Using Google Analytics to Capitalize on Guest Posts

Content marketing is a big investment of time, effort, and money. Just about anyone blogging for business can appreciate that, even online marketing veterans. Sometimes you just want to let somebody else put new material up on your blog. If you think it’s just a pipe dream, think again: not only is this a viable solution to adding extra content to your blogroll, it’s recommended!!

Inviting bloggers and professionals outside your business to contribute guest posts to your blog is an excellent way to fill your editorial calendar and improve your website performance. Outside voices contributing to your blog will help you build authority in your field, and that authority will help you boost your SERPs placement in no time. Many of the biggest names in the online marketing industry make the most of guest posts. SEOMoz created the YouMoz blog, an entire standalone blog for SEOMoz users to share their insights with the community at large. Check out our interview with Straight North about how our peers handle guest posting, too!

As great as guest posts are, you can’t just go off inviting all manner of guests into your blog without some serious planning ahead of time. Here’s how to do it right the first time, every time.

Take A Look At Your Most Successful Content

Google Analytics is absolutely your go-to solution for online insights, and that’s true for guest posting too. For this to work, we have to assume that you’ve been practicing healthy, consistent content marketing practices for some time now. If you browse over to the Content tab of your Analytics dashboard, click Site Content, then All Pages, you’ll get a detailed breakdown of your most popular content within the timeframe you’ve indicated. Be sure you set your timeframe to a span of multiple months to get a long-term look at what content is most successful over the long-term for your needs.

The URLs you see are all your most-trafficked webpages. You can navigate out to those using the arrow icon next to a URL string just to see what it refers to. Whether you take a sample from your top five pieces of content, or your top fifty, these are your most popular pages. You’ll want to start taking notes here. What are your most widely-visited content pages about? What keywords did you optimize for in each piece? By selecting different Primary Dimensions, directly above the results table, you can answer all of these questions and create a detailed summary of what your successful content is “about.”

Be sure to take a look at KISSmetrics’ guest posting primer for more details on how to use Google Analytics to measure and identify your most valuable topics, sources, and contributors.

Plan Out How You Can Develop Authoritative Content

Once you know what content you need to focus on, you can start developing a post calendar focusing just on this successful series of topics. Part of this calendar development should be a plan to increase the amount of content you publish that’s related to you successful content. How do you push more content out than you’re used to, though? By filling in the holes with content curation, guest posting, and other supplementary content.

Estimate about how much content you can produce on your own related to your specialty topic of choice, and then assume that guest bloggers can produce the same amount as you can. (Guest bloggers are busy people too, after all!) Then start filling in gaps and additional publishing spaces with guest posts and curated content. Once you have a filled content calendar, you can determine from the number of guest posts about how many guest posters you’ll need to find.

Find Bloggers and Professionals That Specialize In Your Successful Content

Once you know how many guest bloggers you need, it’s time to find them. This isn’t very different than finding material to curate content with, but involves the extra effort of reaching out to these writers and inviting them. There are plenty of useful sites and communities for finding guest post authors. You can post open invitations on your website for guest bloggers, cruise around on Pinterest for opportunities, or your visitors may opt in to be considered for a position themselves!

Contact blog authors and professionals you think are worth your time, and offer them a guest blogging opportunity. (Highlighting your average visitor count each month is a good incentive to bring people on board!) Give them a clear assignment, a keyword list you’re focusing on, and a due date. It’s often best to give guest bloggers a good two weeks’ notice, and if you can, detailed assignments with topics you’d like them to specifically write about. They are doing this for little or no compensation, after all—make it as easy as possible to get your work done!

These Strategies Grow On Themselves Over Time!

With a team of guest blog writing specialists feeding your blog with additional content, your website will become an authoritative resource online in no time. By producing more content in less time on topics you already are attracting traffic for, you’ll quickly become an authoritative voice, and more search users will look to you and your collection of relevant, professional blog posts for the information they need.

What’s more, after your first set of guest posts ends, you can repeat this process and evaluate what guest posts produced the most results, allowing you to further optimize and develop new content for the next cycle. Looking for more consistent work from guest posters that want your blog to succeed? Hire some of the best guest posters around!

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Andrew Glasscock is currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated with a BA in English, specialized in Creative Writing, with a minor in Marketing this past May. Along with copywriting, he loves being an improv comedian, playing frisbee, and dogs.

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    1. Andrew, thanks for the recommendations! This article is relevant to my interests as I am looking for guest bloggers for my digital strategy agency’s blog. Our analytics and editorial calendar are set up, but what I am most concerned about is finding relevant bloggers to write for the posts. I know there are fabulous freelance bloggers out there, but it is difficult to tap into the network from an outsiders POV. Is it the industry norm to pay bloggers for guest posts, and assuming it is, do you know the average cost? Or is exposure more important from a blogger’s perspective? Again, thank you for the insights you’ve provided.
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      • If you don’t mind me chiming in 🙂

        Traditionally, guest posters are not paid. Typically their compensation comes from being put in front of your audience. Guest posting is a great way to establish yourself in an industry and by getting your byline out in front of different people. If you are providing a byline, you are not usually paying.

        However, if your site doesn’t have an established audience or a decent Domain Authority then you will probably have to pay for bloggers. If you do pay them…I wouldn’t provide them a byline.

        We recently put together a comprehensive guide on guest posting, which includes how to get bloggers for your site:

        I would also encourage you to check out Blogger Link Up or simply seek out guest posters via social media. Again, as long as you give them something in return (whether that is a decent backlink or two) then you shouldn’t have a problem.

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