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 at the bottom of this post.

And if you’re not already signed up for the Citation Labs email Newsletter, you can sign up here for invites to future Webinars!

Agency Hacks for the In House SEO Team

Hack 1. Know The Broadest Categories of Human Concern (and How To Design Content that Intersects Them)

Small teams can still THINK BROAD.

Statistically speaking, this is where ALL the links are.


  • jobs
  • business


  • addiction
  • heart health


  • ”common core” subjects
  • ”how to” practical

Societal Ills

  • poverty
  • abuse


  • pets
  • travel

Hack 2. Prospecting within the Broadest Areas of Human Concern

High Touch v. High Volume…

Either way, it’s all about the prospects.

Phrase-Based Prospecting

  • Search Google. What related phrases exist that are “relevant enough”?

Authority Anchor-Based Prospecting

  • Phrases in a custom report, depth at 10
  • Use the domains you find (in quotes) as prospecting phrases too

Hack 3. Content is a Product

You’ve found your “ideal linkers”:

Would a 300-word article fit in with the other outbound links on these pages?

(Check out this Slideshare for more on this.)

What Would Really Make a Difference?

  • A new website?
  • A printable poster?
  • A new app?
  • A calendar or locator?

Focus on Creating:

  • High-utility (be relentlessly useful)
  • Excitement
  • Passion
  • Smaller, targeted version of successful concept for new market segment (yelp for…)
  • Improvements to existing solutions (UX/completeness/utility).

Workshop your concepts with:

  • Linkers (you can call them, you know…)
  • Business owner
  • Staff surveys
  • Customer surveys

Now make “the minimum viable product

Hack 4. Optimize Task Assignment and Team Structure

Who does what and in what order?

Here’s how we organize processes.

  • Strategy (research, content brainstorming, concept validation, prospecting directions)
  • Prospecting + Qualification
  • Content Creation
  • Contact Gathering
  • Outreach + Follow Up (+feedback to Strategy)

The question you have to keep asking is:

Am I the right person for this particular task, and is there enough of this task now or in the future to warrant outsourcing?

The Hacks are Here:

  • We NEVER put a single person in charge of all the aspects of a campaign.
  • Make sure people are concentrating on their favorite parts of the process.
  • Set numerical goals for yourself and members of your team. Having a number to shoot for makes a HUGE difference.
  • ALWAYS BE OPEN TO PIVOTS. Always be asking yourself how else you can use your new expertise. Experiment ALWAYS.

Hack 4 Questions? Tweet to #CitationLabsChat


Minute-by-Minute Outline:

Click on the time to jump to that part of the video.

Agency Hacks for the In-House SEO Team:
How a team can use our methodologies to go BIG.

3:30 – Overview of the Hacks
4:34HACK #1: The broad areas of human concern and how to decide content for them.

“We realized that some things got BIG (link-wise), and some things didn’t.”

5:49 – We outline the 5 Categories of Links (as discovered by the Citation Labs team). Thinking this way allows us to design content for maximum link-building.
– Economy
– Health
– Education
– Societal Ills
– Lifestyle
How can a given client or objective intersect with these categories?

10:13 Examples of content generation with these areas of human concern for our example client, “Bob the Plumber.”
10:25 Ideas for Economy + Bob the Plumber
11:55 Ideas for Health + Bob the Plumber
13:50 Ideas for Education + Bob the Plumber
15:18 Ideas for Societal Ills + Bob the Plumber
15:53 Ideas for Lifestyle + Bob the Plumber
17:50 How to gauge a client’s comfort with out-of-funnel content
18:55 Participant Example 1: Garrett brainstorms for a Solvent Recycling Company
22:35HACK #2: Prospecting with phrases that target the broadest areas of human concern. We want to open ourselves up to as many links as possible. If you choose the right topic, there will be thousands of related links and resource pages.

“As you’re developing concepts, you should be prospecting along the way.”

24:06 How to come up with the best prospecting phrases for your topic area.

LINK PROSPECTOR TIP: use quotes around your prospecting phrases & scrape down to 100 results.

(“authority anchors”)
30:30 One last tip for finding great prospecting keywords. See what content is being linked to from some of your target phrases.

“If you’re spending time on these linking pages, you’re getting an idea of the content that’s most important. You really can’t beat getting an eye on the page.”

34:28 Garrett answers participant question – “Why do we use inurl:links.html in addition to inurl:links when prospecting?”

36:34 HACK #3: Content is a Product
– Event calendars
– Databases (Great example at 40:10)
– Locators (Examples at 41:50)

“Information that’s difficult to come by just by a regular Google search.”

What kinds of information is difficult to find in this vertical? How do we align it with a human concern? How do we create a database around it?

42:43 “How do we create something that’s going to be USEFUL TO YOUR MARKET?” Coming up with content concepts is the best way forward.
44:16 Ideas for pinpointing problems within a target market
– surveys
– reaching out to linkers (treat them as a research partner)
46:55 Make the Minimum Viable Product
– it’s not about being lazy; it’s about being useful and experimenting
– “Get something out there.”

48:13HACK #4 Optimize Task Assignment & Team Structure
– Strategy
– Prospecting & Prospect Qualification
“We believe in building links that are real, and we prefer that over a DA of value. An editorially granted link is a valuable link.”
– Content Creation
– Contact Gathering
– Outreach & Follow Up

52:29 How another agency we respect does it (if you’d like another take on the process)
53:30 How outreach is different when you go “high touch.”
54:04 OUTREACH TIP #1: “If there is someone on your team who is naturally good at something, work with them to establish processes.”
57:18 OUTREACH TIP #2: Set very. specific. numerical outreach goals.

“If we’re doing everything else right, outreach number makes the most difference.”

58:03 OUTREACH TIP #3: Be open to pivots, with your people and with your tactics.


59:59 How many results in Google for a given query would tell me that it’s a productive query?
1:01:45 What other tools do you guys use to collect relevant data?
1:07:19 Is it possible to have accessible to the webinar document? Are we going to have a recording of the webinar?
1:07:42 I’ve used quotes along with specific prospecting and I’m not finding relevant results. What am I doing wrong?
1:11:11 How do you standardize your link prospecting process?
1:12:33 How do you handle sites that are relevant on a category level, but not on a specific page level? How do you approach them w/o a page in mind?

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