A mere 150 years ago, the most effective way to contact someone was to send them a letter.
Then came the telephone.
Each new year brings new and better technologies.
What was once the main form of communication is now considered antiquated and obsolete.
Link building is going through the same thing.
Link building methods that were recently considered the most effective for getting backlinks—like blog commenting—are now considered old-school.
The question today is: Has blog commenting SEO become totally obsolete?
Or are there still SEO benefits to blog commenting these days?
Blog Commenting SEO: To Comment or Not to Comment?
Today, we’re going to discuss what blog commenting is good for—and also what it’s not good for.
Then, we’ll discuss five steps to write blog comments that help you, your SEO and your whole website.
Why Blog Commenting Is No Longer an Easy SEO Backlinking Strategy
Once upon a time, it was discovered that leaving a comment with a link back to your own website on other people’s blogs was a simple and fast way to get new backlinks.
As the secret got out, more and more companies popped up offering “blog commenting services” in order to get you more backlinks.
The result? Everyone and his brother was spamming the internet with blog comments, filling the space beneath perfectly good pieces of content with unrelated spam messages and irrelevant links to other websites.
How did Google respond to this outbreak of spam comments?
Well, through updates like Panda and Penguin, Google made it so that these irrelevant comment backlinks were useless to the websites they went to. Since one page could contain hundreds of different links to other websites, each link was passing very little link juice.
Now, strategic, highly-relevant and high-authority backlinks are much better than hundreds of backlinks from irrelevant sources.
Not only that, but Google made its penalties for all spammy backlinks even harsher. So when it finds blog comments backlinking to questionable resources, it will dole out hefty penalties.
All of these things culminate in one main point: Blog commenting is no longer a fast and easy way to get backlinks or boost SEO.
In fact, if done wrong, it could actually end up damaging your website with penalties and weakened SEO.
What Blog Commenting Does for SEO Today
So, if blog commenting for SEO is no longer a viable method, should you give up commenting on blogs entirely?
Not at all!
There are plenty of reasons to keep commenting on blogs—as long as you’re doing it in the right way and with the right goals.
So, what’s blog commenting good for today?
Creating relationships with people in your industry
We keep hearing about how important real relationships are in the digital age. Connecting with the right people can be the difference between success and failure for your website.
So, use your blog comments to connect with people!
Establishing a relationship with the author or owner of a website through blog comments can be a great way to get your foot in the door for a guest post, which will get you a valuable backlink!
Attracting attention to yourself and your website
Authors and website owners aren’t the only people who see your blog comments.
Once you post a comment, your words become part of the article itself, and the majority of people who read that article will, in turn, read the comments left below.
So when you comment in that blog post, you’ll be exposing yourself and your brand to even more people.
If you do so strategically, you could attract the attention of people in your target audience and draw them to your website.
While this may not give you backlinks or boost SEO directly, it can boost targeted web traffic rolling into your site, and it could even lead to more social shares. Both of these things feed into SEO, so you’re getting a step or two closer to improving your rankings.
When you have something meaningful and relevant to add to the conversation, people are more likely to pay attention.
Whenever it’s appropriate in a comment, you’ll want to include a link to your website.
However, for this to work, it’s absolutely essential for that link to be relevant to the blog post you’re commenting on!
When you’ve contributed something really valuable to the conversation—especially something that encourages readers to take action, like buy something or sign up for something—that link can lead to great new leads.
5 Steps to Successful Blog Commenting for SEO
1. Get personal
If you want people to go from your comment to your website, it’s important that they know who you are!
If you just leave your first name, people probably won’t connect you to your brand.
So, make sure to put your full name and the name of your brand. If you want people to recognize your company name right off the bat, you might put something like “Amy Copadis from MyCompany.”
And what about a photo?
First, make sure that you use an email that’s attached to a Gravatar account.
Second, make sure your Gravatar account has a recent picture of you to display!
If you want people to see your company or brand, you may want to place your brand logo as a Gravatar image. Generally, however, it’s better to have a picture of a real person—that helps you look more authentic and less spammy.
2. Get your comments noticed by the right people
Where you put your blog comments is just as important as what you say.
As we mentioned above, it’s absolutely essential that you find relevant websites and relevant blog posts within those websites to place your comments.
But another extremely important factor is finding places where your audience is hanging out.
Basically, you want to find websites that are closely related to yours and are directed at the same target audience as yours.
Often, the easiest way to find such blogs is through a Google search:
- First, open an incognito tab so you can get results that aren’t tailored to you.
- Then, search for relevant keywords with the search operator “inurl:blog” to see which blog post come up.
- Focus on high-authority blogs with plenty of traffic. For a quick view, check how many social shares the post has, or how many comments have already been posted. Also, you can check the domain authority using a tool such as the Monitor Backlinks Free Backlinks Checker.
Another way to find relevant blogs to comment on is the free tool Drop My Link, which allows you to do specific searches for websites that have commenting enabled with the keywords you want.
You can even find posts that have yet to be commented on, meaning you can be the first to comment on a high-authority post!
3. Say something worthwhile and relevant
If you’re commenting on popular, authority websites (which is highly recommended), you’ll be one in a sea of comments that follow.
So, how are you going to stand out?
First, you need to make sure you’re on topic.
So start by reading the blog post thoroughly. Know what’s inside, and the direction that the author took with the information he presented.
Second, you need something valuable to say.
We said above that writing blog comments is not a quick backlink scheme anymore. So don’t view it like that. Invest some time in responding well to the blog content, and add valuable information that wasn’t in the original post.
This will make both the author and the readers see your blog comment as a valuable contribution, thus seeing you (or your brand) as valuable as well.
4. Be conversational
Don’t just write one comment on a blog and walk away. While this might seem like the most natural thing to do, writing more than one comment will accomplish quite a few things for you:
- You’ll become more visible to people who read the article and comments.
- If your contributions are valuable, people’s respect for you will increase.
- You’ll be making connections by responding and interacting with the author or readers.
5. Wait for the right moment to add your links
Hopefully, you’ve already linked your name out to the exact place where you want people to land on your website.
However, in certain places, it might be appropriate to leave a link to a relevant article or post on your website.
For example, let’s say you’re commenting on a post about email marketing strategies. In your comment, you might expand on an idea that was mentioned in the article, then refer back to a post on your own website for more detailed information, or maybe a case study that you did.
Including these kinds of relevant, valuable links will increase the likelihood that someone will make it to your website.
Tracking Your Efforts
Once you’ve put the effort into blog commenting, how can you track the results?
Well, using Monitor Backlinks, you can keep track of exactly where your comments are, how they’re working for you, and whether or not you’re getting link juice from them.
Google Analytics will also tell you where people come from when they arrive on your site, so you can see how many people click through with your blog comments.
Blog Commenting Can Improve SEO
So, is blog commenting for SEO dead? Well, we wouldn’t say so!
In fact, when done right, blog comments can indirectly lead to better SERP rankings.
Well, if you keep drawing attention to your website and brand through valuable comments, you’ll have more and more people coming to your website.
And when people fall in love with your fantastic content? Well, they’ll be happy to start sharing and spreading your content around. The more happy readers you find, the more backlinks you’ll get, and the better your website’s SEO will be.
So get out there and start attracting happy readers through targeted blog comments!