What Is Link Reclamation And Why Should You Do It?
Link reclamation is a process of searching the internet for all the mentions of your company that do not link out to your website and asking whoever is responsible for the relevant page if they will provide a link out to you in their mention of your brand.
The reason behind doing this is that mentions of your company on the internet that link to your company’s website deliver far more SEO value than ones that do not. Link reclamation can therefore see you maximise your return on investment on any marketing or PR effort that has left a digital footprint.
It is, in essence, a very straightforward link building tactic.
Link reclamation has 5 stages, these are:
- Finding web pages that mention your company but do not link out
- Qualifying your targets and seeing if they are worth asking for a link
- Finding the contact details of the people responsible for the content of these pages
- Reaching out to these people and asking if they could link to you
- Following up with your prospects
Here is how to do each of these steps.
Finding Web Pages That Mention Your Company But Do Not Link Out
The best way to find pages that mention your company but do not link out is with a Google search.
To do this you need to put together a list of keywords that uniquely identify your business (or as near to this as possible). This means that if that keyword is on a page, chances are it will be in reference to your business.
These keywords will vary from business to business, but common ones include:
- Your brand name
- The full name of key members of your business
- Your domain name
- Any unique products or services that you offer
- The name of any case studies or research that you have published, or events that you have put on
Once you have a list of these keywords, you then need to put them in this format:
So for example, a search around the keyword: marketing.com.au would be:
This search would pull up in Google any webpage that had ‘marketing.com.au’ somewhere on the page, but was not the website itself.
Not pages that mention your brand are worth reaching out to. This brings us to the second stage: qualifying out targets
Qualifying Your Targets And Seeing If They Are Worth Asking For Links
Once Google has shown you all the websites that reference your company, it’s now time to see if these websites are actually worth approaching for a link.
You can tell whether a website is worth asking for a link from bases on the following criteria:
- Do they currently link out? You can find this out by clicking ctrl-F and searching for your keyword. Does their mention of your company already link back to you? If so then there is no point asking for a link.
- Are they a social media, forum, or other kind of website where content is generated by users rather than a website owner? Links on these sites are no-followed and therefore not worth pursuing.
- Does the article mention your company among a load of other companies, all of whom are unlinked? If so then they are unlikely to make an exception and link to your site.
- Does the article in question actually reference your business, or does it just mention your keyword incidentally? If this is the case then you have no grounds for asking for a link.
If the web page in question does not meet any of these criteria then it is worth reaching out to.
Mentions of your company in the press, on blogs, on websites of non-competing companies and on websites of non-commercial organisations such as charities and local government websites are all worth targeting.
Finding The Contact Details Of The People Responsible For The Content Of These Pages
Finding the contact details of the people responsible for managing the content on your target page is probably the most time-consuming part of the whole reclamation process.
There are two steps to finding the right contact details for these people. You first need to identify the correct decision makers and then find their email address (and phone number if you can).
Identifying Decision Makers
The person responsible for the content on a webpage, and therefore the person most likely to respond positively to a links reclamation request, differs between different types of websites.
Generally, when you perform link reclamation, you can categorise your target websites into three broad types.
- Media and editorial websites: these include newspapers, magazines, and industry publications
- Websites of other businesses: often these are businesses that have some sort of connection to you, either having worked with you in the past or local to you.
- Smaller, personal blogs: These are less common, however, if you have done some work within your industry or local community, you may receive some coverage from smaller editorial websites in these areas.
For each of these website types, the decision makers are different as the organisations behind them are structured differently. Here is a quick breakdown of the most likely decision maker for each type of website
Media And Editorial Websites:
These can be tricky to work out due to the fragmented nature of the journalism industry. Many journalists and writers are freelancers, meaning that even if they are the author of the piece that mentions your company, they may not have access to the backend of your target website.
If the author of the article is a permanent staff member, then they are the best person to reach out to. It is worth cross-referencing the name of the writer in question with the target site’s “about us” or LinkedIn page to see if they are a permanent member of staff.
Many journalists have active Twitter accounts, so if you search their name in Twitter you can often see if they are a permanent writer for a specific publication or a freelancer. If it is the former then you should reach out to them.
If you are in doubt whether the article in question was written by a permanent writer or a freelancer, then it is worth reaching out to the editor of the section of the publication where your target article is featured. For smaller teams, the digital editor may also be a good option.
You can usually find the editors’ names and email addresses on the “about us” or “contact us” pages of larger editorial websites.
Websites Of Other Businesses:
For larger businesses, you want to contact someone in the marketing team. Ideally the digital marketing team or content team. They are most likely to understand what you are asking, and to have access to the back end of their website.
For smaller businesses that do not have a dedicated marketing team, it is worth reaching out to whoever’s name is listed as being the author of the post. If no name is listed then contact the most senior person in the company that you can find.
Smaller blogs often have just one person in charge of their content. They are the decision-maker in this scenario.
Finding Email Addresses:
The first places to look for email addresses are in the about and contact pages of websites. If you can only find generic company emails in these parts of the website then it’s worth using an email finding tool, with Hunter.io being a personal recommendation.
Hunter.io is a chrome extension that can help you find the email addresses associated with a website.
These email finding tools may not give you the exact email of the person that you are looking for, but they often give you the email structure that an organisation uses (firstname.lastname@example.org for example).
Once you have the email structure and a decision-makers name, then just plug the relevant name into the structure, wrap your speculated email in quotes, and enter it into Google.
If there are any instances of this specific email on the internet then this search will force Google to reveal it. If Google does not show any such email then it is not present on the internet. In these instances just use the generic company email and FAO it to the relevant person in your subject line.
If you can get the decision-makers personal phone number then this is worth doing. However, if you can only find general company phone numbers then ignore these as it is not worth your time trying to get through to the right people just to ask for a link.
Be sure to keep all the details of your target sites, decision makers, and their contact details in a Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet.
Reaching Out To Decision Makers And Asking If They Could Link To You
Once you have a list of sites with decision makers and their email, it’s time to start outreach.
Link reclamation outreach has the following elements:
- An eye catching subject line that indicates your intention
- An introduction to who you are
- A link to the page that mentions your company
- A thank you for the mention
- A request for a link
- A “thanks in advance” for adding your link.
Here is an example of such an email:
Keep your email friendly, and make it as easy as possible for someone to add the link by showing the page that your company is mentioned, as well as the part in the article where the mention is.
Following Up With Your Prospects
You will want to follow up with your prospects. Once 5 days after the initial contact, and again two weeks after the second contact.
Do not follow up more than this as it can harm your brands image as well as any future relationship you might have with the target in question
Extra Points To Think About
It is worth mentioning that link reclamation using this methodology has between a 25-50% success rate. You, therefore, should not attempt it unless you have 10 or more good targets to work with.
The more time you spend finding the correct decision maker and their email, and personalising your outreach, the better your conversion rate will be.
Link reclamation, especially with larger media sites, tends to work better when you leave a gap between the initial publishing the mention of your brand and your request for a link.
This is because there are lots of SEOs who actively monitor the internet for unlinked link mentions and outreach straight away. This annoys publishers, who are in turn less likely to link out. It’s therefore worth intentionally leaving a bit of time between the initial mention and your link request.
For some further links reading, check out these Marketing.com.au articles:
- 10 Proven Ways to Earn Links to Your Website
- How to Obtain High Quality Links with Influencer Marketing
- How To Leverage Quora To Build Thought Leadership And Drive Leads
- 5 Ways to Increase Visibility and Engagement for Your Online Brand
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