For many years, backlinks have been a major ranking factor. That’s why webmasters everywhere were, and still are, working on link-building to boost SEO. Google has used backlinks to determine the authority of websites for nearly as long as the search giant has existed. When a website links to a page on another website, Google sees the backlink as a vote of confidence from one site to another. And if many sites link to the same website or page, Google considers that content worth linking to and pushes it up in the SERPs as a reward.
Top ranking employees at both Google and Bing have said that unlinked mentions can be as strong as a signal as a backlink and that they use these mentions as a factor when determining site authority. So what is an unlinked brand mention? It’s anything related to your brand that may get mentioned (without a link) on another website that’s not yours. If you think about it, you probably read articles online all the time where brands are mentioned without any included links.
How to Attract Unlinked Brand Mentions
You can look at a brand mention as a seed that someone else plants for you to help you grow your brand or business. Considering that these mentions are coming from others and they’re now being considered as ranking factors for the search engines, you should naturally want to attract them. Here are a few ways you can do just that:
Amp Up Your Social Media Presence
When it comes to social media, the more mentions you get, the wider your reach. When your brand has been shared on Facebook, retweeted on Twitter, re-pinned on Pinterest or shared on Instagram, you’re getting social media mentions to make your brand more well known.
To increase your social media presence, be sure you know who your audience is so you know what type of content to share with them. Remember that social media users share the posts they find interesting, funny, informative, and unique. So plan your content strategy around providing your audience with what resonates with them.
It’s important to engage with your social followers by answering their questions, replying to their comments or chatting with them in discussions. This will send a very clear message that you actually care about your followers, which can go a long way in you earning some mentions from them.
Encourage Your Customers to Leave Reviews
Reviews are a terrific way to get some brand mentions. You can ask your customers in person or via email to leave reviews on the most appropriate platforms for your type of business. For example, if you’re in the hotel business, ask your customers to leave reviews on TripAdvisor. If you’re running an online business, a good place to have your customers leave reviews is Trustpilot.
Crank Out Good Content Worth Sharing
Producing good quality content can go far in getting people to mention your brand. A great way to publish content on a regular basis is by blogging. Publish one or two blog posts a week with new product info, exciting industry or business news, or great stories, then share those posts on your social channels so they attract brand mentions.
Since quality content is so important, you should be devoting a portion of your time each week to coming up with great topics to blog about. Look for industry news and topics that are trending, then put your own spin on them and turn them into mention-worthy blog posts.
It’s a good thing from an SEO perspective to have people talking about you behind your back. It means your brand is getting attention and is growing. Unlinked brand mentions have ranking value. And, if you happen to get mentioned in national or international publications, these mentions can be a huge deal that can instantly boost your business as an authority.
If you partner with the right SEO expert, they should have more tricks up their sleeve to benefit your site and help you rank higher.