Link building is important, but what if that went away? Click here to learn more about navigating linkless content and what it could mean for you.
Did you know that Google uses over 200 ranking factors in its algorithm?
With so many things to consider when you’re trying to reach that coveted first spot among Google’s search engine results page (SERPs), it can start to feel like you’re stumbling through the dark for a light switch. With as much research as marketers have done about this algorithm, though, we have a pretty good idea about some of the things that make a difference, and linkless backlinks are one of them.
What is linkless backlinking, though? What does it have to do with your brand, and how can it help rank higher? There’s no link, so Google won’t catch it, right?
Read on to learn the answer, and how to implement this practice into your marketing strategy.
What Are Linkless Backlinks?
It might sound confusing, but linkless backlinks are actually simple. It’s a reference to a specific website or brand, but there’s no anchor text or link provided. So, if another blog mentions your website or social media without embedding your personal link, then that’s a linkless backlink.
It might seem counterintuitive, right?
Content creators and marketing specialists have placed such an emphasis on link building and the power it can have on your SEO strategy, but the same can actually be said for linkless mentions.
What Can Linkless Mentions Do for Your Business?
Search engines are actually beginning to pick up on linkless mentions of companies, and they’re treating them like linked ones. That means that these mentions are still contributing to your website and brand’s overall reputation, just like linked mentions do.
Think about it: backlinks are so valuable for SEO, but they’re sought after by everyone — including scammers and untrustworthy sources.
The most organic mentions and referrals can come from people who mention the brand but don’t add the link, and Google takes that into consideration.
Why Are Linkless Mentions Important?
While Google hasn’t really gone into detail about how these mentions factor into their overall algorithm, they still play a part in how you rank. We also know that they at least contribute to your overall ranking.
If someone mentions your brand, business, product, or website in their blog post without a link, then they’re going to have to search your name to find out more about what was mentioned. If they do that and then decide to buy something, you just got an organic lead, which are huge in marketing (and sometimes hard to come by).
The best part? It was free, and you didn’t have to do anything differently to gain that sale.
How to Get Started With Them
Sure, you know that linkless mentions are important, but how can you start incorporating them into your marketing strategy? Here are a few ideas to get started.
1. Track Your Mentions
The first step to getting started with linkless mentions is setting up a system in which you can track them. You can do this in one of two ways: alerts and software.
With alerts, it’s as simple as setting up a Google alert with your brand, business, or product names. You’ll get an email each time those names pop up anywhere on the internet.
With programs, they’re going to conduct searches on and keep track of your brand mentions with a process called sentiment analysis. They’ll typically collect all of your brand mentions, and then bundle them with a cumulative score of negative, neutral, or positive.
With both these tools, it’s easier for you to respond quickly when negative mentions show up or even network with those who give your brand positive mentions.
2. Check the Reviews
You might already encourage your customers to leave reviews, but if you don’t, then now is definitely the time to start. Taking the time to actively ask for reviews and ratings can be incredibly effective when you’re seeking out brand mentions. You can even offer discount codes for those who leave reviews on your products.
What you probably shouldn’t do is offer discount codes or other freebies for leaving a positive review. While it sounds great in theory, some customers can take that to mean something negative (like buying good reviews). It’s best to offer an incentive for customers who share their thoughts while letting your product speak for itself.
With customer reviews, you can also track the negative ones and respond to or attempt to fix any problems customers might’ve had.
3. Set Social Standards
Like customer reviews, staying active on social media is another important thing to do for your business. Not only can it help your brand gain revenue, but it can also help you get to know what your target audience is into.
Staying up-to-date on trends is essential, and social media is a great way to stay connected with your followers and to engage with them meaningfully. That means responding to comments, stories, and your direct messages. It also means hosting surveys and competitions or even posting polls in your stories.
The more you can engage with your customers in ways that make them feel valued, the more likely they are to spread the word about you — whether through word-of-mouth or on the internet.
4. Take a Look Around
While your focus is always going to be primarily your brand, it’s also smart to take a look at what your competition has going on. They can provide a lot of valuable insight, and it’s best to make conducting market research a regular part of your marketing strategy.
What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong? You can use that information to leverage your own strategies and to rethink what you’re doing.
5. Engage With Influencers
If you can find a small, everyday influencer with an audience similar to yours, you should be quick to offer them a brand deal. Influencers still matter today, and they have the potential to provide you with an audience that’s set up and ready to go.
Their audiences also trust a lot of what they have to say, and they look to their favorite influencers for product recommendations all the time.
The best place to look around, though, is in your pre-existing audience. You might be surprised to find a few influencers who already love your product (and you might find them in those Google alerts you have set up).
Advantages of Linkless Backlinking
Now that we’ve gone over how you can implement it into your marketing plan, it’s time to learn about the unique advantages this strategy has to offer. Read on to learn more.
No Worry About Links
A big setback to backlinks is that they can become outdated. You can keep them relevant through link reclamation and outreach efforts, but you don’t have to worry about that with linkless backlinks.
Unless the information that’s being mentioned becomes outdated, or they talk about a product you no longer offer, you don’t have to put in the work that comes with maintaining the backlinks you’ve received from other websites. If an old backlink is broken, you also don’t have to worry about fixing it, or reaching out the someone to fix it.
The key here, though, is to aim for receiving evergreen linkless backlinks. This could mean focusing on your services as a whole rather than a particular thing you might not always offer.
Easier to Pitch
Pitching the idea of a linkless backlink to other publishers might also be easier than attempting to pitch an entire backlink. Instead of your pitch looking something like, “Can you mention this product and include this link?” it can be something as simple as “Can you just talk about my brand somewhere in your blog? No link is needed, just the mention would be great!”
Depending on the traffic the website or blog you’re pitching to receives, you might not even need anything more than a mention.
The best part about that is (like we talked about earlier), it’s a great way to gain easy organic leads for your website and business.
So What Does This Mean for Link Building?
While linkless mentions are great, that doesn’t mean that link building is gone for good. In fact, the relationships you build through link building are important for the overall wellbeing of your business and its strategy. They’re definitely not something to dismiss completely.
Keep a Holistic Approach
While it’s clear that linkless mentions can do a lot for your business, it’s still important to keep an eye on your link-building strategy as well. While the importance of linkless backlinks might be growing, that doesn’t mean the practice of link-building is going away anytime soon.
That’s why taking a holistic approach to both these strategies is a great idea.
Stay on top of your linkless mentions. Respond to negative reviews, interact with the people who mention your brand without being asked, and focus on working with those who have a positive experience with your brand and what you have to offer. But don’t stop there.
Also, focus on how good your actual backlinks are. Make the effort to reclaim broken links, and reach out about the ones that have to be fixed by someone else. Ensure you’re interacting with reputable resources with a target audience that matches yours, and stay away from websites that will post any and every link they receive.
While guest posting is great, spam websites are never good to be associated with.
Whether you put more effort into one over the other or not is up to you, but it’s smart to keep both these methods in your strategy arsenal no matter what.
Why Link Building Matters in 2022
Link building still matters because, in short, they still play a crucial role in your long-term SEO strategy. Getting great backlinks is still going to have an effect on the amount of traffic your website receives, and it’s crucial to not downplay the importance of that fact.
There are also still new linking approaches being created, which means websites and marketing professionals are still utilizing the technique. If something can still help your business out in the long run, then why not use it?
How They’re Related
In some ways, linkless backlinking is similar to regular backlinking. Google factors authenticity and authority into a lot of things, including backlinks. It might be safe to assume the same goes for linkless backlinks.
If your brand is only ever mentioned by spam websites, then it’s probably going to have a negative impact on your website’s ranking. If you’re only mentioned by high-ranking websites with a good amount of authority, then it’s safe to assume this is a high-quality linkless backlink.
The goal for both these methods is to be mentioned by websites that create high-quality, valuable content that addresses the needs of their audience, and then in turn helps to bring you more leads and traffic.
Is a Linkless Future Possible?
Now that we’ve gone over a few of the basics, what do you think? Is linkless backlinking actually the “way of the future,” or is it simply something else to include in your marketing strategy?
While that question is for you to answer, it’s still smart to give people a way to see your services if they do end up hearing your name somewhere and want to learn more about you. That’s where .link domain names can come in handy.
No matter what you’re promoting, they’re a great place to have all your information available. Contact us today to get started.