A “Brand Mention” isn’t a link. Instead someone writes an article, blog post or share on social media about a particular brand. Just as with speaking with someone you might say … ‘I got my new TV on Amazon’. Even though I have typed this here, you’ll notice amazon isn’t a link. You can’t click it. But Google recognizes the brand .. Amazon. And behind the scenes at google, it counts as a ranking factor.
In your case you need your brand mentioned. The most common place is in social media.
Social Media Signals
Google can see some of what’s shared on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. When a page on your website is shared, Google counts that as a social signal. Don’t confuse this with sharing just anything on social media. The page needs to be shared. Here is an example on Facebook. Facebook used the page name to retrieve a picture from that page as well as the some info from the page.
Local Listings (Citations)
A citation is a page or directory that lists your business name, business address, and phone number. Also called NAP. In most cases, directories will include a place for your Website too.
Yelp.com is a really great example of a Citation. When you setup a free listing on Yelp, you provide your NAP and website. Google will see it and count it as a citation. But, for citations to be counted, your NAP must match what’s on your website.
You should already be asking every client for a review of your products or services. But WHERE are you asking people to leave them? A hand written note or postcard doesn’t help you in the search results. Yes, those would be great to show on your website. But to get you real help in the search results, they need to be done by that individual on a public site. The top 2 places are your Google Map listing (also called google my business) and on Yelp.com. There are several other sites too. It’s always good to spread your reviews around. But these are the very first places to start if you have zero reviews.
These are links on other websites that point to a page on your website. A page with a lot of backlinks tends to rank higher with all major search engines, including Google.
Notice that I said “page on your website” and not just website. Google doesn’t rank domain names. It ranks pages. So ranking cnn.com is really ranking the home page of cnn.com/index.html. So for your website backlinks need to point to the specific pages you want found in Google. That is not always your home page.
Monitoring to Remove Links with No Value
Not all website links are created equal. A good example is a celebrity recommendation. Lets say Jim Parsons of the Big Bang Theory TV show talked about you or your company. And then maybe the mayor of your city talked about you or your company. One of them has larger authority and a larger number of trusted followers.
It works the same with websites. Some have a higher authority and trust than other websites. Therefore you don’t want low authority websites to drag you down. They need to be identified and removed.