Categories
Link Building SEO

What is a Link Building Campaign? A Noob’s Guide

Want to know what a Link Building campaign is but were afraid to ask?

Well, read on as we lay it out nice and simple!

So, the key thing to understand is that Link building campaigns in SEO are designed to increase the number of links pointing to a website. These backlinks can point to your homepage, service pages, specific articles, and so on.

Google and most other search engines consider backlinks as “votes of confidence” from one website to another. This explains why the more links you acquire, the more likely your website will appear trustworthy and authoritative in the eyes of search engines.

This helps you:

  • Boost your ranking in the SERPs
  • Raise your brand awareness
  • Increase your legitimacy in the eyes of your customers and competitors

That being said, link building is not always a numbers game. In most cases, it doesn’t matter how many backlinks you have acquired for your website but the quality and relevancy of those links.

In this simplified guide, we’ll show you how to put together a successful link building strategy that drives customers to your business on autopilot. Without much ado, let’s get right into it!

What Are the Key Elements of a Successful Link Building Campaign?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the strategy will vary depending on your industry and competitors. However, there are a few basic ones that you should never overlook. 

For starters, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity, always. Getting backlinks from high-quality websites that are relevant to your niche is much more effective than linking from low-quality websites in large numbers.

Additionally, strive to build genuine relationships with other website owners and influencers in your industry — this will pay off in the long run as they are more likely to link back to your website if they know and trust you.

That said, the following are what we consider the foundations of a successful link building strategy.

Assess Your Resources

Every successful link building strategy starts with resource evaluation. Remember, this is not a one-off job and requires plenty of time and money to cater for research, software, content and outreach needs.

So first and foremost, how much money are you willing to spend? An average link building outreach campaign can cost anywhere between $500 and $10,000 or even more per month depending on the business model, industry competition and needs.

Secondly, how much time can you spare? Building backlinks is time-consuming because it involves a lot of strategic thinking and manual labor.

Before you start building backlinks, think about the amount of resources you have for the task ahead of you.

Review Your Link Opportunities

Link opportunities vary based on industry. But generally, it’s important to have an idea of who to target and can link to you. Otherwise, you won’t get any quality backlinks and your campaign will fall flat on your face.

To begin with, figure out who your ideal categories of linking candidates are. Think bloggers, niche-focused web directories, trade organizations, etc. Then, identify which of these websites are suitable for your business.

As a general rule of thumb, don’t waste time trying to get links from websites competing for the same keywords as your business. No one will want to offer a helping hand to a direct competitor.

Create Link-Worthy Assets

Your linkable assets could be information-packed blog posts, industry reports, infographics, research presentations, white papers, and more.

Even so, for an asset to truly qualify as link-worthy, it needs to set your brand apart in some way. For example, you can include original research and surveys into your content to create hooks or connection points to external anchor texts.

If you have no idea about what people are raving about in your industry, try brainstorming ideas using SEO tools such as SEMrush and Ahrefs.

Based on your findings and the information you have in your hands, you can then create useful assets that attract links and shares.

Align Link Building With Business Goals

Link building can only be truly effective if it’s aligned with other business goals. This helps to ensure that alongside acquiring links, you also accomplish other business or marketing objectives in the end.

For example, let’s say you run a plumbing blog and want to promote yourself as the best plumber in your area.  In that case, you can reach out to local real estate bloggers for reviews of your service.

By doing so, you’ll earn a backlink for every review and also get your brand name out there as a result of the publicity you get. Talk of hitting two birds with one stone!

Prioritize Relevance and Authority

A site’s relevance and authority matter a great deal when it comes to link building. Links are more valuable when they come from websites with content closely related to the topic of your page.

Contextual links promote a seamless transition from the current page to the one being linked, as well as ensure a good reader experience. This is what Google loves and will reward you accordingly.

Another useful aspect to consider is the Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA) of the site that hosts your backlink. Again, Google places more weight on links that come from authoritative websites.

High authority sites pass link equity or “link juice” to the linked page which then causes a boost in the page’s ranking.

How Do I Start Building Links?

So you want to build backlinks for your online business? We won’t lie; the process can be exhausting but as with anything, every journey begins with a single step.

Here at Profit Engine, we focus on three main approaches as follows:

Outreach

For this method, you first get a list of the websites you’d want to get linked from. The goal is to reach out to the owners asking for guest blogging or link insertions opportunities.

Outreaching can take a lot of time and effort but when done right, the reward is worth the hassle.

Before jumping right into contacting websites and requesting for links, it’s important to keep these things in mind:

  • Links should come from websites in niches related to yours
  • Consider the credibility and authority of the websites
  • Know the audience they serve

If everything checks out, you can contact site owners through email or social media.

Manually Add Links

Manual link building is where you add links yourself. You can place your links in a blog comment section, share links on social media or web 2.0 properties, or through press release platforms.

This form of building links gives you more control over how many backlinks you can build, unlike when you rely on third-parties to link to your site.

However, a word of caution here is that Google perceives most of these links to be generally manipulative, hence you’ll likely not get much results from them. Worse still, if overdone, they could land you in big problems.

So if you’re going to use this method, it’s important to play safe and only add your links sparingly on platforms that Google deems safe.

Earn Links Organically

Link earning is when you create original, high-quality content that other sites can’t help but link back to. This method allows you to earn editorially placed links that competitors struggle to replicate.

Link earning gives the highest reward but also requires a great amount of effort. You must be prepared to invest time and resources to develop top-quality content that naturally attracts links from strangers on the internet.

The idea here is to make sure the content you produce is a cut above every other post existing online.

Is Link Building Difficult?

Link building is a fundamental part of any SEO strategy, but it’s also one of the most difficult and time-consuming aspects of the job. While the concept behind it appears fairly straightforward, executing a real campaign can be quite a complex thing.

The reason why good link building is difficult is because it’s a manual process with very little room for automations and shortcuts. For example, you’ll need to find relevant sites with high DA and PA, spend a lot of time on outreach, create amazing content, and do plenty more.

Worse, many website owners will often ignore you if you reach out to them with a generic message, not mentioning that almost all of them now ask for payments for link placements.

So yes, link building is no child play and it can get pretty expensive if you don’t know your way around.

Is Link Building Ethical?

As long as your links were acquired naturally without violating Google’s guidelines, then yes, link building is ethical.

Ethical link building can be achieved in several ways, including high quality guest posting, link insertions that add value, journalistic content creation, among others.

On the other hand, building backlinks through spamming and other black hat SEO techniques is unethical. It’s also the surest way to have your site penalized or de-indexed so keep off no matter how tempting it looks.

We Can Help Drive More Traffic With SEO

Link building can be a tough nut to crack, but with the right strategy in place (and some help), it can yield some serious results.

If you want to run a successful link building campaign, make sure to focus on quality over quantity, target high-authority sites, and mix up your link types.

Finally, consider hiring a reputable agency that specializes in this type of work. This helps you avoid many of the common mistakes made when attempting to build links on your own.

Plus, an experienced agency will have established relationships with high-quality websites, which will make it easier to get your links placed on these sites.

If you need the backing of a strategic marketing partner with proven results, then we’d love to speak with you.Get in touch with us now and let’s build a bespoke backlinking strategy that skyrockets your brand and profits using SEO.

Categories
Link Building SEO

Link Velocity For SEO: Is it still Important?

“How fast should you build backlinks without getting penalized by Google?”

This has remained a hotly contested topic among SEOs and anyone who has been involved in building links for almost two decades. The debate still rages on!

For starters, this question is all about the concept of natural link velocity. Considering how much weight Google places on backlinks as a ranking factor, it’s crucial to your SEO strategy to have a good understanding of link velocity, as it DOES have an impact on your serp rankings!

  • So, what is link velocity?
  • Why does link velocity in SEO matter?
  • What is the ideal link velocity?

In this latest guide, we explore everything you need to know about the speed at which to build backlinks for your website. Let’s jump straight into it!

What is Link Velocity?

Link velocity refers to the rate at which a website acquires backlinks over a given period. It is commonly measured in terms of links acquired per month or referring domains acquired per month.

In theory, the formula for calculating link velocity is:

Link Velocity=Links Acquired/Time

However, as an SEO metric, link velocity is more complex than it looks. Unless you conduct competitor research, there’s really no standard approach to calculating link-building velocity.

The best way to figure out your appropriate link-building velocity is first to determine the current rate at which you’re building links.

Here, you need to consider your existing referring domains as well as your existing backlinks. We like to use Ahrefs for this.

For example, let’s say Ahrefs shows your site’s current metrics as follows:

  • Existing referring domains=47
  • Existing backlinks=95

To determine your optimal link velocity, find the top 5 competitors in your niche. Again, you can use Ahrefs to check who your best competitors are.

Hint: Select the competitors whose referring domains are 40-60% more than your site.

Now with a list of your competitors, it’s time to track the growth of their backlink profiles, preferably over the last 30 days. The following is an example:

  • Competitor one: 7 new backlinks
  • Competitor two: 18 new backlinks
  • Competitor three: 15 new backlinks
  • Competitor four: 3 new backlinks
  • Competitor five: 26 new backlinks

In this case, the average link velocity = (7+18+15+3+26)/5

Link velocity: 59/5=12

Your competitors are building an average of 12 backlinks per month.

Now, as much as benchmarking your competitors is a good idea, don’t get excited and start building 12 links per month right away. Link building velocity needs to be as natural as possible.

So, if your site is currently only averaging around one or two links per month, then jumping to 12 links per month would look like you’re trying to manipulate Google’s search rankings.

It’s even worse if your backlinks don’t look as if they’re built naturally and organically. It would send negative signals to Google and you may get penalized.

What’s The Best Link Velocity For SEO?

There’s no definite number that indicates a good link velocity. In fact, Google has said before that it doesn’t care so much about the speed at which backlinks get added to a website (although you should always take such statements with a pinch of salt).

Rather, it cares about how natural and organic the links are. The number of backlinks that are added to a site needs to increase steadily over time. Put otherwise, link growth should be in line with your site growth.

For example, if you acquired 5 links this week, it would make sense to acquire 10 or 15 next week, but not 100.

Ideally, an organic link velocity needs to maintain some level of consistency without compromising link quality. Again, your link building quantity needs to have a natural curve comprising growth, peak, and a taper off.

Be careful not to follow a specific pattern, though. Google can detect patterns, too many backlinks acquired too quickly is a definite red flag! and if big G sees that, you risk getting your site penalized.

How we do it here at Profit Engine is to take a random approach to link building. For instance, if starting a campaign for a client from scratch, we try to structure their monthly link acquisition to look something like this:

  • Day 1: 1 link
  • Day 3: 2 links
  • Day 6: 1 link
  • Day 11: 3 links
  • Day 17: 5 links
  • Day 22: 3 links
  • Day 27: 6 links
  • Day 30: 2 links

Of course, we can sometimes break this rule and ramp things up a bit but even then it’s recommended to keep it looking natural. The last thing you want to do is to get slapped with a Penguin algorithm penalty.

This does not always pan out though, you may have high quality content that you promote through link outreach that gets a lot of links in a short space of time. The key is to keep up your link building even if its at a lesser velocity.

Also, if you were to build backlinks quickly, they better be contextual, niche-relevant, and from high-authority websites with real traffic. Exactly what our link-building playbook directs!

Ultimately, the most surefire way to guarantee the best link velocity is to work with a proven link building agency.

Why Does Link Velocity Matter to SEO?

Link velocity is not a new concept in the SEO community. Indeed, it all started in 2003 with the discovery of a Google patent named Information Retrieval Based on Historical Data.

The patent, among other things, discusses some ideas about how the search engine should treat websites based on the growth of their backlink profile.

Worth mentioning is that the term “link velocity” isn’t explicitly mentioned anywhere in the patent. But there’s one particular passage that’s related to this idea.

This is what it says:

“While a spiky rate of growth in the number of backlinks may be a factor used by search engine 125 to score documents, it may also signal an attempt to spam search engine 125. Accordingly, in this situation, search engine 125 may actually lower the score of a document(s) to reduce the effect of spamming.”

As you can see, it mentions a “spiky rate of growth” in the number of backlinks and the possibility of getting demoted in the SERPs.

However, it doesn’t directly mention that the rate of growth in backlinks is the reason why a website’s ranking score may get lowered. Instead, it says a spiky rate of growth “may also signal an attempt to spam search engines”.

If we interpret this message in detail, it means the search engine might lower a website’s ranking score if its rapid growth is due to spammy links.

Put simply, spammy links are backlinks that come from spam or poor authority sites. They usually cause a sharp spike in traffic to a domain and can attract a manual review from Google.

So, to be fair, it doesn’t really matter how quickly or how slowly your backlinks grow over time. What matters more is whether you acquired those links in line with Google’s guidelines.

In fact, according to Google’s John Mueller, the quality of links is what counts. While addressing the question of link velocity, he says:

“So it’s not so much a matter of how many links you get in which time period. It’s really just… if these are links that are unnatural or from our point of view problematic, then they would be problematic. It’s like it doesn’t really matter how many or in which time. “

But from our experience, Google continuously monitors how your links are built over time and won’t hesitate penalizing your site if it detects anything spammy.

As a rule, focus on creating high-quality backlinks and avoid anything that the search engine may interpret as black-hat SEO strategies.

How to Design an Effective Link Velocity Strategy to Avoid Google Penalties

There are a few key factors that affect the rate at which your website attracts links, including its authority, how often you link out and the amount and quality of content published.

When using tactics such as link building outreach, these same factors should determine your link velocity, and we’ll explain why below.

Create high-quality and linkable content

If you want to attract tons of fresh, high quality links without raising an alarm with Google, focus on publishing quality content regularly.

Depending on your niche, you may want to include stats, tips, and examples in your content. This helps readers get adequate information and increases your chances of getting natural links.

Besides, bloggers and industry experts are always on the lookout for useful content that they can link back to their websites.

Only build links from relevant/niche-related websites

Niche-relevant backlinks are a golden ticket to boosting your rankings on Google’s SERPs. They appear to search engines that the site is a credible resource for information about a given topic, product or service.

Bear in mind that relevancy can also be at the page level. If your site is about, say, dog food, and you get a link from a high DR general site on a page about dog health, that works too.

So if your site has lots of links coming from other websites or webpages that are not related to yours, Google’s algorithm could view this as spam. This sends negative signals to Google and can result in your site getting demoted in search rankings.

Build your site’s authority

Site authority, also called domain authority (DA), refers to how powerful a website is in the eyes of Google which also determines its rankings on search results. Higher authority sites are usually considered trustworthy by users, industry experts, search engines, and even other websites.

Because these sites are popular and well-respected in their fields, they are likely to attract backlinks a lot quickly, hence a higher link velocity shouldn’t be a problem for them.

Typical examples of authority sites include The New York Times and Forbes, both of which can rake in hundreds of links per day without attracting the wrath of Google.

Link out more often

The ration behind this is that when you link out to other websites, the site owners are more likely to reciprocate by linking back to yours. In general, reciprocal linking occurs when webmasters agree to link to each other. At Profit Engine, we focus on reciprocal links as a key part of our campaigns.

Even so, you want to target high-authority websites within the same niche as (or those related to) yours and do it within reasonable limits. This way, you can justify why you’re gaining backlinks at a quicker pace than usual.

Don’t forget to diversify your anchor texts

Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. Using the same anchor text for all links pointing to your website is a bad idea. The reason is search engines consider this an attempt to manipulate rankings and this could result in severe punishment.

When building links, it’s important that you diversify your anchor texts to incorporate a mix of phrase match, partial match, brand and generic terms. The idea is to have your backlinks looking as natural as possible.

Conduct a competitive link velocity analysis

Competitor link velocity analysis is an integral part of any successful link building campaign. As we explained earlier, the goal here is to determine how many links you should be building vis-à-vis your competition.

Performing a competitive analysis of your competitors helps you know:

  • Total number of links they have
  • Total number of incoming links per month
  • Number of unique linking domains
  • Recently lost links
  • Page performance
  • Link quality
  • Anchor text type and variance

From this information, you can get a sense of what your competitors are doing and reverse engineer their link building strategy. You can then aim to build the same (or better) link profile to improve your odds of ranking higher in search engines.

Need someone to take care of your Link Building?

There you have it! Whether you acquire links fast or slowly is not what matters the most. Instead, the quality of the links and how they are acquired is what drives results and enables you to avoid penalties.

Nonetheless, link velocity is a vital SEO metric that should not be ignored. If you don’t want to attract any unwanted attention from Google, focus on building links in a way that appears natural and organic, instead of just building them fast just because you can.

Are you looking to build high-quality backlinks that move your business up the search results and bring you customers organically? We can help.

Get in touch with us now for a free strategy call or conversation. You could be our next success story!

Categories
Link Building SEO

25 Best Link building Tools For 2022

So, after what feels like the longest most awful year ever, 2020 is behind us. We wanted to start the new year with a look at some of the best Link Building tools around.

Looking to build links? Need the right tools? This is for you.

OK, let’s get into it.

So, it can be challenging to know where to start when it comes to selecting the best link building tools – or any SEO software for that matter.

There is no one, ultimate, Link Building tool.

Many claim to be ‘The only SEO tool you need’ and they might have a nice suite of tools. However you can find that you only use half of them and by that time you discover that, you probably have already bought a year’s worth of usage from the platform.

For this reason, we’ve created a list of 25 different link building tools and SEO tools that we feel are the best available.

As we said, most platforms claim to be the best, but best at what? 

For that reason, we have split the tools up into categories, from Link Research through to link prospecting.

We’ve looked at overall usefulness, value for money, and any unique offerings each platform brings to the table.

We have also included the link building tools that we use everyday to build links.

You may even choose to use a combination of the below for the best results. We’ve included tools that we feel meet all budgets and cater to a range of users, from individual link builders to small and large search agencies.

After putting in the research, we believe that the following are the best tools for link building in 2021.

Ahrefs

Ask any SEO professional or marketing guru about the best tool for link building and they’ll mention Ahrefs without a second thought. Whether you’re looking for software for content marketing, keyword research, or link building, Ahrefs has got you covered.

For our agency it’s a vital part of our tool stack and is heavily used as part of our Link Building process. Everyone uses it, from myself (Link Audits, looking for broken link opportunities, checking referring domains), our Campaign managers through to our Link Prospectors(great for finding guest post opportunities)..

Ahrefs describe themselves as an “All-in-one SEO toolset”, something that’s not an empty boast. They are also an ideal platform for those new to search engine optimisation, as they offer a comprehensive (and complementary) bank of learning materials.

The suite comes with six distinct features: content explorer, site explorer, positions explorer, Ahrefs alert, crawl reports, and position tracker. Each of these features plays a critical role in link building, plus they’re all efficient and fast.

For instance, Ahrefs Alerts keeps you updated with new referring domains and mentions in real-time. Using this feature enables you to receive instant notifications via email whenever your competitors get a new backlink. What’s more, it can notify you if somebody mentions your website or a particular keyword.

Pricing

Ahrefs has four plans with a price range of between $99 and $999 per month. Before that, you can test the tool by subscribing for its 7-day trial for $7.

Looking for new Link opportunities? This feature keeps you updated on the sites that link to your competitors and not linking to you. How’s that important, though? Your competitor may be getting linked to from a reputable site but that doesn’t guarantee the site will be willing to link to you. However, if two or more of your competitors secure backlinks from that site, chances are you’ll also get accepted.

SEMrush

SEMrush is another all-in-one SEO tool for keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink audit, link building, etc. It’s a trusted tool with a customer base of more than 5,000,000 plus over 1000 media companies the world-over.

Semrush and Ahrefs are the two heavy hitters when it comes to the SEO tools marketplace and if you have the budget then get both.

With this tool, you can have an unparalleled view of your competitors’ strategies, explore their keywords and domains they’re ranking for, and analyze their performance via a mobile device or a desktop.

Pricing

SEMrush has three different payment plans; the lowest-priced is Pro and costs $99.95, followed by Guru which costs $199.95, and the Business plan wraps it up at $399.95 all billed monthly. Before that though, we’d recommend its 7-day free trial too!

My favourite feature: Keyword Gap Tool

Want to easily grasp the keywords that you and your rivals both have in common?Or find out where your rivals are targeting keywords that you aren’t? The Keyword Gap Tool is just the job.

Keyword Gap tool

You can compare up to 5 domains at a time and see common keywords, unique keywords, unique keywords in the first keyword domain, and then a complete view of all keywords. If you have selected the competitors and the set of keywords you want to see, you will be able to dig into each keyword and filter the data by metrics such as specific keyword, location, MSV, and more.

Majestic SEO

One of the grand daddies of Search Engine tools, maybe a bit in the shadow of Ahrefs and Semrush these days but still, their metrics are important and trustworthy. For many years this was the go-too Link building tool for anyone in search.

Majestic SEO allows users to track their domain dominance, number of backlinks, anchor text etc. It boasts one of the biggest link index databases (they claim the biggest, but ahrefs would dispute that) supported by their bespoke metrics.

Trust Flow is a measure of the quality of links that point to URLs and websites. Typically, a web page with a higher trust flow than Citation Flow would have good-quality links.

Citation Flow looks at the quantity of links that point to a website. Citation Flow does not care whether a link is of good-quality, or poor quality.

Pricing

Majestic SEO is available in three plans; Lite, Pro, and API. The lite plan costs $49.99 per month and is ideal for domains and light users like freelancers. The Pro plan costs $99.99 and it comes with additional features like email alerts and custom reports. Lastly, API costs $399.99 and is ideal for software developers and digital marketing agencies.

My favourite feature: Trust Ratio (TR)

As a link building and outreach agency we care about the quality of the links we build and using Trust Ratio helps us to do this.

To get the Trust Flow you simply do the following calculation: Trust Flow / Citation Flow = Trust Ratio

If the Citation Flow is high and the Trust Flow is poor, this means that the website being reviewed has a lot of link equity (or “juice”), but little trust in those links. This generally means that these links have been taken from “spammy” parts of the web because they are not similar to authoritative sources.

On the other hand, if a site has a high amount of Trust Flow and a low Citation Flow, this means that links to that site come from very credible sources, i.e. A trustworthy place from which you want a connection.

What is a good trust ratio? Well, there are many different opinions on this, but we typically like to see a TR higher than 0.4, otherwise, it is a higher chance that the site has lower quality or spammy links. anything closer to 1 is brilliant.

Moz pro

Moz pro for Link Building

Ah, Moz, the OG of SEO products!

It’s expanded over the years and now has a range of solutions from site audits through to Keyword research. However, many people know Moz for its respected Domain Authority (DA) metric. It was revamped a couple of years ago and is useful to use alongside Ahrefs and Majestic metrics to build a picture of how valuable a link is.

Pricing

Moz Link Explorer has four payment plans; standard, medium, large, and premium. Price ranges from $99-$999 whilst you can take advantage of its generous 30-day free trial period to get started!

Moz Link Explorer is an excellent tool to help you find your competitors’ websites pages, their overall backlink profile, the quality and quantity of linking domains, and the types of anchor texts used. It has a premium suite known as Moz Pro which offers a helpful anchor text analysis feature to allow you “reverse engineer” your competitors’ backlinks.

The tool comes with a simple interface that makes navigating and understanding backlink data a no-brainer.

Linkody

Linkody is a link building tool that leverages robust metrics from established tools like Majestic and Moz to track backlinks. You can use it to track lost and newly acquired links, explore your backlink profile, observe competitors’ link moves, and detect potentially harmful links.  

Pricing

Linkody has five payment plans with prices ranging from $13.90 to $138.90 for Webmaster and Agency XL respectively.

My favourite feature: top pages

This feature helps you identify the top pages that gets the highest number of links. You can then adopt what’s working for your competitors and drop backlinking strategies that are slowing down your growth.

Linkody doesn’t offer the same perks of the bigger sites like Ahrefs. However, those with a smaller budget or those looking for a more straightforward experience will be right at home with the platform.

URL Profiler

Like Linkody, URL Profiler draws its data from a range of other high-profile tools – including Ahrefs, Google Analytics, Moz and SEMRush. To use it, you’ll need to download it and add a list of URLs that you wish to audit.

This enables you to search and assess data such as social link metrics, media shares, page rank, page speed, HTTP status, robot access, etc.

The tool then provides a report in the form of an Excel file.

I know a lot of SEO people that really rate this tool, I have it on my ‘to do list’ to get to grips with it.

Pricing

The URL profiler is available in three different plans, each having different prices. They include Solo ($29.95), Pro ($39.95), and Agency ($99.95). Note that these are the prices for monthly billing.

There are a number of Link Prospecting tools out there but I really like this.

You can target only the most relevant sites for link opportunities like guest posts with topical link prospecting using Majestics data and also extract the relevant email address.

While the platform looks like it’s ripped directly from Windows 98, don’t let that fool you. URL Profiler is the real deal for those looking for accurate link building and data analysis.

Raven Tools

Have you been wondering why your competitors are always outranking you? Or what keywords, anchor texts, and links they’ve been using to rank higher? Raven Tools have the ultimate answers to these questions! You can bank on the suite for high-quality SEO, link building, research, and reporting.

It has an all-in-one toolbox comprising reporting and tools such as keyword and competitor research, backlink analysis, site audits, SEO data, rank data, and social reporting. It’s pretty easy to use too.

Pricing

The lowest monthly plan costs $39 while the top-most goes for $399. Further, all five plans come with a 7-day trial period.

Link Spy: Find New Links and Spy on Your Top Competition - Raven Tools

This feature enables you to spy on your competitors and establish what keywords and links they’re using to outsmart you in the rankings. It’s one of many products out there that will find Link Building Opportunities for you.

Screaming Frog

crawler website : Screaming Frog SEO Audits, Insights & Monitoring 🚀

Screaming frog is the swiss army knife of tools. It’s an all-purpose website crawler that works by extracting data from various URLs and auditing them to optimize search. What’s good about the platform is it pulls data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console as well as other leading SEO platforms like Ahrefs.

It comes with free and paid versions with the former enabling you to audit data from up to 500 URLs. Even better, you can purchase a license to have unlimited access to data sources and enjoy more advanced features as well.

The paid version comes with everything you’d want in a top-class web crawler. You can evaluate internal linking, detect duplicate content, find redirects and broken links, collect and analyze data from internal and external web pages.  

Pricing

Screaming frog has a free version but it comes with a few limitations. For example, it doesn’t offer access to full configuration, saving of crawls, and lacked advanced features like custom extraction or link metrics integration.

Purchasing a license costs £149 per year, and there are lucrative discounts for those who buy in bulk. For instance, if you buy 5-9 licenses, it’ll cost you £139, £129 for 10-19 licenses, and £119 for 20+ licenses.

My favourite feature: visualise site architecture

This feature lets you assess internal linking and the URL structure, thus forming a good foundation for link building.

CognitiveSEO

CognitiveSEO is a downloadable software that can be installed to offer backlink analysis. While not on the same level as bigger platforms like Ahrefs, it has some unique features that other platforms can’t boast.

For starters, the unnatural link detection is a feature unique to this tool and one of the reasons it made it to this list. This feature enables you to detect if a site you’d like to link from has a harmful or questionable backlink profile.

CognitiveSEO has an on-page website crawler and SEO audit tool that enables you to point out weak areas that affect your site’s performance. It also offers a pie chart showing your domain profile influence, which is a nice touch!

Pricing

After completing your 7-day free trial period, you can decide to upgrade at the cost of $129.99 per month.

My favourite feature: domain profile influence

You can use this feature to calculate how many of your links come from authority sites. This way, you can know the amount of effort to put in to get more of these powerful backlinks. It’s a neat feature that allows you to keep track of your link profile.

SEO Powersuite

SEO Powersuite (link assistant) does exactly what it says on the tin. It offers a powerful software suite as downloadable software to serve as your one-stop shop for any type SEO campaign. You can use it for backlink analysis, ranking data, on-page audits, and even PPC Ads optimisation options.

The best part about this tool is that you can preset all your research and analysis in a matter of minutes such that by the time you log in to your computer the next morning or after a few hours, all the reports and suggestions will be ready.

While it may contain tools which some link building specialists may not need, it’s a nice package for those who do.

Pricing

It’s available in two license types; the professional plan costs $149, and the enterprise plan costing $349 (all billed annually). There’s also a free version with basic features. It’s definitely one of the best priced tools out there and perfect if you are just starting out.

My favourite feature: SEO Spyglass

The feature enables you to analyze up to five of your competitors’ sites and gather insights on how to boost your link building activities. It also creates bespoke link building reports as and when you need them. I am playing with this tool at the moment and it looks promising.

SEOJet

SEO JetThere’s more to link building than simply looking for reliable websites; using the right anchor text for every backlink is equally essential. SEOJet is a nifty tool that helps you analyze your competitors’ moves, suggests anchor texts to use and even detects unnatural links.

Pricing

The Launch plan goes for $57.50 per month while Attack which is the highest costs $165.83. There’s also a 14-day free trial to help you get started!

My favourite feature: anchor text generator

This feature makes it easy to create a natural anchor text profile that Google loves. It also automates the process of choosing great anchor texts for each link you acquire.

Outreach Tools

Respona

Respona is an all-in-one blogger outreach platform outfitted with all of the necessary tools to set up and launch an email campaign of any kind, be it for link building, digital PR, marketing, or even sales.

It’s integrated with Google’s search engine for streamlined prospecting, and pulls metrics like Domain Rating and Ahrefs Rank directly from Ahrefs.

An easy-to-use email finder is also included, making it extremely easy to find the right person’s contact information without having to rely on any other tools.

Respona’s intuitive interface guides you through every step of creating and launching your outreach campaigns, keeps track of your performance, and also the status of your conversations with each prospect.

The tool will be especially useful to link builders, as it was initially used to help Visme scale their link building outreach efforts, helping the website gain over 2 million organic visitors a month.

  • Automated email outreach
  • Great for prospecting and finding contact information
  • Deep personalization
  • Built-in analytics and reporting

GroupHigh

Their tagline is “The ultimate swiss-army-knife of blogger outreach, influencer marketing, seo, and

affiliate marketing tools.”

With it, you can discover the influencer and blogger social profiles that have the right audience for your brand. As an outreach tool it could be very useful if you just want to guest post , it can help you find guest blogging opportunities pretty easily.

The creator claims that it offers the world’s largest database for blogs and influencers. After playing around with its search filters, the results for my keywords were quite impressive! Not only do you discover the audience size for each influencer, but also critical info including their niche, location, websites, blogs, and more.

For link building, GroupHigh allows you to batch import social URLs, blogs, and websites from other similar tools such as BuzzSumo and Ahrefs. Further, you can automate functions like influencer social profile research and targeted outreach.

Pricing

You can try the tool for free for 7 days. From there, prices begin at $179 and climb to the dizzying heights of $499 a month. However, we feel it’s worth it for lots of users.

My favorite feature: Blog Search Engine

A relevant Guest Post is a beautiful thing (in my opinion). Having a blog search engine in one place can take the strain from guest blogging and outreach campaigns.

BuzzSumo

Initially, BuzzSumo was a content marketing tool that you’d use to discover viral content across various niches. But it has since evolved into an all-purpose digital marketing tool for outreach, link building and research.

I use BuzzSumo regularly to build useful connections to influencers with an aim to leverage those for link building. It comes with four primary features namely discovery, research, monitoring, and influencers.

Discovery and research features allow you to find linkable content using relevant keywords in your niche. The monitoring feature provides insights into useful metrics that you discover from your selected URLs.

Pricing

BuzzSumo has four pricing plans namely Pro, Plus, Large, and Enterprise. If you’re just starting, I recommend the Plus Plan, which has a decent combination of link building features. It costs $179 monthly and $139 monthly if you purchase the annual plan.

My favourite feature: Influencers’ location of activity

The influencers feature shows where key influencers in your target location are sharing their content. This way, you can discover opportunities for creating relevant backlinks especially if you’re in the local SEO space.

BuzzStream

BuzzStream is an email outreach system that I know a number of agencies and link builders use. It’s an outreach tool that we looked closely at when choosing our own tool.

A few key features to like about this tool are campaign management, contact information discovery, and outreach templates. You can use it to research information about the prospects you’d like to network with, including their email details.

Finally, it helps you easily track specific conversations with your prospects when you have numerous outreach projects open. I would use Buzzstream if I was a freelance Link builder or possibly an agency with a focus on PR outreach.

Pricing

Buzzstream Outreach tool

BuzzStream offer a free trial, but after this, the Starter Plan which is suitable for personal projects will set you back $24 per month. There’s also a group plan that goes for $999 per month which is best suited to bigger organisations that need multiple logins.

My favourite feature: Buzz Marker

I love BuzzStream’s Chrome browser extension known as BuzzMarker. It helps you scan websites and social profiles for contact information and where email addresses are not found, it provides the link to the contact page.

JustReachOut

justreachout

I really like JustReachOut, it is all about pitching to journalists and media groups. It provides a rich database to discover journalists, their ranks in respective industries, content, guest posts,location, and much more. Essentially, this platform exists to help sites get their links and web addresses mentioned in various media publications.

The software shows by rank the list of journalists who would be interested in linking back to your website. It also connects you to editors who comment to increase the reply rate.

We are looking to test this platform for sniper focused PR type pitches. When it comes to building links it’s good to test new prospecting tools.

Pricing

JustReachOut offers three pricing plans namely Simple Outreach, Advanced Outreach, and Guided Outreach which cost $159, $319, and $559 respectively. This may sound steep but the tool can be worth its weight in gold especially if your links appear in large and prominent publications/web pages.

My favourite feature: Build a Targeted List of Journalists & Influencers

Find Press opportunities and Journalists covering your topic and keywords. This is a great feature when you want to take a more targeted ‘sniper’ approach to you Link building strategies.

Ontolo

Ontolo is a multi-purpose tool that offers functions spanning from link building through to social media analysis. You can use it to discover influencer prospects, dig for viral content, and find popular blogs that you can reach out to for backlinks.

According to the developer, Ontolo crawls over 400 million URLs daily making its database a rich source for link building information. What’s more, it supports two critical outreach functions; prospecting and querying.

With prospecting, you can either instruct it to find new prospects in its database or upload a URL list for it to scan. In my experience, working with uploads is faster and I can even use other outreach tools as my data source.

Querying allows you to fine-tune your search results to include social profiles, ads, contact pages, and more. Not only do you find prospect info by topic/term but also by opportunities to determine the best places to promote your content for backlinks.

Pricing

The cheapest pricing plan starts at $97 per month and goes up to custom plans.

My favourite feature: Free prospecting templates

You can use any of Ontolo’s 700+ prospecting templates freely. Plus, it has a simple interface that connects you to all its features in just a few clicks.

NinjaOutreach

This is the tool we first used as an outreach company to put together our link building campaigns but we moved on to another platform as we outgrew Ninja Outreach. To be fair it’s evolved a bit over the last few years and has refined into a better product.

Like other outreach platforms, NinjaOutreach is about building links through reaching out to third-party platforms. But it stands out for one reason – it has a large and highly refined database. For example, you can choose to organize the search results to rank the prospects by social metric or reach.

Combine this with other filter options such as Page Authority, Domain Authority, and backlinks stats and you have access to rich information for creating a powerful link building campaign.

Pricing

Prices start at $69 a month but climb to $599 for all in memberships.

My favourite feature: Infographic promotion template

This feature helps you visually organize your contacts and levels of engagements. For better results, you need to customize the templates regularly to suit each prospect in your list.

Pitchbox

Pitchbox for the win!

I have to say, for our business implementing Pitchbox has been a game changer.

We would not have been able to scale the way we have without it. I can’t speak highly enough of it. Of all the Link building tools we have looked at,trialed or used this is the best.

Pitchbox is a true end-to-end Link Building Productivity Platform. From the initial building of a list of sites through to email delivery it has it all. Email sequencing and follow ups are done seamlessly.

Pitchbox enables you to integrate various SEO metrics including Ahrefs, SEMRush and Moz.

Pricing

Pitchbox’s high price may deter new link builders with packages ranging from $195 upwards. But if you can afford this price point, it’s absolutely worth the money!

Pitchbox supports various types of link building campaigns such as competitor backlinks, link removal, blogger outreach, product reviews, and recent press posts. Tie that in with the ability to to use search operators and you don’t really need another tool.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a lovely little tool for monitoring campaigns and keywords. It can help you discover popular phrases and words in your niche and adjust your link building strategy effectively.

For link prospecting, it has multiple benefits to offer. For example, you can track every mention of your brand to discover the unlinked ones. Similarly, you can use it to research your competition by tracking where they’re getting mentions.

Pricing

Free

My favourite feature: The tool is free

Google Alerts is one of the few value-packed tools that come free. This alone is reason enough to make it on to our best link building tools list!

Linksignal.ai

Link Signal is a specialist link building platform that’s growing steadily in popularity. Its focus is backlinking content to build credibility and trust across the web and it does this rather well.

I met with the founder Hamlet and was impressed with the product.

The platform uses artificial intelligence bots to offer outreach research and discovery. Can you trust it to help with your link building campaigns? Absolutely!

For starters, you can use it for keyword research to ensure your content is optimized for search engines. It also provides a database containing contact information for authoritative domains in your niche so that you can build your list of link opportunities.. You can gather valuable prospect data including links to influencer social profiles, influencer names, email addresses, and location.

 Pricing

LinkSignal has a free option but those looking for more will want to check out their Premium and Agency packages priced at $99.99 and $199.99 a month.

My favourite feature: Multiple SERP URLs analyzer feature

This feature lets you scan influencer websites, blogs, and social profiles then identify how they relate to one another. It also compiles all your query data into a zip file to allow you use the data in other outreach and CRM tools.

Disavowing Tools

DisavowIt

Those familiar with disavowing links will know it can be difficult and stressful. The process involves finding ways to isolate your site from untrustworthy links.

DisavowIt offers a simple and painless way to do this. Without tools like this, you’d need to manually create and format a disavow file to upload on Google Search Console.

The tool can be pretty useful for link building, particularly when your site is recovering from manual penalties.

Pricing

DisavowIt is free to use!

My favorite feature – Apply disavow file to URLs

This feature helps you decide which links to disavow and those to stay on your site.

Creating a disavow file manually can be quite a lot of work and time-consuming too. If you need a tool that takes the guesswork out of this crucial process, this one is definitely worth a try!

Hunter.io

Looking to gather email addresses for a website you’re targeting for outreach? I can happily recommend the Hunter.io chrome extension. Not only is this tool quick but in my experience, the contact information you find is also very accurate. If you have a link prospector then since can be an indispensable addition to there tool stack.

It instantly scours the internet for data from multiple sources that are connected to the website owners. The search functionality also makes it easy to connect with the company’s decision-makers who have the authority to run links on the websites.

Pricing

You get 50 free requests per month and thereafter pay up to $399 per month depending on usage.

My favourite feature: email verification

Hunter.io verifies each email to let you know whether it’s still active before starting your outreach.

SeoQuake

If you’re a fan of browser extensions, SeoQuake is a tool you’ll want to add to your link building arsenal. You can install it in most major browsers including Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

I like that it’s easy to conduct site audits and offers pretty much every search engine detail you need to know about a website. SeoBar is a part of the extension that gives you the values of essential parameters for the page you’re visiting. This way, you can easily determine whether a link from that website is worth pursuing or not.

View the search results and website data in CSV format that includes key metrics such as Pagerank, number of pages indexed by Google, Alexa rank, and much more. This helps you determine the value of sites when creating a list of link prospects.

Pricing

Free

My favourite feature: the real-time diagnosis

This shows areas of your website that require improvements and how to fix various optimization issues.

MozBar

Popularly known as Moz, this was one of the very first SEO tools in the market. It’s incredibly easy to add to your Google Chrome and other browsers with nearly half a million installations to date. The versatile extension shows some really useful on-page metrics including title tag, meta robots, alt text and domain authority.

It also highlights the anchor texts that were commonly used by other sites to link to your website to help you prioritize the right keywords for your future content.

Apart from link building, you can also use MozBar to find out about a site’s HTTP status codes, schema markup, and much more.

Pricing

MozBar has a 30-day free trial after which you will pay up to $99 per month

My favourite feature: Open site explorer

This tool offers a deeper understanding of the types of links pointing to a page, which helps me gauge how worthy a link from that site is.

SerpWorx

SerpWorx is a premium extension that provides more than 30 different SEO metrics for any website without leaving the Google search results. It uses a handy little sidebar that cuts the time you need to research data about pages and sites.

I love this SEO tool and it’s something I use every single day.

Some of the SEO metrics it provides instantly include trust flow, domain authority, domain rating, target keywords, and estimated monthly traffic. I love how the sidebar offers a quick scan of key competitive metrics in a few simple clicks.

To say it saves me tens of hours every month is an understatement because there’s simply no other tool like this. I’m happy to pay a premium for its in-depth competitor analysis reports!

Pricing

SerpWorx offers a 3-day free trial and $29.95 per month thereafter.

My favourite feature: metrics at your fingertips

I love the fact that you can look at all the key metrics of a site in one fell swoop, it makes site research a breeze!

Those are the 25 best link building tools I (and many other link builders I know) utilize nearly every day. There are others that we have not mentioned such as Citation labs Link Prospector and Link Research tools.

We are planning to expand this list so feel free to recommend any you feel we have missed off.

Of course you won’t need all of them, so how do you choose what to spend on and what to ignore?

  • Set a budget for your tools and stick to it.
  • Invest in software that you REALLY need and not products that have ‘cool’ features you will probably never employ.
  • If you have clients you need to report to, go for tools with reporting features
  • Buy tools that support multiple users if you have a team.

Now it’s your turn.

Which of these link building tools is a must-have for you? Did I leave out your favourite? Please let me know in the comments below!