We all know that building backlinks from high-quality, niche-relevant websites are important for SEO success.
But, how do we actually get backlinks?
Some of the essential steps involved in link building (via guest post) are finding website prospects, filtering the prospects that meet your link building criteria, finding contact details of the admins/editors, writing/editing content, and finally publishing the polished content with a link back to your site.
Doing all these tasks manually without any assistance is quite a hectic. There are lots of link building tools out there that help in various steps on link building to efficiently & effectively complete the tasks.
In this article, we take a look at some of the best link building tools in 2021 that can help you on your link building journey.
What are link building tools?
Link Building tools help in one or many of the link building steps such as finding website prospects, viewing/comparing website metrics, finding email addresses or contact information for websites , automating sending & response of emails, etc.
Why do you need link building tools?
Link-building tools help you find backlink opportunities, qualify if a given backlink is worth the effort or not? And, there are a lot of other benefits of using link building tools. Below are some key points on why you need link-building tools for an effective backlinks strategy.
1. Analyze domains for backlinks
When it comes to backlinks, quality triumphs quantity.
Link building tools help you analyze the statistics related to any domain that you wish to generate backlinks from. This way, you can understand data such as average monthly traffic, existing backlinks profile of the website, Domain Authority, Domain Ranking, etc.
Thus, you get to easily understand the high-quality websites for backlinks.
2. Find competitor’s backlink sources
Analyzing competitor’s backlink sources is essential for excelling in a competitive SEO world.
With the help of link-building tools, you can easily enter the domain URL of your competitor(s) and find their existing backlinks profile, which helps you to find high quality backlink sources.
3. Reach out to website owners/webmasters
Once you shortlist the websites to build backlinks from, the next step is to contact the site owners/admin. There are several outreach tools that help you in finding email addresses and other contact information related to websites.
When regularly contacting site owners/admins, it becomes difficult to keep track of each conversation. With the help of outreach tools, you can also keep track of all the conversations separately and never lose track.
4. Find unlinked mentions of your brand/website
It is common for websites to mention other websites and brands without actually linking back to their site. Finding such sources and asking for a link back is a great way to generate backlinks with less effort.
There are several link building tools out there that scans the web to find mentions of your brand/website. Thus, you can easily approach the concerned webmasters and create valuable backlinks.
11 best link building tools
Now that you have an idea about link-building tools and their benefits, let us take you through some of the best link-building tools in the market currently.
1. Ahrefs – best tool for finding link-building prospects
Ahrefs is one tool that most SEO professionals can’t live without. It is an all-in-one SEO tool that satisfies most SEO-related requirements, not just link building.
- “Keyword Explorer” tool that provides you keyword ideas from a database of over 7 billion keywords from 171 countries and 10 different search engines.
- “Site Explorer” to find all the essential information about any website or URL. The displayed information includes Ahrefs rank, domain rating, number of backlinks, number of organic keywords, average organic traffic, referring domains, etc.
- “Rank Tracker” to continuously monitor your website’s keyword ranking over time. You can also compare your website’s growth with your competitor’s to understand how well your site is performing.
- “SEO Audit” feature performs a complete analysis of your website to help you find technical issues that are affecting your site’s overall SEO. The audit feature is best for finding and fixing on-page SEO factors.
Ahrefs plan prices start from $99 and go up to $999.
What do we love about ahrefs?
According to us, Ahrefs “Content Explorer” is the best feature of the platform.
Content Explorer allows you to easily perform link prospecting.
For the unaware, link prospecting refers to the process of finding and prioritizing websites relevant to your niche for backlinks.
Link prospecting allows you to tap into high-quality and authoritative websites for backlinks by analyzing your competitors and other websites in your niche.
With the Content Explorer feature, you just need to enter keywords to find niche-relevant domains for backlinks. You can again filter the results to display only the high-quality ones.
2. Snov.io – best tool for finding email IDs
Reaching out to webmasters is an essential part of link building, and emails are the best way to do so. But, how do you find email addresses to get in touch with your link-building prospects?
Snov.io is the solution.
- “Email Finder” feature lets you search and find email addresses linked with domain names, companies, etc. with just a single click.
- “Email Drip Campaigns” allows you to set up a workflow for emails so that automated follow-up emails and lead emails are sent based on preset triggers.
- “Email Verifier” using this feature you can verify the email addresses you have to ensure that you send out emails and follow-up only with valid and genuine email addresses.
- “Technology Checker” allows you to find the front-end, back-end, and other technologies implemented by a website. You can also search for specific technologies and find websites that implement the same.
Snov.io services are priced between $33/month and $482/month depending on the features.
What do we love about snov.io?
Reaching webmasters via email is one of the smartest ways to earn backlinks to your website.
Instead of spending too much time searching for the email addresses of your preferred website owners/editors, you can simply enter your target email address in the Snov.io email finder tool and find all the linked emails.
3. BuzzStream – best link building tool for email outreach
BuzzStream is designed to automate your email outreach activities to make it less of a hassle for you. Thus, you can spare the time spent to insert/filter/update email prospects on a spreadsheet file and do the same task easily using BuzzStream.
- Research: BuzzStream allows you to build a prospective email list via various methods. You can save details from websites as you visit them, save data from SERP, or research for prospective sites based on keywords from right within the BuzzStream tool.
- Email: BuzzStream also lets you simplify the actual process of sending emails to prospects. For starters, you can group the contacts depending on the type of email you wish to send to them. Then, you can create email templates and also add personalized messages based on your recent activity on the contact.
- Manage Campaigns: Once you research for prospects and send emails, BuzzStream also lets you view the campaign status and also share updates with your teammates.
BuzzStream plans start at $24/month and extend up to $999/month.
What do we love about buzzStream?
On a first look, BuzzStream looks like a tool designed for email marketers and PR teams.
However, BuzzStream also makes it extremely easy to find link-building prospects, organize them, send them emails, and progress the responses to the email sent.
Thus, if you’re looking for a tool to simplify your link-building email outreach campaigns, BuzzStream is the one to go with.
4. HARO – best platform for getting links from authority websites
Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a free online platform that connects journalists with experts. In simpler words, if you are a journalist preparing a report on a particular topic, then you can utilize HARO to get in touch with experts on that topic for much in-depth coverage.
So, why is HARO considered one of the best free link-building tools?
If you sign up as a “Source” on HARO, then you receive 2-3 emails per day with links to stories that journalists are covering along with the information they need from the experts.
The topics in the email are categorized based on niche, and the links themselves have the title and the name of the website where the article will be published.
By analyzing and filtering out the emails from HARO for high-quality and authoritative websites in your niche, you can easily find a handful of topics you can contribute to.
While you send your contributions via email, make sure to also include a bio about yourself along with your website URL.
5. Google alerts – best for finding unlinked & brand mentions
In an ideal world, other websites that refer to your content will link back to your website as a token of thanks. However, most websites just mention their reference website within the article and don’t link back.
This is more prominently visible for brands and businesses, which are usually mentioned in other articles, but not linked back to.
How do you find such content?
Google Alerts is the best way to do so!
Google Alerts is a marketing tool used by businesses, influencers, etc. to know about what the internet is talking about them. You can also use Google Alerts to receive updates on your industry and competitors to know what’s hot.
Google Alerts can also help you stay updated on unlinked mentions.
All you need to do is set up alerts for your business/website to find content on the internet where it is mentioned. Thus, you can narrow down the search and easily find content that mentions your site without actually linking.
Usually in such cases, contacting the website admins will give you a link back to your site for free.
6. Whitespark – best tool for finding citation opportunities
Whitespark is a tool designed especially for businesses to find new customers and improve visibility on the internet. The tool is also a great way to find untapped citation opportunities on the internet.
- “Local Citation Finder” helps businesses find citation opportunities on the internet without wasting time.
- “Local Rank Tracker” allows businesses to get a detailed insight into how they rank in local search results.
- “Review Checker” lets users check their business ratings and reviews across all popular sources on the internet. Thus, businesses get a detailed idea of what the word of mouth on their service/product is out there.
The pricing for other Whitespark plans ranges between $39 and $149 per month.
What do we love about whitespark?
The best feature of Whitespark, according to us, is their “Local Citation Finder”.
For the unaware, citations are references to a business listing that are done from other websites, such as online directory websites. Citations usually contain information such as business name, location address, contact number, and a link to the business website.
With Whitespark, businesses can find existing citations to verify that a link back has been provided. Also, the tool allows businesses to track their competition to find new citation opportunities as well.
7. Buzzsumo – best tool for finding influencers
Buzzsumo is another commonly used link-building software out there to find content opportunities that work, track current trends, find brand mentions, etc.
- The “Content Discovery” feature lets you find new and trending keywords. You can filter the keywords based on search volume, CPC, etc.
- “Content Research” allows you to search and find content on any niche/topic. The content research results make it easier to gain inspiration and research for new content.
- You can also use Buzzsumo to find influencers across all popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- BuzzSumo’s monitoring features allow businesses & websites to track brand mentions, competitors, and also get updated on the latest industry happenings and trends.
BuzzSumo has a free plan that allows for 10 free searches each month. The paid subscription to BuzzSumo services starts at $99 per month up to $299 per month.
What do we love about buzzsumo?
Influencer marketing is one of the best brand/website promotion strategies these days. Apart from the engagement they bring, influencers can also help in building some good quality backlinks via social media.
BuzzSumo helps you find social media pages & influencers related to your niche with the best engagement rate, high domain rankings, as well as local influencers based on your language preference.
8. Majestic SEO – best for monitoring backlinks
For anyone looking for SEO link-building tools that present backlink information in an easy-to-understand manner, the Majestic SEO tool is the best choice.
Majestic SEO provides all the necessary backlinks information that is frequently updated along with a history backlog profile for your website.
- “Site Explorer” provides all the backlinks information about a website such as quality of backlinks, link volume, fresh backlinks, historic backlinks, referring domains, etc.
- You also get details about crawled URLs, the number of Edu/Gov backlinks, and more.
- You can create custom reports to show only the backlinks information you need for reference.
- SEO Majestic also allows you to monitor competitors to find their top backlinks sources and their link-building strategies.
SEO Majestic plans are priced at $49.99 per month and $99.99 per month respectively. However, large agencies can also avail their API for $399.99 a month.
What do we love about seo majestic?
There are many tools out there that provide backlink information about websites. But we feel most of them just throw a lot of information at the users.
With SEO Majestic, you do get access to all the essential backlinks-related information about a domain. However, they are presented in a simpler and easy-to-understand manner.
Moreover, as the tool also provides historic data, you can easily assess how your website’s link building has improved/weakened over time.
9. Google disavow tool – best tool to disavow spammy links
The word “Disavow” means to deny any responsibility or support for a particular matter.
When Google penalizes a website, it is usually because of spammy/unnatural backlinks pointing to the website.
Once a website is penalized, the most effective way to reverse the decision is by choosing to disavow any paid, unnatural, spammy backlinks to your website.
The Google Disavow Tool helps you to disavow such backlinks in the eyes of Google’s search algorithms.
Below are the steps to use Google Disavow Tool:
- Launch the Google Disavow Tool on your browser by clicking here.
- Select the website for which you wish to disavow links (The website must be linked to Google Search Console).
- Click on the “Upload Disavow List” button and select the file with the links to disavow.
The file that you upload in step 3 must be in “.txt” format and must follow the guidelines set by Google. You can find more details about the guidelines here.
10. Google search operators – best to find link building prospects
“Google Search” operator isn’t a separate tool or anything. Instead, it refers to a different way of searching on Google instead of typing the keywords.
Using Google Search operators, you combine regular keywords with some symbols to make the search more targeted and get refined results.
So, how do Google Search operators help in link building?
If you were to do a simple Google search to find opportunities for guest posts, resource pages, etc., you would have to go through a lot of junk pages before finding useful sources.
By using Google Search operators, your results will be refined and easy to focus on.
So, how to use Google Search operators?
Let us begin with the Google search operator query for finding guest post opportunities:
Keyword 1 intitle:”write for us” inurl:”write-for-us”
As you can see in the image, running the search operator query by replacing “keyword 1” with “tech” gives us results for tech niche websites accepting guest posts.
You can play around with the keywords to find relevant guest posting sources in your website’s niche.
Similarly, you can use the below query to find resource page opportunities in your niche:
Keyword 1(intitle:”resource” | intitle:”resources” | inurl:”resources”)
In the above image, we replaced “keyword 1” with “programming” to find resource pages related to programming.
You can find more details about search operators in the article about Google Search operators by Moz.
11. Google sheets – best for managing data
Google Sheets is another common tool used by experts while building backlinks. Even though Google Sheets doesn’t directly provide information or data for link building, it is one of the best options to manage data.
While collecting sources and ideas for link building, storing them in spreadsheets makes it super easy to analyze and filter useful data in the future.
The benefit with Google Sheets is that they are synced via the cloud and you can access all your link-building spreadsheet data across any device you use.
Bonus: 7 free chrome extensions for link building
Modern link-building tools also offer Google Chrome extensions to make it easier for users to build backlinks.
Apart from the above-mentioned link-building tools, here are some of the best free Chrome extensions for link building.
Check My Links crawls all the pages in your website to find & report on broken links. The broken links results generated by the extension can be easily copied to your clipboard to be fixed later.
The Ahrefs SEO Toolbar is a great tool to generate on-page SEO reports, trace redirect links, check how your website performs in search results for various locations, find broken links, and more.
3. SEO Minion
SEO Minion is another SEO link tool that allows you to perform on-page SEO analysis, find all the internal and external links on a webpage, identify broken URLs, check the validity of “hreflang” tags, find Google SERP preview of your website, and more.
The BuzzStream Buzzmarker Chrome extension allows you to add websites, contacts, and links to your BuzzStream collection. You can also check on existing relationships with partner influencers, find new placement opportunities, and more using this extension.
5. No Follow
As the name suggests, the No Follow Chrome extension helps to identify the no-follow links in a webpage. The extension also allows you to find sponsored and UGC attribute links as well.
The No Follow extension supports robot meta tags for all popular search engines and you can also specify to run the extension only on specific websites.
If you are looking for a tool to extract data from web pages and instantly convert them into spreadsheets, then Scraper is a great tool for the same.
The extracted web page is instantly copied to your clipboard as tab-separated data, thus allowing you to easily paste on your favorite spreadsheet tool. The extension also supports exporting into Google Docs.
Linkclump allows you to open, bookmark, copy multiple URLs within a webpage with ease. Once the extension is installed, all you need to do is drag the selection box around the URLs in the webpage and select your operation.
You can also change the mouse/keyboard combinations that activate the selection box, use the “Smart Select” feature to select only the important URLs in a page, filter the links based on anchor text, and more.
How to Pick the Best Sites for Link Building?
The link-building tools and Chrome extensions mentioned in this article are all great to find backlink prospects. However, it is essential to note that you always make the final call on which prospects to follow up on.
To make sure that you get the best results out of the link building efforts, ensure the following:
1. Ensure that the website has a good ranking on popular SEO analysis tools such as Ahrefs, Moz, Majestic, etc.
2. Only pick websites that are relevant to your website’s niche.
3. Pick websites that have a well-structured content layout.
4. Make sure the websites have a strong and spam-free backlinks profile themselves.
5. Avoid websites that have spammy content or are penalized by Google in the past.
Always remember that link-building is a fine line and if you cross into the grey area, your website can easily be penalized by search engines like Google.