with all the work and money you put into it, the results guest posting gives back are not even near satisfying.

We are of the opinion that this is absolutely not true and will tell you exactly why we think that.

Even in today’s social-media-centric landscape, guest posting is still a legitimate marketing tool that can and should be used. However, unlike other types of marketing strategies where (most of the time) you’re looking to prioritize quantity over quality, with guest posting a little more is required.

New post option

Before you write or publish any guest post a fair amount of research has to be done. For instance when doing guest posts, first, you have to find a good site to host your content (this process is more complex than you think), then you have to write an article that is going to meet a certain standard of quality. On the other hand, with other types of marketing, it’s enough if you just pay Facebook (or some other platform) XY amount dollars to blow up your content in people’s feeds.

The differences are jarring, but keep in mind that each approach has a different degree of effectiveness. For example, bombarding people with ads for new shoes will probably create sales but trying to do the same for a complex multimedia editing tool, not so much.

What this all means is that guest posting is without a doubt an effective marketing strategy, in specific situations, it just requires a lot more work and attention than other strategies.

While we can’t help you with the content you create for your guest posts we can at least tell you what are some things to look out for when searching for a place that will host them.

So without further ado, let’s see what are the stats you should be paying attention to if you want to get the most out of your guest posts.

SEO

Google Analytics dashboard

For your guest posts to get the attention they deserve and in turn increase your traffic rate, you’ll need to host them on sites that already have a high traffic rate of their own. Think about it, if the site generates a lot of traffic, a lot of people will see your post and therefore be aware that your site/business/shop exists.

Through a site’s SEO rating, you can assume how high the site will rank in the search engine results and how much traffic it might get.

Ideally, the first couple of results on Google should be your target but the whole first page will give your posts a good chance of being seen. The second page is loosely charted territory akin to the times of Colombo and Magellan. Beyond that is unknown space and the few who have dared to venture there are rarely seen or heard of again.

All joking aside over 91% of the traffic that Google generates comes from the first page, which jumps to over 96% when we include the second page. If you can’t get a guest post on a site that ranks on the first or at least the second page of the Google search results then you’re better off looking into other avenues for publishing your content.

Backlinks

When it comes to guest posting you’ll need to consider backlinks in two ways. First is the number of backlinks that lead to the site that’s hosting your content and second is the number of backlinks to your own site that will be included on the host site.

Google uses the number of backlinks pointing to a site as a sign of the site’s quality, ranking it higher in the search results if it has a significant number of backlinks. The algorithm operates in a way that if it sees that a site is being referenced numerous times, then the content provided by it must be relevant.

In the case of backlinks, you should be adopting the quantity and quality approach, finding a fine balance between the two. Reputable sites linking to yours will greatly improve your SEO rating and traffic, so try to get as many of those to host your guest posts. Those sites will, however, only take quality content in order to preserve their ratings, so you will have to make sure the content you are producing is good enough.

Social media

Social media icons

The comparison we made in the intro about guest posting and social media might seem a bit weird now since we will be talking about social media in a positive light. But that comparison was referring only to a simple ad campaign, what we will be talking about in this section is something entirely different.

Even though it doesn’t have a direct effect on a site’s SEO rating, social media is still a great way of determining how many people your guest post(s) might reach.

Researching how many followers/subscribers/likes a site has will provide you with an idea of how big their audience is. Usually, if these numbers are high, they’ll be displayed right there on the site and you won’t have to go digging for them. However, if they aren’t posted anywhere on the site just go and check their social media profiles and you’ll quickly see if their numbers are good enough for you.

Further detailed research could also get you information on the demographics of their audience (their age, gender, location, and much more). Knowing this can help you mold your content and make it more enticing. But once you do get to know their audience, don’t try to cater to everyone in it, since that could be very counterproductive. Stick to one particular style, and in that way, you will be able to create a strong connection with the ones who are truly interested in your content.

Domain authority

If you follow basketball then you know a little something about true shooting percentage. It’s an advanced metric that determines the “regular” shooting percentage by considering many factors, putting them in a complex equation, and then boiling everything down to a simple number focused primarily around efficiency.

Domain authority works in a very similar way. Essentially, it lets you know the reputation and relevance of a site i.e. how it’s generally perceived. It’s not purely a popularity contest, so lesser-known sites with amazing content can get an above-average score, but of course, the most popular mainstream sites will always top the list.

The ratings are set in a 0-100 range, and the higher the number, the better the option. A general rule of thumb is to look for sites with a domain authority of at least 30.

Spam score

Spam warnings

Regardless of how high the domain authority of a site may be, if it has a high spam score at the same time, it is best you avoid it.

High spam scores mean that the links which will be redirecting visitors to your site might be seen as spam i.e. low-quality links. If a site has an astronomical spam score, just think how many layers of spam people will have to sift through in order to get to your content.

Even though the condition of the host site isn’t your direct responsibility you should definitely pay attention to it since it’s never a good look to be associated with sub-par sites.

Keywords

Keywords written in wooden letter blocks

Since keywords aren’t your run of the mill numerical stats that can be covered in a few glances people are less inclined to take them into account but if you want to be a successful guest author you shouldn’t be so casual about them.

To get the most out of guest posting and maximize your SEO potential you should try to find sites that cover the same topics as you do because there is absolutely no sense in publishing an article about the pillars of web development on a site about traveling.

That is why you should pick out keywords that you think relate the most to your content and then see which sites pop up on top when researching those keywords.

You can do the analysis manually typing in the keywords in search engines, or you could use one of the many keyword research tools that are available on the market. Either way, all you need to do is make a list of keywords and a list of sites that rank highly for those keywords.

Don’t be afraid to move away from the more conventional keywords and terms if you’re looking to branch out to new audiences, just make sure that they will work nicely with the content that you generally publish/write about.

Final thoughts

Just because guest posting may not be the simplest marketing technique that doesn’t mean it should by any means be overlooked. At the end of the day, it is one of the major contributors to a successful publishing strategy, a contributor that has a bad rep only because it requires a bit more attention.

On top of all that, guest posts are a great way to show the quality of your content and your commitment to it, to a wider audience.

Looking at it from every angle, guest posting is an avenue you should explore, and now that you know what to look for in potential host sites for guest posts, it will all be a much less intimidating task.