The objective is to find local businesses that rank high in Google Places, and discover their
references and citations. This will tell you which references and citations are most important
for your business, and generate a list of them for you to pursue. We’re going to do that
through some thorough investigation.
First, let’s review what we learned in the previous tutorial, Local Citation Research Light. We
discovered important references through the following basic steps:
- Find competitors’ references and citations. We did this by searching keyword + local area in WhiteSpark, then looking at the list of sites that reference other similar local businesses.
- Record competitors’ reference sources.
- Continue with other keywords.
Now, in this tutorial, we’re going to go through a similar process, but in a much more thorough way.
STEP 1. INVESTIGATE SPECIFIC BUSINESSES’ REFERENCES
Last time we used WhiteSpark Local Citation Finder to find the reference sources of the top
businesses in your local area and niche. Now, let’s dive deeper.
This time, try searching for specific businesses in WhiteSpark in order to find all their sources of
references; in specific businesses that are ranking #1:
To search for a specific business, click “search by phone number.” The form should look like
Enter in your top competitors to discover where they are listed online. This way, you can
discover all the sites that reference that specific business, so that you can get references from
those sites too.
Record the sites so that you can pursue references from them later. For your record-keeping
convenience, we have a Local business listing template available.
STEP 2. SEARCH LARGER CITIES
Larger cities, like New York City, are highly competitive. This makes them good sources for
finding the most important references.
Expand your list of potential reference sources by searching by keyphrase in WhiteSpark again.
This time, instead of entering your local area, enter a big city like Chicago or Los Angeles. For
example, You are a chiropractor in Milwaukee, but you search “chiropractors new york city”
Because it is a larger city.
This will help you find highly competitive national sources for your references.
STEP 3. SEARCH OTHER COMPETITIVE INDUSTRIES
Next, you can uncover even more reference sources by searching other competitive industries
in your local area or in larger cities. For example, You are a chiropractor in Minneapolis but you
search “Attorney Minneapolis” Because that industry is more competitive than yours.
Obviously, you won’t find sources in your business niche this way, but you will find important
local and national ones. Those that are useful across industries are useful to you too.
STEP 4. BROADEN SEARCH TO DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES AND ASSOCIATIONS
Finally, you can broaden your research in Open Site Explorer by entering the URLs of businesses
in other competitive industries, as we did in Step 3 above. You can also enter the URLs of
associations, such as the American Chiropractic Association. In this way, you’ll uncover some of
the best national links & media outlets to pursue.
TIP #1: TAKE GOOD NOTES
As you’re finding these sites, you don’t just want to record their link. You also want to take
plenty of notes on what kind of site each is, how you can submit to it, and so on. The more
information you gather now, the more time it will save you later. Use our Local business listing
template to keep organized.
TIP #2: CONCENTRATE ON SPECIFICALLY-RELATED DIRECTORIES
There are a lot of poor-quality directories out there, especially after the Google Panda update
wiped most of them out. You don’t want some generic directory with a name like
“EasyArticles.com” or something like that. Instead, concentrate on those specifically-related to
your industry or with good local or national authority.
TIP #3: NOTE HOW TO SUBMIT TO BLOGS
Many blogs post information on their editorial calendars, how you can submit to them, or even
how you can become an editor. This is valuable information, so put it in your PR Template.
TIP #4: TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY – IT COULD MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
This kind of heavy research can make the difference between ranking on the first page of
search results, and ranking number one.
Sometimes even just one link from a media outlet will do the trick.
So take it seriously. Spend some time here, and generate a good list of the most important
references and links for your business to pursue.
To successfully generate a thorough list of references and links for your business to pursue,
follow these steps:
- Investigate specific businesses’ references
- Search larger cities
- Search other competitive industries
- Broaden search to different industries and associations
With these strategies, you can pull ahead of simply ranking on the first page of search results.
You can rank number one.