Very useful article for link building beginner – How to Acquire Links by Leveraging Web Mentions
Making the most of the tools available for link building can sometimes seem like a long and thankless task, but when you put just a few fundamental skills to work for you, youâ€™re likely to find that itâ€™s not quite as difficult as you might think; in fact, there are quite a few opportunities for easy link building at your disposal, if you know where to look and youâ€™ve got the tools to make the most of them.
One of the first things youâ€™ll want to look into is seeking out existing mentions of your brand, website, or product lineup. Theyâ€™re out there right now, waiting for you to take advantage of them. Remember: every mention you donâ€™t jump on is a wasted opportunity.
So How Do You Find the Mentions in the First Place?
The first step toward ethical link building practicesÂ is to find the instances where a website has mentioned you or your product. So how to do that? You canâ€™t really expect to run into them by accident, which means youâ€™re probably going to need to make use of some tools that are available. Letâ€™s take a look at a few of them.
Like most of Googleâ€™s services, Google Alerts is free. Because of this, itâ€™s a great first step toward unearthing all of your mentions out there. Like Googleâ€™s regular search engine, itâ€™s an aggregator of websites that narrows its focus according to your search criteria. You can punch in a bunch of helpful terms to narrow your search, but itâ€™s probably worth getting the hang of using different keywords in different configurations or combinations.
Your search query, obviously, is going to be your brand, product, or website. From there, you can narrow your search to news, blog posts, videos, discussions, books, or just cast as wide a net as possible and search for â€œeverything.â€
From there, you can personalize your Google Alert to send you an email at an interval of your choosing. You can get notifications of mentions as theyâ€™re posted, or get a daily or weekly digest of every instance where youâ€™ve received a shout-out.
If you donâ€™t really want to plug yourself in to the whole Google thing and youâ€™re looking for another free tool for finding web mentions, you might want to give Talkwalker Alerts a try. They boast of being the â€œbest free alternativeâ€ to Google Alerts, and so far the evidence seems to support that claimâ€¦ depending on how youâ€™re measuring the results. Their website is full of glowing testimonials from users across the Internet, as well as the logos of highly prominent companies who have used Talkwalkerâ€™s services.
InÂ a recent study performed by Moz, Talkwalker was compared empirically to industry leaders Mention.net and Google Alerts. In the first contest, the number of alerts delivered by each service was evaluated, with Talkwalker coming out on top by a pretty significant margin.
That said, the quality of the results painted a different picture. Google Alerts was found to have provided more alerts from high quality sites. As a result, if youâ€™re looking to be absolutely thorough, and you want to uncover a vast number of mentions, Talkwalker is for you. If youâ€™re more concerned about handpicking only the best links, stick with Google Alerts.
Of course, weâ€™d be remiss if we didnâ€™t mention Mozâ€™s own suite of analytic tools. Their Fresh Web Explorer lets users research, and then compare, links and mentions. As the word â€œfreshâ€ would seem to indicate, the focus here is on finding the absolute newest mentions of your site or brand, using the Freshscape index as a guide. The Index contains some 73 million distinct URLs and over 3 million RSS feeds. As with the other services on offer, Moz Analytics offers advanced search tools that allow for exact-match phrases, multiple keywords, and keyword exclusions.
Weâ€™ll stop here at the risk of this sounding like an infomercial. Suffice it to say that there are a number of excellent tools out there to begin your search for web mentions. It would seem to be a buyerâ€™s market.
Turning Mentions into Links
Hereâ€™s the real trick. Once youâ€™ve found all of the mentions out there, whatâ€™s the next step? The phrases â€œshooting fish in a barrelâ€ and â€œlow hanging fruitâ€ come to mind, but you need to know what to do with the fish after youâ€™ve, well, shot it. So whatâ€™s the next step?
Quite simply, you need to ask for a link. Hereâ€™s the underlying theory behind this process: if thereâ€™s a website out there thatâ€™s already gone out of its way to mention your company or your product, youâ€™re not really taking that big a risk by asking them for a link.
The best technique for leveraging a mention is to write to the webmaster with a short, simple email. Try to address them by name if you can; personalizing the message will go a long way toward building a rapport with them.
From there, be sure to thank them for the mention. Mention the company or brand again and simply ask them to link back. Put the focus on the website readers if you can: mention that youâ€™d like for their readers or audience to have a better understanding of what it is theyâ€™re talking about.
Then youâ€™re done. Itâ€™s short, sweet, and to the point. Again, theyâ€™ve already taken the step of mentioning your brand, so donâ€™t feel too much like youâ€™re making a huge imposition on their time.
This all might seem a bit overwhelming, but as you might have been able to tell, seeking out mentions can easily become a regular part of your routine. From there, following up with a cordial email is a simple enough task.
How often you search for mentions is up to you, but most people tend to find that the â€œonce a dayâ€ approach is the best fit. It lets you stay up-to-date with the most recent mentions, while not flooding your inbox with up-to-the-minute updates. Try different settings to see what works best for you.
One last thing to remember: these techniques arenâ€™t particularly helpful for a brand new business; youâ€™ll need to be established enough to already have been mentioned. However, for the existing company thatâ€™s only now embarking on the great link building adventure, these techniques should prove to be indispensable.