Ranking your website on Google is the best way to drive traffic to your website, grow your readership, and increase your customer base. The art of doing this is called search engine optimization or SEO.
A primary component of building your authority to improve ranking potential in search engine results pages (SERPs) is earning links from other websites. This common SEO tactic is referred to as link building.
Prospecting for link building opportunities is an extremely cost effective method for driving traffic. Fortunately, there are some great link building tools out there that can make the process even faster and easier.
Link building tools help you see who is linking to your website, identify what businesses are linking to your competitors' websites, and compile webmaster's contact information to help you build a list of potential link partners.
What Is Link Building?
Link building is an SEO strategy that involves acquiring hyperlinks from other websites and including them in your own website content. A hyperlink (link) is a way for site visitors to go from one page to another on the internet. The goal of link building is to improve search visibility.
Link building strategies include:
- Email outreach
- Content marketing
- Public relations
- Broken link building
A backlink is a link that is created when another website links to a page on your website. Backlinks help to boost your SEO because they send a signal to search engines that your site is high quality and that your content includes helpful information.
Some other benefits of backlinks include:
- Faster indexing
- Referral traffic
- Organic search ranking improvements
7 Tips for Building the Best Backlinks
Here are seven best practices to help you build the best backlinks for your website.
1. Turn Your Mentions Into Backlinks.
This is an easy way to gain new backlinks for your site since someone already wrote something about your brand.
They may mention your brand on a website, social media, or on another channel, but they have not linked back to your site to provide you with that link equity (aka link juice).
To grab some of these backlinks, start by contacting the webmaster and asking them to convert the mention into a backlink. Usually a simple email will do. In most cases, other brands or blogs should link to your site when they mention you.
If not, search for mentions with easy-to-use tools like LinkResearchTools.
2. Apply the Broken Link Building Method.
The broken link building method involves searching top websites in your industry or niche to find dead pages. You then recreate the broken content and contact the webmaster to replace that broken link with a link to your new content.
This method may be time consuming if you don't have the right tools. Try using Ahref's Site Explorer, which provides a broken backlinks report to make searching and compiling broken backlinks easy.
3. Take Advantage of Guest Blogging.
Guest blogging is a highly effective way to reach new readers and to gain more exposure. All you have to do is publish blog articles on other popular websites. In addition to gaining backlinks, you'll also increase your online reputation.
Search the web to find blogs that accept guest contributors and submit your guest blogging proposal.
4. Write Testimonials.
Offering to write testimonials for brands that you have done business with is a great way to get high quality backlinks.
Select the top tools or brands you work with and get in touch with them to see if they will post a review about your experience with them on their website or blog.
Brands are usually willing to accept good feedback and share it with others. They will often link back to your website in the author's byline section of their testimonials page.
5. Consider the Authority of the Linking Page or Site.
A link acts as a vote of confidence in the website being linked to. When you earn a link from an authoritative site, that signals to search engines that your site is a credible resource for the content being linked to.
Generally speaking, the higher the authority of the referring domain linking to your website, the more value you're getting from that backlink.
There are two metrics that can help you figure out the authority of a site when you use tools like Ahrefs:
- URL Rating: The strength or authority of a webpage measured on a scale from 0 to 100.
- Domain Rating: The overall authority of a whole website, measured from 0 (lowest authority) to 100 (highest authority).
If you're using Moz, you will see a similar authority model called domain authority. These proprietary scoring systems are helpful to look at and analyze on an ongoing basis. Ideally, the more quality backlinks you get, the higher you will see your authority scores climb.
6. Analyze Competing Sites.
Analyze the backlink profiles of competing sites to gain insight into their link building strategies and to find opportunities to replicate their links.
The idea is to figure out how or why your competitor received a certain link and to determine if it is something you can do as well.
Some easy links you can replicate include:
- Guest post links
- User generated links
- A link from a resource page
7. Conduct Effective Outreach.
Outreach is an essential link building skill that can help you gain access to the best linking opportunities. You may reach out to brands, influencers, bloggers, and press websites via email or social media to entice them to link to your content.
The best link building outreach tactic involves reaching out at the right time to increase your success rate. You can set up alerts on Ahrefs to actively monitor the web to find links to specific competitor content, brand mentions, and when a specific keyword is mentioned.
Reach out quickly when you are alerted to one of these items to ask if they would consider linking to your similar resource.
Most, if not all, of these tips require you to use link building or outreach tools to make your link building strategies simple and effective.
15 of the Best SEO Link Building Tools (With Reviews)
Check out these top link building and outreach tools that can help boost your link building strategies so your webpages can climb SERPs.
Linkody is a comprehensive SEO tool for link tracking and link building that pulls links and essential data from a variety of sources. With Linkody, you can see an entire link profile for your domains, your competitors' domains, and your clients' domains.
Discover link building opportunities, spot broken links, and visually search and identify your links on a page with a simple click. You can also receive link notifications every day to see which ones are new and which ones are lost.
Pricing: Plans start at $14.90/mo.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
One user wrote on G2 Crowd, "Linkody gives the opportunity to monitor everyone's backlinks and check which content gets the most links. This can bring your link building efforts to a whole new level."
2. Majestic SEO
Majestic SEO is a browser that allows you to see who is linking to your competitors' content to identify possible opportunities to build back links to your own site.
The program gives you a free report for any website you own, which is useful for ensuring your links are current and active. The free version is a good entree to the program. To access the full data set, you'll need to upgrade to the paid version.
Pricing: Plans start at $49.99/mo
Rating: 4.2 Stars
One user wrote on G2 Crowd, "I have been a proud Majestic user since the beginning. It has many unique features its competitors don't have, the absolute best one, and the one I use the most, is the API feature. I have integrated it in a number of different script and softwares over the years. It even has a trust flow option which I have found to be fairly accurate."
3. Moz Link Explorer
Moz Link Explorer offers similar features as Majestic. With Link Explorer, you can enter the URL of the website or page you want to get link data for and get a comprehensive analysis.
You can also check the spam score of backlinks, research competitor backlinks, discover link building opportunities, and find broken links to your site.
Rating: 4.4 Stars
One user stated on G2 Crowd that, "My favorite tools to use are: Keyword Explorer, Link Explorer, and Rank Tracker. The Link Explorer is fairly new, but it's great to keep track of your link health and to keep tabs on your DA against your competition.
4. Raven Tools
Raven Tools allows you to access a decent amount of data that is well worth the price. The tools include a LinkManager program allowing you to research potential link partners, automatically grab webmaster contact information, and send link request messages all from within the same easy to navigate window.
Pricing: Plans start at $99/mo.
Rating: 4.3 Stars
One user stated on G2 Crowd, "We like that we can configure reports to be created automatically, and only change the recommendations and other commentary. This standardizes the look and feel, but can be adapted to suit each client requirements."
5. Moz Pro
Moz Pro is a link building tool and a whole lot more.
It's a complete SEO management program that allows users to take advantage of Moz's knowledge regarding optimization, link build techniques, and digital marketing. It offers a great suite of tools that can help you take your SEO to the next level.
Pricing: Plans start at $99/mo.
Rating: 4.4 Stars
One user stated on G2 Crowd, "The back end is very simple to use and getting an automated email weekly about where each website is at is fantastic. It really helps you stay on top of any on-page SEO issues your website may be having."
6. Link Research Tools
If you are a more advanced webmaster operating in a competitive niche, Link Research Tools does much more than simply identify linking opportunities.
For example, this tool's unique programming allows you to determine whether you should be focusing on branding links, how your website compares with competitors in terms of linking, and why you may have lost rank within SERPs.
This tool is incredibly intuitive and deep enough to help you develop a solid digital marketing and SEO strategy.
Pricing: Plans start at $249/mo.
Rating: 4.7 Stars
One users wrote a review on Capterra stating, "LinkResearchTools has more link data than any other SEO tool out there. Whether I need to build links, detect and clean spammy links, or just look at what my competition is up to, this tool helps me all the way."
When you take a look at what this program will do for you in terms of features and functionality, you'll understand why Search Engine Journal called it “the best link building program you've never heard of.”
Ahrefs provides comprehensive reports on inbound links, including the estimated visitors to a link per month. This means you can prioritize your efforts to focus on the link partners you're contacting, resulting in the biggest traffic gains for your site.
Pricing: Plans start at $99/mo.
Rating: 4.6 Stars
One user stated on a G2 Crowd review that, "Ahrefs is an online and revolutionary analytics tool that holds different tools such as link building, competitors keyword research and analysis, rank tracking, site audit, and many more. Ahrefs outcomes solve all your SEO queries with a simple audit or run."
BuzzStream is an SEO link building tool that speeds up the research process by allowing you to find contact information automatically, add contacts, browse prospect lists, and add contacts and metrics to build better profiles.
You can also send relationship-based outreach emails easily to improve your response rates and manage link building projects with reminders to follow up and track campaign progress.
Pricing: Plans start at $24/mo.
Rating: 4.0 Stars
One BuzzStream user stated on G2 Crowd, "BuzzStream delivers all the basics a backlink builder needs at the right price and you can terminate your account at any time (Pitchbox forces you to a yearly plan). Easy to quickly get the hang of it with one on one calls with the same support person. Only tool to include influencer search, plus it has the ability to create email aliases right on the platform."
9. Link Prospector by Citation Labs
Link Prospector was built to help content marketers and link builders find new outreach opportunities. It makes it easy to organize outreach opportunities to give your content the enhancements it needs to gain links and shares.
You can start finding links for free and use advanced tools to speed up your workflow.
Pricing: Plans start at $47/mo.
Find the best opportunities for outreach link building on Respona's engine. Respona partners with the best data providers to help you find the best link building opportunities from news posts, blog articles, influencers, and more.
Automate your link building pitch emails, check backlinks, find direct email addresses, and deeply personalize your pitches all through Respona's platform.
Pricing: Plans start at $95/mo.
Accessily provides a host of tools to earn quality links. For example, their backlinks marketplace provides you access to thousands of high quality websites that accept guest posts. Search for exactly what you need using their category and audience filters.
You may also access their guest post library that allows you to store and manage your guest blogs in one place. Some other key features of Accessily include a backlinks tracker tool that provides you with insights into your backlinks ROI and traffic information, as well as a guest post scheduler.
Pricing: Free to start
SEMrush's link building tool gathers a list of link building opportunities for your website and gives you an interface to help you manage and run your outreach campaign so you can acquire quality links.
Using this tool in SEMrush makes it easy to analyze your links alongside your competitors to see how your SEO stacks up to your rivals.
Pricing: Plans start at $99.95/mo.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
13. Monitor Backlinks
Gain insights into your backlinks with Monitor Backlinks. Their features include in-depth backlink reports, backlinks management, link disavowal, and bulk link import.
See patterns and trends with your backlinks and find the backlinks that hurt your rankings to ensure you are taking advantage of the best link building opportunities.
Pricing: Plans start at $25/mo.
Rating: 3.9 Stars
Ninja Outreach has an all-in-one link building software that helps to support your link building strategies each step of the way. With Ninja Outreach, you can use pre-made outreach templates to contact brands about link building opportunities, schedule email campaigns, and track results with the built in CRM.
The pro link building tools with Ninja Outreach allow you to assess competitor links, engage in broken link building and guest post link building, link roundups, infographic link building, and more. You also have access to a massive database with the contact information of high authority influencers.
Pricing: Plans start at $119/mo.
Rating: 3.9 Stars
On Capterra, a user said, "We used NinjaOutreach to find and reach out to websites with the goal of them adding a link back to our website.
"NinjaOutreach combined all the tools we needed to do this: 1) a prospecting tool to allow us to find good websites to target, 2) an email finding tool that found email addresses and names of contacts at these websites, 3) an autoresponder tool that allowed us to customize and send multiple emails to prospects, and 4) an analytics/tracking tool to show us the results of our campaigns."
Pitchbox is a popular platform that allows you to find influencers, bloggers, and publishers in your niche to reach out to fast. You can customize and personalize your outreach with Pitchbox and automatically follow up with prospects who haven't responded yet.
Each step of the outreach process is trackable and can equip you with the ability to make data-driven decisions.
Pricing: Contact Pitchbox for pricing information.
Rating: 4.2 Stars
One user wrote a review on G2 Crowd that states, "One of the best things about Pitchbox is its unique ability to find social influencers and bloggers to target for content and contact, taking out the hardest work when it comes to finding who and what to share."
Link building is a crucial element of a good SEO strategy that can be extremely cost effective when compared to PPC advertising and other online methods. Organic techniques for increasing your Google page ranking are always viewed more favorably than paid opportunities.
These inexpensive link building tools help you create targeted links that will improve your website's overall SERP ranking as well as provide you with data that can help you to be more competitive in your market niche.