Oct 25, 2013
Reaction score
So I'm interested in leveling up my competitive industry audits. I've been reading a lot on it lately, but nothing beats a conversation with others pros, so I figured I'd kick things off.

two main things I'm interested in -

1 - finding the right competition to keep an eye on.
What I've been doing so far, if I'm jumping into a new industry I cobble together my list of 10 high competition cities, mainly going off population count, with maybe 15 minutes of digging around to see if I can find any industry related reports that'll give me a leg up on that.

Pick a handful of companies that pop up consistently across a number of keywords. I move along quick, but it seems like this would be an awesome place to automate a bit, especially since volatility in rankings are really important, and a single snapshot isn't enough to solidly say who's kicking ass, especially with recent changes in the Google algorithm. Any favorite tools for automatically every x weeks pulling 3-pack data in csv form to play with? Been working with ahrefs lately, there's some great tools there but didn't see that specifically.

Also of minor interest, I noticed that two weeks ago the 3-packs for wedding photographers at least were really different when searching with or without city (using ad preview tool). city + keyword had a lot more questionable results vs just keyword, 3-packs seem to be a lot more in line with each other this week though. I know there was that big shake up early January, maybe that got adjusted a bit in this industry at least? This is the only industry I've been looking at lately.

2 - once I've got my competitors I really want to dig into, I've been using ahrefs to see what looks interesting. I'm not 100% sure what I'm doing though, backlink research is a little new to me, but it's time to get up to speed on it.

So far, I've been starting by going through the first 50 links for a few competitors profiles by hand for a bit, just to get the lay of the land and the flavor of what they're doing. I know the intersect tool to see if there are sites that link to multiple competitors, and I saw the hack that Linda posted a month ago or whatever to use that to find sites that link to multiple pages on a single competitor's site. Beyond that though, I feel a little lost in the data. Anyone have any favorite algorithmic approaches to sift, or do you all prefer a more hands on method? I know some stuff you need to get your hands dirty with, but I also have a friend that's a professional data scientist, and we've had some interesting talks about big data and his thoughts on what I'm trying to do. Either way, figured I'd open it up for conversation and see what people thought.


LocalU Faculty
May 17, 2013
Reaction score
I think your process is great so far. Another thing you should look at when you are doing your research on a vertical is look at a list of the top pages getting links for the winners in each city and see what type of content is getting linked to and what those links are. Majestic and AHREFs both have reports for this.

We generally break down our competitive link research in to a few areas:

- Quantity of links to domain and key ranking pages
- Quality of those links
- Some light quartile analysis e.g. what average of their top links look like versus the average of all their links
- Percent of links with commercial/geo/branded/generic anchor text
- Types of content getting links

And probably some other stuff I am forgetting.
Oct 25, 2013
Reaction score
Thanks Dan! That helps a lot actually... I've read to check out which pages are pulling links the best, but somehow forgot to actually do that yet. I'll definitely be taking some time to update my to-do list with this advice, appreciate it!

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
Reaction score
Here you go. 2 new powerhouse posts on backlink building.

<a href="">The Local Link Building Mega Jackpot! From Mike Ramsey & WhiteSpark</a>
Oct 25, 2013
Reaction score
Right on, thanks Linda and Joy! Added to my list, though I'll be chewing on those backlinking resources for a while I think. Good stuff!
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
whiz Consultants: Competitive Analysis for Local Ranking - What are top factors you check? Consultant's Corner 19
CaseyMeraz Competitive Analysis Tips for Local SEO Local Search 2
Linda Buquet When Can Digging for Competitive Intel Help Your Local SEO? Phil Rozek Local Search 0
Linda Buquet 4 Hot Local Ranking, Local Algo Analysis & Competitive Research Tools Compared! Local SEO Tools & Software 8
Linda Buquet Compelling Local Search Competitive Analysis, Using Google+ Google My Business & Google Maps 4
sergiuliano Google Local Carousel Rankings and Competition Analysis Tool Local SEO Tools & Software 2
Linda Buquet Hardcore Local SEO Competitive Analysis with Places Scout Local SEO Tools & Software 2
Linda Buquet New Google Local Site Preview Highlights Competition Local Search 15
Chris Ratchford Google Ads- Local Pack- one GMB location only? Paid Search and Local Service Ads 0
W Local Search Ecosystem Diagram Local SEO Tools & Software 1
C Franchise hub site ranking higher then local franchise sites for the brand? Organic SEO 1
koji Local business with online nationwide services in a post-corona world Google Local 101 5
Barb Davids Phone number not local area code Moving or Name Changes 2
Shelly Pros & Cons of Facebook Locations for Local SEO (for a Credit Union) Multi-Location Issues 3
rich_marlatt Do the number of backlinks from a domain have any impact on local SEO? Local Search 2
zach.todd What do you look for in a local website audit? Organic SEO 7
Professor M New Local European Local listing removals Process Google My Business & Google Maps 1
D Can you set an end-date for Local Services Ads? Paid Search and Local Service Ads 1
Barb Davids Ad fraud with Local Service Ads? Paid Search and Local Service Ads 6
djbaxter Brightlocal Tool shows Large Google Local Search Algorithm Update March 10, 2021 Google Algorithm Discussions 1
D Local Services and Google my Business Paid Search and Local Service Ads 2
Annika Neudecker One year later, is your GMB/local SEO traffic still up? Local Search 3
Colan Nielsen Find Local Link Opportunities with ZipSprout’s FREE Local Sponsorship Finder! Local SEO Tools & Software 8
Nicole Basham Cons of Removing Second FB Page Profile/"Extra" Twitter account for Local SAB? Mobile & Social 1
M Google Local Services Ads - Lack of Leads Paid Search and Local Service Ads 14
rustybrick Google Local ranking update? Google Algorithm Discussions 12
Matt Chauhan Serious Problem With A Dentist's Local Rankings. NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 1
S Local Services Ads - Fake Reviews Local Reviews 1
chrism Local Competitor Keyword Stuffing/Similar Words In GMB Spam on Google 8
buzzrank Home inspector business category not available in Canada, but local competitors have NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 3
djbaxter New Local SEO tool from BrightLocal: Local Search Grid Local SEO Tools & Software 7
Stef Kiley Temp closed business ranking higher in local pack Help & Support for Google Local 2
F Turkish post: Google My Business local seo Recycle Bin 0
accessted Local Falcon GMB Question Service Area Businesses 2
F Google My Business local seo Google Local 101 3
S What makes a great Home/Landing Page in Local? Local Search 6
E What is the Click Through Rate / Conversion Rate for GMB or Local 3 Pack listings? Google My Business & Google Maps 3
J New local pack display? Google Algorithm Discussions 2
N Dedicated local search Local Search 12
djbaxter Webinar The State of Local Search 2021 [Webinar + Q&A] Events 0
Imperialpest Page Speed and Local / Ranking Question Ask a LocalU Expert [PRIVATE] (LocalU) 5
djbaxter Online Conference Pubcon Local Services Marketing Conference, January 20-21, 2021 Events 3
L Local Service Ad for Attorney Paid Search and Local Service Ads 1
Professor M No Reviews on Local Packs for Car Wash Category in Different Countries Google My Business & Google Maps 1
SpectateSwamp How about discussing local search... Like the Spectate one; everything a 50+ years of programming Geezer wants Break Room: Chat and Off Topic 3
B Google Beacons helping Local visability? Local Search 1
JoyHawkins Are Local Services Ads Stealing Clicks from Google My Business? A Case Study of 110 Listings Paid Search and Local Service Ads 0
M Decreased traffic to Google maps due to local service ads Paid Search and Local Service Ads 1
Eoghan_MFeed Looking for a SaaS but more importantly Local Search experienced product managers 🔍 Local SEO Job Board 0
Professor M Google Maps and Google My Business Big Changes - Google Maps Local News Feed Google My Business & Google Maps 26

Similar threads

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

Most UpVoted Answers

Trending: Most Viewed

LocalU Podcasts

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Google Product Exert

Top Bottom