Link Building Brainstorm: Panelboards, Switchboards and Switchgear

Building links to a category page about… Panelboards? Switchboards? Switchgear?  Where do you even start with a page like this on Here’s the above the scroll view on desktop (doubtful there’s much mobile traffic): OOF. Visit the page then come back as we unpack our approach to building links into seemingly inscrutable, obscure or ... Read more

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Link Building Services
in an AI World

Google’s scared of OpenAI’s significant release of ChatGPT (as are Facebook and Microsoft, but let’s stay focused on search for this article).  From what I’ve gathered, Google’s fears AI primarily because its answer context doesn’t provide clickable advertising opportunities. This lack of advertising opportunity (and a troubling, persistent bias problem) is what led to Google ... Read more

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Buyer’s Journey Link Building: a Campaign Design Worksheet

Let’s say it’s your job to improve the rankings of the sofa category page on your employer’s ecommerce website. Skip glib, superfluous intro >> Your technical, onpage optimizations and DA are – miraculously – at parity with the top 10 competitors for “buy a sofa” and yet your page languishes deep on page 2.  You ... Read more

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Announcing ZipSprout

Our Sister Agency for Local Engagement

It’s not a secret that we’ve been focused on local engagement for the past few months. But to make it official, here’s the news: Citation Labs now has a sister agency – ZipSprout – focused on finding local engagement opportunities for national brands. ZipSprout finds opportunities with local nonprofits, events and associations, not with national billboard or television brands ... Read more

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The Ultimate Guide to Local Engagement Strategies

by Garrett French & Megan Hannay

[Psst! Want more? Watch our webinar on local engagement.] Billboards, radio, television and print publication ads are an essential but ultimately limited method for reaching your local customers. At Citation Labs, we help nation-wide clients establish or expand their presence at the local level – online and off, and we’ve noticed that there are a multitude of ... Read more

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Webinar: Citation Labs’s 2nd Annual Live Brainstorm

Eric Ward, Shari Thurow and Garrett French on Link Building and Site Usability

We had way too much fun live brainstorming with Eric Ward last year, so this holiday season, we did it again. And this time we invited site usability expert (and Citation Labs friend), Shari Thurow. We gathered site suggestions from webinar participants before the session and chose four to analyze off-the-cuff during the webinar: At ... Read more

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Earn 50+ Authority Links/Month

How To Build a Content & Production Calendar

Our "Agency Hacks 2" webinar is coming Thursday, July 23. Learn how to put some of the tips from this article into practice, and add on to your link builder tool belt with more organization and enterprise-level execution tips.

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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!

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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.

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How To Approach Broken Link Building in 2015

A Video With Garrett French

Garrett French discusses how to approach broken link building from the right perspective. This is a great resource for teams and link builders who are looking into BLB tactics, but just aren't sure where to start. We highly recommend this video for all new users of our Broken Link Building tool.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Agency Hacks for the In-House Link Builder

Our 10/17 Webinar

We held our first Webinar - "Agency Hacks for the In-House Link Building Team" on Friday, October 17. If you missed it, or would like to watch again, the video and Webinar notes are below. Or, to skip to a hack or audience question of the video, check out the minute-by-minute here.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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2 New Tools for Outreach-Based Campaigns

Contact Finder + Outbound Link Scraper

I have a confession. It’s more than a little embarrassing… Off and on for the last several years I’ve gathered contact info by hand. Yup that’s right, I’d spend hours going site by site to copy/paste contact us form pages and email addresses into a spreadsheet. Usually for batches of 100 or fewer sites. Sometimes ... Read more

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A Networking Recipe for the Micro Business

Finding Key Relationships Using the Link Prospector

As an itsy-bitsy entity you have all sorts of advantages that your behemoth cousins do not. A teensy-weensy effort is infinitely better than no effort at all. With a few hours and few dollars a month you will be able to outshine 90% of your competitors.

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The Ultimate Guide to Phone-Based Outreach for Link Building

Leverage Conversation With an Actual Human Being

In a world where our inboxes fill up faster than a Justin Bieber concert, email has become a less effective form of communication. We get backed up, our inbox becomes clogged and things get lost.

That’s why I’m proposing a radical way of link building: Pick up the phone.

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How to Use the Link Prospector for Multilingual Prospecting

How to set up a report for non-English prospects

We get a small but steady trickle of inquiries about using the link prospector in languages other than English. The answer, in short, is YES, absolutely.

The Link Prospector now supports searches in some non-English languages, including French, Spanish, Dutch, German or Portuguese.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Finding Highly Productive Research Phrases

Link Prospector Mastery

The Link Prospector takes your research phrases and combines them with tactic-specific footprints. This is what we use to find prospects for you. Your research phrases determine how useful and relevant your prospects will be. Learn our three rules for selecting successful research phrases.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

A Review

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.

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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.

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4 Prospecting Approaches for Broken Link Builders

Broken Link Building Tips

Prospecting for broken link building opportunities typically begins with a "seed set" either of competitor/relevant sites to check for 404s, relevant pages with lists of links and old/niche directory pages.

You can also use the new Broken Link Finder tool for industrial-strength broken link prospecting.

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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

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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.

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Broken Link Building Tips

An Interview with Melanie Nathan

In preparation for my upcoming webinar - The Content Marketer's Guide to Broken Link Building (August 25th 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM PDT) I sent some "best-practices" questions over to Edmonton SEO Melanie Nathan, creator of a formalized broken link building process.

Read her broken link building tips here.

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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?

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Towards a Methodology for Classifying & Collating Market Research Queries

For Content Marketing Campaigns

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.

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48 Query Stems for Creating a Tip Inventory

For Content Marketing Research

Combine these tip-stems with your subject matter phrase roots to create an initial body of research queries for use in your favorite search engine or search scraper tool. These queries are meant to be used in conjunction with your tip inventory spreadsheet.

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11 Suggested Columns for Your Tip Inventory Spreadsheet

The How-To for "How-To"s

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.

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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.

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Link Building Agency Interview #5

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.

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Link Building Agency Interview #4

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.

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Link Building Agency Interview #3

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.

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Link Building Agency Interview #2

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.

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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.

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