Sure, there’s some SEO value to the guest posts we help our clients publish, but we’ve never sold our clients on using our services to build links to their sites. Not only do we know that readers can spot a spammy message a mile away, but we also know that publications need high-quality content that underscores their reputations — not content that tears away at the names they’ve developed.
Strong guest posts serve a dual purpose: They give a publication’s readership food for thought, and they help point those readers to a solution to a problem they’re experiencing. (In an ideal situation, the solution they seek is one the author can provide — but everyone benefits from a solid guest post, regardless of whether that happens.)
Our clients’ purpose in becoming thought leaders is to strategically share their knowledge in order to build trust. The real goal of guest posting is to provide value to your audience through educational content. Help them understand the trends they should be aware of, the events affecting your industry, and the valuable resources that can help them work through those issues.
Authors who write good content do it because they know there’s much more at stake than a link. They seek the credibility, the networking opportunities, and the third-party stamp of approval that a guest post can bring. Those intangibles are worth a lot more than a high number of click-throughs.
We published a blog post recently on “How Guest-Contributed Articles Fit into Your Marketing Lifecycle.” We didn’t mention SEO once. SEO benefits are the side effect of a well-written article, not the cure for what ails you.
Here’s my favorite excerpt on why you should focus on the quality and message of your content, not the link you might earn:
Creating thought leadership content that showcases your company’s ideas, beliefs, and values will:
• Increase credibility.
• Build trust.
• Attract customers.
• Address customer pain.
• Showcase knowledge and expertise.
• Deepen loyalty.
• Re-engage customers.
I can genuinely say I have never been more excited for the future of guest posting. Publications will be more motivated to act with scrutiny when selecting authors, authors who shouldn’t be posting won’t be, and we will really be able to focus on high quality content more and more as the messaging and value added will be the one most important thing.
I’m excited for what Matt Cutts’ article will bring. Declaring that guest posts for SEO purposes are dead should decrease the number of weak articles flooding the marketplace — and that leaves a lot more room for high-quality content.
Post by Joshua Johnson.