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, you need to develop a system that effectively converts mentions into authoritative backlinks if you want to rank higher for those ultra-competitive and revenue-generating keywords.
The importance of 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. What’s more, a quality backlink establishes 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. On the other hand, backlinks from low-authority, potentially spam-filled sites are in low demand.
Similarly, links that you create on your own can also differ in value. When linking out to an external site, your choices regarding the page from which you link the anchor text you use have an enormous impact on value. The elements that can affect the value of your links include page authority, content, search engine accessibility, 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, and 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 your brand.
How Pressfarm can help
A study conducted by Search Engine People showed that PR and marketing professionals are starting to make attempts to reclaim unlinked brand mentions. This is 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 this 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 quality guest posts that 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 and help you to feature in relevant search results across different search engines. We can do more than just create engaging guest posts to inspire your target audience. We also have experience writing winning press releases and designing creative press kits that 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 1 million 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 unlinked brand mentions
To start claiming unlinked brand URLs, you need to build a system of social listening to help you find PR mentions. As mentioned previously, link reclamation will ensure that your 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 your 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. This can be a bit more complicated because you do not have any control over them.
Once you have a list of your internal and broken backlinks, the link reclamation process should be as simple as fixing it yourself or sending the linking site an email with your 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.
In this situation, the first thing you can do is to monitor your brand mentions 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.
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.
Before that, you need to know whether it is right to ask for an unlinked brand mention to be turned into a link. The purpose of a link is 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.
Some scenarios that could require a link can be:
- Your brand has been mentioned in an article about an industry study and your brand 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 that your company has produced and embedded. Unfortunately, they haven’t cited you for the infographic.
- 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 your 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, this may not prove as successful as you think.
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 on to 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 can’t spare the time 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.
Who else can you reach out to?
In the absence of the person who originally wrote the article, you can also reach out to the editor of the publication. However, keep in mind that 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 target media professionals, you need to start by crafting an engaging email pitch that will get their attention. From our research, 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, remember 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 yourself whether the current unlinked mention makes sense within the context of the article. Think about 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.
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, you can create a strategy that will effectively convert unlinked PR mentions into links.