Why Linkless Mentions Matter ?
For a long time, Google has used backlinks to rank web pages. Backlinks are incoming links that redirect to your website.
It doesn’t take a lot of time to try and do things like-
- Pay a group of individuals to link to your website.
- Make a few websites that are interlinked to each other (have backlinks) to extend their own authority, then link to your website.
- Buy thousands of links for just a few dollars and acquire backlinks to your website.
For a long time, backlinks are being misused. However, Google has caught this. The evolution of social media and artificial intelligence has changed the scenario. Backlinks are not useless but are no longer that important, like it does before. You should not leave behind the idea of building quality links, but concentrate more on “Linkless mentions”.
What are these linkless mentions ?
Linkless mentions are also known as Linkless Backlinks or Brand Mentions. As the name says, it means just mentioning a brand name while not truly linking to its website. For better understanding, let us see some examples of linkless mentions :
- A brand or business mentioned in a news story without a link.
- A brand or business named in a review.
- A brand or business mentioned in a tweet or status without tagging.
- Consumers/customers commenting about your brand in forums or blogs.
You might think when it doesn't link to my site, how it contributes to the SEO. But it does. Brand mentions not only contribute to the SEO but also helps in building the brand reputation. Major search engines like Google and Bing have built up the flexibility to compute a website’s popularity, considering the brand mention anywhere online, alongside the sentiment, it is specified in. Evidence has been scaling up that the search engines are able to gather these mentions of a brand or site and utilize that as a trust flag. This implies mentions of your business or brand can offer signs to search engines. If Google finds that people are discussing about your brand, it takes those mentions as implied links and will boost your site’s SEO. If your content is mentioned across the web, you are constructing a powerful portfolio for yourself. This is not merely limited to your on-page content. Through linkless mentions, if people are seeing you on social networks or in forums, blogs and so forth, then search engines will start to acknowledge the brand mention as a trustworthy source. These all factors could favour your position within the rankings. In short, if the mention is positive, bravo! If it’s negative, pay attention just in case you have a problem to resolve. You can respond to negative comments by apologizing or explaining. This leaves a positive impact on the customers which might enhance your relationship with customers.
Now, you might be thinking a way to track mentions, which do not tag the brand or product. We can fix this for you. Social listening is a process of monitoring mentions of a brand or industry across the web. You can use social listening apps to track mentions about your brand/product, even when your brand or product is not tagged.
Tracking brand mentions gives you an opportunity to know honest reviews, complaints, and suggestions of your customers, which they usually share on social media. This can additionally assist you to understand the brand awareness level and reputation of your company.
You can even determine the sentiment of the mentions using these apps. By analysing the sentiment, you can understand which topic or conversation led to negative coverage in social media and where you are lagging behind. Let’s view an example. Suppose you are an established brand and have launched a product recently in the market. There is a buzz about the newly launched product in social media. By tracking the mentions you will be able to analyse which part of it is liked or disliked by your customers. You can keep those in mind when launching another new similar product and win more hearts. You can also make modifications to the existing product if possible and reach more customers. In either case, it’s a win-win scenario. You can even get ideas for new models. Social listening is proved very useful in the product development process.
Social monitoring plays a vital role in maintaining a brand image. Brand jacking is the unauthorized use of a company's brand to undermine it by posting false content. This can cause a serious damage if not spotted early.
By using social listening tools you can also identify influencers in your industry. Apart from this, these apps also help in crafting your content strategy. Every day millions and millions of tweets, status updates, and any other form of social postings touch a wide variety of topics. Chances are, they are talking about your brand, products, service or industry. By monitoring and understanding what is being said, you can form a killer content strategy, which also contributes to SEO. Content strategy is a crucial part of SEO. Having rich, unique, and engaging content is a solid way to grow your audience and to build a brand.
For example, let’s take a look at the ‘Search engine optimization’ segment. Using the social listening tool Sysomos, we can see that the term ‘SEO’ was mentioned over a million times in a mere three days across the most popular social networks. These tools can pull out the data, by even mentioning a single keyword that you wish to analyse.
We can see that a majority of the conversation, at least 70% is happening on Twitter. Let’s dive deeper into Twitter and know which topics are leading to conversations. When using social listening tools, you can go all the way down to specific blog post, forum post or perhaps a tweet or status update. You also can inspect trending information to understand what types of conversations occur frequently.
You can see that people are talking about blog, social media, website etc. you may find some terms which are not related to your business. Don’t worry, you can always update the query to exclude those terms.
You can also check out the content people share, the type of queries they rise. You can make powerful recommendations from social insights. You can also create the content your audience is asking for.
With social listening, you can also watch your competitors. Besides understanding your own audience, you can additionally analyse your competitor’s audience. To stand out from the rest of your competition, you need to understand the key points in your competitor’s success, as well as analyse the loopholes. Track dissatisfied competitor customers or reviews and know where your competitors are behind. You can also measure your online conversations through the share of voice and compare it with your competitors.
You can additionally check the trend analysis of your brand as well as your competitors. By spending some time and digging a little deeper, you can even track in case your competitors have gained more mentions due to any event/campaign by analysing the social data. This helps us to know their marketing strategies. By analysing the graph, you can easily know, on which day your competitor’s brand got most mentions. When you know the day, you can easily pull out the data on a particular day and might notice the explanation behind the most mentions.
We can also see the top 10 hashtags used in 3 days. Hashtags have been an important part of social media strategy since their very existence. Hashtags help in getting found by the relevant audience, which means using a top hashtag increases the reach, which in turn increases the brand awareness.
By analysing your competition, apart from learning your competitor’s best practices, you can avoid the mistakes they have made. It’s like learning from mistakes, made by others.
Social listening also helps in finding new leads. Majority of people ask for opinions and search for advice before making a purchase decision. Brands can identify these mentions and participate in the discussion and offer their products.
We have seen the advantages your brand can get by spending a few dollars on social listening tools and tracking the mentions. Now let us look at, how to increase these mentions. After all, your brand should have enough mentions to do the analysis.
You can guest post, interact on forums to boost your mentions. You can make people discuss about you on social media. You can adopt influencer marketing techniques to get mentions, not just links. Building relationships with influencers help to gather social mentions.
Remember, any mention of your brand – from news stories to reviews, forums, blog comments, podcasts, and video transcripts – is beneficial, whether a backlink to your website is included or not. In fact, linkless mentions serve as an investment source in the long-term growth, helping to spread the brand name using: ‘word of mouth’, one of the oldest and popular marketing hacks in history.
All the analysis is shown by capturing simply 3 days data. Imagine the social data that will be produced if the time period is half a year or a year. Imagine the insights that can be drawn out of it. Better the insights, better will be the SEO, content strategy and brand image.
Linkless mentions play a vital role in marketing. There are enough reasons to boost your brand mentions. They play a major role in improving brand reputation and also have an affect on your site’s SEO.