As we’ve discussed before, the world of SEO isn’t just about what you know; it’s about who you know. Having a strong backlink profile shows the Google robots that your page is good enough to rub digital elbows with the best of them, sharing their ‘link juice,’ enhancing your page authority, and giving you a boost to your search engine rankings. The end goal, of course, is to create an entire ecosystem of interconnected content, allowing link equity to flow freely into your site.But link building isn’t something that just happens. Businesses invest a significant amount of time and energy into developing link building partnerships, and hiring reputable professional link building agencies is generally considered the best option for securing safe, ethical, effective links to your pages. That said, if you’re committed to keeping your link building efforts in-house, you’re going to need the right resources. You’re going to need link building tools.
What Are Link Building Tools?Link building tools are just what they sound like: digital solutions designed to automate and support your link building efforts. These tools offer a range of capabilities, helping you with everything from tracking competitors and managing content partners, to identifying broken backlinks and discovering new backlink opportunities.But that’s just a general overview. Backlink tools come in many different shapes, sizes, and price ranges, and finding the right one to fit your needs can be a daunting task. But don’t worry! If there’s one thing we know, it’s building links, and we’re putting our industry expertise to use by highlighting the 7 best link building tools available today:
7 Best Link Building Tools on the MarketIf you’re looking for a link building tool to help bring in that sweet, sweet link juice, consider these 7 options:
1. Ahrefs — Best at Finding New Link Building Opportunities
You’d be hard-pressed to find a list of any SEO tools that excludes Ahrefs. That’s because Ahrefs is a comprehensive marketing platform and SEO toolkit that includes solutions and support for keyword research, rank tracking, SEO site audits, and more. And when it comes to link building, Ahrefs keeps up the pace with content and site exploration capabilities, allowing you to discover the top referring domains to improve your outreach while also developing a clear picture of your competitors’ backlinks.In fact, Ahrefs is the second most-active crawler on the web (right behind Google), with a backlink index of more than 3 trillion live backlinks. In other words, this is the industry standard for link research and is one of the preferred tools of link building agencies everywhere.Price: You get a lot with Ahrefs and the pricing reflects that. Ahrefs offers several different monthly subscription options, ranging from $99 to $999. Not every package includes every feature, so make sure you’re paying for the tools you want before you commit.
2. BASE’s “What It Takes to Rank” — Best at Reporting Links
Want to see where you stand in comparison to competitors and top-ranking sites? Then our “What It Takes to Rank” tool is the answer. We’re not just tooting our own horn when we say that this is the most comprehensive backlink reporting tool in the industry. “What It Takes to Rank” pulls together and analyzes data from top sources, including Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Palomar. It then aggregates that data into an extensive set of reports.These reports detail the top SERP competitors’ average domain ratings, 12-month link velocities, and numbers of backlinks. The “What It Takes to Rank” tool then identifies any areas where your target page may be lacking and shows you exactly how many backlinks you need and what other actions you should be taking to push your page to the top.Price: What would you pay to get a microscopic view of your page and your competitors’ backlink profiles? Don’t bother answering that, because our “What It Takes to Rank” tool is free. Just fill out a short form with your target keyword, target page URL, and a limited amount of other information, and we’ll email you the report. Easy and budget-friendly — two words you’re not going to find in every link building solution.
3. Hunter.io — Best at Finding Emails
Link building is essentially relationship building; when you find websites that would be perfect for partnering with, you reach out and start laying the groundwork for guest posting. But what happens when there’s no available contact information? Rather than spending hours in what could easily be a fruitless search, just use Hunter.io.At the click of a button, you can set Hunter.io to scour the web, retrieving accurate contact information (i.e. names and email addresses) for the people you need to connect with. Hunter.io helps ensure that lack of contact info never gets in the way of building powerful link-equity relationships.Price: Depending on how many searches you plan on performing per month, Hunter.io monthly subscription packages range from free (up to 25 searches and 50 email verifications) to $399 (30,000 searches and 60,000 verifications).
4. HARO — Best at Securing Journalistic Links
Interested in taking your link building efforts further? Go beyond the blog with HARO. HARO stands for “Help a Reporter Out,” and that’s exactly what it does. Reporters and journalists use HARO to request input from experts on a range of subjects, which they can then use in their articles. Naturally, we wouldn’t be highlighting this tool if it weren’t also beneficial to you; the journalists repay your help by linking back to your page in their content, sharing their journalist-level domain authority with your site.HARO offers a unique form of link building. In essence, you sign up as a subject matter expert, and reporters and publishers then reach out to you for your help. And while there’s no guarantee that they’ll use the information you provide, if your help is valuable then they’ll repay it with a quote and a link.Price: Because HARO represents a give-and-take relationship between webmasters and journalists, it’s one of the more budget-friendly tools on this list. The basic plan is free, with other subscription options topping out at $149 per month.
5. Semrush — Best at Real-Time Backlink Visibility
Although perhaps not quite as widely used as Ahrefs, Semrush is nonetheless a reliable and popular all-in-one SEO tool. Semrush SEO functionality includes rank tracking, site auditing, PPC analysis, and more. And it’s certainly no slouch for link builders, either, bringing together domain authority tracking, backlink analysis, and competitor analysis. These extensive analysis and reporting capabilities help set Semrush apart, but where it really shines is in its currentness.Semrush refreshes its data nearly constantly, providing a more real-time view into the backlink ecosystems of top-ranking sites and alerting you instantly if any of your existing backlinks get taken down. For keeping on top of any changes that might impact your page’s profile, it’s hard to beat Semrush.Price: Semrush monthly plans range from $199 for the “Pro” plan and top out at $449 for the “Business” option. Considering the range of tools and capabilities you get, many users find that even the most-expensive plan more than pays for itself.
6. Pitchbox — Best at Overall Outreach
Because finding and connecting with the right sites is such a vital part of any link building strategy, it may make sense to invest in a tool specifically for website outreach. Pitchbox is an influencer-outreach-and-content-marketing platform. With Pitchbox, you can easily discover potential partners, vet them and their sites, generate outreach reports, and perform a range of other link building tasks.One of the key differentiators here is that Pitchbox is extremely user-friendly. Pitchbox includes tried-and-true outreach templates and offers step-by-step guidance, so that even outreach beginners can secure valuable partnerships with ease.Price: Pitchbox isn’t extremely upfront about their pricing (they’d like to walk you through a demo before they lay on the sales pitch). That said, their monthly plans currently range from $195 to $150.
7. Moz — Best at Assessing Top Pages on a Site
Rounding out this list is another top all-in-one SEO tool. Much like Ahrefs and Semrush, Moz is a comprehensive SEO platform used by thousands of digital marketers around the world. But for link builders, the most relevant feature is the Moz Link Explorer. Moz Link Explorer peels back the curtain, giving you the data and functionality you need to analyze backlink profiles on any site. From helping you analyze competitors to finding and reporting broken links, Link Explorer has you covered.One of the areas where Moz Link Explorer really stands out is in its ability to locate and assess the top pages on a website in terms of inbound links. With Link Explorer, you’ll always know exactly what makes your top competitors your top competitors.Price: Moz subscription plans start at $99 per month for the “Standard” option and range to $599 for “Premium.” As with any link building tool, it’s always a good idea to get a clear feel for exactly what you’re paying for with each plan. Thankfully, Moz also offers a free 30-day trial.