If you have your website up and running, the chances are that you already have a blog included on it. Blogs are brilliant for keeping your content up to date and relevant, creating valuable information that users want to read and share, and for incorporating the keywords and long tail keyword phrases that can really improve the way that Google ranks your website.

But, if you are an avid reader of other blogs, you may have noticed that sometimes they will have a ‘guest blog’ featured on their site and you might have wondered what a guest blog is and why people write them. In this article, Wagada HQ will take a look at what guest blogging is, why it can help your website and how you can approach other sites and encourage them to accept a guest blog from your business.

So what is a guest blog?

A guest blog is created when you or your company are given an opportunity to write a blog post which will be hosted on another company’s website.  Guest blogs will often be published on sites which have a shared area of interest or operate within the same industry sector. For example a hairdresser could contribute a guest blog to a personal stylist’s website or a childcare company might have an opportunity to write a blog on a parenting blogger’s site.

Now if you find it hard to come up with or write content for your own site, you may be wondering what the benefits would be of writing for another site – after all if you have a great blog idea don’t you want to keep it for your own blog? The answer is, not necessarily. There are actually a range of reasons why writing guest blogs for other sites can be really beneficial to your business and can help you to see your website moving up those all-important search engine rankings.

What benefits can guest blogging bring me?

One of the most vital things that guest blogging can do for your website is to help improve the way that Google views your website’s authority. When you provide a guest blog, the host site will usually let you include a link back to your own website. If you have the opportunity to blog for a site that already has a good page ranking and good page authority, then the search engines will notice this ‘link juice’ running to your site, and will assume that your site is also trustworthy and relevant. Of course this increase in authority can really help your search engine optimisation and the more high quality sites that you can get to link to your website the better.

A great guest blog can also really improve the number of hits that you get to your website. If you write a guest blog for a website that has a high volume of readers and you are able to entertain and engage them, then they will often click through to have a look at your business site too. Of course there is also the added benefit to the increased click-throughs of potentially increased sales. If you pick the sites you guest blog on carefully, then your product or service should be of interest to their readers and so it is a great way to widen your customer base.

Social sharing is becoming an increasingly important ranking factor for Google and guest blogs are a fantastic way to increase your website shares and engagement on channels such as Facebook and Twitter. Often when a company accepts a guest blog from your business, they will also be happy to share the content on their social media. If they have high levels of followers, this will really get your name seen and may help you increase your own likes and followers too.

That sounds great – how can I get a guest blog on another website?

Firstly it’s important to choose the websites you are targeting to host a guest blog very carefully. As we’ve already mentioned, the website’s authority is really important and you can use online tools such as Open Site Explorer to make sure you fully understand whether the site has a good ranking with Google. You really don’t want to hold a guest blog on a website which is perceived as spammy or low quality as that could actually end up with the search engines penalising your website.

You also need to make sure that the websites you are choosing are relevant to your industry. Google places a high level of importance on businesses using their website to add value to customers and so your blog will need to offer something useful to their readers. For example, a wedding cake maker could write a blog about the latest cake trends and this would work brilliantly as a guest post for a wedding dress shop. Equally it would be totally unsuitable as a post on a local MOT centre’s website!

Once you have chosen the sites you would like to offer a guest blog to, then really take the time to get to know their site to ensure that you can offer them a personalised guest post. Read their own blogs and think of a topic that would appeal to their readers. Don’t simply offer all the sites the same post, but ensure that each guest blog proposition is unique and will add value to what they can offer their customers.

It’s often hard simply emailing a website out of the blue. So aim to build up a relationship with them first via social media. Chat to them on industry Twitter hours, engage with them and share their posts and content so that they grow to know and trust you. Talk to them about what you do so that they understand the benefits that a guest post from your business could bring them.

Also keep an eye out on social media for websites actively asking for guest posts, either on a regular basis to help increase their content or as a one off if they are particularly busy at that point in time. If you are offered this opportunity then take it! You can also make use of your networking contacts with other local businesses to chat to them and see if they would be interested in a guest post from you – you could even come up with a reciprocal arrangement where you swap guest blogs with each other.

As you can see, guest blogging has a whole host of benefits for your website. From boosting your search engine rankings, to increasing your social media followers, and ultimately bringing more custom to your door, it’s an essential part of your SEO strategy. However, it is important to make the right choice of websites to offer guest blogs to and to ensure that the content you offer is going to inspire and engage them. Wagada HQ can help your business with both writing compelling guest blog content and researching and contacting the ideal websites to work with your brand. So if you are interested in guest blogging, but need a little help or advice come and chat to us – we speak human!

 

If you want your business to be seen online then it’s vital that you set yourself up on the key social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

As social media continues to grow in popularity, we have seen how influential this form of media can be in spreading the word about what your business can offer to customers. As well as giving you a forum to share your products or services, your social media pages also allow you to engage directly with your customers, provide added value in terms of the information that you share, and enable you to really build your brand’s character and bring it to life.

Social media allows others to share your content and recommend you. Getting social can also have an impact on your SEO as Google not only looks at whether you have social media pages linked to your site, but also how much engagement your pages are receiving. High levels of social media interaction can help to boost your page ranking in the search engines.

But setting up your page is just the first step on your social media journey. One thing that our clients often ask us is “now I have my page what on earth should I put on it?” At Wagada HQ we love social media and we know how to use it well. So, we’ve put together some easy content ideas for businesses to help them manage and curate their social media pages.

Promote your business

Of course, if you are looking to gain customers and retain current clients you’ll need to include content on your page that helps to promote your business. However, you need to be careful not to make it too salesy or people could feel that you are simply spamming their newsfeed and it might cause them to unfollow you. Instead show them what you can offer. Images or videos of new products or services can be popular, particularly if they are presented as a ‘how to’ guide.

You might also want to use your social media pages to promote discount codes or special offers just for your followers – this is a great way of encouraging people to like your pages. Testimonials can be very powerful too so don’t be afraid to share them. If you are able to tag the business or individual who has recommended you this helps to add authority to the review and creates higher levels of trust as your customers can see exactly who your review has come from. It also helps to increase the reach of your post. For example, when you post on Facebook and tag someone in a post, their friends can see the post too. This can sometimes encourage more likes, follows and shares of your post, which ultimately can lead to increased brand awareness, loyalty and website traffic.

Entertain your followers

Whilst people use social media to find out the serious stuff about your business, they also use it to relax and escape the realities of everyday life. Social media is a form of entertainment so make sure that you take the time to inject some light-hearted humour and fun into your posts. This could be anything from sharing funny memes, creating your own viral videos or including some humorous photos of what your team are getting up to in the office today.

You could also include a few games to engage people such as polls and quizzes. Remember to keep these posts relevant to your business and products though i.e. a wedding cake maker might want to include a video of a great wedding first dance or a nursery could include some funny jokes about parenting that their clients could relate to.

Be inspirational

People want to feel good about themselves so show them how your products or services can help them to achieve their goals. Whether you are a personal trainer helping them to get fit and healthy, or an interior designer who can give them the home of their dreams – ensure that you include some aspirational and inspirational posts.

Good quality images are always popular so invest in some professional shots of your business and products. Before and after pictures work really well and can show clearly the difference that you can make to your customers. People also feel buoyed up by inspiring quotes or personal success stories from current clients.

Offer to help and educate

Many potential customers may not know much about your area of expertise or they could be online looking for specific help and advice. Use your social media channels to help educate them. Share you blog posts and those of others within your industry that you feel may help.

You could run Q&A sessions from a live Facebook Feed or share free resources such as e-books or worksheets. These posts are really important as they can help position you as an expert in your field. Sharing knowledge is a great way to interact with others.

Bring your brand to life

Social media means that whatever their size, brands large and small are no longer a faceless logo. Instead it enables customers to see behind the scenes and engage with the people behind the brands.

There is a saying in marketing that ‘people buy people not products’ and this is particularly pertinent to your social media content. Share photos of your team and let people see what you do on a day to day basis. This really helps customers to feel engaged with you and your team and builds understanding and brand loyalty.

Start a conversation

One of the great things about social media is that you can chat to everyone. Make sure that you use your pages to start a conversation with your customers. You could share some product ideas and ask them for their feedback or even get them to name a product.

Ask them to share their stories about how your business has helped them or inquire about their advice and recommendations. People love to feel involved and by chatting to them directly you will be able to find out more about what your customers actually want from your business. It also makes you seem human if you can interact with customers socially.

As you can see there are many ways to use your social media pages. You can end up spending more time on there more than you initially planned! As variety is the spice of life we always recommend using a mixture of all the content ideas that we have included and it can be good to create a monthly social media calendar to help you keep on top of your content schedule. At Wagada we have a wealth of social media experience so if you are having trouble curating your content or simply can’t find the time to do it yourself, we can offer a range of help and support.