As your company gains recognition, more and more consumers will start discussing your products and services online. With talk of your business disseminating across the web, it will become increasingly vital—and challenging—to monitor your brand.

Countless publications, bloggers, and influencers churn out content each day. If you don’t take a systematic approach to tracking your brand mentions, you may miss out on critical consumer feedback and opportunities to gain valuable backlinks. Securing a backlink on the right website will not only earn you visitors and potential customers through that link, but it will also help your site achieve a higher search rank.

 


Secure links from unlinked brand mentions with  Mention Connections. Up to a 90% response rate on outreach.    Find Unlinked Mentions



Why Track Down Unlinked Brand Mentions?

Every unlinked brand mention is a missed opportunity to build your website’s authority, generate leads, and connect with consumers. In general, websites and writers mention independent brands for one of two reasons:

  • To criticize their products and services
  • To review and recommend them

 

Criticize Their Products and Services

While discouraging, this scenario presents an opportunity for growth. You’ll want to connect with the writer or publisher and address their concerns, especially if they represent a high-profile brand or publication within your company’s niche. If you contact that individual and provide high-quality customer service, they may change or remove their disparaging comments. At the very least, you can gain insight into consumer criticisms and take note of any critiques that appear frequently. 

 

Review and Recommend Them

When articles or blog posts cast your business in a positive light, you want to leverage these brand mentions by turning them into backlinks. Earning backlinks from domains and pages with high authority metrics will directly increase your site’s SEO performance. Though the Google algorithm has changed over the years, it still relies heavily on backlinks as a key ranking signal

Why? Because backlinks serve as a public endorsement of a brand. No company or publisher would risk sending its readers to a website they didn’t trust or that didn’t add valuable information related to their content. If a domain with impressive quality metrics and significant traffic links out to an independent brand, it signifies to Google that the linked content has value and relevance. 

Discovering unlinked brand mentions and converting them into backlinks will also save you the time and money it takes to produce blogs and guest posts. The content already exists—all you have to do is reach out to the publisher and ask for a link. In some cases, you may want to add a paragraph for the link or even provide an entire content refresh. When a page on the web gets a content refresh, it would be natural to add or remove links.

Anyone reading a post that mentions your brand likely falls into your target audience. Acquiring backlinks from existing content will not only improve your SEO, but it’ll generate traffic from people with high purchase intent. For example, anyone reading a blog post about the top ten blenders on the market is likely serious about buying a blender and ready to make a purchase. 


What to Look For

First and foremost, you want to pursue explicit mentions of your brand. Any online content that directly calls out your company requires your attention. Locating references to your company will help you to both secure backlinks and monitor your brand’s image.

However, you’ll have to run more than one simple search to find online content that alludes to your business. Using Ahrefs, you should enter any proprietary terms associated with your products, services, and tools. For example, if an SEO specialist at Samsung were to search for their brand mentions, they would search for the terms “Galaxy” and “Galaxy Note” as well. 

Be sure to not only search for mentions of your official brand but also any abbreviations or misspellings. For example, the digital marketing team at PureLinq would also run a search on the term “PureLink.” Lastly, you should hunt down any mentions of your CEO or any other high-profile employees or spokespeople.

 

 


Secure links from unlinked brand mentions with  Mention Connections. Up to a 90% response rate on outreach.  Find Unlinked Mentions



How to Use Ahrefs to Search for Unlinked Brand Mentions

Ahrefs provides a number of tools and resources for digital marketing. The subscription-based service crawls 5 billion web pages every day and offers data-driven platforms for keyword research, backlink research, rank tracking, web monitoring, and competitive analysis. 

To find unlinked brand mentions, follow these step-by-step instructions:

 

1. Content Explorer

From the Ahrefs homepage, click the Content Explorer in the navigation bar.

Screenshot of Ahrefs Content Explorer Tool

2. Enter Your Search Phrase

In the search bar, add the appropriate search phrase using Google commands and operators.

 

To locate exact mentions of your brand, your search phrase should follow this format: your brand name within quotation marks, a single space, a hyphen, then your domain. This string of instructions tells the tool to exclude results from your own website. 

For example, to search PureLinq brand mentions, you would enter:

 

 “PureLinq” -PureLinq.com

 

To narrow your search and exclude social media mentions, you can add their domains as well, each preceded by a space and hyphen. For example:

 

“PureLinq” -PureLinq.com -facebook.com -twitter.com -linkedin.com -youtube.com 

 

Following this same phrase pattern, run searches on your products, tools, services, and CEO.


3. Evaluate Your Results Overview

Ahrefs will generate a list of content mentions and identify their pages, authors, websites, languages and the associated data. You can see the Domain Rank, Organic Traffic, and Traffic Value of each page with an unlinked mention of your brand.

 

 

4. Analyze Individual Pages

Now that you’ve located existing brand mentions, you’ll want to analyze the content individually. Especially if your search comes up with a multitude of mentions, it’s best to start with the websites and pages with the highest authority, traffic, and relevance to your brand.

 

For each page result, click on the link and then use the search command (Command+F on a Mac or Control+F on a PC) to locate all the references to your brand on that page. Read the surrounding content and make sure that none of the mentions, or any other anchor text, links to your domain. You can also check other elements of the page for links, such as images. If the page doesn’t link to your website, it’s time to reach out and request a backline. Only pursue content that is relevant to your business and highlights the positives of your products and services.

 

Other Tools and Methods

There are a few other tools out there that you can use to find unlinked brand mentions. The most popular are Moz and Google. We cover all three in the video below. But Ahrefs has the most powerful features of them all. 

 

 

 

Reaching Out

If it’s your first time reaching out and asking for backlinks, the process may seem a bit intimidating. However, it’s a common practice within digital marketing and it has reciprocal benefits. Once you’ve analyzed a brand mention and determined that it’s worth chasing, look for the article’s author or website’s content editor and their contact information.

Before contacting a writer about a backlink, decide where within the article to request the link be placed. You want the link to look natural and to make sense to readers. Look at each mention of your brand or product and determine which is the most organic reference. 

Then, decide on the best-fit landing page for the link based on the context of the mention or your current marketing strategy. In some instances, it’s best to link to your website’s home page. Other times, you’ll want to take readers directly to a specific product page, informational page, or blog post. 

When you send an email requesting a backlink, be direct. Thank the writer or publisher for mentioning your brand or product and simply ask if they’ll change the mention to a direct link to your chosen landing page. Especially if the landing page is highly informational, explain why the content is worth linking to and what added value it would provide readers. 

Be sure to follow up with every person you contact. If they don’t respond, wait a few days and give them a gentle nudge. When a writer or site manager agrees to add the link, check back in a couple of days and either thank them for implementing the backlink or ask them when you can expect to see the change.

 

Additional Advice

Brand monitoring takes time and organization. To optimize your efforts, you and your SEO team will have to run searches on references to your brand regularly. If you want to streamline the process and boost your ranking, consider the following tips: 

 

  • Get to know Google search commands and operators. Using these 42 advanced operators will help you narrow down your searches and retrieve only the exact results you want to view.
  • Maintain dynamic, detailed records of your progress. Using spreadsheets or your preferred management system, keep close track of the searches you’ve run and analyzed, author outreach status, and secured links.
  • Keep in mind your backlink profile and the ratio of anchor text types. Maintaining a natural profile requires a balance of backlinks with branded, exact match, partial match, generic, and naked URL anchor text.
  • Don’t waste your time pursuing links on press releases, affiliate sites, or other posts that don’t include any outbound links.

 

Boost Your Rank with Backlinks

Finding unlinked brand mentions should be a high priority for your SEO and marketing teams. Locating these references to your company and reaching out for backlinks will help you connect with publishers within your niche, give you a better understanding of consumer opinions, give you ideas for content, and, most importantly, improve your search ranking. 

Though time-consuming, securing backlinks from unlinked brand mentions is a straightforward process and (depending on your preference) requires no additional content production on your end. You’ve clearly given consumers something to talk about—now turn that buzz into rank-boosting backlinks. 

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PureLinq

PureLinq is a link building and enterprise SEO technology firm. When you need a program to work, call us. We build highly-complex programs that perform.

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Rea Martin,

Content Writer

Rea is a Journalism graduate with a passion for writing about technology as well as other topics like business, finance and lifestyle. She has a background in research and working with start-ups and scale-ups, especially in the software and tech sector.

Jacqueline Ochieng,

Content Writer

I am a proficient writer specializing in writing researched articles and academic papers. I have published some of my work in peer-reviewed journals. I am also a market and social research practitioner.

Damilola Esebame,

Content Writer

Damilola is a freelance content writer and a multifaceted gambling expert. When he’s not writing or researching, he spends his time with family and friends, watching sports, swimming, or playing video games.

Olusomi Oduguwa,

Content Writer

When he isn’t writing, you can catch him listening to podcasts or enjoying the game of football.

Nadia Chapman,

Content Writer

Nadia Chapman is a Content Writer at PureLinq. She has a Bachelor of Communication from Griffith University, and currently writes at the crossroads of business and community journalism for local and international clients.

Triston Brewer,

Freelance Content Writer

Triston Brewer is a writer and journalist that has been featured in The New York Times, Huffington Post, Vogue Italia, Washington Post, and other online and print magazines in the U.S. and internationally. Fluent in 4 languages, he is currently working on his fifth book.

Antonio B Callueng Jr

Freelance Content Writer

An experienced educator, content writer, social media advocate, and travel enthusiast.

Trevor Coulombe,

Junior SEO Outreach Specialist

Trevor helps manage comprehensive link-building campaigns for a variety of clients at Purelinq.

Cody Riebe,

SEO Account Manager

Tristan Burgener,

SEO Account Manager

Tristan has been in the SEO industry since 2017. He works directly with our clients to monitor performance, strategy and growth in each of the campaigns.

Jayme Reid,

Business Strategist

I started in SEO sales around 2014 and quickly became the lead salesman at a former company. I started my own SEO company shortly after. My company did well, but I decided to rejoin the corporate world with Purelinq as the first business strategist! I have a pug named Gideon. I love Jesus. I am an outgoing nerd that you can catch playing Magic The Gathering or other intense board games in my spare time.

Satya Pattigilli,

Marketing Outreach Specialist

Satya is skilled in SEO, traditional link building, and has sharp knack when it comes to email marketing techniques and deploying email campaigns.

Fun fact: Satya loves shopping and believes in staying stronger together.

Mike Woellert,

Digital Marketing Manager

Mike Woellert is PureLinq’s digital marketing manager and has several years of digital marketing experience.

Fun fact: Mike is a huge Disney, Star Wars and Marvel movie fanatic.

Richard Cummings,

Product Manager

Richard Cummings has been practicing SEO and online marketing for years.  He has set up, analyzed, and optimized countless websites and always looks forward to new, creative challenges to improve website traffic for clients.

Kristie VanHatten,

Business Administrator

Kristie performs business admin and HR tasks for PureLinq.

Fun fact: Kristie loves shopping!

Kevin Jaskolka,

VP Of Business Development

 

Angela Moore,

Director Of Operations

Angela began link building in 2007 and quickly became known as the go-to expert in all things offsite marketing. By combining content marketing, traditional link building, and social media, she was able to set clients up with outstanding programs that delivered results in the form of organic rankings and traffic. Angela joined PureLinq as the Director of Operations in October 2020. Fun fact: Angela is an NFL team owner, as she owns stock in the Green Bay Packers.

Kevin Rowe,

Founder / CEO

Kevin Rowe is one of the top innovators in the search marketing industry, developing industry-leading programs for SEO and link building. He has built world-class programs for a range of companies from fortune 100 to Silicon Valley startups. He is a thought leader with his thoughts being published in Search Engine Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, Huffington Post, and Search Engine Land.

Read Kevin’s latest articles on Search Engine Journal.

Kevin’s personal podcast: the Future of SEO

Kaitlin O’Dougherty,

Junior Content Production Specialist

Kaitlin helps manage freelance writer content, putting her BA in Journalism from Mississippi State University to good use. She also has a minor in French, but don’t ask her to speak it.

Fun fact: Kaitlin was a barista for many years and is on a mission to sip the best coffee in every state.

Jon Lightfoot,

VP of Strategy

Jon Lightfoot was founder and CEO of a successful chemical and fragrance company. Upon exiting that role he spent more than a decade agency side and several years brand side wherein he honed robust marketing, strategy and data intelligence acumen. Jon’s strategic marketing initiatives have stewarded healthcare providers, agencies, learning and education based companies, eComm and Fortune 500 companies alike in meeting or exceeding their SEO, branding, performance and audience expansion goals.

Lindsey Sabado,

Content Production Specialist

Lindsey manages the day-to-day management of freelancer writers and editors as well as content production. In addition to holding two BAs in History and English from Binghamton University, she has a Masters in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Fun fact: Lindsey has traveled to 11 countries and it’s on her bucket list to visit every continent.

James Allen,

PureLinq Developer

James is the PureLinq Developer. He is responsible for building and maintaining the client portal.

Fun fact: James lived in Japan for five years.

April Rink,

Senior Content Manager

April’s position at PureLinq has her overseeing all content production, managing a team of freelance writers and editors, and building out our content guidelines. She has an MA in print and digital journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and a BA in Communication Studies and Marketing from Cazenovia College.

Fun fact: April basically runs a zoo with a pet rabbit named Lily and two Australian Shepards named June and Hank; chickens coming soon. She also likes to refurbish furniture in her spare time.

Marcus Larabee,

SEO Strategist

If it needs to get done, Marcus can figure it out. He has worked on e-commerce and lead generation programs for a variety of digital marketing projects. These experiences include SEO, PPC, web analytics, minor development, and email marketing.

Fun fact: Marcus, otherwise known as Larabee Live, is a one-man-band that plays all around Central New York.

Joseph Pineda,

Outreach Specialist

Joseph helps to scale up the PureLinq database through blogger research and outreach. He builds white-hat links for high-value content and pages with niche audiences.

Steven Szeliga,

Senior Outreach Specialist

Steve has over a decade of SEO and link building experience. He focuses on building white-hat links for high-value content and pages with niche audiences.

Colin Gacek,

Senior Outreach Specialist

Colin performs link mining and outreach for PureLinq’s clients and brings a high level of organization to manage a large number of link placements each month.

Fun fact: Colin loves techno music and playing video games.