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Six reasons why your offsite strategy is off target

 

The principle of this offsite strategy is simple: you place a high quality piece of content on another website, which links back to your own website. It’s a win/win situation: you get links to your website which improve your search ranking and your website traffic, the partner website gets free content that is useful, entertaining or both to their audience.

 

In practice, however, many B2B marketers fail to get the most out of their offsite marketing. I have listed below the six biggest issues businesses need to tackle to use guest posting successfully.

1. Lack of quality

Your links must occur in a natural context and come from a high-authority website which is relevant to your industry, or else Google will assume you’re a spammer and penalise your search results. Guest blogging is the perfect vehicle for such links. But many guest posts read like they’ve just been written for the purpose of carrying the link. It takes no rocket science to figure out that sooner or later Google will penalise this kind of post, too. Google’s Head of Spam Matt Cutts warns in this video that guest posts on blogs will not be counted as links if they appear to be not relevant to the blog audience, just slightly tweaked versions of other posts elsewhere or stuffed with keywords.


2. Wrong targets

When approaching blogs to place guest posts, you shouldn’t adopt what Matt Cutts calls  ‘spray and pray’ approach and blindly send out articles everywhere hoping some may stick. Even if this would lead to having many links pointing to your page, they would probably come from blogs with a low domain authority and not necessarily be relevant to your industry. It doesn’t make sense to write about B2B software solutions on a travel weblog. Avoid this by focusing on an audience you want to target and checking the domain authority of blogs you are likely to approach.


3. No focus on usability

If you have found a good partner who is willing to publish your guest post, make sure you have something original to say that is genuinely useful and relevant to your audience. Guest blogging is more than a sophisticated SEO technique, it is also a form of content marketing.

Following the philosophy of content marketing, you can only gain potential customers trust in your product or service by providing them with information they search for, not sales talk.


4. Lack of link authority

Guest posts can be an excellent way for B2B marketers to establish their business as thought leaders in their industry.  Unfortunately, many marketers shy away from voicing truly challenging ideas stirring up discussions for fear of controversy. But even with a more conservative approach, guest blogs should be placed on blogs where you can gain from the website’s authority for that niche. You should also set up a Google authorship profile and link every post you write in your field of expertise to it. Over time, Google’s search algorithms will rank articles linked to your profile higher as you have established expertise in your field.


5. Silo thinking

‘Guest blogging shouldn’t be all that you do all day long’ for link building, says Matt Cutts. To build your authority and search rankings, you need to think outside the silos and look at how all channels of online marketing combined interact. Traffic alone doesn’t bring you conversions yet. Your offsite strategy should be complemented by a clever onsite content strategy and engagement on social media networks such as LinkedIn.


6. Lack of time

I won’t lie to you: manual link building takes a lot longer than I would have imagined.  You need patience to be able to source and contact the right blog partners. This is why many B2B marketers outsource their offsite marketing. Just as in the real world, companies need to slowly build up their reputation online, too.