Link building is often referred to as one of the most difficult and time-consuming aspects of SEO. With Google constantly clamping down on tactics, it’s becoming more and more important to master the age-old techniques; one of which is chasing unlinked brand mentions.
If done correctly, you’ll find that this can be one of the most effective and sustainable ways to bag yourself some high quality links.
Unlike certain other link building tactics, this technique is a completely legitimate and safe way to build links, as most of the time the sites that you’re contacting have already mentioned your brand, so you’re not so much bribing them as chancing your hand. The only real damage you could possibly do is create a bad impression for your brand, but we’ll be providing some tips on how to avoid that.
How do I search for brand mentions?
When it comes down to the functionality of finding relevant brand mentions, techniques can vary depending on the size of your brand, your type of brand and how much coverage you typically get. There are multiple tools that allow you to monitor your brand mentions such as Moz’ Fresh Web Explorer and RankTank’s Unlinked Mentions Finder, however I find using Google’s search modifiers does the job just as well.
Using Google’s search term guidelines, I have asked to only show results with the exact term ‘Tecmark’, excluding the website itself in order to avoid any unnecessary results. This saves you from having to wade through thousands of useless brand mentions.
Setting a date range is also important when it comes down to filtering out redundant results. To do this, click the ‘Tools’ tab underneath the search bar and select ‘Custom Range’ from the drop down menu. For small to medium sized brands, doing a check every month should be enough, however depending on the nature of the brand it may be appropriate to check every couple of weeks. If you’re dealing with a larger brand that tends to get mentioned more often, performing weekly checks might be a good idea just to stay on top of things.
When beginning this technique, it isn’t recommended to go back looking for unlinked brand mentions any older than 3 months as the likelihood is that the author won’t be interested in editing an article that’s months/years old, so it’s best to concentrate on more recent articles if you’re looking for a higher success rate.
Deciding who to contact
As you’re trawling through new brand mentions, you can create a spreadsheet to record any new mentions, what type of mention it is (e.g. Blog, local press, regional press), the sentiment of the article, the action required and contact details. You should only really contact authors who have written a positive article about your brand, otherwise you risk negative publicity. Also, the chances of an angry author giving you a link are pretty low.
Over time you’ll begin to recognise and avoid contacting the kinds of publications that have strict linking policies. Most of the time these are national/regional publications, so it’s advised to target smaller publications and independent websites/blogs if you want to be efficient with your link building. Lastly, before deciding on who to contact it’s always a good idea to double check if the authors are already known to you. I always send the list of contacts across to the Digital PR team/client to ensure we haven’t previously contacted them – you won’t just lose a link opportunity, you also might damage your relationship with them!
Finally, the last step in this process is to reach out and use some persuasive language to turn the brand mention into a link. When you recorded the brand mention and contact details, you should have evaluated whether that person you’re contacting has the authority to insert the link. If you can find details for the exact author then that’s great. If not, you need to look for the next in command i.e the digital editor. If all else fails, a generic email will have to do.
Here’s 3 tips to keep in mind when reaching out:
Want to know even more?
Give your content marketing another boost by getting our four free digital marketing ebooks and our weekly content marketing newsletter.
You’ll immediately receive 123 pages of expert insight straight to your inbox.
Get 123 pages of expert advice straight to your inbox.
About the Author
A major part of creating or improving on a local search strategy is ensuring your business can be found within online listings when searched for by potential customers. While there are plenty of sources to find information online, by far the most popular is Google, who offer Google My Business as a functional platform for […]
Has your business struggled to get customers through the door in 2018? UK consumers have become fairly used to major high street brands struggling and in worst case scenarios having to close down completely due to lack of footfall. This has led to many well-loved brands having to close their doors permanently – but could […]
Savvy businesses who rely on local search will already be well aware that the key to getting new customers into their stores is by increasing their online visibility; making sure they can be ‘seen’ by anyone who happens to search for ‘jewellers near me’ or ‘closest cinema’. Thankfully there has also been a number of […]