In the world of search engine optimization (SEO), guest posts and niche edits are key tools for building backlinks to boost your rankings. Backlinks from other websites that point to your website are like votes of confidence, telling search engines that your website is valuable and trustworthy.
In this post, we will explore the basics of guest posts and niche edits and explain how to use them for building backlinks. By harnessing the power of domains through backlinks, you can take your website’s SEO to the next level and drive more traffic and conversions.
There’s More Than One Way to Build Backlinks
Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are hyperlinks on one website that direct users to another website. They play a crucial role in search engine optimization (SEO) by acting as endorsements or references from one site to another. Search engines view backlinks as indicators of a website’s credibility, authority, and popularity within its field. The quality and quantity of backlinks a website receives can significantly impact its search engine ranking, as well as its visibility and reputation in online spaces.
There are many different ways for businesses to build backlinks. For example, many companies and organizations obtain backlinks organically by creating high-quality blog posts and other online content. These backlinks often speak to your experience and authority in your industry, but this method takes time and may not yield results immediately or consistently.
Furthermore, you can gain backlinks through positive PR for your business. Press releases, features in local news publications, and articles about your brand’s milestones in industry publications can all link back to your website and boost your SEO. However, these are never guaranteed and usually happen infrequently.
Because of this, most people obtain backlinks by reaching out to other websites and online publications. These outreach efforts usually result in guest posts or niche edits, both of which are highly beneficial.
What is a Guest Post?
A guest post is a piece of content written by someone who is not a website or blog owner, or primary writer. The guest post’s author is typically an expert in a specific field or niche and is invited to share their knowledge and insights with the website’s audience.
Guest posts are a popular way for websites to diversify their content and provide their readers with fresh perspectives on various topics. They can also be a way for the author to gain exposure, reach a new audience, and build their personal brand.
In the context of SEO, guest posting is a way of building backlinks. When you write a guest post, you can include a link to your website using the anchor text of your choice. This is called a contextual editorial backlink. Contextual backlinks are used to explain or supplement the text of a blog post or article. For example, a writer might cite a statistic and link to the source, quote an expert and link to their website, or direct readers to a page that describes a topic in greater depth.
Contextual backlinks are considered especially powerful because they appear naturally within a website’s content. If your site is used as a source by other authoritative websites, it’s a signal to Google’s algorithms that it contains valuable information, and they should give it a higher ranking than sites with fewer or lower-quality backlinks.
Guest Posting Basics
There’s a certain art to successful guest posting. To be effective, guest posts must be placed on high-quality, relevant websites with strong domain authority. They must also be engaging to readers and include your backlinks in a natural and not overly promotional way.
Before you start pitching guest posts to every website you can find, we recommend following these steps:
1. Match Your Content to the Website
Before you make a pitch, you should always match your content with the right audience. This means finding websites that relate to your expertise in some way. For example, if you’re a dog groomer, you’ll want to guest post on websites about pets, not websites about construction. If you’re just getting started with guest posting, the easiest way to find related websites that may want to publish your writing is to search for [your niche] “write for us” on Google.
With that said, sometimes there are ways to make connections between two niches that would otherwise not be closely related. For example, a dog groomer could write an article for a local furniture retailer about ways to remove pet hair from your sofa and then mention the importance of frequent grooming along with a link to their website. These connected articles can be beneficial in niches where there is a lot of competition, and other websites might not want to promote yours.
2. Nail Down Links
Before you start guest posting, take some time to develop a plan for your link building.
Unless your site has only one page, you’ll want to build links to several pages, not just your homepage. This is one reason why having informational articles on your website is good, not just products and services. Other websites may be more likely to accept a guest post if it links to an informational article rather than a page to buy things.
You’ll also need to map out a strategy for your anchor text, the words you use to link to your site from the guest posts. As we discussed in our backlinks article, 70% or more of your anchor text should be branded links and URLs. For example, if your business is Rogers Roofing, your anchors should be text like rogersroofing.com and Rogers Roofing.
You can also use a few longer informational phrases like how to choose the best roofing material. Just be careful not to use too many keyword-heavy anchors, such as roof repair Chicago.
When you figure out your anchor text, write your guest posts so the anchor text fits in naturally and doesn’t feel spammy. This not only increases your chances of the guest post being picked up, but it also builds trust with the readers and increases the likelihood of them clicking on the link.
As you begin building links, create a spreadsheet to keep track of all the guest posts you’ve placed and the anchor text you used. This makes it easy to ensure you are keeping your anchors diverse and don’t use the same non-branded anchor text too many times. It’s also a good idea to check every link periodically to make sure the post is still up and contains your backlink.
3. Add Value Without Selling Too Hard
Always remember the “guest” part of guest posting. You are asking to be a guest on someone else’s website, so be friendly in approaching them. “I want to post on your website” will not earn you many responses – and yes, some website owners receive messages just like that daily.
If invited in, behave as if you were visiting a friend’s home. Be respectful, and don’t make a mess. Take the time to write a high-quality post, check your spelling and grammar, and don’t be excessive with your self-promotion.
When you’re writing a guest post, focus on your expertise. For example, if you own a salon, you could write about the best hairstyles for people in a specific profession, demographic, or things to consider before becoming a hairdresser.
Keep guest posts informational, and don’t oversell your products or services. Your article shouldn’t be titled, “Why Company XYZ Is the Best Maker of Widgets,” it should discuss the problem the widget solves and then briefly mention company XYZ’s widgets as a helpful option.
Be mindful of your anchor text. When guest posting, brand mentions and contextual links that feel natural within a sentence are much better than obvious advertisements like “buy widget XYZ online.”
What are Niche Edits?
Niche edits are backlinks added to existing posts on websites. Niche edits can include adding a link to words already on a page, linking an unlinked brand mention, or updating and adding new information to an article along with a backlink. Niche edits are also known as link insertions.
Niche edit backlinks can be very beneficial to SEO because they leverage the power of a page that is already indexed by Google and receives traffic. Google’s algorithms like fresh and regularly updated content, so niche edits can also benefit the website’s owner significantly if they improve an old or outdated article.
How Do I Pitch Niche Edits?
Consider each potential placement individually when pitching niche edits and tailor your approach accordingly. If a website has already mentioned your business by name, asking them to link to it probably won’t be a big deal, and they’ll most likely be happy to do so. However, if you want them to replace a broken link with yours or add one or more paragraphs, you’ll need to convince them of your value proposition.
Owners of popular websites may receive multiple niche edit requests like yours per day and ignore most of them. Many of these emails are poorly written, so you’ll be a cut above the rest by simply running spell check and grammar check.
To increase your chances of success, address your message to the website owner (if you know their name) and explain in detail how you would improve the existing article. Describe your expertise and include examples of your previous writing and the link you want. If you ask them to link to an informational article rather than directly to your products or services for sale, that will also make them more likely to say yes.
Be aware that website owners may request payment in exchange for your link placement. You must decide if you will buy niche edits and budget accordingly.
Don’t Go It Alone: Let an Agency Leverage Their Connections to Build Backlinks
Pitching backlinks to other websites and online publications is a time-consuming process. Although your hard work will likely boost your domain authority and yield increased traffic to your website, you probably don’t have enough free time to dedicate to this task. Luckily, this is one area where marketing agencies can help.
At InSync Media, we provide monthly backlinks for our Growth SEO clients. We utilize a network of websites in various industries to build high-quality backlinks through guest posts and niche edits. We maintain control over the content, the anchor text, and the link to ensure that your brand is highlighted favorably and the links provide the highest amount of benefit as possible. You no longer have to worry about finding worthwhile websites, emailing back and forth with site owners, or writing content — we handle it all.
To learn more about what we can do to boost your business’s search engine visibility and rankings, visit our SEO services page.