Creating valuable content without getting any credit for it can be very disheartening for a company when launching its PR campaign. With link reclamation, companies now have a simple and efficient way to turn unlinked brand mentions into links back to their owned media to gain more traction and visibility. Effective link reclamation involves finding brand mentions, turning them into valuable links, using them as an integral part of a company’s digital PR campaign.
An SEO PR strategy can be challenging and expensive to implement. Even so, links are a cost-effective way to build online authority and ranking, establish new relationships, and boost a company’s reputation. Unlinked brand mentions are great for visibility and PR, but turning them into backlinks can boost your company’s search ranking. For this reason, brands and PR teams need to develop a system that effectively converts mentions into authoritative backlinks if they want to rank higher for those ultra-competitive and revenue-generating keywords.
In this article, we will look at:
- The importance of links/backlinks
- How to turn PR mentions into links
The importance of links/backlinks
A backlink is a link created when one website links to another. They can also be called “inbound links” or “incoming links” and are essential for SEO. From a PR standpoint, links and backlinks are important because they can advertise your brand to people who are looking for information and establish your brand as a trusted authority in the industry. Moreover, links are a signal to search engines that other thought leaders can vouch for your company’s content.
Obtaining links is an essential component of establishing authority, but some links are inherently more valuable than others. Backlinks from trustworthy, popular, high-authority sites are considered the most desirable, while backlinks from low-authority, potentially spam-filled sites are in low demand.
Similarly, links that a company creates on its own can also differ in value. When linking out to an external site, the company’s choices regarding the page from which they link the anchor text they use have an enormous impact on value. The elements which can affect the value of your links include page authority, content, search engine accessibility, and more whether you choose a follow or no follow link, and other meta tags associated with the linking page.
On the occasion that your brand earns PR mentions from websites, blogs, guest posts, you should use this as an opportunity to build links back to your site. After all, one unlinked brand mention can easily turn into a successful link that will benefit the brand.
A study conducted by Search Engine People showed that PR and marketing professionals are starting to make attempts to reclaim unlinked brand mentions because turning them into links is one of the quickest and proven building strategies for companies to achieve brand awareness. Unfortunately, leveraging unlinked brand mentions is still one of the biggest challenges when building links through content marketing and digital PR. For that reason, many companies hire outside help from PR professionals to do backlink building for them.
PR agencies like Pressfarm can help brands to build an effective link building strategy. For starters, we can help you create help you create quality guest posts which will appeal to other thought leaders in your industry. We can also help you develop an outreach strategy to get these guest posts in front of the right eyes. By distributing this content to our network of media outlets we can boost your brand’s online visibility by helping you to feature in relevant search results across different search engines. In addition to creating engaging guest posts to inspire your target audience, we also have experience writing winning press releases and designing creative press kits which will help you capture media attention. When it is time to share this content with the media, you can use personalized media lists built by an account executive to connect with the best journalists in your niche. Likewise, you can use our comprehensive media database to reach out to over 75,000 journalists across different industries. A custom campaign from Pressfarm might be just what you need to generate the publicity your brand deserves.
Now that we understand the importance of links/backlinks for SEO, let us look at how you can turn your brand mentions into links.
How to turn PR mentions into links
1) Research/Find Unlinked Brand Mentions
To start claiming unlinked brand URLs, companies need to build a system of social listening to help you find PR mentions. As mentioned previously, link reclamation will ensure that a company’s website and other owned media are not losing out on visibility due to broken links, moved pages, or faulty URL canonicalization. By going through this process, you can enjoy the added benefit of finding defective pages, and duplicate content issues. You can also identify problems with you internal linking and site navigation.
To begin the process of finding unlinked brand mentions, you should start by examining your internal linking. The reason for this is that you are the one who has control over these links. Companies usually use tools like web crawlers to identify whether they have broken or dead internal links. After you have found your weak internal links, you need to start finding and fixing broken backlinks, which can be a bit more complicated because you do not have any control over them.
Once you have a list of their internal and broken backlinks, the link reclamation process should be as simple as fixing it yourself or sending the linking site an email with their updated URL. When you are doing email outreach for your broken backlinks, you need to reiterate why updating a broken link can improve the site’s user experience and SEO, creating a win-win situation for all involved.
Finally, even after you have fixed your broken internal and external links, you should remember that you haven’t wholly captured all your missed opportunities. This is where PR and brand mentions come in; there is a very high chance that an individual has mentioned your site and brand but did not drop a link. You can use these mentions to build links where there were none before.
In this situation, the first thing you can do is to monitor the brand using Google Alerts or other monitoring tools. You can use the company, product, and brand names as keywords in the monitoring tools to notify you whenever someone is talking about your brand online. This will help you not only find opportunities when someone hasn’t linked to them, but also check out new links and fix any that use broken or out-of-date URLs. Additionally, you can track mentions for content that you have created, such as logos, or slogans, which are non-branded proprietary aspects.
2) Build a strategy
Once you have an idea of the different links you can use to boost your SEO, you need to come up with a marketing strategy that includes link reclamation to regain lost link value and improve your site’s authority. Besides that, your outreach strategy should also help you connect with the people who created these linking opportunities to begin with. At this point, you should know that your initial goal is to turn unlinked brand mentions into a backlink, so your outreach strategy needs to reflect that goal.
Before that, you need to know whether it is right to ask for an unlinked brand mention to be turned into a link. A link’s purpose is meant to take a user from point A to point B. For the link to make sense in the first place, it typically needs to add value of some sort. It is essential to understand that journalists and other individuals do not owe a company a link, so companies need to be sure that it will serve both parties. Usually, you can suggest that linking the original content back to your brand will boost credibility for the person who wrote the article and mentioned your brand.
Some scenarios that could require a link can be:
- Your brand has been mentioned in an article about a study conducted and which the article is directly mentioned. Unfortunately, the article hasn’t offered a link to the brand even though it has quoted authoritative statistics and findings from said brand.
- A journalist or media outlet has featured an infographic which your company has produced and embedded, but it hasn’t been linked.
- Your brand has been referenced alongside a quote which the company has supplied to a journalist to add further authority to their story on a subject.
- Your brand has been mentioned out of context.
3) Find and connect with journalists
Once you understand the importance of their request for a backlink, you need to make sure that the request is sent to the right person to increase your chances of seeing your brand mention turned into a link. Some options of the right person to approach include; the journalist who wrote and published the article, their editor, or the publication’s correction desk. While most brands go straight back to the journalist to whom they originally pitched the story, it may not prove as successful as you think. The reason for this is because generally, journalists and media professionals are busy people. Once they have published the story, there is a good chance that they have moved onto writing their next article and may have forgotten about the content of the story. If they don’t reply to your request, don’t automatically assume that they are being rude. It is just that they have new priorities and probably will not go back to their previous content to add a link. Of course, reaching out to them is still a good tactic, but it isn’t always the best option.
In the absence of the person who originally wrote the article, you can also reach out to the editor of the publication. However, since editors are also busy people, the best department to reach out to is the publication’s correction desk because their primary role is to make amends to articles that have already been published.
To effectively your their target media professionals, you need to start by crafting an engaging email pitch that will get their attention. From our research, it seems that a successful link reclamation email includes:
- A polite thank you to them for covering your company’s campaign and brand
- A reference to the title of the article that contains your brand mention
- A link to the article that includes the mention
- The link that you would like to have added to the article
- A simple justification as to why the link adds value to readers
When it comes to connecting with media professionals, not to be too pushy. Similarly, do not request links unless they add value to both you and the other party. You also need to ask whether the current unlinked mention makes sense within the context of the article, whether the link will serve any purpose for the readers of the posts, and whether you can provide additional value without looking like a “know-it-all.” Whether you do this by spotting other mistakes (spelling/grammatical errors and broken links on the page that you are trying to get a link on) or just offering more information that will benefit the journalist, it needs to be genuinely helpful. Offering a journalist or blogger additional value will increase their willingness to go back and edit the post.
Link reclamation should be done alongside all content marketing and digital PR campaigns to maximize the number of quality links you earn. Once you understand what works and what doesn’t in terms of whom to approach and what to say, you can create a strategy that will effectively convert unlinked PR mentions into links.