Link Building may not seem like a top priority some days, and it can even seem tedious; however, through various brand mentioning tools and a focus on social listening, link building is an easier way to identify new opportunities, reach out to consumers, and discover potential issues with your brand. Maintaining a brand in all of the chaos of the internet is hard enough; having the funds, the manpower, and the dedication of a team to boost your brand to be a step above your competitors doesn’t necessarily translate into the smaller, more detailed work of link building and social listening. However, because of the day to day nature of the business, and the constant work necessary to keep a brand on top, it’s easy to miss opportunities. And when you miss opportunities, you can end up missing a lot more.
Recently, we had a client that was noticing mentions of their brand and product, but for any myriad of reasons, those mentions weren’t linking back to their main site. Obviously, this caused some concern from our clients: if you have the chance to garner a new link back to your site, you want to do so. But how to not only find these unlinked brand mentions, but to reach out and establish a connection with the poster? This is where brand monitoring and link building practices come into play.
Finding unlinked mentions of your brand isn’t that difficult. Plenty of websites can be used for brand monitoring and mentions, such as Moz Pro’s Campaigns tool, where you can see Link information in detail. By establishing a campaign for your brand, Moz Pro will sweep the web for any time that term is used, link or no, and compile them for you on a weekly basis. They can range from smaller sites with little to no authority, who happen to mention your brand in passing, or to larger sites with higher authority, who may have just forgotten to attach a link in their mentioning. What happens next, of course, depends on your client, and your relationship with them. Some clients may already be uncomfortable with an ad agency reaching out on their behalf to potential link building partners, and would rather handle it internally, or perhaps via their PR agency.
Figuring out those lines of communication and trust is important, but what’s more important is that the olive branch be extended to the opportunity in question. No matter who does it, the action of reaching out to introduce yourself and your brand, thank them for the mention, ask that a link be added, and have the chance to build a relationship with a new opportunity is what’s integral. Link building is a worthwhile practice to get into as far as SEO is concerned; the more solid, trust-worthy and authoritative links you have leading back to your site, the more legitimate and rank-worthy your site appears to Google and other search engines. Moz Pro has authority ranks for their brand monitoring, so it will be relatively simple to determine if a site is worth reaching out to. But that will change depending on your brand and goal; a site with less authority may be worth reaching out to if they cover your aspect of the industry heavily, rather than one with a higher authority, but very little interaction with your brand. As in all things, taking time to weigh and consider who to reach out to, who to listen to, and who to invest in is crucial.
Altogether, these above practices meld into a solid protocol for brands who want to comb the web for mentions, establish a means by how to reach out and win the trust of that new opportunity, and move forward together, hopefully garnering link power to your SEO, and more mentions for your brand. The practice we have now with our client is fairly new and while there are still a few months away from doing a case study on the ramifications and outcomes, I hope the above can help you think about brand mentioning and link building strategies as you move forward in the year.