There are many things that make for a solid SEO campaign. However, there are certain methods that do your overall marketing extra good if you know what you are doing. One of them is guest blogging. Here’s how it helps your overall marketing…

1. It Builds Your Authority
Authority is one very important thing you need if you are going to get your own share of the market. People don’t buy or do business with anyone. We’ve been trained to only do business with people we trust. And while we trust our friends and acquaintances, we also trust institutions that we see as authorities. In fact, we’ve been wired to trust these institutions more than well meaning friends.

Think about it: Whose advice would you take if you want to avoid being in the bad books of the IRS? Would you go with your beloved brother who knows nothing about accounting and tax laws or would you stick with what you CPA tells you? We all know the answer.

The same applies to your business. People will do business with you confidently if they see you as an authority in your niche. But how do you build this authority? Well, there are many ways to do this (But that’s NOT what this article is all about). However, guest blogging is definitely one of the best ways to go about it. As you submit top quality articles to sites that have authority in your niche, people start to associate you with some level of authority. The more they see you across different top blogs and sites in the niche (or related niches) the more their confidence level in you rises. They are sure you are an authority in the subject matter. This makes it easier for you do get customers — You are an authority.

2. It Builds Direct Traffic To Get Things Rolling

One of the things you need to get good those signals that determine top search engine rankings is human activity on your site. But how can you get people to your site if they don’t even know it exists? Guest blogging takes advantage of sites that already have a good flow of traffic. People get to read them as your articles are published on those high traffic sites. If they love what you’ve written (they will if you deliver top quality), they’ll click the link on your by-line to get more of you. That brings them to your site.

Now if you’ve done the right thing and placed only top quality content on your site then they are going to get engaged with your content. This will lead to likes, tweets, reblogs, comments, bookmarks and free links back to your site.

3. It Gives You Powerful Editorial Links
Now this is what you were looking for in the very first place — editorial links that will stand the test of time. Guest blogging gives you the very best of editorial links. These are links that are surrounded by top quality content. These are links on sites that have built a high level of authority over the years. These are links from sites that get a lot of social love from their readers.

One thing you can be sure of is that people will build links to your guest posts (if you’ve done them right). This means that the links coming to your site aren’t just powerful because they are on top quality sites (That’s one point). In addition, they get likes, tweets, bookmarks and free editorial links themselves. That’s what will catapult your target site to the top in search engine results. But more importantly, it will keep you safe from those frequent updates from Google.

Becoming an authority in your niche has a lot of benefits: It makes it easier for you to convert your visitors to customers. It makes it a lot easier for your messages to be spread around. It also makes it a lot easier for you to get joint venture partners. The list goes on and on. But how do you become an authority while doing effective SEO?

The truth is that doing your SEO the right way will build your authority like NO other strategy. Here are things that make this happen…

1. Good SEO Demands Links From Great Sources
Everyone knows that building links is critical to top rankings. In fact, this is the single most important criterion for getting the rankings you want. However, NOT all links are created equally. Links from the most trusted sites in your niche carry more weight than links from 1000 spammy site.

So let us assume you do the right thing and decide to submit articles to the top 50 blogs or sites in your niche (or related niches). What would you get? You would get traffic from your target audience. You would also get top quality links. But more importantly, you would be seen as an expert in the niche.

How else could you be featured on the top blogs and sites in your niche if you are NOT an authority? To put it simply, those sites pass on their authority to you just by association. This happens while you are building top quality links to your site to improve your search engine ranking.

2. Good SEO Includes Social Engagement
No good SEO firm would consider their work done these days if they do NOT incorporate social signals into your link profile. But what does this have to do with building your authority? Well, if you have been putting out top quality content all over different reputable sites then you would have started a number of conversations. All you have to do is participate in those conversations. The more people see you sharing your expertise for free in response to questions, they’ll come to love and trust you more. One of the components of authority is trust. But when people love you in addition, you’ve got something even better — A beloved authority figure. This will take your business to new heights.

In Conclusion…
While these two aspects of a good SEO campaign will go a long way in building your authority, your top ranking in the search engine itself will solidify whatever gains you’ve got in the process of getting there.

People trust editorial results. They know that you didn’t pay to have Google place you in the top ten positions of their results pages. It’s almost like having the government of your community list your business as the most trusted business in the community for a particular range of products and services. What do you think such an endorsement would do for your business? Believe it or NOT, a top 3 ranking on Google for your target phrases does something similar – People have come to trust Google wholeheartedly. People believe what a trusted institution tells them. Google has become one of the most trusted institutions on the internet. So get that top ranking makes you an authority. The more the number of top rankings you are able to snatch, the higher the authority level you are associated with.

Search engine optimization or SEO is a very important part of internet marketing. In fact, there are many businesses that have been built entirely with that as their focus. So why is every expert so interested in SEO? What is the value in it as an internet marketing strategy?

1. It Delivers An Abundance Of Residual Traffic For Free

The first benefit that comes to mind whenever we think SEO is the volume of traffic a site stands to gain. There are sites that get hundreds of thousands of visitors from search engines on a monthly basis. To give you a good idea of how much this means to a business, let us assume that the average PPC bid for the top three spots for keywords in this niche is $1.50…

A site that gets 250 thousand visitors from search engines on a monthly basis saves 250,000 X $1.50 = $375,000 monthly or $4.5 million per annum!

Yes, I know they would have spent quite a sum to get their SEO right and they might have invested over a number of months. I know they’ll still pay a good chunk to a good SEO firm just to maintain their position.

However, can you take away from the fact that such numbers justify whatever amount they’ve spent on SEO (Especially when even the most expensive SEO companies will only command fees that are less than 10% of the amount that would have been spent paying for such a high volume of visitors)?

A business without the right volume of traffic is a dying business. Just imagine what you can do if you can command the right audience and you’ll see the wisdom in getting your SEO right.

2. Builds Your Credibility And Pre-eminence

There are companies that have huge marketing budgets. They can buy any volume of traffic they need. However, there’s something they can’t buy just like that: Credibility and pre-eminence…

The government has made it compulsory for search engines to label adverts accordingly. Go to Google, for example, and you’ll see that they are placed in different areas of the search page and are labelled as “sponsored ads.”

People are generally conditioned to take adverts with a grain of salt. While PPC ads that appear on search results pages are targeted (because someone is actively searching for what is being offered), they are NOT usually the first places a regular searcher looks. Most searchers will only consider PPC ads if they don’t see what they are looking for in the editorial section.

And that’s just the small part: Adverts are treated as self-promotion while editorial results are treated as endorsements by Google. Believe it or NOT, many people rarely question something once they found it via a search on Google. Their conclusion is: If Google thinks this is the best page for my search then it has to be a credible source. This is even truer if they click to your page and meet top quality content (which is what you get with good SEO).

What do you think would happen to your business if the regulatory body in the industry lists it in its top ten? Treat a top ten ranking for your target keywords the same way. Getting high rankings builds your credibility. But that’s just the beginning…

People begin to see you as an authority if your site keeps appearing for most related searches. The more the number of search phrases you rank highly for, the more your authority grows — Your pre-eminence grows.

3. Helps With Reputation Management

Mudslinging and “demarketing” are things that few successful businesses are unaware of. An unscrupulous competitor or a customer from hell could decide to post negatively about you. And because people love to read gossip, you could see your business suffer due to unsubstantiated tweets and retweets.

How do you survive?

People who read such gossip might want to get more information about you and so they head over to a search engine. But guess what? When they get there and start their search, they see you ranking for top keywords. They visit your site and see you deliver top quality content. They see reviews from past customers. They taste the goodness of your business first-hand and…

They now have doubts about what was tweeted about you. But that’s NOT all…

A good SEO strategy takes social media into consideration. This means that you’ll have an army of followers (and defenders) on sites like Twitter. So when folks try to trash your business they are countered by people who you connected with as you were trying to optimize your business for top rankings. The result…

An effort to “demarket” you is nipped in the bud because you had a good SEO firm who went about the process the right way.

4. Improves Visitor Engagement

You can’t be talking about SEO without looking at how your visitors respond. Every SEO expert out there knows that a high bounce rate will make it very difficult for you to get those top rankings. Therefore, they’ll offer suggestions that will increase visitor engagement and reduce your bounce rate.

The more your visitors engage with your content the more they assimilate your messages. Is this NOT what you really set up your site to do in the first place?

But having highly engaged visitors starts a domino effect: They bookmark, share, like, tweet, retweet, reblog, pin and take every other social action we all love on our properties. Those in turn bring in new visitors, improve your rankings on search results pages and the process is repeated all over again — Helping you build perpetual traffic!

5. Increase Your Bottom Line

Well, you are NOT into this (I mean your business) just for the fun of it, are you? You are here to make profit. So SEO counts for nothing if it doesn’t increase your bottom line. How much more money do you stand to make with a good SEO campaign?

Your have zero recurrent costs when it comes to customer acquisition if you get all your traffic via organic search. So if you sell a $100 product and used to spend $25 per paying visitor then your profit was $75. However with free traffic your profit margin increases.

With a high profit margin you can afford to price your product more competitively. No one wants to pay more for the same product. You can afford to offer discounts that your competitors can’t even attempt.

You can invest more in other parts of your business. You can spend more money to build world-class support. You can invest more in research and development. Simply put: You can take your business to new heights faster if you have more funds available to you.

Everyone knows how many businesses suffer anytime Google does a major update. However, this wouldn’t be the case if those business owners had done the right thing: A business should NOT depend on a single entity as its traffic source (No matter how cost-effective such a source is). Here are tips to help you build a business that can’t be destroyed by an update…

1. Make sure you do NOT depend on Google as your only traffic source.
Yes, we know that people who actively searched for keywords you targeted represent the one of the best kinds of visitors to your site. However, you just have to understand that it is dangerous to focus all your attention and resources on just one site (Even if it is Google). Google represents a very tiny fraction of the whole web. I know Google has done such a good job of promoting their brand that many people don’t realize that traffic from Google represents just a very tiny fraction of the web. But think about the following:

a. There are millions of sites that get thousands of visitors on a monthly basis. You can do media buys and drive as many visitors as you can afford to your business. Yes, there are challenges with this method but they are NOT more than what you’ll encounter if you attempt to rank for any competitive term on Google. Devote resources to media buying (You can hire a good firm to handle this for you).
b. Arrange ad swaps with webmasters in related but non-competing niches. You can also arrange ad swaps with webmasters within your own niche provided it would be mutually beneficial.
c. Think about doing joint ventures with webmasters who have a large audience. Along these lines, a solid affiliate program will help you get visitors in a risk-free manner.
d. You can get the attention of a new audience by submitting a guest post on a very popular blog. In fact, you will still do very well if you submit top quality posts on sites that are NOT so popular but are focused on quality content. The extra bonus here is that you’ll get powerful links that are generally immune to Google’s updates. This will help you hold down top rankings.

2. Find out where your ideal customer hangs out in real life.
Don’t forget that your potential website visitors are human beings. Therefore, advertise your products/services in offline venues and publications that attract your target prospect. People you reach this way will eventually talk about you on forums, Twitter, Facebook and other sites. This will help add another layer of protection to your business. Remember that the more diversified your link profile is, the more secured your website would be from updates from Google.

3. Word of mouth marketing will shield your business from the most brutal of updates.
Think about it: If people are raving about your products/services on different forums and social networks, Google will pick it up. Remember, you are NOT trying to game the system — These things are happening naturally because of the top quality service you deliver. People will link back to your site without your knowledge. People will defend your brand when people try to ruin your reputation. They will tell their followers and friends about it. Think about this seriously and you’ll see that it is a very effective way to protect your business from Google’s updates because it delivers just what Google wants.

So how do you achieve this? Make sure you always deliver top quality in every aspect of your business: Give them top quality content. Make sure your products over-deliver on your promise and make sure you have excellent support. Is that all? No, make sure you have a good SEO firm to help keep your business on the cutting edge – SEO-wise.

It is true that exceptional content will help you maintain top rankings in spite of Google’s updates. However, that’s NOT the whole picture. You need to use your exceptional content in certain ways if you intend to gain and maintain top rankings. Here are things you shouldn’t miss…

1. Only Top Quality Content On-site
The Panda Update taught many webmasters one thing: It is better to have 50 great pages alone than to have 50 great pages and another 50 half-baked pages. But think about it: It makes sense. What would this help you achieve?

You will enjoy low bounce rates as your visitors will be fully engaged with your content across your different pages. You will experience higher conversion rates because your message meets the needs of your target audience. You will get social signals (tweets, pins, likes, reblogs, etc) without even asking. You will attract top quality links from webmasters who believe that your articles, videos or podcasts are valuable to their audience. You will get links to a wide range of pages which means your rankings will spread across many keywords. The benefits are many. Therefore, make sure that you make enough provision for top quality content in your budget.

2. Only Top Quality Content Off-site
One would think that all you need to do is publish a great article for the whole world to head over to your site. However, your article will remain unnoticed if you don’t take any further actions. You just have to build links to your article. You have to tell the world about it. You can do this is by building links through article marketing, guest blogging, press releases and submitting videos on sites like Youtube. So all you need are links, right? Wrong! You need links from other sites that already have an audience if you want to survive updates now and in the distant future.

Think about it: How difficult is it for any webmaster to game the system by building links from pages that no one really sees or visits? All they’ll have to do is just build a cheap private network and they can pick top rankings. Yes, it might work for now in a number of cases but it definitely won’t for a very long time. Google tracks the quality of links you get to your site. Yes, they may NOT know how you acquired them. However, they can easily tell if a set of links can easily be manipulated. So what are the things they are likely to pay more attention to in the future?

They will look at the activities on the linking page. How many tweets, likes, pins and links does your linking page have? Yes, you can build links to your links (tiered link building).

However, there’s a better way…
Deliver top quality content on sites you get your links from and make sure they only take top quality content (Your hard work could be wiped out easily if enough people include linking sites as bad sites with the new disavow tool). It doesn’t matter if it is your mininet, private network or a third-party site. You need to ensure that they have content that engages visitors. Such will attract social signals and links that will boost your search engine rankings today. But more importantly, you can be sure that you’ll be immune from new updates in the future.

Why am I so sure? Google will cease to be the top search engine if it ever implements algorithms that penalize sites that have only top quality content. Remember, Google thrives or sinks on the strength of its search results.

Google releases major updates from time to time. Many businesses go under with each release. That’s NOT a good thing for any business since predictable patterns are critical to making projections and staying profitable (among other things). So what can you do to ensure that your business is immune or less vulnerable to these updates from Google? Here are some tips…

1. Understand What They Want To Achieve

In an ideal world, the most relevant web page to a search query will take the number one spot. However, in the real world, the page with the best content for a key phrase might be buried in the 10th page of search results. Google is trying everything within its power to make the best content take the top spot (At least, that’s what we’ve been made to believe).

Whether you believe in any conspiracy theories or NOT, the fact remains that search engines thrive or die on the strength of their search results. If searchers discover that the results returned do NOT march queries, they’ll look elsewhere. This will spell doom for any search engine because, as the searchers leave, the advertisers (who pay their bills) will follow.

Therefore, every search engine (Google especially) will do everything possible to ensure that they remain the default choice of searchers. Get this point right and you would have taken the first major step to shielding your business from those updates.

Important Note: Updates are basically changes in algorithm that attempt to weed out poor pages and bring the best to the top.

2. Develop Top Quality Content

Bearing in mind that Google’s ultimate goal is to reward top quality content with top rankings, it is very important that everything you publish is the very best quality you can come up with. That is, if you are interested in achieving long term success with SEO.

But the question now is: What is top quality content? Top quality content is such that you would bookmark if you saw it on another site. This should be your guiding principle because while today’s algorithms may pass mediocre content as great, it won’t be so for a long time. Google is getting smarter at detecting chaff. Furthermore, they are employing human reviewers (and tattle tales) to fish out sites that have poor content.

Important Note: Make sure your content is focused on giving your readers value.

3. Don’t Be Too Focused On Google

You are set up for heartaches if your entire marketing plan is totally focused on Google. A good SEO strategy doesn’t depend on any single entity (That includes Google). If every decision you make is focused on Google then you will definitely be hit by any changes in algorithm. This is because you are very likely to become too aggressive and thereby end up over-optimizing your site.

A good overall strategy is to employ tactics that have traffic value in and by themselves while reinforcing your search position. A good example of this is guest blogging…

Guest posts on top blogs will reinforce your search position as they will pass on link juice to your web properties. However, that’s just one of the benefits you stand to enjoy by doing it right. You expose your business to a new audience with each new post you submit on a new blog. That’s traffic.

Furthermore, people who read your guest posts will tweet, like or bookmark it (That is, assuming you have great content — You should). This builds your online reputation, helps differentiate your brand and helps your money site with social signals (that are now used to rank sites on the major search engines).

Important Note: While Google is a great place to get residual traffic, pretend you are NOT focusing on it as you develop your marketing strategy. Businesses that do this are more immune to the negative effects of Google updates.

4. Avoid Very Easy Techniques

There are many easy techniques that worked for people who want top rankings. But the problem with them was that they eventually got over-used and abused just because they were very easy to implement. Take article marketing, for example. People discovered that Google loved article directories and so they started spinning their articles and using automation to get more “love” from Google.

This once-very-effective strategy became the candidate of an update (The Panda Update). Article directories were hit and article marketing became a shadow of itself. Businesses that were built entirely on article marketing suffered greatly.

There are a number of “easy” techniques that are working today. But be careful if you are using them. The truth is that they will be over-used and abused. Your business stands a better chance of surviving new updates if you opt for strategies that are NOT too easy (And so exclude a lot of tire-kickers).

5. Get An SEO Firm That’s On The Cutting Edge

It would be an illusion for anyone to suggest to you that all you have to do is develop great content if you want to be immune from those updates. You have to do much more. You need to study (and keep studying) the trend with Google and make adjustments on the fly.

For example, having tightly focused anchor texts used to be the standard for link building NOT too long ago. However, things have changed: You need NOT more than 20% of your targeted keywords as anchor texts.

Companies with good SEO firms were either NOT affected or recovered pretty fast. This happened because many of them used tactics that worked for the moment but also shielded their customers from updates that were imminent. Here’s how some might have gone about it (using the anchor text example)…

They did extensive analyses and discovered that their client’s site required X number of exact match anchor texts to grab top position. However, they didn’t just focus on that anchor text (even though they ensured they got the right volume). They took steps that simulated a “natural” link profile. Therefore, when Google’s Penguin was released and took down sites that were deemed to have unnatural link profiles, their clients weren’t affected negatively.

This is something you can only get from SEO firms that are on the cutting edge. You can’t leave the core aspects of your business to do that. It, therefore, makes sense for you to hand over this critical aspect of your marketing to people who do this for a living and know how to respond fast so that your business doesn’t suffer.