Bethany Surridge blog avatar
Bethany Surridge
Nov. 12, 2021
Bethany Surridge
Nov. 12, 2021
Feb. 25, 2022

Our Top Tips To Convert Mentions Into Links

In the digital marketing industry, we all focus on how important links are. However, less attention is given to placements, and even less to successfully converting placements into links, whether that be follow or no-follow one (since Google has confirmed that nofollow links can be used as a hint for ranking purposes). This guide should tell you why it is important to convert placements, as well as top tips on how to do so!


Why we should be converting placements to links:

We spoke to our SEO Manager Oliver Sissons, about why it is so important about converting mentions into links. This is what he had to say:

“We believe that search engines like Google can keep track of mentions in some cases, although they are yet to publicly say this. You would, however, have issues connecting a brand mention with a website when the domain/brand name isn't clearly distinct from an actual phrase, so keeping track of more generic brand mentions would be impossible. This is why, wherever possible, we are converting mentions into links.”

Links are the most direct connection between the article talking about your research and the client's site. They are signals to the search engine that this authoritative outlet is talking about our client's website and wants to point their readers in the direction of it (a signal of trust).


Tip #1 – State in your press release you would like a link if the data is of use:

A recent Brighton SEO talk mentioned writing a sentence at the end of your introduction stating that your client must be credited if they end up using the data. Something as simple as:

“We hope you find this release useful. If you do end up using it, a link to [insert client] must be provided.”

From this point onwards, the journalist is fully aware that if they are to use your data, they must provide a link. Not only does having this information early on stop journalists from publishing without a link, but if they do end up publishing without a proper credit, then it is easier in the conversion email to ask them to do so, as they should already be aware that this is what you have asked them to do.  


Tip #2 – Finding your mentions

Everyone is used to using tools such as BuzzStream, Ahrefs and MajesticSEO to find their links. However, you should also get into the habit of using search commands on Google to find placements to convert into links. Not only will this help your client reach their KPI’s, but it also means personal link gains for yourself!

Here is an example of search commands for a recent PR titled ’15 European capitals all foodies must visit’ – “” + “[insert capital city] -site:’

This search command ended up bringing up news pages that featured the capital city listed in the study, and the client, meaning that 99% of the results listed were articles of the press release that didn’t include a link.

You need to make sure you are searching for your placements every 1-2 hours, to catch any mentions as soon as they come out, as this makes it more likely that they will be converted!


Tip #3 – Translating the conversion email if it is published in a foreign language

Once you have found a placement, you then need to be contacting the publication straight away so you can convert the email as soon as possible. If the journalist is foreign, a great tip is to use Google translate to translate your conversion email into their spoken language:

Translated email screenshot
Using the translated version of ‘Urgent’ in capital letters also helps. Make sure you put the original version of the email underneath the translated version, so the journalist is aware their spoken language is not your first language.

Also, within the email, be sure to use a question or give a time frame to encourage conversation. This will help you get in contact with the journalists, and hopefully get the issue resolved quicker.

Note: It is not about hounding the journalist. It is a polite exchange, which aims to remind the journalist what has already been stated in the press release about including a link.


Tip #4 – Check your mentions every day

Not every journalist will respond to your conversion emails stating that they have updated it, no matter if you ask them to or not! This is why it is so important to check your mentions every day, to ensure that you don’t email them after they have updated it, and to save you time!


Tip #5 – Follow up no more than 2/3 days later

Be sure to keep on top of your mentions and make sure you are following up no more than three days after your previous email. This will keep the journalists aware that it is a time-sensitive matter and you need it sorted urgently.


Tip #6 – Create an organised structure

In order to carry out tips 4 and 5, you need to have an organised structure to your mentions, so you know when they last got chased up and if they have already been converted. To do this, create an excel spreadsheet like so:

Spreadsheet example

This means you can easily click through your mentions each morning to see if any have been updated. Additionally, if they have not been updated you don’t need to go searching for the contact details as they are all in the same place. This will save you time and keep everything up to date!


Tip #7 – If after no updates, CC in an editor

If after a few attempts, you have checked and it is still not updated, try CC’ing in an editor. This means that they are now aware that the article needs updating, as well as the journalist. Usually, this can get mentions converted quickly!


Tip #8 – Utilise social media

If you struggle to find a contact email for the publication that has published your work, utilise social media. Simply by @’ing them or DM’ing the publication can spark alarm for the publication, and they should swiftly update your site. This should be done similar to how a conversion email would get done!

Twitter mentions


Tip #9 – Stick with it

Chasing mentions can be a very tedious job. However, if you don’t persevere with it you are more likely to slip off and end up with more mentions, and you will soon be in a vicious cycle of mention chasing. Creating a spreadsheet, noting done when and what mentions you need to chase each day is a simple, yet effective task that will make your life so much easier when it comes to converting mentions, and will also lead you to more links eventually! 😊