Maria Raybould
updated

How to Track Your Online Reputation with SEMrush’s Brand Monitoring Tool

If you want to play by the rules of the digital world, you have got to be utterly visible. But, this is only one side of the story though. Knowing what the digital space has to say about you and your competitors is also a big part of your job.

Your brand reputation journey starts with tracking mentions, be they a positive review, a passing mention or a total diss.

Finding mentions can be very time-consuming and may require hours of research. We at SEMrush are no fan of working too hard, so we have introduced a tool that will save hours and hours of your time. With the new Brand Monitoring tool, you will automatically be notified of new mentions of your and your competitor’s brands and be able to analyze the results in one place.

In this guide, you will learn how to make the most out of the Brand Monitoring tool.

Discover Who Mentions You

Brand monitoring does two crucial things: it helps you identify new promotional opportunities and indicates the potential risks coming from bad mentions. Let’s see how we can address both issues in just a few easy steps.

Set Up a Campaign

If you are already registered with SEMrush, you should log into your Projects dashboard and select to set up the Brand Monitoring tool. If not, enter your details to create a free user account and set up your first Project.

Before you get started, you need to decide exactly what you want to track. This could be your brand (e.g., Amazon) or product name (Amazon books), your competitor’s brand (eBay) or a specific industry trend. Once you have defined your starting query, proceed to set up your campaign.

A window will appear first asking you for a ‘Campaign Title.’ Your next step will be to enter the main keyword for which you wish to track mentions, for example, Amazon. You also have the ability to narrow down your search by adding additional keywords to track:

  • The ‘OR’ option will allow you to search for alternative keywords. These would be any variations of your brand, different spellings, or alternate names for your brand (e.g., Amazone, AMZN).
  • The ‘AND’ option is more for specifying which mentions you are looking for. These could be more focused on a certain product or feature (e.g., books).

  • The ‘NOT’ option will remove any mentions containing your specified keyword (e.g., jobs, resume, forest).

Once you have entered your keywords, you will then be asked what language or country you would like to track your mentions in, and you can opt to receive a weekly email report at a given time.

Find Relevant Mentions On the Web

Once you set up and open your Brand Monitoring campaign, you will be redirected to the ‘Mentions’ tab. This will display all the mentions of your brand SEMrush found on the Web and io Twitter (switch between the ‘Web’ and ‘Twitter’ tabs).

Let’s start with the ‘Web’ resource feed. There are a number of filters you can apply at this step to simplify the process of working with mentions and their analysis.

  • For example, you can filter your results by their source: news, blogs or the entire Web.
  • You can set a time period to find mentions that occurred during a particular marketing campaign.
  • The search bar also gives you the option to see results by domain, mention or title.

Let’s say you need to find out whether you are mentioned by a website at all and, if so, how often. In that case, you will need to choose the 'Search by Domain' option. 

Seeing your brand name in someone’s title is always flattering. Within the same search field choose 'Search by title' to see those good people who mentioned your brand in the title. 

You can choose to narrow down your search with the 'Search by mentions' option, which will find your mentions, given a specific context. For example, for Amazon, you can add words like service or customer service, then you will only receive mentions containing those words.

Take a look at these filters in action:

The tool allows you to segment your mentions for better navigation.

For example, you can mark your mentions as read and unread. Mentions in bold are new mentions, and read mentions will be shown in gray.

You can refine your mentions list by hiding mentions, using the ‘Block domain’ button. There you can mark them as ‘Irrelevant’ or as ‘My resource’ if they are coming from your domain.

Remember that once you click on ‘Block domain’, you give the tool the green light to remove all mentions coming from that domain. Should you want to unblock the domain you have previously marked as ‘blocked’, you can always find it in the ‘Blocked resources’ tab and add it back to your mentions feed by clicking the ‘Unblock’ button.

In order to successfully manage your mentions and understand which of them need the utmost attention, you can segment your results with the help of various tags. Each individual mention will have a few controls you can use. You can star (favorite) any mentions you would like, and add tags to them. Later on, you will be able to filter your mentions by ‘Favorites’ or by the tags that are assigned to them:

If you wish to add another campaign to your project, you have the ability to add up to three. These can be created through the green 'Create New Campaign' button to the right. You can use this option if you wish to create campaigns for yourself by product or by a department in your company.

At any time, you can change which project, or campaign within a project, you are viewing via the drop-down under your project name as shown below:

Find Relevant Mentions on Twitter

Twitter is good for finding potential clients. Many companies monitor tweets with keywords that are relevant to their business, for example #runningshoes or #healthyfoods so that they can contact their owners and offer them their goods and services. Twitter is also commonly used for monitoring brand reputation, in particular, negative and positive reviews.

Now switch to the ‘Twitter’ tab. The tool will provide you with the list of your brand’s mentions found based on the same requirements as you defined earlier when you set up the campaign. To be more specific, the tool will collect all the mentions with your brand’s name:

  • In the hashtag

  • In the text of the tweet itself

  • Following an @-symbol, for example, @yourbrand

Also, you will be able to see your mentioner’s Twitter profile.

The filters allow you to fine-tune your results and see your brand’s mentions for a specific time period, or those that contain a particular word:

Discover Who Mentions You

Brand Monitoring tool finds most valuable mentions of your brand

Please specify a valid domain, e.g., www.example.com Please specify a valid domain, e.g., www.example.com

Discover Who Links to You

Backlinks in mentions should always be seen as potential conversion opportunities. Having backlinks from trusted and popular sources is also a signal to Google that you are doing well and deserve higher rankings. The Brand Monitoring tool helps you identify backlink sources that can serve as an effective marketing channel for promoting your brand.

The ‘Backlinks’ filter will help you find websites that are already linking to you and can be further exploited as great marketing channels, as well as those that don’t contain links and require some additional effort on your part to establish relationships with them.

But before you do so, make sure the resource you are trying to get in touch with is authoritative enough. Our Brand Monitoring (BM) score will help you understand if the domain is worth targeting: the higher the authority score, the harder you should try to get a backlink from them. You can filter domains by BM score to see how often and if any reputable sources are linking to your website:

Tip: if there are no backlinks on a given page, you can reach out to the author to see if they can provide you with a link, building out your backlink portfolio. If a website or an author actively mentions you and provides a link leading to your website, consider offering them more of your content so that they can refer to in their posts.

Now, go back to the top of the page where you will see the 'Mentions Volume Trend' line graph. You will be given the option to switch between your campaigns so you can analyze the number of mentions in each. You can also look up the ratio between the number of mentions and the number of backlinks: while the number of mentions is reflected in the line graph, the number of backlinks is represented by bars. You also have the ability to export the graph to a PNG file, which serves as a great visual for your clients, bosses or team members.

Tip: If you would like to add a domain to track, you can use the blue link to the right of any domains you have already entered.

Analyze Your Competitors

Tracking your competitors’ mentions and backlinks will help you understand what works for them, so you can find new opportunities and set new goals based on that. Apart from helping you monitor your own online reputation, the Brand Monitoring tool can also help you gather data on your competition.

Start off by creating campaigns to track your competitors’ mentions and backlinks. Assuming that you are still in the 'Statistics' tab from the previous step, click 'Create campaign' and fill in your competitor’s campaign details, just like we did in the first step with Amazon. You can add up to three domains at a time, for example, your domain and two of your competitors.

Now scroll down to the 'Campaign Comparison' graph to compare the volume of your and your competitors’ mentions side by side. All the competitors you have added in the previous step (in the ‘Mention Volume Trend’ graph will show in this graph too: 

To gain further insight into who is mentioning you and your competitors, visit the ‘Resources’ table. Here you will see the number of mentions and backlinks you and your competitors are getting.

You can check the number of mentions against the number of backlinks provided and contact those websites that forgot to link to you. For example, sites.google.com has mentioned Amazon 13 times but has provided only one link.

You can also get in touch with the authors linking to your competitors and tell them about your products or services.

The Brand Monitoring tool can serve as a valuable resource to your digital marketing campaign. Analyzing your, and your competitors’, mentions and backlinks will create new opportunities for your brand, like new audiences, promotion channels, and potential partnerships.

Have you had the chance to use the Brand Monitoring tool? If so, have you had any success using this tool? Please let us know in the comments below!

Discover Who Mentions You

Brand Monitoring tool finds most valuable mentions of your brand

Please specify a valid domain, e.g., www.example.com Please specify a valid domain, e.g., www.example.com
Wonderful post... This is a great post for me because last week I try to pass the Semrush certification and I failed. So I started to study every aspect, topic, and tool of Semrush but is a little bit boring just read without any compression of the real-life scenario.

And this post close the gap for me at least on the topic of "Online Reputation"
Roman Delcarmen
Hi Roman, I'm so glad you found this article helpful. We will produce more real-life scenarios like you say to help users close the gap on other topics as well.
Useful but hard to read with all those animated images, buzzing around all over the place :(
Dan Richardson
Hi Dan, I am sorry to hear you found the post difficult to read. We were hoping that these images would make it easier for users to follow the instructions step-by-step. Anyway, we appreciate your comment and will take it into account when writing our next article.