Guest blogging can help your IT company grow your brand, get your website ranking higher on Google, showcase your expertise, and attract quality leads.
If you don’t believe us, listen to Neil Patel, a renowned SEO and content expert who’s cut his teeth on inbound marketing. Mr. Patel considers guest blogging to be his most effective promotion tool. He cites several reasons.
For one thing, you cannot fully rely on SEO; even if your iOS app development service page currently ranks Top 3 on Google, an unexpected algorithm update can send your website into a freefall, depriving you of the hard-earned organic traffic.
And for another, online content consumption has doubled since the outbreak of the pandemic, meaning your SEO specialists now have to go the extra mile to promote landing pages and blog posts organically.
As a company offering content marketing services to tech businesses, we’ll assess the role of guest blogging in IT companies’ digital marketing strategy and tell you how to do guest blogging the right way to get your content published across a host of reputable technology websites. Let’s dive in!
What is Guest Blogging Exactly, and Why Does Your Company Need It?
Guest blogging (aka guest posting) is a content marketing and SEO technique that involves writing original content and publishing it on third-party websites or blogs relevant to your industry. Within the IT domain, these might include DZone, Infoq, ReadWrite, and Developer.com — or lesser-known and easier-to-approach websites like Mobile App Daily and Small Business Trends.
Some of the benefits of guest blogging include:
- Raising brand awareness and establishing your company as a mature, trustworthy IT service/solution provider
- Unobtrusively promoting your company’s services and products
- Getting friendly do-follow/no-follow backlinks to your company’s website (home page or service pages) and subsequently improving its ranking
Now, let’s take a closer look at these guest blogging benefits and debunk some myths about publishing content on third-party media.
Why Guest Blogging is Important
Guest Blogging Helps Improve Your Website’s Backlink Profile
While Google algorithms won’t tolerate the black-hat SEO strategies marketers used to apply to get backlinks, a link from a reputable website whose domain authority (DR) is higher than yours — and higher than 20 — won’t get your website blacklisted.
There are several types of backlinks you can earn with guest blogging:
- Backlinks embedded into the About the Author section, which usually lead back to your company’s homepage
- Links that use keywords you’d like your website to rank for — e.g., mobile app development — as anchor text
- Generic backlinks that use common words and phrases like “click here” as anchor text
Recent studies indicate that both no-follow and do-follow links boost your website’s authority and, eventually, ranking in search results — provided they come from strong web pages. Additionally, no-follow links help you diversify your backlink profile and increase your website traffic (think Quora marketing, for example).
Why You Should Do Guest Blogging for SEO
Suppose you want to extend your service portfolio and venture into augmented reality app development.
Based on the results of a quick Ahrefs research, we can assume that your newly published service page will need backlinks from at least 15 websites to crack the top 10 in Google search results in the target location.
While on-page keyword optimization certainly bolsters website visibility, getting quality backlinks from reputable sources is a sure-fire way to further improve its ranking and partially cut down on PPC spending.
Guest Blogging Helps Increase Brand Awareness
With the information technology industry expected to top $5 trillion in 2021, the demand for IT professionals is growing at an unprecedented pace — and so is the number of service and product companies competing for clients’ attention.
In such circumstances, establishing a well-recognized, trusted brand is not an easy task. And the fact that brand awareness is one of the trickiest marketing metrics to evaluate only complicates the matter.
Nevertheless, publishing a guest post on a reputable website frequented by your target audience is a good way to let your potential customers know that your company exists, that you have a profound understanding of their business domains, and that you offer state-of-the-art technology solutions and services to propel their growth.
Guest Blogging Helps Drive Referral Traffic and Generate Leads
While blogging in general is unanimously considered a potent lead generation tactic, experts have polarized opinions about guest blogging’s ability to attract substantial traffic, let alone traffic that is ripe for conversion.
Although prospects who come across your content on third-party websites might click on the links embedded into the copy and explore your website further, the odds that they are looking for a software development company at the moment are close to zero. Had it been otherwise, they wouldn’t have landed on Hacker Noon or IoT for All, would they?
Having said that, things may work out differently for B2C technology companies, as well as product companies. For example, Appery.io, a low-code app development platform created by Exadel, has been getting plenty of traffic from a mobile app builder review article published on Mashable back in 2018.
This allows us to assume that the actual referral traffic volumes and the possibility of getting leads from guest posts ultimately depend on several factors, including:
- Type of website where your article has been published (as we’ve mentioned before, it should be relevant to your industry and your primary areas of expertise)
- The amount of traffic it gets (the more the better)
- Your content optimization efforts (mind that third-party website editors usually reserve the right to change your copy according to their guidelines, which might affect SEO)
Types of keywords your article incorporates (different keywords belong to different stages of the customer buying cycle, so you shouldn’t expect leads from an article that dives into mobile app development trends for 2021; a how-to or how-much-does-it-cost article, on the contrary, may attract readers lingering at the bottom of the conversion funnel)
How to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
Here are the top three things that you need to consider when selecting a website for guest blogging:
Domain authority, which can be checked using SEMrush, Ahrefs, or the free Ahrefs Website Authority Checker tool; keep in mind that any backlink from a website with a DA below 20 is considered “toxic” and will do your corporate website more harm than good
Location where the website’s IP/domain address is registered; rumor has it, backlinks from US and Western European platforms give more authority to your website than blogs hosted elsewhere
Topics the website covers; here your company should strike a balance between your expertise, your customers’ needs, and the topics preferred by the website’s editorial team. In addition to technology websites, you can pitch your content to niche blogs dedicated to a particular industry
To make sure the website allows do-follow links, you can install the SEO Quake plug-in for Google Chrome and check some of the articles published there.
When it comes to actually finding guest blogging opportunities, you can study Google search results for queries like “top mobile app blogs” or “websites that accept blog posts.” Other possible search queries include “guest posting opportunities” and “guest post guidelines.” Alternatively, you can research keywords for the topic you’d like to cover and select websites publishing similar content.
To create a viable guest blogging strategy, you should make a spreadsheet with at least 200 websites accepting blog posts, segment them by topics and industry, and find out whether they offer free or paid guest blogging opportunities.
How to Do Guest Posting: A Step-by-Step Guide for Technology Companies
Step 1: Choose a Topic and Conduct Keyword Research
Your guest blogging journey starts with selecting service pages that need promotion — for example, mobile app development services. Next, you should determine mobile app development topics that have been trending up lately. For this, you can use the Google Trends tool, run several search queries, and check related content on authoritative websites.
Following your initial research, it is essential to find relevant informational keywords with a substantial search volume to support your content SEO-wise. At Exadel, we use the SEMrush Magic Keyword Tool, as well as Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest Google Chrome extension to conduct comprehensive research. Gunning for queries with an estimated keyword difficulty below 31 increases your chances of reaching Top 10 on Google.
And while we’re at it, check out this awesome blog post by Single Grain to learn how many keywords you should incorporate into your articles to get more traction.
Step 2: Create Expert, Audience-Specific Content
When it comes to guest blogging, the rule of thumb is to write well-researched, evergreen content that delivers value to the website’s audience, who may eventually become your customers.
To craft content that gets the green light from the editorial team, it is essential to study the website’s editorial guidelines before you actually start writing the piece. When working on your article, make sure to collaborate with the subject experts within your company and cover the issue from multiple angles, providing an unbiased review of the technologies and tools under consideration. For example, if you intend to compare low-code and traditional app development tools using a taxi booking application as an example, you should highlight the benefits and downsides of both approaches and propose viable alternatives (e.g., easily customizable white-label solutions).
Step 3: Package Your Content the Right Way
Although the actual style, wording, length, and formatting of your article might be restricted by a third-party website’s editorial requirements, you can follow these guest posting tips to increase your odds of getting published:
- Write a catchy headline that contains eight to thirteen words (including your focus keyword)
- Avoid writing lengthy sentences
- Keep one idea to one paragraph
- Make use of subheadings (H2-H4), bulleted lists, and quotes
- Augment your article with quality visuals (images, infographics, videos, embedded SlideShare presentations, etc.)
- Always work with a native English-speaking proofreader to avoid grammar and spelling issues
- Add platform-specific sections — for example, a short summary, table of contents, or numbered lists — to your article
Step 4: Pitch Your Content
Depending on your target platform, you might need to pitch your article via email or set up a user account to get your content published.
With the former option, there’s always room for uncertainty as most content pitches — as long as we’re talking about popular websites — go unnoticed by editorial teams. That’s why (even though you’ve been writing the content with a specific platform in mind!) we recommend that you pitch your story to several websites at once and just see what happens.
We’ve been doing guest blogging for a decade, and here’s a tip we want to share with you: never reach out to an editor until you have a finished article up your sleeve (unless it’s been deliberately specified in the editorial guidelines). In addition to providing a link to a Google document or Word file containing your draft, your pitch should include links to some of your previously published content.
Here’s an example of a pitch letter that usually works for our content marketing department:
If the editor does not respond within five days, you may want to send them a friendly follow-up. But do not despair if your article gets rejected; after all, there are too many authors competing for their place in the sun and only so many reputable websites publishing quality technology content.
In this case, you need to find another website to pitch the content to — and that’s why it’s always helpful to have a guest blog repository on hand so you don’t have to waste time on additional research.
That’s all for now. Please share your experiences and thoughts with us to let us know whether these tactics work for you — and make sure to contact us if you have any more questions about guest blogging!