There are hundreds of link-building tools out there, but we want to focus on only the best and most useful to add to your toolbox.
To be included, a tool had to meet three requirements. It must be:
- Widely used and recommended by the SEO world.
- Offer above-board value + actionable data.
- Actually, useful for building backlinks.
Let’s dive right in.
1. Ahrefs: The World’s Largest Backlink Index
Ahrefs is a link-building software for SEO Pros. It has lots of features that don’t relate to link building, like:
- Technical SEO site audits
- Keyword research tool
- Rank tracker
- Content explorer
However, what makes it an outstanding tool for link building is the “Link Intersect” feature that lets you see which sites link to your competitors but not you.
How helpful is this feature?
While it doesn’t necessarily mean that someone who links to your competitor will link to you (they might have a relationship with the site owner), when someone links to two of your competitors, you’ve got a chance of getting a link from that site.
2. Linkody: Best User-Friendly Backlink Tracker
Linkody is among the cheapest link-building tools on the market, but that doesn’t mean it compromises performance.
The tool has a decent link index with “Top Pages” as its best link-building feature.
The feature allows you to see the exact pages of a competitor that get the most links. As a result, you can reverse-engineer what’s working for your competitors or double down on what’s working for you.
Linkody might not be as great as Ahrefs, but if you’re starting with SEO with a limited budget, it’s worth a shot. After all, it comes with a 30-day free trial.
3. GroupHigh: Best Tool to Find Bloggers for Outreach Campaigns
Blogger outreach is an important step in link building, and your first step for any outreach campaign is to find bloggers in your industry.
The GroupHigh tool is one of the world’s largest blog search engines.
In other words, you type in your niche (like “real estate blogs”), and the tool will list nearly all relevant blogs.
It appears in the top three because it makes it easy to find bloggers for link building. What’s more, it has a built-in outreach platform that allows you to send your outreach emails.
The best link building feature on it is the “Metrics” that sorts and filter bloggers on:
- Domain Authority
- Social Media Followers
- Audience Size
- Lots more
As a result, you can easily know which bloggers are worth reaching out to.
4. BuzzStream: Best Tool to Scale Your Link Building Campaigns
BuzzStream lets you stay organized with email outreach.
Instead of using spreadsheets and random Gmail inboxes, the tool allows you to track conversations and manage campaigns across multiple projects.
The tool makes it easy for teams to do link building.
You can use the “Discovery” tool to find websites you want to reach out to or upload a list of sites in your industry you want to reach out to.
Then, BuzzStream will find the contact information of the site owners. After finding contact information, connect your email with BuzzStream to reach out to people within the platform.
You can dive deeper into reporting to see the status of every email and follow-up that you’ve sent.
However, BuzzStream’s best link-building feature is “Custom Fields,” which allows you to organize and customize your link-building campaigns the way you want.
5. JustReachOut: Best Tool To Find and Pitch Reporters and Journalists
Public relation is one of the most powerful link-building strategies in the SEO world.
When you do public relations right, you can land high-quality links from authority news sites like New York Times, Forbes, Tech Crunch, etc.
However, the problem is that most outreach platforms only help you find bloggers and not journalists. That’s where JustReachOut steps in.
The tool has a huge and up-to-date database of journalists and a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to manage your outreach within the platform.
Its best link-building feature is “Source Search,” which lets you search for source requests from HARO, ProfNet, and Twitter so that you can pitch journalists to feature you in their stories.
JustReachOut is an excellent tool for getting links and mentions in the press without spending a lot.
6. Moz Link Explorer: Best Tool to Reverse Engineer Your Competitor’s Backlinks
Moz Link Explorer is a Moz Pro tool that replaced the old “Open Site Explorer,” that’s excellent in building backlinks.
All you’ve to do is key in your competitor’s domain (or a specific URL) into it, and you’ll see all of their backlinks. You also get link metrics, like the site’s Domain Authority.
What makes Moz Link Explorer excellent for link-building is the “Anchor Text Analysis” feature that lets you quickly see the most common anchor text in a site’s backlink profile.
Lots of exact match anchor text is usually a sign of black hat link-building. As a result, you can use the anchor text feature to examine your site and avoid Google penalties.
Moz Link Explorer is the world’s second-best link analysis today, a distant second to Ahrefs link database, which is huge.
7. NinjaOutreach: The Best Easy-to-Use Outreach Tool
NinjaOutreach works the same as BuzzStream and GroupHigh.
However, its database of influencers is huge to the extremes (in the millions). What’s more, it’s more SEO-focused than other outreach platforms because you can sort results based on social metrics like Facebook fans or Instagram followers.
However, since the core of NinjaOutreach is link-building, you get granular with SEO metrics too. You can sort your outreach result by:
- Domain Authority
- Page Authority
- Number of backlinks
Even more, one feature makes it stand out:
The tool has multiple templates for a variety of link building campaigns, including:
- Broken link building
- Infographic promotion
- Guest post or product review request
- Inviting product testers
- Interview or podcast invite
The templates get you a rough idea of writing outreach emails compared to starting emails from scratch.
Although NinjaOutreach isn’t so cheap, it’s a great value for money because of the features you’ll have access to.
8. Link Prospector: Best Tool for Link Prospecting
Link Prospector is an excellent tool to replace the manual search of resource pages in Google because it has hundreds of premade search strings.
All you have to do is enter a few keywords that relate to your site, and the tool will take care of the rest.
Its best link-building feature is the “Link Target Score” that saves you the time to analyze every prospect that relates to you. As a result, you can readily focus on the prospects that are likely to link to you.
The tool’s features are 100% for link building and SEO agencies, a fact that makes it unfriendly to newbies.
9. BuzzSumo: Best Tool to Discover Influential Bloggers in Your Niche
At its core, BuzzSumo targets content marketing. However, you can use it for link building too.
First, you can use the tool to create content that people want to link to.
Second, you can use the tool to find influencers in your niche that recently shared your competitor’s content.
Its best feature for your link-building campaign is the “Brand Mentions” that let you know whenever someone mentions your brand in a post but doesn’t link to your website.
You can then send an email asking for linking for those unlinked brand mentions.
What’s more, you can use the tool to find new links to your site.
BuzzSumo isn’t originally a backlinking tool, but you can use it to get white links to your website.
10. CognitiveSEO: Best Tool to Identify Unnatural Links
Like Moz Link Explorer and Ahref, CognitiveSEO is a complete SEO software suite focusing on backlink analysis.
However, one feature separates it from the rest of link building software:
“Unnatural Link Detection.”
The feature lets you know if your site (or a site you want to get a link from) has a poor link profile.
Another feature that makes it great is the “Domain Profile Influence,” which lets you know what percentage of your links come from authority sites and other blogs.
It’s natural to have a mix of high-authority and low-authority links.
However, when your link profile lacks authority sources, you might want to focus on getting backlinks from bigger sites.
CognitiveSEO isn’t as great as Moz or Ahrefs, but its price and availability of free trial make it a great choice when you’re on a budget.
How Do You Choose the Best Link Building Tool for You?
It depends on lots of factors. What will influence your decision include:
- Your budget — If you’re tight on budget and can’t afford link-building software, you can start with Excell spreadsheets which are free. However, outreach tools make the process efficient and faster.
- The number of people using the tool — When you’re a solo link builder, don’t focus on several users’ accounts or the team’s features. However, if you’re a team, a tool like BuzzStream will be a must.
- The number of links you want to see — Backlink analysis tools like Ahrefs, and Moz, get you the most competitor link data. Others might be cheaper, but you won’t get as much data.
While the above are the ten best link-building tools, it’s by no means a complete list. There are more, but you can’t go wrong with the above.