One of the most common tactics in link building is to look for sites that link to your competitors and try to get the same sites to link to you. The effectiveness of this varies from site to site and industry to industry, but it’s one of the things you do early on when building links.
In local SEO, if citations are the equivalent of links, how about doing the same thing? How about looking for your competitor’s citations and trying to get the same ones?
That’s exactly what the Local Citation Finder does, a new tool that instantly becomes a must-have for local SEO.
How to Use the Local Citation Finder
After you register for a free account, you provide a local keyphrase — like “richland wa real estate agent” if I were trying to mine my wife‘s competitors. The keyphrase should be one that produces a 7-pack or 3-pack on Google’s search results.
You can choose which version of Google to use — the .com, the UK, or the Canadian version. After you run your keyphrase, the tool looks at the businesses ranking for your keyphrase, grabs their phone numbers, and then does a Google.com search (or .ca or .co.uk) for those numbers, collecting and collating all of the mentions/citations that it finds.
When it’s done, you’ll get an email with a list of citation sources for the businesses that rank for your keyphrase. Garrett French recently described this process as a manual effort, and the tool takes that and does all the hard work for you. Here’s a look at the email that lists citations the tool found:
And those are citation opportunities that are now gift-wrapped for your local SEO efforts. Cool, eh?
One thing I should mention, and I said this to Garrett via email already: In my experience, what Google shows as citations on a Place Page is dramatically different than what will show on a Google.com search for the phone number. The tool uses the latter, so it may not match the citations that appear on Place Pages. Still, it does give you a list of web pages that cite your competition. And there’s value in that for sure.