Building backlinks often requires a lot of effort on your end. You have to publish content that other blogs want to link to, send tons of emails, beg, and negotiate.
Personally, I’m a big fan of getting ‘easy’ backlinks and I’m not talking about black hat approaches. What you want to focus on are people who are already talking about your blog, but maybe forgot to include a link back to it.
Those kinds of mentions are the equivalent of low-hanging fruit when it comes to backlinks. However, the internet is a big place, so you may need some help finding them. Let’s talk about how to get there!
How to Set Up Google Alerts for Your Blog
Google Alerts is a straightforward service that tells Google to let you know anytime someone mentions something specific. For example, a lot of people use Google Alerts for their own names, just in case someone happens to talk about them online:
Every time a new mention pops up, Google will send you an email. It’s that easy. You can set up as many alerts as you want, configure what languages and regions to monitor, and how often you get notifications:
What you want to do is set up an alert for your blog’s name and to put it between quotation marks. For example, I’d write “Leaving Work Behind”:
The quotation marks are important because that tells Google you only care about mentions that contain that specific term. Without them, you’d get notifications for individual words within you search query.
Here’s where things get tricky – if your blog’s name is common, then you’ll probably have to weed through mentions that aren’t related to it. Leaving work behind is somewhat common, so that’s a big issue for us.
The less common your blog name is, the more relevant each alert you get should be. If your blog is called “Cooking Tips,” for example, you’re pretty much out of luck.
Once you’ve found mentions of your blog on the web that don’t include links, put together a list, and let’s move on to the next phase – outreach.
How to Transform Blog Mentions Into Backlinks
In my experience, if someone mentions your blog, they’re probably open to linking to it as well. All they need, in most cases, is a little prodding. What you want to do is find the contact information for whoever runs the website where they mentioned your blog. If you can’t find an email anywhere, a contact form will do:
At this stage, you don’t want to overthink your message. Go ahead and identify yourself as the owner of the blog they talked about and ask them if they wouldn’t mind adding a link to that mention:
My name is Alexander and I happened upon your article on “How to Raise Corgis” where you mentioned my blog. I’m happy to know you’re a reader and I wanted to ask if you wouldn’t mind adding a link back to it.
I’d be happy to link back to your blog as well since I’m a fan of your content and I think my audience would love to read more about corgis.
All the best,
Keep the message short and to the point. As is always the case with cold outreach, you might not get a response back, and that’s OK. That’s why, ideally, you’ll send as many of these messages as there are new mentions for your blog.
What I like to do is configure Google Alerts to send me notifications once a week. That way, I can make a list of targets, spend a little time finding contact information, and then use a template to reach out to them individually, making small tweaks each time.
If you get even a single yes from a list of mentions, that’s one extra backlink you hardly had to do any work for. Put enough of those together and your blog should rise through the rankings.
One quick note, though – you should only offer mutual links if the website you’re targeting is relevant to your audience. Every link you add to your blog posts should be relevant and useful to your audience. That’s one of the many ways you build trust with readers. If you start adding links to ‘low-quality’ sites, your reputation will take a hit.
When you use Google Alerts, you’ll know almost any time someone mentions your blog on the web. In a lot of cases, those people will forget to link back to your site, but a quick reminder is often all they need to correct it. If they don’t want to give you a backlink, then you didn’t waste anything more than a few minutes in the effort.
Although setting up Google Alerts is easy, this method still involves some level of outreach. You have to find contact information for the authors or owners of the site that mentioned you and get in touch with them. My advice is, don’t overthink it. Send a quick email asking if they’d mind adding a link back to your blog alongside their mention. If you like their content, maybe offer to link back as well.
Do you have any questions about how to get backlinks for your blog? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.
Keith Hannigan says
Good stuff. I instantly used this for my name, my company’s names, and my webpage URL.
Keep it up and thank you!
Brandon Turner says
Just saw your email about this.
Thank you for the information.
I’ve set up my Google Alerts.