Citation Insights

Testing theories; Taking notes

This is where we keep our lab notes, industry analyses, how-to guides, webinars and experiment write-ups. At Citation Labs, our constant is innovation, and this blog is where we share our findings.

Plan for Spontaneity

Developing An Annual PR Promotion Plan

Sign up for our 10/7 webinar more insights & tips on PR thinking for link building & content teams. Your promotion doesn’t happen in isolation. You have to compete for attention and links with competitor activity, industry events, new product launches, research reports and breaking news stories. If you launch a piece of content at ... Read more...

Read Post »

Opportunity Prospecting

A Webinar With Habits & Hacks to Enhance Your Campaign

We're not supposed to pick favorites, but this may be our most beloved webinar so far. It's no secret that Garrett loves prospecting in a way that can only be described as "devout and fanatical," so he couldn't wait to share his favorite tips during this session.

Read Post »

Link Prospector Prices Are Going Up

Get Grandfathered Into Lower Rates Before July 31

The Citation Labs + Whitespark Link Prospector has developed with the times, from a link building research tool to an engine that includes a journalist and blogger database. And bigger things are coming. Get grandfathered into Link Prospector pricing by July 31.

Read Post »

Meeting Customers Where They Live

Building Brand And Authority Links Via Qualitative Research

What do our customer groups call themselves? Our customers are more than buyer personas; they’re members of communities and online audiences. Most content marketing and link building efforts lack audience-centric design. Focus on the person behind the persona, and you’ll reap the rewards.

Read Post »

601 Linker-Valued Audiences

Serve Them Well, Earn More Links

Our content creation series has been pretty theory-heavy thus far. In an effort to make our ideas more concrete, we developed out a working list of 601 potential linker-valued audiences for your content. A linker-valued audience is just that - an audience of people who are valued, served and even cherished by linkers.

Read Post »

Link Builders and SEOs Desire PR Skills

Results from our Survey: Online PR in Link Building

At Citation Labs, we see PR as an essential component of any link building campaign, and we wanted to know if our clients and customers felt the same way. So earlier this year, we surveyed Citation Labs newsletter readers and customers with two questions in mind: How much is PR a factor in your link building efforts? How well qualified do you feel to develop your own PR campaigns? Here are our key findings.

Read Post »

Online PR Should Be an Integral Part of SEO

Results from our Citation Labs survey

As Google continues to toughen up its algorithm, search engine optimization experts (SEOs) are rushing to learn online PR skills. That’s because positive media coverage is a strong signal that a site is legitimate and useful - and therefore worthy of top positions in search engine results. Read our survey results here.

Read Post »

The Linkable Audience Guide

Find Them, Serve Them, Earn More Links

In our last post, we explained how to transform your SEO keywords into linkable topic subject areas. Now that you can turn SEO Keywords into linkable topics, we’re concentrating on discovering and defining the linkable audiences who generate links.

With a linkable topic and audience, you’ll be fully equipped to spec and create your own linkable content pieces for outreach!

Read Post »

Linkable Content Brainstorming

From SEO Keywords to Proven Content Topics

Linkers go for evergreen, informative, educational content. The process outlined in this post is part of our content generation routine here at Citation Labs. It helps us determine topic areas for that content from a starting list of SEO keywords.

A video discussion with Garrett French, and new resource: the Linkable Content Brainstormer Spreadsheet.

Read Post »

The 1 Question To Ask Before Determining Content Strategy

Until we answer this question, we don't start writing.

Whether we’re prospecting for links pages, bloggers or even broken links to rebuild, it’s important to keep the needs of our intended audience in mind. This article, the first in our series on content strategy for link builders, explains the difference among content audiences and the type of content each seeks.

Read Post »

The Free Co-Citation Analysis Tool

Prioritize Your Outreach Efforts

Our new Co-Citation Tool organizes domains or URLs by the number of outbound links to sites relating to your content or website. The philosophy is: pages linking to three or four related sites are much more likely to add a link to our content than pages linking to just one related site. So why not go after those highly linking sites first?

Read Post »

Introducing New Language Prospecting Options

A new feature in our Link Prospector tool

Great news, Prospectors! We're releasing new language prospecting options in the Link Prospector Tool, meaning our customers will soon be able to search for blog partnership opportunities among native speakers of many more European languages. We're partnering with UK-based communications agency, ICS-digital, to create and implement these new international language report types.

Read Post »

PR Editorial Links & How You Get Them

A Webinar With Garrett French, Ken McGaffin and James Clark of Adaptainer

Today Ken McGaffin & Garrett French spoke with James Clark of Adaptainer, a successful shipping container company that hasn't quite reached its PR potential. Looking at the news coverage Adaptainer has received, we mapped out a PR plan for building highly influential online media links, using The Golden Rules of Link Building.

Read Post »

Live Link Building Speed Consultations

A Video with Eric Ward & Garrett French

We brainstormed link-building, content creation, PR opportunities and business growth ideas for ten businesses, randomly selected from 101 newsletter respondents.

See how even companies that describe their product as "very boring" have great content waiting to be found, and hopefully, you'll gain an idea or two for your business.

Read Post »

Press List Prospector

A Video Tutorial of a New Feature in our Link Prospector Tool

We've been beta testing it for a couple of weeks, and we're finally ready to announce the arrival of a new feature in our Link Prospector tool.

Our three new report types search through Google News to help prospectors and PR teams build thorough press lists for any topic area.

Read Post »

12/18 Webinar – Link Building Brainstorm with Eric Ward & Garrett French

Announcing our Webinar on 12/8

On Thursday, December 18th (at 12pm ET), Eric Ward, and Garrett French will speed brainstorm link building ideas for ten websites. They'll be developing content and outreach ideas for each business as if working for a new client.

Want your website to be considered for a free on-air speed consultation? Fill out our survey to enter.

Read Post »

PR & Link Building Webinar

A Webinar with Garrett French and Ken McGaffin

In this webinar, Ken McGaffin and Garrett French take on PR for Link Builders, discussing the types of stories that capture journalists' and readers' attention. Ken lists ways that any company, even a business in an over-saturated industry, can stand out and place unique press pieces.

Read Post »

How Online PR is a Powerful Link Building Tool

A Post from our new Director of PR Services, Ken McGaffin

Every day businesses of every size get media coverage and valuable editorial links - but many SEOs and link builders don’t quite know how to approach the media to get this type of coverage. It takes much more than just sending out a press release - it takes effort and hard work. But the opportunity is very real and the good news is that link builders will already have many of the skills they need.

Read Post »

53 Link Building & SEO Posts

A Round-up From Fall 2014

What a Fall we're having at Citation Labs - new Director of PR Services, Ken McGaffin, making our link building agency service offerings stronger than ever. We held our first webinar, and we're currently planning our second.

We're also big fans of learning from our fellow link builders. Explore our round-up of the best link building & SEO posts we've read this fall (so far!)

Read Post »

11/20 Webinar with Ken McGaffin & Garrett French

A Live PR Brainstorm Workshop

Ken McGaffin and Garrett French will use your business PR concerns to fuel the discussion on PR Strategy from a link-builder's perspective. From our first webinar, we learned that participants join with questions and ideas already brewing. This time, we're making viewer participation a key component of the Webinar. In other words, WE NEED YOUR INPUT to make this FREE WORKSHOP a success!

Read Post »

The Guide to Local Link Building Campaigns

A Citation Labs Guide

Local link building stumped us when we first began. The "local web" presents a shallow microcosm of the broader web. Topically speaking it's an inch deep and a mile wide. Our initially dismal results forced us to retool our strategy design process, which we present below.

Read Post »

10/17 Webinar Topic Announcement

Agency Hacks for the In-House Link Builder

You’ve got a small SEO team. Your organization understands the value of building links, but you don’t have the organizational power of a full-on link building agency. From prospecting to content creation to outreach (and then reporting!), it can feel like you need an office full of you-clones. How do you pull off a thorough link-building campaign with an in-house sized team?

Read Post »

Big Prospecting with Authority Anchors

A Process Guide

Though our team has passed the 30 member mark I still hold tight to link and audience prospecting. This is in part because I love the hunt, but also because the relevance of our prospects to our promoted assets massively impacts conversion rate (being on a mission helps too...).

That said, I have recently formulated a scalable and repeatable process for some of the deepest, broadest niches of audience and link opportunities that exist. Think 10s of thousands of ops at a strike. Here goes…

Read Post »

Mission-Based Marketing for Brand Visibility

(oh yes, and those link things)

Creating something to be excited and passionate about has become our first and foremost task at Citation Labs. We make sure we're "on a mission" with every new project. That's because over the past four years we've learned that exciting, passionate outreach brings us brand mentions and new audiences like nothing we've done before.

Read Post »

Link Prospecting Pro Tips

Discovering New Pages on Massive, Multi-Author Sites

Terry Van Horne of the SEOTrainingDojo presents the first video in a series of tips for using Link Prospector to perform SEO and Webmaster tasks. Use two tools to solve a common problem for anyone marketing a large website with multiple departments and webmasters constantly adding content to the site.

Read Post »

Developing Surveys for Outreach

Six Questions with Buzzstream’s Stephanie Beadell

Getting responses from email outreach can be difficult. You must ask the right questions, and crafting the perfect survey can be difficult without adequate preparation.

For expert insight into survey development, we asked Buzzstream’s Content Marketing Director Stephanie Beadell to share some of her essential tips.

Read Post »

Contact Finding + Link Outreach

Link Prospector Mastery

Congrats, Link Prospector - you've come a long way in learning how to use the link prospector tool. You've selected your link building tactic, discovered productive research phrases, dialed in your parameters to a razor focus and qualified your list down to 100 or 1000 of the best-suited prospects.

Now, at last, it's time for you to start on the final outreach portion of the process.

Read Post »

Exporting and Qualifying Your Link Prospects

Link Prospector Mastery

Congratulations, Link Prospector - you're moving right along! By now you've selected your tactic, identified some productive prospecting phrases, and dialed in your parameters.

Now, learn some next steps, including using regular expressions, tracking your non-op domains, and learning about special options the Link Prospector provides.

Read Post »

Setting the Advanced Targeting Parameters for Useful Prospects

Link Prospector Mastery

Once you've selected your report type and found some productive research phrases, it's time to "dial in" your prospects with the Link Prospector's Advanced Targeting Parameters. Setting the parameters can help reduce your time spent qualifying your results by "weeding out" or narrowing the non-prospects before you even download your results.

Read Post »

Choose Your Link Building Tactic

Link Prospector Mastery

This is part of a series on using the Link Prospector. After creating a new campaign for your account (campaigns are essentially "folders" for organizing your link prospects) it's time to click "Find Prospects" and pick a report type. The report types in the Link Prospector are roughly organized around tactics. Here are a list of the report types, the tactics they support, the resources you're likely to need and any notes.

Read Post »

5 Advanced Guest Post Prospecting Tips for the Link Prospector

A guest post by James Agate, founder of Skyrocket SEO

My team and I are pretty heavy users of the link prospector tool. Combined with a couple of other sources, Link Prospector helps us to find a large number of guest posts consistently every month for our clients.

Today, I'm sharing a few of the little tips and tricks we’ve uncovered after several months of heavy usage of the tool.

Read Post »

Citation Labs Process and Tools for Large Scale Broken Link Building

Find & Analyze Thousands of Resources Quickly

The process we outline is not elegant, but it does help you cover a lot of ground - you can find and analyze thousands of resources and root out the dead pages and sites quite quickly. I've been building 40+ links a month with this method for one of my clients, and selling BLB prospecting as a service to others. As I've said before, link rot is your friend.

Read Post »

New Bulk Backlink Checker Tool

Input URLs, Check for Links

In some types of campaigns - value-add commenting and broken link building for example - you know the URL where your link will show up, assuming it gets published. And until today though I've always had to go, URL by URL, to see if my links went up. So I built a bulk backlink checker tool for my fellow link monkeys out there!

Read Post »

List-Scrape Prospecting for Link Builders

List Scraping In a Nutshell

Link builder, there remain deep wells of link prospect opportunity... Even if you've queried every last prospect from Google and snatched every last link from your competitors' backlink profile. If you can make the right offer and have a ready team for outreach then list-scrape prospecting could add a steady stream of powerful links to your portfolio.

Read Post »

Review: Gab Goldenberg’s “7 Curiously Obvious Rules” SEO Book

With "Advanced SEO's 7 Curiously Obvious Rules," Gab identified and filled a "necessary niche" in the SEO Book space. His work is more accessible and engaging than the (necessary reading) Art of SEO, and narrow enough to make itself a requirement on book shelves containing Aaron Wall's sprawling (and mandatory) SEOBook. And while his is certainly a book about SEO, and contains fresh, timeless advice, it's more a book that urges its readers to retool their mindset.

Read Post »

15 Questions on Broken Link Building

An interview with Nick LeRoy, the Minneapolis SEO

Nick LeRoy, the Minneapolis SEO, adds to the broken link building interview series that began with Melanie Nathan and moved next to Napoleon Suarez. I'm conducting these interviews to add to my knowledge base for my August 25th webinar: The Content Marketer’s Guide to Broken Link Building.

Read Post »

53 Broken Link Building Resources

A Round-Up

I'm currently at work on a sort of "multi-tool" for large scale broken link building. Obviously I'm learning by doing, but reading definitely adds to my education that culminated in the launch of the Broken Link Building tool!

Here are broken link building tools, articles, interviews, forum posts, videos and link rot information that you may find useful in your efforts as well

Read Post »

Broken Link Building: How Napoleon Suarez Gets 8-12% Conversions

An interview with Napoleon Suarez of SEO Company Seer Interactive

Big thanks to Napoleon Suarez of SEO Company Seer Interactive for generously contributing to my education on broken link building... I will be citing both him and expert broken link builder Melanie Nathan in my upcoming webinar: The Content Marketer's Guide to Broken Link Building.

Read Post »

5 Key Units of Expertise

On the Classification of Expertise Structures for Content Marketers

Through marketing with tips and tip inventory creation I came to think of tips as the smallest expressible unit of expertise. From a research query perspective, tips are quite easy to extract from a market's community of practice.

But what about larger and more complex units of expertise?

Read Post »

Towards a Methodology for Classifying & Collating Market Research Queries

Marketers who develop a methodology for classifying, collating and documenting their market research queries facilitate, speed up and create meaningful work segmentation opportunities at all stages of a content marketing campaign. This article outlines not a methodology, but the elements I believe are required for developing your own methodology.

Read Post »

11 Suggested Columns for Your Tip Inventory Spreadsheet

Tips are the distilled, actionable wisdom of subject matter experts. Tips become apparent to the subject matter expert as his general principles encounter reality. For the content marketer, creating a tip inventory of a market's knowledge provides a deeper understanding of a market's pains and opens up the opportunities outlined in this post.

Read Post »

A Brief Introduction to “Subject Matter Phrases”

For Content Marketing Research

Every market comprises a universe of subject matter phrases that, once discovered and cataloged, provide a marketing researcher's basis for mapping, understanding and engaging that market or market segment with content. These phrases enable a researcher to identify a market vertical's content needs, its subject matter experts, its publishers and its potential content-promotion targets.

Read Post »

Link Building Agency Interview

With Arnie Kuenn & Michael Schwartz of Vertical Measures

While link building techniques are important for marketers to follow, I find that the nuts and bolts of link building campaign design and execution - especially at the agency level - gets short shrift.

Agency-side link builders Arnie Kuenn and Michael Schwartz share how they design link building campaigns, manage clients, and design & price their services.

Read Post »

Link Building Agency Interview

Julie Joyce of Link Fish Media

While link building techniques are important for marketers to follow, I find that the nuts and bolts of link building campaign design and execution - especially at the agency level - gets short shrift.

Agency-side link builder Julie Joyce shares how she designs link building campaigns, manages clients, and designs & prices her services.

Read Post »

Link Building Agency Interview

Jason Walker of Performics

While link building techniques are important for marketers to follow, I find that the nuts and bolts of link building campaign design and execution - especially at the agency level - gets short shrift.

Agency-side link builder Jason Walker shares how he designs link building campaigns, manages clients, and designs & prices his services.

Read Post »

Link Building Agency Interview

Joe Davies of Teknet

While link building techniques are important for marketers to follow, I find that the nuts and bolts of link building campaign design and execution - especially at the agency level - gets short shrift.

Agency-side link builder Joe Davies shares how he designs link building campaigns, manages clients, and designs & prices his services.

Read Post »

Link Building Agency Interview

Peter Attia of Home Improvement Leads

While link building techniques are important for marketers to follow, I find that the nuts and bolts of link building campaign design and execution - especially at the agency level - gets short shrift.

Agency-side link builder Peter Attia shares how he designs link building campaigns, manages clients, and designs & prices his services.

Read Post »

83 New Link Building Resources

The "Link Cops and Pandejos" Edition

3 weeks have blown by since I announced the launch of Citation Labs with a roundup... I hope you had enough time to read through all 89 resources in my last edition cause you've got 83 more now.

Read Post »

89 New Link Building Resources

The Citation Labs Launch Edition

Let's get this round up kicked off with a bit of news - I'm starting a link building agency, Citation Labs! You can read more about Citation Labs on our About page, and do check out my training and custom campaign services. I look forward to hearing from you -

Read Post »