Once you have received a number of applicants, start sifting through and begin compiling a list of each writer and the sites they’ve said they will post to. Start a spreadsheet with a separate tab for each writer. Create columns labeled: Name/URL, DA, PA, TF Homepage, CF Homepage, Price, Do-follow/No-Follow, TF/CF, Organic Traffic More than 500.
Check for Do-Follow vs. No-Follow Links
The first and most important factor to check is that the sites the freelancer uses publishes do-follow links. These are the types of links that will actually help boost your SEO. If they are no-follow links, there really is no SEO value.
The easiest and fastest way to check this is to simply ask the writer which websites are do-follow vs. no-follow. Writers will tell you which ones are and which are not but it’s always a good idea to know how to verify this on your own. The next steps explain how you can check a site for do-follow links.
You can check this by opening the website in Chrome and right clicking your mouse on the webpage. Click “view page source.” Skim to the instances where you see href= with a url listed after. Look for the term “Nofollow” or you can search the text by using Command+F (Mac) or Control+F (PC) and type “Nofollow”. If there are any nofollow links, this should highlight them.
If you come across a website with nofollow links, it’s best to document that and avoid purchasing a guest post that would be published on that site.
Check the Metrics
The next things you’ll want to check are the metrics of the sites similar to what you did in the Outreach Module.
Document the name of the sites and then use your free Moz.com account to check the domain authority and page authority score using the Open Site Explorer Tool. Document the scores in your spreadsheet.
Next, use your free Majestic.com account to check the Trust Flow and Citation Flow scores using the homepage url of the website. Document these scores in your spreadsheet. Do not consider purchasing a guest post on a site with a TF score below 15. The higher the score the better in terms of SEO.
Then, in the TF/CF column, use a simple formula to divide the trust flow score by the citation flow score. The ratio should be greater than 0.5. If the ratio is below 0.5, do not purchase a guest post for the site; this means that the site is over-optimized which means having a link from the site will not help your SEO.
*Note: Most guest post vendors/writers will base their price per guest post on the domain authority score. For this reason alone, we are documenting the score in our spreadsheet simply to have as reference. For our SEO purposes, the only metric that really matters to us is the trust flow score and the TF/CF ratio.
Next, use your free SEMrush.com account to check the organic traffic of the site. Document whether or not the organic traffic is greater than 500. If it is below 500, do not purchase.
Finally, you can fill in the price column with whatever price your writer/vendor has given you for each site.
Please watch the video tutorials for more detailed instructions on how to use the website tools mentioned above.
Evaluate your Findings
The purpose of the first steps of filling out the spreadsheet and researching the specific metrics mentioned was to weed out the non-viable websites that you will not consider purchasing a link from. As a reminder, the metrics you are checking for are:
Summary of Metrics
- Must have do-follow links
- TF must be greater than 15
- TF/CF must be greater than .5
- Organic traffic must be greater than 500
Once you have evaluated the sites that your writer or vendor posts to and you have a solid list of viable options, then begin looking at price vs. trust flow score. Below is an average of what you should expect to pay for a given TF score.
If the TF is between 15 and 25, it’s worth $150 or less
If the TF is between 25 and 40, it’s worth $250 or less
If the TF is between 40 and 50, it’s worth $450 or less
If the TF is between 50 and 60, it can be priced at $600 or more.
In general, the objective is to acquire links with the greatest amount of trust flow possible within your budget. Sometimes choosing a combination of posts from different sites could achieve a higher trust flow than just one guest post from a high-tier site.
Getting Geeky – Advanced Tips:
- Don’t purchase more than two guest posts from a single website. It’s best to diversify your backlinks.
- If the writer/vendor asks you what anchor text you’d like them to use, tell them you want natural anchor text. You do not want specific keywords as this can lead to over optimizing; simply your firm’s name or url is great anchor text to use.
- When deciding which page of your site to have the guest post link to, feel free to use your homepage often but choosing other pages or blog posts that you feel have strong content or are ranking well on their own but may need an SEO boost to reach the top of search results are also a good option.