Is it ever a good idea to get backlinks from sites that have nothing to do with your own product or service? Should you guest blog on a site that won’t send you lead traffic? Is there any reason to blog about things other than your products and services? Yes, yes and yes. For some sites especially, link juice can work wonders, even if lead flow won’t.
Site owners who know how organic search marketing works make it a priority to build out highly organized, optimized, useful and attractive content to improve their traffic. They know that the keyword is the basic unit of organic search, because that is what users type, providing us a window into their intentions.
Sites, categories, pages, titles, internal body content, external guest-blogging content and even link text must be carefully designed around specific keyword phrases to ensure that the users who matter to you like what they see. There is both a direct result and a “meta” result of this effort, both of which are important to gaining visitors.
The direct result is that you increase the size of your internet catch-basin and improve your lead flow. Prospects are more likely to find you because your content is located in, or linked to, from many more places than just your own website. These are either sites the user found through search, or ones they already frequent for news, information and social interaction around a particular topic. By creating a presence in those places, you get in front of more pre-selected prospects. What’s more, you share in the trust and respect prospects already give to the other sites who host you, which helps them to preselect you.
Ideally, these prospects click through to your site and buy like crazy. Online or off, these are the kinds of referrals you want. Most people think about guest blogging this way-- trying to gain awareness, trust and credibility with their target prospects. While that's a valid objective, it isn't always practical or reasonable to expect prospects to click to your site from a guest post. Luckily, there are other, more enduring reasons to guest blog.
If lead flow is the direct result of guest blogging, the “meta” result is Google’s attempt to look at all your activity and make sense of it-- to rank your site among those that seem to matter for similar keywords. Google isn't about to let people stumble upon what they want by meandering around from site to site. Google serves it up on a platter. They do such a good job of being an index of the internet that it’s easy to forget Google is just one way of looking at it. However, for some sites, Google really IS the only way of looking at it.
Two of our other sites, for example, belong to such a small niche, there simply aren’t enough places to go around talking about what we do, where prospective clients will find our content and click on over. Even worse, most of our clients only need our services once in their lifetimes! Therefore, few people have any reason to think about our articles, subscribe to our content and be wooed over time.
What is our niche, you ask? Expedited passports. Yeah. No one ever thinks they’ll need one, until they need it in an emergency. And there isn’t all that much to write about it. So, regardless how great our content is, very few people are talking about it, sharing it, or linking to it from their sites. For those who do, about zero prospects follow the link and buy. While we can’t create lead flow from our link-building efforts, we can create a lot of link juice, and let Google send us the leads directly.
How do we help Google help us? We guest blog like crazy, but not about passports. We’ve long since flogged that topic for all it’s worth, although we do manage to turn out some new articles from time to time. Here’s what we do instead:
Now, instead of trying to capture prospects all over the internet, we capture them from the first and second page of Google’s search results, because we have great link juice flowing our way.
So if you find yourself stuck trying to find good places to share your content, write different content! There is always an audience for anything you have to say, and they don’t have to be your prospects. Just know your keywords, post only to reputable sites, and make sure that your site is useful for the visitors you want. Google will appreciate your work and send them straight to you.