Hopefully, blog comments are already a part of your offsite SEO strategy, or at least a part of your overall online reputation marketing strategy. It may not seem like one blog comment can make a big difference in the grand scheme of your marketing campaign, but when properly nurtured, blog comments can be collectively responsible for a massive influx in both site traffic and perceived online authority.
Blog comments are some of the most worthwhile posts you can make online—as long as you make them strategically. Blog comments are a free resource, so use them as often as you can to start building your reputation. These are just some of the benefits that blog comments can carry.
First, blog comments can increase traffic to your site or to whatever page or profile you end up linking to. Some blog sites will allow you to create a profile, which will in turn give you the opportunity to link back to your homepage. Users who like your comments regularly can check out your profile and end up at your site. Even simpler, if you mention your site in a content (appropriately), or mention a link to one of your specific pages, that page will gain more visibility, and you’ll see increased traffic as a result. This effect compounds with every mention.
As long as you’re linking to a page or mentioning your brand name, your comments will also increase your site’s rank in major search engines like Google. Google takes a number of offsite factors into consideration, but one of the most important factors is the frequency and quality of your offsite mentions. If links to your pages are posted in a relevant conversation (or mentions of your brand name to a similar effect), you’ll gain more domain authority, and you’ll rank higher for almost any keyword relevant to your business. Just be careful with this strategy—too many links from one source or low-quality links could actually hurt you in the long run.
Bloggers live and die by their reputations, and most of the blogs you’ll be using as grounds for your comments are going to be run by nearly-famous bloggers. If you comment on their articles with enough tact and enough frequency, you’ll easily be able to build up a professional relationship over time. Leveraging the power of those external authorities is invaluable in boosting your own reputation, and as you guest blog more frequently, you’ll have more opportunities to extend your potential reach. If your businesses allow it, you could even work together on a mutual project.
As you post on more blogs and get involved in more communities, eventually you’ll be able to build a reputation for yourself. While posting, you should be leveraging the power of a personal brand rather than a corporate brand; with this strategy, you’ll become known as an involved expert in the industry, and you’ll be able to attract more potential clients and customers as a result. The improved reputation you’ll enjoy as a participatory member of multiple interrelated communities is a gateway that will lead you to increased success in all other areas.
Posting one blog comment is not going to help you on any front. But if you start engaging with multiple comments and getting involved on multiple fronts, eventually you’ll start to see some traction. And if you continue that momentum, and commit to consistently stepping up your involvement on all sides, eventually you’ll start to see massive payoffs.
The value of your blog comments is directly proportional to the frequency and quality of your comments. As long as you’re contributing beneficial information, and as long as you stay consistent in your posting efforts, the increased traffic, ranks, relationships, and reputation you enjoy will start to exponentially increase.
When you first start leveraging the power of blog comments, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Blog commenting is a strategy that requires patience and nurturing over a period of months, if not years, but the end result is a massive wave of new traffic and new interest—and all it cost you was the time it took to commit your posts.
Even if your offsite SEO strategy already has a place for blog comments, there are always ways to improve your overall strategy.
As I mentioned before, when you’re trying to build the power of your blog comments, it’s best to develop the influence of a personal brand rather than a corporate brand. Comments from an individual poster are generally viewed as more trustworthy and more personal than those from a corporate counterpart, and it will be easier and faster to build your reputation as a result. As long as you’re tying your personal brand into your corporate brand, your company will still get to enjoy all the benefits.
Finding appropriate blogs for your commenting strategy is another important element of your campaign. These blogs need to be relevant to your industry—preferably your specific area of expertise, but any industry-specific blogs will suffice. Look for blogs with decent comment volume—high amounts of commenters means your comments will get substantial visibility. You’ll also want to diversify the types of blogs you comment on; you’ll need to maintain a common thread between them, but the more domains you operate on, the more visibility you’ll get.
When you post comments with links, make sure you’re linking the best possible material. Use blogs from your own site or deep pages with high-quality information. Above all, make sure your links are both appropriate and valuable for the conversation. Otherwise, you might get penalized or worse, you could be seen as a spammer by the community. Don’t link every post; instead, vary things up with brand mentions and comments with no links at all.
The best way to earn your reputation as an authority is to follow conversations through to their natural ends. Rather than posting one comment and leaving the page, stick around and see if anyone follows up with you or adds their own insights. Respond to them diligently, and keep the conversation moving to generate more attention to your expertise.
While it’s important to diversify your blog sources, it’s also important to make repeat appearances on your most important blogs. Visit new articles by the same authors, and post new comments. Over time, your shared audience will come to recognize you as an authority in your field.
It’s also important to commit to this strategy. Blog commenting is not a campaign that garners you instant recognition or a sudden increase in web traffic. You’ll need to take some action for your blog commenting strategy on a daily basis, whether that means following up on your previous comments, making a new comment, or just working to get to know your audience better. Align your blog comments and personal brand with your social media strategy, and soon you’ll create a mini online empire where your reputation and visibility earn you the respect and interest of your potential clients.