Creating valuable content without receiving credit for it can be heartbreaking, but you can learn how to turn brand mentions into links. Companies now have a simple and efficient way to convert unlinked brand mentions into links back to their owned media to gain more traction and visibility. The goal of link reclamation is to find brand mentions and convert them into valuable links. This is an essential component of a company’s digital PR campaign.
Unlinked brand mentions are great for visibility and PR, but when they are converted into backlinks, they can be used to improve a company’s search rankings. Using PR as an SEO strategy can be difficult and costly to implement. In contrast, links are a low-cost way to build online authority and ranking, establish new relationships, and improve a company’s reputation. As a result, it is critical for brands and public relations teams to create a system that effectively converts mentions into authoritative backlinks, allowing them to rank higher for ultra-competitive and revenue-generating keywords.
- What is a brand mention?
- How do links/backlinks help me?
- How do I turn brand mentions into links?
If you’ve ever asked yourself any of the above questions or you’re just now getting curious about the answers, read on:
What is a brand mention?
Brand mentions are an essential and valuable component of online marketing because they allow businesses to develop a natural online presence. Positive brand mentions (positive reviews, references, or customer feedback) cast a positive light on a company or product, improving its online perception. Furthermore, brand mentions provide valuable opportunities for customer interaction and link-building when appropriately used. We will discuss how to take advantage of these opportunities further in the article.
Brand mentions increase trustworthiness and authenticity because they help brands avoid many of the indicators of link scams while demonstrating natural interest in and discussing a product or company. Link scams occur when a company buys backlinks from a link farm or a similar service. These farms artificially boost domain authority (DA) through illegitimate backlinks; this practice is strongly discouraged by Google. If a brand buys backlinks and is discovered, Google uses its algorithm to impose ranking penalties. As a result of their lack of links, mentions, by definition, demonstrate a genuine online presence. When combined with their common mediums (reviews, comments, news articles, etc.), they reinforce the idea that people are having authentic conversations about a company’s website.
Google has never confirmed a direct relationship between a company’s search engine results pages (SERP) rankings and brand mentions. Nevertheless, most SEO specialists believe that mentions contribute to rank because brand mentions help their website grow in Google’s criteria for an authentic and trustworthy website.
How do you build brand mentions?
Building brand mentions takes time and effort, just like any other online marketing campaign, but the results are no less satisfying. Increasing brand mentions not only boosts a company’s SERP ranking but also help spread brand awareness and expand its online presence. Here are some of the most effective strategies for increasing brand mentions:
1) Provide excellent customer service and response
This may seem obvious, but many small businesses overlook the importance of reliable and responsive customer service. Since the majority of brand mentions come from social media or reviews, it is in a company’s best interests to interact as much as possible with the people mentioning and reviewing their brand online. Responding to customer inquiries and reviews, both positive and negative, will help them build a loyal online user base that will naturally spread the word about their company, service, or product. Additionally, responsiveness and positive customer interactions (primarily through a Google business profile) help improve SERP rankings.
2) Encourage customers to write reviews
Linking to feedback and review forms through texts or emails is a tried and true tactic for increasing mentions. While the exact platform for reviews varies by industry, a company’s Google My Business page is always the best bet in general.
3) Build a strong social media presence
One of the most critical factors in both mention building and general brand awareness is having a solid social presence online. Having an active account on all major social media platforms, producing consistent content for these accounts, and communicating and interacting with users are all highly beneficial practices for generating mentions.
The importance of links/backlinks
Backlinks are links created when one website links to another; they are also known as “inbound links” or “incoming links” and are important for SEO. Links indicate to search engines that someone else has endorsed a company’s content. Links and backlinks are essential for public relations because they provide authority for a company and show people looking for information about the brand. Moreover, links and backlinks provide social proof that other people regard this particular brand as an established authority figure in the industry.
Links are important for establishing authority, but some are inherently more valuable than others. Backlinks from trustworthy, popular, high-authority sites are the most desirable, while links from low-authority, potentially spam-filled sites are at the opposite end of the spectrum. In a similar vein, the value of links created by a company on its own can vary. When linking to an external site, the decisions that a company makes regarding the page from which they link; the anchor text they use (including its page authority, content, search engine accessibility, and so on); whether they choose a “dofollow” or “nofollow link”; and other meta tags associated with the linking page all have a significant impact on value.
If brands cannot obtain PR mentions through websites, blogs, guest posts, and social media without being linked, there is no need to panic. An unlinked brand mention may result in a successful link that benefits the brand. According to a study conducted by Search Engine People, PR and marketing professionals are beginning to make efforts to reclaim unlinked brand mentions because converting them into links is one of the quickest and most effective SEO strategies for companies to achieve success. Unfortunately, unlinked brand mentions remain one of the most difficult challenges to overcome when building links through content marketing and digital PR. As a result, many businesses seek the assistance of PR professionals to build links effectively through PR mentions.
PR agencies such as Pressfarm help startups and businesses of all sizes to create newsworthy content that helps them connect with media professionals who are a good fit for their industry/niche. This content ranges from email pitches, press releases, press kits, and guest posts. By distributing this content to respected media outlets, Pressfarm can ensure that you get valuable backlinks for your brand. By leveraging their understanding of digital PR and SEO, the professionals at Pressfarm can help businesses to increase their online visibility and rank higher on search results across multiple search engines.
We’ve now established the significance of links/backlinks for SEO and a company’s overall growth strategy. Let’s look at how you can convert brand mentions into links.
How to turn brand mentions into links
1) Research/find unlinked brand mentions
To claim unlinked brand URLs, businesses must first develop specific sections of their campaign to find PR mentions. As previously stated, link reclamation ensures that a company’s website and other owned media do not lose visibility due to broken links, moved pages, or incorrect URL canonicalization. Companies can also find defective pages, duplicate content issues, and internal linking and site navigation issues by going through the process.
Companies should begin locating unlinked brand mentions with their internal linking. This is an easy place to start because they have control over these types of links. Companies can use web crawlers to determine whether they have broken or dead internal links. After identifying weak internal links, they must begin searching for and repairing broken backlinks, which can be more difficult because they have no control over them.
Once a company has a list of its internal and broken backlinks, the link reclamation process should be as simple as attempting to fix it themselves or sending an email to the linking site with the updated URL. When doing email outreach for broken backlinks, businesses should emphasize why updating a broken link can improve the site’s user experience and SEO, creating a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Even after businesses have repaired their broken internal and external links, they have not fully realized all of their missed opportunities. This is where public relations and brand mentions come in. There is always a good chance someone mentioned a company’s website and brand but did not include a link. While they are not technically reclaiming lost links because they are pursuing links that do not yet exist, this is still easier than link-building outreach.
The first step for businesses in this situation is to monitor the brand mentions using Google Alerts or a similar monitoring tool. They can use the company, product, and brand names as keywords in monitoring tools to find out whenever they are mentioned online. They can also track mentions of their content, logos, slogans, and other non-branded proprietary aspects of the business. They will not only find opportunities when no one has linked to them, but they will also be able to check out new links and fix any that have broken or out-of-date URLs.
2) Build a strategy
The second step is for companies to develop a marketing strategy. This should include link reclamation to regain lost link value and improve their site’s credibility and authority. This should also include an outreach strategy to connect with the individuals who created the backlinks in the first place. Companies should understand that their initial goal is to convert unlinked brand mentions into backlinks, and their outreach strategy should reflect that goal.
Before that, businesses must determine whether it is appropriate to request that an unlinked brand mention be converted into a link. The purpose of a link is to take a user from point A to point B, so for the link to make sense in the first place, it must add some value. It is critical to understand that journalists and other individuals do not owe a company any links, which is why businesses must demonstrate the value of linking back to them.
Some situations that could require a link could be:
- A brand has been mentioned in an article about a study they conducted in which the article is directly mentioned. There is no link, even though there are authoritative statistics and findings.
- A journalist or media outlet has featured an infographic that the company has produced and embedded it without linking back to the company.
- A brand has been referenced alongside a quote that the company has supplied to a journalist to add further authority to their story around a subject.
- A brand has been mentioned without any context.
3) Find and connect with media professionals
Once a company recognizes the significance of its request, it must ensure that it sends this request to the appropriate person to increase its chances of having its brand mention turned into a link. The journalist who wrote and published the article, their editor, or the publication’s correction desk are all potential people to reach out to. While most people return to the journalist they originally pitched the story to, this may not be as successful as you might believe.
The reason for this is that journalists and media professionals are generally busy people. Once the story has been published, there is a good chance they have moved on to writing their next article and may have forgotten about the story. It’s not that they’re being rude in any way; it’s just that they’ve changed their priorities and are unlikely to return to their previous content to add a link.
The best people to reach out to are the publication’s correction desk because their central role is to make changes to previously published articles. Reaching out to them is still a good strategy, but it isn’t always the best. Companies can also contact the publication’s editor, but they are usually very busy, and adding a link may not be their top priority.
Companies must create an effective email pitch to capture the attention of their target media professionals and reach them effectively. According to our research, a successful link reclamation email includes:
- A polite thank you to them for writing about the company’s campaign and brand.
- A clear reference to the article’s title containing the brand mention.
- A link to the article in which the mention appears.
- The link that the company wishes to include in the article.
- Simple justification for why the link will provide value to readers.
In addition, when connecting with media professionals, it is essential to remember that companies should not be pushy and should not ask for links unless they offer additional value. They must consider whether the current unlinked mention makes sense in the context of the article, whether the link will serve any purpose for the readers of the posts, and whether they can add value without appearing to be a “know-it-all.” It doesn’t matter what the intention of reaching out is. This could include spotting additional errors such as spelling/grammatical errors; broken links on the page to which they are attempting to link. It could also include simply adding more information that will benefit the journalist. Regardless of the intention, whatever you’re asking the journalist to do must be beneficial to them and their audience if you want them to go back and edit the post.
Brand mentions are a frequently underutilized component of brand awareness and SEO growth. Actively cultivating online mentions has been shown to help boost a company’s online presence. Additionally, it provides a valuable opportunity to build more backlinks. Link reclamation should be done alongside all content marketing and digital PR campaigns for businesses to maximize the number of quality links they earn. Companies can create a strategy that effectively converts unlinked PR mentions into links. This is even more effective once they understand what works and what doesn’t in terms of whom to approach and what to say.