Quality Content: To Guest Post or Not to Guest Post?

Recently we asked one of our clients to write an article that could be used for a quality guest posting opportunity we were given. We wanted the article to come from the expert himself, so we asked him to write a 500-1,000 word piece. When he returned the content, it was a 6,000+ word article that was absolutely fantastic! I was blown away by what he had put together.

As I read the post, I kept thinking to myself, ‘Do we really want to put this great content on someone else’s site and not his own?’ And that’s where today’s blog post stems from. When you have high quality content, do you post it on your own site, or do you find a relevant website with a good page rank (PR) and high readership and post it there?

Using it as a Guest Post:

Guest posts are a great way to get high quality backlinks to your website. These types of links look organic to Google and other search engines and are highly valued. From my guest posting experience, bloggers usually allow 1-2 links to be embedded into the content with one being in the body of the content and one being placed in the “about the author” section. Having 2 high quality links pointing to your website is great. However, there is even more value to guest posting than just two backlinks.

Guest posting is also a great opportunity to truly share your expertise knowledge with others on relevant websites with strong readership.  If you write a great guest post, you will find that the blog’s readers will genuinely enjoy the content and want to share it with their friends. They will like, tweet, pin, link to the content on their own blog and more, spreading your work like a wildfire. However, as they spread the love, remember that all these new social signals and links are being built to the guest post, not your own website. And while most people would say, “That sucks, I want all those links”, there is some benefit in having those links go to the guest blog. It’s called link layering. Link layering is essentially building backlinks to your own backlinks. The benefit of this is that as link juice is passed to the guest blog post from external websites linking to it, this link juice continues on to your website via the backlinks embedded in the content. Therefore, all of these external links are not going to waste. They are in fact helping you by giving your site credibility and power in the eyes of search engines, just with an extra layer in between.

Finally, as the content continues to get shared, it will most likely begin to show up in the top ten SERPs for related keywords. When people click on the content to read it, they will likely click through to your site as well. This means a whole lot more traffic for you!

So while some people might say, don’t ever post high quality content anywhere else besides your own site, there are some perks to doing so. However, remember the key to making it worth it: high readership on the guest blog. Without readership, no one will share it, which means goodbye guest posting perks, hello wasted quality content.

Using it on Your Own Website or Blog:

Using high quality content on your own website or blog also has several benefits. First, Google and other search engines always smile upon fresh content. Regularly updated sites are seen as more legitimate, especially if the content is high quality. And while no guaranteed external backlinks will be built to your website, you do have the opportunity to build internal links. Also, with 6,000+ words, you can add a whole lot more than two links within the content. And you can place them wherever your heart desires! A good guide for internal linking is one link for every 300-500 words. Any more than that and it begins to look spammy to search engines and it’s unpleasant to visitors. When crawled by the search engines, these internal links will help define what your site and pages are about, and potentially boost your rankings.

Besides internal linking, you also have complete control over the content, which allows you to properly optimize it. Now is a great time to do some opportunity discovery and find keywords within the content that have traffic behind them and perform on-site SEO for them. You can handpick the title, meta description, headers, bolded/italicized words, and alt text. This optimized page gives you an opportunity to be found online, which is priceless.

Finally, while you may not have the readership behind your website or blog like the guest post would, there is still potential to get your content found and shared. This can be done with a variety of techniques.

  • Organic searches: Since you’ve optimized your content, you can be found organically. If visitors find your content useful, they will most likely share it with others via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, their own blog, etc. Be sure to include social buttons on the page! This makes it a breeze for people to share, and greatly increases the chances of them doing so.
  • Link Building: Put together a link building campaign for this page. Building links to it will help boost your organic rankings, and if placed on relevant sites, will increase referral traffic from click throughs.
  • Social Media: Share the content on all your social media sites, bookmark it, and spread the word. Ask family members, friends, colleagues, and anyone else you can think of to share it for you, too! That’s what friends are for right?

If shared by the right people, at the right time, or on the right site, it can become viral. Of course there is no guarantee that this will happen, but it’s definitely a possibility! And like a guest post with high readership, this will create hundreds of backlinks for you. However, this time, all the backlinks will be pointing to YOUR site directly. Score.

So which one is better? The answer is: it depends. Both options have pro and cons and is a question that must be answered on an individual basis. For our client, we chose the latter option and posted the content on his own website. As a newer site, adding fresh content is key. And with a link building campaign focused around it, we feel confident we can get the content spread!

Connect with the author of this post