Guest blogging has drawn flak through the years as a link building tactic. It was eschewed by then head of Google Webspam Matt Cutts during the height of its infamy for building backlinks. And while others thought it was the end of guest posting for SEO, it only grew stronger from there.
Nowadays, many consider guest blogging as one of the best, if not the best, ways to generate high-quality backlinks that can raise your site’s organic rankings.
But to do this and maximize the results, you must learn how to determine which sites to write guest posts for. This post will help you with the step-by-step process of finding the best sites to pitch and submit your guest post with a backlink to your site.
For this article, we’ll be using Ahrefs to help you unearth competitor backlinks and other variables to help you identify the best websites to reach out to and that accept guest posts.
Find Backlinks of Pages Ranking for Your Keyword
Since you want to rank on Google for your target keyword, you need to see the pages that are already ranking on top of search engine result pages (SERPs) for it.
The fact that they’re ranking on the first page of search results means that Google likes their page. And aside from content quality, much of the love given by Google for the page most likely stems from the backlinks it has.
To do this, log in to your Ahrefs and go to Keyword Explorer. Type in your keyword and click on the magnifying glass icon.
On the next page, scroll down until you find the SERP overview section where you can see the top pages ranking for the keyword. Then check the number of domains that are linking to the page.
At this point, you should already know that the number of domains linking to the site holds more weight than the number of total backlinks. Therefore, our goal is to secure a backlink from a domain, which is why we’re focusing on the Domains column.
Click on the number of domains of each page to see the websites linking to the page.
After clicking on it, Ahrefs will take you to a page with a list of domains that are linking to the pages ranking for your keyword.
Filter the List to Show the Best Guest Blogging Opportunities
Now that we have the list of backlinks of one of the pages ranking on top for your keyword, we have to organize the sites in descending order. In other words, we want to find the best websites that will deliver the biggest impact on your organic traffic once you secure a backlink from it.
To do this, you must click on the DR, also known as Domain Rating. This is Ahrefs’ metric to measure the authoritativeness of a website. The higher the DA, the higher you should prioritize it as a guest posting opportunity.
If you click on DA once, it will reorder the site from highest DA to lowest.
Next, you also need to filter the list to only show sites that offer a dofollow backlink.
This backlink type allows the flow of “link juice” or the passing of authority from one site to the site it’s linking to. So, if you get a dofollow backlink from a site with a DR 90+, expect to rank for your target keyword sooner than later.
Click on the Link type drop-down menu and select Dofollow.
This will narrow down the list to sites offering dofollow backlinks. But to reiterate, it’s not about the volume of backlinks, but the quality.
From here, you’ll probably find link prospects that won’t require you to reach out with a guest post pitch. For this reason, you can skip them for now but save them in a sheet so you can still build links on them using different tactics.
What we want to look for are domains with pages that link to your competitor’s page within the content. Here’s an example:
Click on the link to verify if the link to your competitor page does exist:
Find these types of backlinks your competitor page has and save them for outreach later.
Do this on all your top competitors for your target keyword. By the end, you should have hundreds — if not thousands — of guest blog opportunities that can possibly help you leapfrog your competitors on SERPs once you secure these links.
Best Practices for Finding Guest Post Opportunities
We have detailed the simple and straightforward process of how you can find guest posting opportunities for your site pages. Right now, it’s a matter of getting the little things right.
Just because you have a list of prospects for your guest blogging outreach, it doesn’t guarantee you success right out of the gate.
Below are things you must observe while pruning out your list of sites for guest blogging:
Reviews Site Manually
Tools like Ahrefs help make your job of gathering data much easier. However, they won’t always provide you with the information you need for your SEO campaign.
Therefore, after filtering your results, you still have to manually review the link prospects one by one to see if you should associate your site with theirs.
Check the quality of content published, the design and layout, and whether or it’s something that users would want to visit to learn more about the topic.
Focus on Mid-Tier Sites
While your priority is to secure backlinks on the most authoritative websites, don’t discount websites that are rising the ranks. They may not be as authoritative as the top sites in your list, but they are most likely to be responsive to your emails and are more willing to build online relationships with people like you.
As a result, it will be much easier for you to submit content to them for publishing.
Warm Your Prospects Up for the Outreach
When reaching out to guest posting prospects, you can produce better results for your campaign if they already know who you are. Now, unless you’re a well-known public figure in your space, expect to have much lower response rates once you start reaching out.
Therefore, you need to at least get your foot in the door of the website owner or editor. Comment on their blogs, share their posts on social media and engage with them through their mailing list, to name a few.
This way, they can become more familiar with who you are and the value you bring to their websites. From here, you can expect a positive response from them if you send out a guest posting pitch.
How Linkplicity Approaches Finding Guest Blogging Opportunities
We at Linkplicity more or less follow the same process. The only difference is we filter the results to only show websites with at least 500 monthly organic traffic and a minimum of DR 20.
This way, we ensure that you’re getting links from well-balanced websites.
There are sites out there with high DR but no traffic. These are most likely part of a private blog network (PBN), which you need to avoid. Other sites have lots of traffic but have a non-existent DR, which means they are fairly new and don’t have authority yet.
Getting links from these types of sites won’t really have a positive effect on your rankings.
Therefore, by getting links from sites with a minimum number of organic traffic and DR, we can get the most out of the links we’ll build for your website.
Automate Your Guest Blogging Campaign with Linkplicity
Finding websites that are accepting guest posts is just one of the most vital things you must do for your guest post campaign. Unless you have extensive knowledge and experience building links using this tactic, it’s easy to make mistakes along the way that’ll cost you time and money.
Therefore, instead of doing guest posting yourself, let us at Linkplicity do it for you. Our Individual Links and Guest Post Packages will help you manually vet and find real sites receiving organic traffic where you can get links. This way, you can expedite your organic ranking and generate more traffic to your site.