In this competitive online age, businesses need to show up where their prospects are if they want to thrive. Brand awareness is no longer an option, but a must. When it comes to improving organic search rankings, yes, familiarity with a brand indirectly affects your SEO performance.
There are many ways you can gain online visibility. A rarely discussed strategy these days that works so well is comment marketing.
- What is comment marketing?
- Benefits of comment marketing
- 1. Brand visibility and exposure
- 2. Generates backlinks to your website
- 3. Attracts more people to your website
- 4. Builds relationships with popular bloggers in your niche
- 5. Grows your social media following
- How to develop and implement a comment marketing campaign
- 1. Determine your goal
- 2. Comment on relevant, active, and high-quality blogs
- A. Relevant
- B. Active
- C. High-quality
- 3. Comment early on
- 4. Always add value
- 5. Keep track of the results of your efforts
- 6. Amplify the reach of your comment
What is comment marketing?
Comment marketing is exactly what you think it is: crafting and posting comments on other blogs for their audience to notice you.
Not only that, comment marketing allows you to engage in meaningful conversations and form solid connections with blog readers and site owners. In the long run, this helps boost your online marketing efforts.
However, only a few bloggers use this incredible strategy.
Comment marketing has gotten a bad rap during the past few years after shady marketers posted comments for the sake of leaving links to their websites. They did so without even considering what the blog was about and whether their messages had real value.
But yes, online comments are still and will always be a great tactic to build your brand and improve your search performance. And the fact that only a few number of bloggers are practicing it now gives you a competitive edge over your competition.
Like all other strategies to promote your brand (email marketing, social media, advertising, etc.), there are certain ways to leverage comment marketing to make it truly work.
Having a well-structured plan and using proper techniques can tremendously make a difference in the results that you get.
Benefits of comment marketing
First, let’s explore how marketing through commenting helps you and your business in the long term.
1. Brand visibility and exposure
Everybody knows that one of the best ways to get the word out about your brand when you’re just starting out is blogging.
However, showing up on your own site is not enough. If you want amplification fast, you need to get in front of a wide audience. This entails reaching out to established blogs where readers are more likely to visit your site and become your customers.
Every second, people all over the world follow and read their favorite blogs to get information and look for products and services that you provide. By leaving a comment, these people begin to recognize you. This is especially true if you leave meaningful and intelligent comments consistently.
If you’ve been looking to show up at the top of Google search results, keywords aren’t your only best friend. Links are.
Leaving comments on other blogs is one method to build links pointing to your website, given that these sites let you provide your URL instead of linking only to your profile on the same site you commented on.
But wait – didn’t we just mention that comment marketing got a poor reputation because people used it purely for link building? That’s right.
However, you absolutely have nothing to worry about if you diversify your link building strategies for SEO. Not making comment marketing your only strategy prevents raising red flags with Google.
Matt Cutts states that this shouldn’t be a concern if you aren’t aggressively using commenting to building your backlink profile:
3. Attracts more people to your website
Website traffic is a key ingredient in making any online business work. Simply put, more traffic equals higher conversions and sales.
Can you wait months or years for people to naturally link to your great blog content and get organic traffic in the process? Waiting isn’t practical if you’re serious about scaling your business today.
The links you leave to your site through your comments consequently increase your traffic in a faster way, regardless of whether or not these links are dofollow.
If your goal in comment marketing is to increase targeted referral traffic, then that’s what you’re going to get in less time. Other commenters and blog readers who appreciate your comments will surely be clicking through your links.
4. Builds relationships with popular bloggers in your niche
Are you keeping tabs on top bloggers in your niche?
Whether you like it or not, you need these people if you want to attract more attention to your business and earn your target audience’s trust and respect.
Moreover, relationships with these bloggers will help you easily land guest blogging opportunities in the future on their blogs – another chance to build quality backlinks to your website for SEO.
The first step to establishing connections with influential bloggers is to get noticed. Commenting on their posts will be your initial point of contact with them. It’s also a subtle way of doing outreach so you don’t get all nervous and feel anxious by the time you need their help.
Comment marketing yields great results for social media. If you choose to include a link to one of your social profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) instead of your website URL, you’ll be able to grow your fan base to thousands in no time.
It’s no secret that social media is a powerful marketing channel that yields continuous results for you in many ways. The bigger your fan base grows through comment marketing, the greater or higher your inbound traffic, social shares, and brand recognition.
While there is no proof that social media signals directly impact your SEO, traffic and other forms of engagement from social media boost your website’s perceived value. In the long run, all these factors increase your domain authority
How to develop and implement a comment marketing campaign
As I’ve mentioned earlier, leveraging comment marketing for the sake of commenting and dropping links is ineffective. A well-defined strategy is an answer to making your comments work the way they’re supposed to.
You can’t just leave a comment once on a prospective website and expect overnight results. It has to be done consistently while thinking about the value you can provide every time. As in any successful marketing effort, you need to give before you’re able to get.
Do comment marketing right and you’ll benefit from more brand exposure, backlinks, traffic, strong relationships, and social media followers.
So, what makes a powerful comment marketing campaign that brings lasting results? What are a few important things you must remember when leaving comments?
1. Determine your goal
Before you dive in and start commenting on authoritative websites, you need to think about the end result. What do you want to achieve?
For example, if your purpose is to get instant traffic to one of your pages or build more social media followers, look for sites that allow you to link to your own site or social media page from your name.
However, if your goal is to catch a site owner’s attention to build a relationship, then you should be fine with blogs that only allow a link to your profile on the same blogs.
2. Comment on relevant, active, and high-quality blogs
The first thing you should consider is the kind of places to leave comments on. Get the most out of your comment marketing campaign by targeting blogs that are:
It makes perfect sense to leave comments on sites that are related to yours. Doing this has two benefits for you.
First, it increases the likelihood of a blog’s readers to click through the direct link to your site. Second, since these blogs have topics that you’re familiar with, you’ll be able to showcase your expertise.
The simplest way to find relevant sites using Google is to enter the search terms “your niche” + “blogs.” In my example below, you can see that I used these search terms to get a list of self-development blogs to comment on.
Another criteria to consider is how active a blog is. By the term “active,” I refer to blogs that publish content on a regular basis and get a constant stream of comments and shares.
Blogs that update their pieces of content have a loyal audience ready to engage at any moment.
There is no point in commenting on a blog post that was published several months ago. No one will be there to read your comment anyway.
Also, a blog post with a ton of comments gives you more ideas on what to say and lets you start an interesting conversation.
Crappy sites make readers leave. These poor-quality sites load slowly, are not optimized for mobile devices, have a bad navigation, and are cluttered with ads.
Websites that are authoritative have certain attributes that help them stand out. Though they don’t necessarily need to be sites that appear at the top of Google (though they’re highly recommended), these sites have the following qualities/elements:
- Unique and engaging blog post topics
- Links to other authoritative sources
- A high domain score (indicates website age and adherence to good SEO practices)
- High number of social shares and comments
3. Comment early on
You get better results if you comment on a blog post a few minutes or hours after it has been published. Doing this increases the chances for more readers and other commenters to see you.
This also allows the site owner or blogger to easily remember you, helping you stand out and start building a relationship with the person.
For a lot of marketers, aiming to be the first person to leave a comment can be downright intimidating. The easiest way to get past this is to set up an alert system. You can keep track of your chosen sites by doing the following:
- Use Google Alertsto monitor certain search terms
- Join a website’s mailing list to receive daily blog updates
- Use an RSS reader such as Feedlyto save you time from checking on blogs individually
However, you don’t need to stress about being an early commenter. Between an early commenter who simply says, “Thanks, great post!” and a commenter who leaves interesting points, the latter gets a better response.
4. Always add value
Commenting is like going on a first date. You’re trying to win a person’s affection by creating a good first impression. Well-crafted comments are powerful. They help you win the hearts of a blog’s loyal readers and the blog owner himself. In addition, they fuel more comments.
No matter what you do, avoid writing comments that make you look dumb. These are off-topic comments and comments that parrot what others have already said.
Before you leave a comment, spend a few minutes to read the blog post. Add more value to the post by suggesting tips and ideas that weren’t mentioned yet.
Share your personal insights relevant to the topic. Be positive and respectful. Below is a great example of a comment Amanda Grace left on SmartBlogger’s post:
5. Keep track of the results of your efforts
While some bloggers find it quite odd to measure the effects of commenting, it’s the only way you’ll know that your comment marketing campaign has been successful. You will need to review your goals in this important step.
Have you seen your blog visitors increase in a few days? Did your comments spark further discussions? Did the site owners notice you by responding to your comments? Has your social following increased?
Keeping tabs on the results helps you continuously refine your strategies to better achieve your marketing goals. Also, you’ll be able to make effective use of your time and effort by omitting sites that aren’t working out well for you.
6. Amplify the reach of your comment
Last but not the least, let others know that you left a valuable comment on a blog. Share it with your Twitter followers.
Tweet that you just wrote a comment on your favorite blog. Don’t forget to mention the site owner who wrote the post. By doing this, you broaden your reach and at the same time benefit from a higher engagement.
Are you using comment marketing to promote your brand and improve your SEO in the process? While not a lot of businesses practice commenting strategically, this technique remains to be a great means to help your site succeed.
Follow the tips in this article to make sure that you get the most out of comment marketing. Set your goals, look for potential sites to comment on, comment early, add value, monitor your efforts, and promote your comments.
I would like to know how the strategies here work out for you. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences on comment marketing below.