Link Reclamation Blog Image

Link Reclamation: How To Turn Brand Mentions Into Links

If you work in the Digital PR industry, it’s highly likely that you’ve experienced this emotional rollercoaster before: getting excited to see your campaign land in the press, before noticing it only includes a brand mention, with no link in sight. 

Whilst it’s great to see your content covered and credited, it’s understandable to want a backlink to your website as well. 

In cases like these, it’s best to apply the mantra: if you don’t ask, you don’t get. 

Remember, the journalist covering your story has clearly seen something of value to offer to their readers. So, this should stand you in good stead when making that all-important link request. 

What is an unlinked brand mention?

An unlinked brand mention is when a publication mentions your brand by name, but does not include a hyperlink back to your website. 

A hyperlink would most commonly be inserted in the brand name or to a spokesperson mentioned in the feature.

Once you spot an unlinked brand mention, you can email the journalist, or contact the website, to request that a backlink is inserted to your website. 

How can I turn brand mentions into links? 

To convert brand mentions into links, there are a number of steps you can take: 

  1. Make a list of articles which feature just brand mentions 

Search for your brand name, and any relevant spokespersons, in Google News to find articles which do not include backlinks to your website. 

To help with this process, it’s always a wise idea to set up alerts for your brand name and spokespersons. My go-to is Google alerts but firm favourites around the Cedarwood Digital office also include Talkwalker, Ahrefs and Semrush.

  1. Source the journalist’s contact information  

Aim to contact the article’s author when requesting a backlink. You can find their contact details listed on media databases, such as Roxhill, Vuelio or Muck Rack. Other means of sourcing their email include their article author page or their social media profiles i.e. X (formerly known as Twitter) and LinkedIn.

If you’re unable to find the journalist’s email, it’s still worth contacting another journalist on their team. Alternatively, you could email an editor or corrections desk at the publication, or opt for a general, editorial contact email address. 

Online tools, such as, can also help you to find missing email addresses from any company name or website.

  1. Craft your backlink request email 

From the offset, it’s always good manners to thank the journalist for covering your story, or for including quotes from one of your spokespersons. 

This shows that you appreciate your professional relationship with them, and also allows you to insert a link to the article you’re referencing, so that the journalist can quickly access this. 

Politely request if they could insert a link to your website as a form of accreditation. This will have the best chance of success if there is an incentive for including the link. For instance: 

  • ➡️ Do you have a data hub with further statistics readers could be interested in?
  • ➡️ Does your blog contain further visuals to help readers understand the story? 
  • ➡️ Does your spokesperson’s author profile provide further credibility for expert opinion pieces? (this is particularly important in the legal and financial industries) 

Clearly signpost the URL that you would like the journalist to link back to, invite them to provide feedback on what you have proposed, and thank them for their time. 

Hopefully, you will receive a response that they have inserted a link into the article. Otherwise, you can still gain valuable feedback from a ‘no’, such as learning if a particular publication has a ‘no link’ policy or if they require an exclusive to feature a backlink.

Five tips to convert your brand mentions into links:

  • ➡️ Keep your finger on the pulse: Try to request a link for a brand mention as soon as possible. The closer to the time of publication, the higher the incentive the journalist should have to insert a link. They are less likely to insert a link to an older article over one which is newly released. 
  • ➡️ Research best sending schedules: Media databases often detail at what time of day journalists prefer to hear from PR’s. If you can, send your email within this time frame as they may be more likely to spot it. 
  • ➡️ Give them a good reason: Don’t expect journalists to insert a link to your website if you’ve not highlighted the added value this would provide to their readers. Be sure to showcase any additional data or visuals you have to accompany the story, as well as your spokesperson’s credentials. 
  • ➡️ Send your request in a follow-up to your campaign pitch: If you have recently sent your campaign, and it has been published in a quick turnaround, it’s worth sending your request as a follow-up to your original pitch. This highlights the existing relationship and will appear less like a cold email. 
  • ➡️ Limit follow-ups: If you haven’t heard anything back, it’s worth following up in case your email has been lost amongst hundreds of other emails. However, keep this to just one follow up; to maintain good relationships with journalists, it’s important to not be too persistent when chasing a link.

If you need help reclaiming unlinked brand mentions, or building links for your brand, contact us here

Blog Picture - Why Building Backlinks To Your Website Is So Important

Why Building Backlinks To Your Website Is So Important

I’m sure you’ve heard of backlinks, but why do they matter so much, and how can they be secured?

The Cedarwood team have heaps of experience in this area of SEO, and in today’s blog we’re going to explore what backlinks are and a strategy for building them to your domain.

Whilst there are numerous SEO concepts to follow for increased site traffic, link building is a really great place to start. The more high quality and relevant backlinks you can acquire, the higher the likelihood of your site ranking well in the SERPs, because Google will view it as an authoritative source. Keep reading to find out exactly how to build those all-important links.

What are backlinks and why are they so important?

So, let’s begin with the basics. A backlink is one website linking to another with anchor text. Magazine and news articles will commonly use backlinks but you can find examples all over the internet; from scholarly literature to ecommerce websites. This is an example of us using anchor text to link to our most recent blog (which you should check out if you haven’t already!) 

Backlinks are gold dust because they act like a vote of confidence, suggesting to Google and other search engines that the linked website is trustworthy and useful. The domain receiving the backlink demonstrates better authority. Then, in theory, this in turn results in the website securing higher search rank positions because backlinks are one of Google’s most powerful ranking factors. The higher your rank, the more likely that your content will be seen! 

I’m sure you’re getting the gist now of just how important backlinks are. But to drill it in a bit more, I’ll remind you of the three pillars of SEO. It’s well-understood that search engine algorithms reward distance, prominence and relevance. So, it is crucial to secure prominence if you want your domain to rank, especially if focusing on local SEO. And what’s the key to building prominence? You guessed it, the ever-important backlinks.

Domain Authority Score

Unfortunately, you can’t just secure backlinks from any old site and expect your rank position to sky-rocket. To carry out successful backlink SEO, you really need to work on securing backlinks from sites with a high domain authority score and sites that are relevant to your subject matter.

The scoring system is logarithmic and runs from 1 – 100, with a higher score indicating authority and reliability. A high DA score and a strong website overall means that Google will be a big fan of your site, and you’re therefore far more likely to appear at the top of SERPs. You won’t be surprised to hear that these high scorers include the big-hitters: Youtube, Facebook, Wikipedia, IMDB etc.

You should always ensure that any backlink you acquire has been sourced from a reliable domain, ideally with a higher authority score than your own. If you’re ever wondering what a website’s score is, this can be easily found using a tool like Moz or Semrush.

Purchasing backlinks … is it really that bad?

There’s really no simple yes or no answer here. Whilst buying backlinks is a frowned upon practice and has historically led to Google penalties, more recently a paid link is likely to be ignored rather than penalised. In Google’s link spam updates in recent years, they have repeatedly used the words ‘nullify’ and ‘neutralise’, rather than ‘penalise’. So, no you’re unlikely to receive a fatal penalty if you choose to splash the cash on some links but we still wouldn’t recommend it. Let us explain.

Ultimately, buying links could result in a short term boost of traffic to your site, but you will quickly find that this isn’t sustainable. When bulk-buying backlinks online, you are often being supplied with low-quality links and Google knows which backlinks are high quality and relevant to your site. 

Perhaps your next thought is, fine I will make sure to only purchase high-quality links… I’m afraid to say that this is not advised either. High-quality backlinks are far more expensive than their low-quality alternatives, so it is often not feasible to secure many of them. You’re then stuck with one or two of these prized backlinks which, without high quantity, are unlikely to make a difference to your rank. Buying your backlinks, whether high or low-quality, has the potential to be at best a waste of money, and at worst the cause of a fatal penalty. I know the prospect is alluring, especially if you are a start-up with financial constraints, but it really is worth investing your time and money into sustainable SEO strategies.

How to build backlinks to your website naturally

We’ve put it pretty plainly that you shouldn’t pay for backlinks but should build them naturally. No stress though, following the right backlink-building strategy will get them flying in in no time – and without any attached risk. There are various methods you can use to acquire backlinks but here are a few of the most effective to get you started.

Digital PR

Digital PR is a strategy that has been rising in popularity as a sustainable method of link acquisition. It’s a technique in which traditional PR principles are applied to online content and can be carried out in a number of ways. Some of the most effective Digital PR tactics that we utilise at Cedarwood include:

📌Newsjacking – identify a newsworthy topic and place your client at the centre of the conversation. This can be done proactively (researching events in advance) or reactively, like when we recreated Harry and Meghan’s Oprah garden backdrop for a client in the garden furniture sector. Monitoring the media and turning around newsjacking content efficiently can be a speedy way to secure links, and highlight your clients’ expertise.

📌Data-Led Campaigns – another expertise-driven approach to Digital PR is a data-led campaign. We recommend using free sources like ONS Data and Google Trends to pull together your data, then back this up with a fresh angle and some expertise from your client. And…data doesn’t have to be dull! Here’s an example of a data-led campaign we executed for our client, looking into the cheapest roast dinners. These campaigns can then be outreached to gain some great backlinks.

📌Thought Leadership – this is another effective approach for Digital PR which positions a senior representative of your client’s brand as an expert in their field. Done effectively, it’s a failsafe way to build trust with your audience, and secure quality links back to your site. Identify your target audience and pain points that your client could provide valuable insights on. Then, create helpful content, remembering to update it regularly to keep it fresh. LinkedIn is a fab place to share thought leadership PR and reach the decision-makers in your industry, as are email newsletters.

Include linkable visual content

One of our favourite backlink hacks is to create engaging assets that other websites will want to link to. 

Venngage found that 41% of marketers say infographics and illustrations help them reach their marketing goals. If you create an infographic or any other type of visual, people are more likely to naturally cite you as a source. This is because visual content is appealing and sharable to a user. Design your content with creativity and intention. Make sure that your assets are accurate and well-researched, even whilst being aesthetically pleasing!

Source: Venngage

Competitor backlink analysis

Conducting competitor backlink analysis is a great way to create backlinks for yourself at no cost. Begin with using an SEO software to pull together a list of the various websites that are providing backlinks for your competitor sites.

>Enter the competitor’s domain address into a tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs.

>They’ll do the hard work for you and identify a list of domains that link to the competitor’s website.

>Then, set about reviewing these domains, highlighting the ones with high authority and a good domain score that are relevant to you.

>From here, you can then begin backlink outreach. Research the company behind the domain and find the best person to contact to discuss a backlinking opportunity.

*Another top tip is to make use of the Skyscraper Technique when looking at competitors’ sites. This is a proven process in which you find successful content that has earned a hefty amount of links, create better content, and then promote it to those who linked to the original piece.*

Source: Ahrefs

Reach out with relevant and useful content

You won’t be offering these domains a financial incentive for the backlink so, instead, you need to provide high-quality content that they will want to link to. It is essential that your content is well-researched, informative and readable. You may not have success with every domain that you reach out to, but leveraging your expertise to produce genuinely useful content will make it far more likely to be shared.

High-quality content is the gift that keeps on giving because every time a blog or business features your research, you’ll receive a white hat backlink (a link attained ethically through good SEO practice).

A failsafe way to make sure you’re producing informative content is to publish ‘ultimate guides’ or ‘step by step guides’ – like the one you’re reading! Users love simplicity and content that’s digestible, which a step by step guide is great at.

Get featured on resource pages

Another simple but effective way to secure backlinks is resource page link building. A resource page is a curated list of helpful links, and they exist for pretty much any niche topic you can think of. From information on the best tools for baking, to resources for dog training.

Being featured on a resource page sends a powerful signal to Google about the authority of your site and that you may be a thought leader here.

Resource link building is a sustainable SEO strategy because it’s clean and easy. There’s no money involved and, whatever niche you operate in, there will always be a number of good websites building resource pages relevant to what you do.

To get your website listed on these sorts of pages, all you need to do is fill out a form that will look something like this:

Carry out an audit for broken links

As we know, broken links will not get Google on side. Search engines prioritise overall web page experience when deciding where sites will rank, and a broken link causes frustration for the user.

Broken link building is the process of finding broken links on pages within your field and reaching out to the site manager with replacement resources of your own. It’s relatively simple and a win-win situation – the webmaster fixes their broken link, and you achieve an updated backlink so your previous efforts are not ignored.

So, how do you go about this? Well, firstly navigate to “Backlink Analytics” on one of the softwares we mentioned earlier (Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush). Then, type in a domain related to your niche and click the “Indexed Pages” tab. Click the “Broken Pages”/”Broken Links” box and look for any broken pages focused on topics that you have existing content for (or could create content about).

Effective Guest Blogging

The final effective way to get white hat backlinks is to find relevant guest blogging opportunities. It allows you to build your business’ backlink profile organically because you can include links to your own resources in the blog.

This is another mutually beneficial method; websites will welcome your guest blog content because it adds fresh topics to their content schedule for little effort on their end.

When looking for these opportunities, search for sites that:

  1. Accept guest post contributions
  2. Are relevant to your industry or services
  3. Have a higher domain authority (you can use Moz’s link explorer tool to check a site’s DA)

In particular, it’s definitely worth being fussy about a site’s domain authority score because the higher the number, the more traffic your backlink will receive.

Another important note is that Guest Blogging, like any effective SEO tactic is victim to abuse and manipulation. This is something that Google has cottoned on to, and you can be penalised for ‘spammy’ practices including: backlink-cramming, repeatedly publishing on the same website, writing thin content purely for the sake of a backlink etc.

Therefore, this technique should be used with caution and following best practices. As long as you’re producing relevant, original content for authoritative websites then you will be fine, and hopefully reaping benefits in no time.

Build high authority and relevant backlinks with Cedarwood Digital

Here at Cedarwood Digital, we have a talented and experienced team of Digital PR and SEO specialists on hand to provide a professional backlinking service. On your behalf, we reach out to reliable domains to secure high-quality backlinks to content published on your online site (created either by us or your in-house writers).

Why not speak to one of the friendly members of our team to get your backlinking strategy moving today. You can either send us your enquiry in an email to [email protected], or fill out our 2-minute form.