search marketing

Nonprofit Improves Search Rankings with Guest Blog Articles

9 tips for guest blog link building
Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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“The only constant in life is change.”

That’s what Greek philosopher, Heraclitus is credited with saying,

Some historians think he may have had a side job doing search engine optimization (SEO). 😉

Obviously, I’m kidding, but it certainly applies, as Google is known to make more than 1,000 changes a year to its search engine.

Because Google is constantly changing, our SEO team is also constantly experimenting with new ways to improve search rankings.

One of the general principles of SEO is that when one website links to another website, search engines see that as an endorsement or “vote” for that website. Therefore, the more websites that link to a particular website (and the more authority those sites have), the better that website will rank in search engines. In other words…

Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first. -Wendy Piersall

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The challenge is that it can be very difficult and time-consuming to get another website to link to yours.

One possible way to get links is through guest blogging.

Some blogs publish articles written by guest authors. These blogs often allow the articles to include links to related websites or resources that would be helpful to readers.

Recently, we have been experimenting with publishing guest blog articles on other websites to improve our SEO clients’ search rankings. One of these clients is Point of Return, who shared a video here. Point of Return is a nonprofit that helps people get off prescription drugs, like benzos and sleeping pills.

Guest Blog Link Building Test Results

Over 9 months, we published 12 guest blog articles, targeting 4 keywords on 2 different pages. We monitored search rankings for these 4 keywords Google, Google Mobile, and Bing.

The results were:

  • Google (average improvement in ranking): 8 places
  • Google Mobile (average improvement in ranking): 8 places
  • Bing (average improvement in ranking): 16 places

We were so pleased with the results, that beginning in July, we will be including 2 guest blog articles every 6 months with our Progressive SEO Management service.

Want to know more about how we did it?

Through our testing, we learned a few things about guest blogging which we thought we’d share with you.

9 Tips for Guest Blogging

1) Search for blogs. Google “list of blogs that accept guest posts” to find possible blogs to submit guest articles to

2) No “NoFollow.” Some blogs put a “NoFollow” attribute on links which tells the search engines not to follow (or count) links for SEO purposes. Make sure the blogs you submit articles to do not do this.

3) Relevance matters. Only submit articles to blogs that cover topics relevant to your organization. If you a church in Tampa, submitting an article to a foodie blog in Seattle is not worth your time.

4) Read & follow guidelines. Most blogs that publish guest blog articles have rules or guidelines. Make sure you read them and follow them. If you don’t, they probably won’t publish your article and you will have wasted your time.

5) Write helpful articles. Nobody wants to read a self-promotional article about your organization. Share tips or insight that will help people.

6) Target keywords. In your guest blog articles, include 1 or 2 links to your website. Make sure the linking text (words you make link to your website) are keywords you want to rank better for. (Don’t make your link text “click here” or “read more.”)

7) Keep track… of the blogs you submit articles to, when you submit them, and save a copy so you know the title and text of the article.

8) Follow up. Some blogs will notify you when they’ve published your article. Others won’t. Therefore, you’ll have to visit those blogs regularly and look for your article. If after a month you don’t see it published, follow up and ask about the status.

9) Share your articles. When a blog publishes your article, share it on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social media platforms you’re on.

Of course, if you’d prefer not to do all this on your own, we would be happy to help – finding the best blogs that accept guest posts, deterring the best keywords to target, writing the articles, tracking, following up, and sharing. Complete the form below to schedule a call with a member of our SEO team.

Post a Comment Below and Discuss

  • How likely are you to start doing guest blog articles?
  • What comments or questions do you have about guest blog articles?

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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.