Link building

The key to building business relationships

Organizations that have significant brand equity, or are working to develop it, will have a gold mine of untapped linking opportunities scattered across blog, influencer, and news sites.

While good PR teams are great at getting their company, brand, or product story publicized, they don’t always have the direction, or it’s beyond their reach to align this work with SEO efforts and link building.

The reality is, most organizations haven’t captured link building as a PR metric, but they should!

That said, as a general rule, generating branded anchor text for unrelated brand mentions can generate a significant number of links with minimal effort.

Some people have reported successful placement rates of 15-20%, from awareness to secure links.

Data-driven link building is definitely a good option for securing a significant number of links.

However, the time it takes to create this content increases the resources required to generate a link.

4 types of unrelated mentions to find

There are four types of brand mentions to look for.

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Which route you choose will depend on your business structure and how you brand the business, products, and its people.

1. Company brand

Depending on your business structure, the company name or company brand may provide the least related brand mentions.

Brands can certainly have a lot of mentions.

For example, B&H Photo Video and Audio has many references online, as the Moz report shows.

An example of a corporate brand:

2. Product brand

If your business sells a product with a well-known brand, then finding the product’s brand mentions is an effective approach to generating links.

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An example of a product brand is the Allbird Wool Runners from Allbirds. This popular sneaker brand has 137,000 unique, unrelated mentions.

While most of them are not good link prospects, it will certainly create opportunities.

This could be a CPG directly aimed at consumers or a digital product like a brand training course.

Brand equity: the key to building business relationships

3. Electronic trade marks

This is a product sold by an online retailer of another company or a CPG branded product.

You see Farfetch sells Gucci sneakers, but this product is made by Gucci and Farfetch is a reseller of this product.

Brand equity: the key to building business relationships

4. Company leaders or influencers

Executive influencers have become an effective growth strategy, and some influencers have launched successful products or services.

It’s hard to talk about executive influencers and not to mention Gary Vaynerchuk.

If I was doing SEO for VaynerMedia I would have a full time job claiming unrelated brand mentions for the term “gary vaynerchuk”.

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If you want to determine if this process is right for your brand, here are two ways to identify if there is a significant volume of mentions.

Google search operators

The manual method is to use Google search operators to find all the brand mentions of a business outside of their website and major social media channels.

Use of the “intext” operator to define the “company brand”, together with the use of the minus operator (for example, “-intext: searchenginejournal.com” and -insite: facebook.com) for only return sites without links to the domain, you may start to find all off-page results.

As the listings appear in Google, it can be very difficult to sort and make sense of the results without going page by page.

Brand equity: the key to building business relationshipsIndustry tools

If you prefer more data on potential sites and content, there are several tools you can use.

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As I’ve written about how to use Ahrefs several times already, I wanted to explore some other great alternatives:

Moz’s Fresh Web Explorer

I like the simplicity of the tool, and if you are using Moz data, but you still need to know your operators.

The main advantages are the “authority of mention” score of the tool and the possibility of building a campaign around it.

Brand equity: the key to building business relationships

Be sure to use citation operators around the text for exact matches.

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So if you search for a product brand like “shure sm7b”, you will get results that only contain this phrase.

Now that you have a list of priority target opportunities, it’s time to figure out how to contact authors to consider backlinks.

Find the right contact

This is where the PR team can start to make your job even easier, starting with their roster of reporters.

If the team has been around for a while, they should have relationships with journalists, bloggers, and influencers in their space.

These relationships can make your life easier in terms of initial awareness and quick wins for building backlinks.

Involve the internal team:

  • Help to manage the client and his expectations.
  • Creates a buy-in to the process.
  • Develops a feeling of joint ownership of the results.

While the Journalist Relations Spreadsheet is a useful starting point, once a program begins to evolve you will need to automate it.

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If you are dealing with a mid-sized business or corporate account, they will likely already have tools in place, such as Cision, Muck Rack, or Meltwater.

These traditional public relations tools have press release distribution, journalist management, media intelligence and public relations reporting as their main DNA, and they can be useful in some aspect of the outreach effort. backlinks.

However, they are not specially designed for this purpose.

BuzzStream is a useful tool for prospecting and building relationships with lists of journalists, running public relations campaigns, and most importantly, running effective link building campaigns, all from one platform.

Create a natural and impactful link

The last part of this equation is how to secure a link in the article and present the site.

I’m grouping them together because the pitch will require an understanding of how much content, if any, you’ll need to provide to the publisher.

How to approach demand and content

Update the brand name

This is a quick and easy method of securing a link, but its response rate is generally lower.

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With this you will only get the link update for the exact mention of the brand name.

Custom paragraph

A paragraph that updates content around a brand mention adds value to the audience of the post by adding a deeper understanding of the topic.

Fortunately, this method will not tax your resources.

Updating full content

Many, if not most, of your unrelated brand mentions will usually be in articles that are over six months old.

In this case, I recommend a full content refresh. This means, updating the material on the site, then rewriting it with recent resources and more in-depth content.

How to raise awareness

When you think about it, the easy part is putting together the linkage opportunities and making a list of the right contacts.

The question now is how to get them to act on your behalf and on your client’s behalf?

Here are some key considerations when developing the awareness program.

To evolve, you must automate / semi-automate

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By undertaking a massive link building program with tens of thousands of link opportunities, you will need to automate and try to minimize the complexity of outreach.

Custom Templates

Outreach models adapt effectively and are highly measurable in support of campaigns.

Keep in mind that you also build a relationship with bloggers, and you need to take the time to personalize your one-on-one communication appropriately.

Most email software, like MailChimp or BuzzStream, will offer some form of dynamic insertion into your email.

Automate monitoring

Writers are busy.

As a professional, you need to follow up.

Instead of doing manual tracking, use automated drops and reminders to help you stay on top of things.

I experimented with automating AI email responses with RoboResponse.

Analyze and optimize daily

Perform periodic reviews to review your progress while campaigns are in progress and adjust as necessary to optimize your results.

I like to deploy small batch emails and split A / B test titles and copy.

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Metrics report

The last step in a link building campaign is looking at internal metrics.

You need to look at how team members contribute to the end results and account to the client for success and set a baseline plan for the next effort.

For a personalized awareness campaign, monitoring backlinks can allow you to find and monitor links and growth against historical link profiles.

A final note

A strong brand will create many opportunities for bonding.

Through creative analysis of your company’s brands or internal influencers, there may very well be a large volume of fruits at your fingertips that can have a powerful impact on search engine rankings.

While getting backlinks is relatively straightforward in concept, it’s actually not easy.

Having the right tools to simplify the process and keep things organized is essential to successfully scale the project and your offerings overall.

As a final benefit, along with scale, automation will provide the simplification of reporting and visualizations necessary to determine and articulate program success.

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Image credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
All screenshots taken by the author


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