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10 AWESOME Link Building Tools

Brian Dean

Written by Brian Dean

10 AWESOME Link Building Tools

You’re about to see the 10 best link building tools.

In fact, I’ve used these exact tools to get backlinks from sites like Entrepreneur.com:

Entrepreneur – Backlinko backlink

And even Forbes:

Forbes backlink

With that, it’s time to reveal my favorite link-building and outreach tools.

1. Semrush

World’s fastest backlink discovery platform.

Semrush is my go-to tool for all things SEO.

Including link building.

Semrush should be your go-to tool for all link-building activities

What makes Semrush unique is the quality of its backlinks data.

Apart from links, Semrush also has a TON of other features like:

Their interface is clean and easy to navigate through all their tools.

Pricing: $129.95-$499.95 per month

My favorite feature: Link Building Tool

Semrush comes with a built-in outreach tool.

You can find prospects, prepare your outreach sequence, and track your campaigns in minutes.

Tracking your campaigns

It also keeps a tab on your backlinks and notifies you if they’re removed.

Monitoring domains

If you want to learn more about other features of Semrush, check out my Semrush guide.

The bottom line

If you can only invest in one link building tool, it should be Semrush.

Find all of your backlinks

Explore the largest, fastest, and freshest backlink management tool.

Backlinko Logo
Semrush Logo

2. Pitchbox

Use workflows that walk you through the outreach process.

Pitchbox is an outreach platform built for advanced link builders.

Pitchbox outreach platform

Once you start a campaign, it walks you through all the steps to find prospects and grab contact info.

Steps to find prospects

What’s neat about Pitchbox is that several people can participate in the same campaign.

For example, you can delegate specific team members to ONLY compose emails and others – ONLY to personalize them.

Pricing: $550-$1500 per month (annual commitment)

My Favorite Feature: Metrics Filters

This feature helps filter your results by specific quality metrics.

You can filter by Majestic Citation Flow & Trust Flow, and Moz metrics (Page Authority and Domain Authority).

Majestic filters feature

The Bottom line

Pitchbox combines “easy to use” and “powerful features” into a single piece of link building software. It is not the cheapest tool out there, but I highly recommend it if you have a large outreach team.

3. Respona

Full-suite link building outreach platform.

Respona is a powerful link building outreach platform.

Respona tool

There are LOTS of pre-built campaigns to choose from.

A few of my favorites are:

  • Skyscraper Technique – you input competitor articles, they give you a list of URLs linking to them.
  • Product Review – you input competitor domains, they give you a list of blogs that recently reviewed them.
  • Guest Post – you input topics, they give you a list of websites accepting guest posts.
  • Podcast Outreach – you input a person in your industry, they give you all the podcasts they’ve been featured on.
  • Resource pages – you input keywords, they give you top resource listicles on those topics.

Once you choose a template, it walks you through the entire process – from finding high-quality opportunities and getting contact info to sending personalized emails.

Find opportunities from this template

Pricing: $99-$399 per month

My favorite feature: Automated contact finder

Respona automatically finds the right person for each website – including their verified email and Linkedin profile.

No more reaching out to support emails.

Simplified outreach

 

The bottom line 

Respona is a powerful link building platform for agencies and in-house teams. Its automation features save a ton of time while running outreach campaigns at scale.

4. Buzzstream

Keep track of your relationships.

BuzzStream is an outreach CRM that helps you stay organized with link building.

BuzzStream CRM

Instead of spreadsheets and random Gmail inboxes, you can use BuzzStream to track conversations and manage campaigns across multiple projects.

Arguably the best feature of the entire platform is the Buzzmarker Chrome extension.

It automatically scans the site you’re on for any email address or contact page.

Buzzmarker Chrome Extension

Pricing: $24-$999 per month

My Favorite Feature: Custom Fields

I view custom fields as the bread and butter of BuzzStream. They let you organize and customize campaigns in any way you want.

My favorite custom field is the Relationship Stage. It means: “what is our current status with that person?”

Relationship Stage

BuzzStream has many other cool features I didn’t have room to cover here. But if you want to learn more, I recommend reading my BuzzStream review.

The bottom line

BuzzStream is one of my favorite link building CRMs. If you do a lot of outreach or work with a team of link builders, it can help you keep track of your outreach.

5. Hunter

Find accurate email addresses in seconds.

After trying over 25 different tools for finding contact info, I can confidently say that Hunter.io is one of the best.

It’s lightning-fast, and the contact info you get from it is insanely accurate.

Find contact emails fast

That’s because Hunter doesn’t just scrape a single website for email addresses. Instead, it pulls data from several different sources.

Hunter scrapes multiple sites

Pricing: Free-$399 per month

My Favorite Feature: Email Verification

Hunter automatically verifies each email that it gives you:

Verifies all emails

That way, you know the inbox is still active BEFORE you hit “send.”

(You can also bulk upload email addresses for verification.)

The bottom line

When it comes to finding email addresses for outreach, it’s hard to beat Hunter’s accuracy.

6. HARO (Help A Reporter Out)

Get featured in upcoming news articles.

HARO is the PR industry’s version of Tinder.

You can connect with bloggers and journalists who need sources while getting links and exposure for yourself.

HARO - the digital industry's Tinder

How does it work?

Once you register as a source, HARO sends you daily emails with dozens of questions from writers needing expert insights.

Insightful questions from HARO

For example:

I saw a question from a writer asking: “What’s the difference between graphic design and web design?”

So I responded with this pitch:

A sample pitch

A few days later, I got this link from an education site (76 authority score).

A positive pitch response

Not too bad.

Pricing: Free – $149/month.

My favorite feature: Head Start

Time is of the essence when responding to HARO questions.

Your pitch is much more likely to be seen if you’re among the first respondents.
“Head Start” (paid feature) notifies you of press opportunities before everyone else.

The bottom line

HARO is one of the best ways to build high-authority backlinks at scale.

7. Buzzsumo 

Discover influential bloggers in your niche.

Even though BuzzSumo is designed for content marketing, many SEO pros use it too.

Here’s how:

First, BuzzSumo makes it easy to create content that people WANT to link to.

BuzzSumo eases content analysis

Second, you can use BuzzSumo to find influencers in your niche that recently shared your competitor’s content:

Competitor analysis

(Which means they’re likely to share your stuff… and link to it.)

Pricing: $119-$999 per month.

My Favorite Feature: Brand Mentions

Think of Buzzsumo’s “Brand Mentions” as Google Alerts on steroids.
You can create a brand alert for you and your competitors.

Create brand alert

And it’ll show you new blogs and news articles that mention your brand.

See results mentioning your brand

You can also filter mentions without links:

Mentions without links

Easy peasy.

Buzzsumo offers a ton of other features than what I covered here. If you’re looking to learn more, I suggest reading my guide to Buzzsumo.

The bottom line

Sure, BuzzSumo isn’t designed for link building. But as you just saw, you can still use it to get white-hat links to your site. Recommended.

8. Ahrefs 

Backlink data is powered by one of the world’s most active crawlers.

Ahrefs is a link building software designed for SEO pros.

Ahrefs link building software for SEO

Much like Semrush, it also has a lot of features that have nothing to do with link building, like:

If you’re having a hard time deciding between Ahrefs and Semrush, check out my detailed comparison guide.

Pricing: $99-$999 per month

My Favorite Feature: Content Explorer

Ahrefs content explorer is a mini search engine for link builders.

For example, here’s a search I run every month to find mentions of Backlinko:

Ahrefs tool snippet

Then I use the “highlight unlinked mentions” to filter the sites that have never linked to me:

Sites not linking

Here’s an example:

Example of a site not linking to Backlinko

In my experience, a friendly “can you please link to us?” email can turn those unlinked brand mentions into legit backlinks:

Asking for a backlink

The bottom line

Ahrefs is the go-to SEO tool for pros. It’s a solid alternative to Semrush if you don’t mind the more complicated interface.

9. Moz Link Explorer

Reverse engineer your competitor’s backlinks.

Moz Link Explorer is the flagship feature of Moz Pro.

Moz Link Explorer

Let me show you how it works.

First, you pop a competitor’s domain (or specific URL) into it:

Enter your URL

And you can see all of their backlinks:

See all backlinks from a specific URL

You also get link metrics, like the site’s Domain Authority:

Pricing: $99-$599 per month

My Favorite Feature: Anchor Text Analysis

Quickly see the most common anchor text in a site’s backlink profile:

See anchor text

Why is this helpful?

Well, if you see lots of exact-match anchor text, that’s usually a sign of black hat link building.

The bottom line

Moz Link Explorer is the third-best link analysis tool on the market. That said, a Moz subscription comes with several other tools (like an on-page grader) that can make the investment worthwhile.

10. Majestic 

Link analysis on a budget.

Majestic is yet another backlink analysis tool.

Majestic link analysis tool

It has the features you’d expect… like the number of backlinks, referring domains, and anchor text analysis.

Majestic awesome features

Pricing: $49-$399 per month

My Favorite Feature: Topical Trust Flow

This metric measures how many links a site has from a set of highly-trusted “seed” websites.

Topical trust flow

(It’s basically Majestic’s version of TrustRank.)

I recommend checking out my Majestic review if you want an in-depth overview.

The bottom line

Majestic SEO has a massive link database. But the UX is ancient and hard to use. That said, you definitely get your money’s worth at $50/month.

Bonus: Google 

Find link building prospects for free.

Okay, this one isn’t a tool in the same sense as other items on this list.

But good ‘ol Google has the world’s largest index of websites – making it a gold mine of link-building opportunities.

Google as a link-building tool

Pricing: Free

My Favorite Feature: advanced search operators

Google search operators give superpowers to your searches.

Google superpower in URL search

Here are the most useful operators for link building:

  • inurl:” – only returns results with specific words/phrases in the URL.
  • intext:” – specifies keywords or phrases mentioned in the content.
  • intitle:” – same as intext, but only applies to the results’ titles.

For example:

SEO inurl:resources

It returns resource pages about SEO, where you can pitch your content to be included.

Like this one:

Link building resource opportunity

Very cool.

The bottom line

Google search operators are the easiest way to find link building opportunities.

Any Tools That I Missed?

Those are my top 10 link building tools.

The question is:

How do you choose the best one for you?

Here’s a quick checklist to help you decide:

  • What budget do I have to work with?” – If you’re so shoestring that you can’t afford shoestrings, Google searches are always free. That said, outreach tools usually make the process faster and more efficient.
  • How many people need to use the tool?” – If you’re the only one who builds links, then you don’t need to worry about user accounts and features designed for teams. But if you do outreach with a team, tools like Semrush or Respona are a must.
  • How many links can I see?” – Backlink analysis tools like Semrush, Moz, and Ahrefs give you the most competitor link data. Others might be cheaper… but you get what you pay for.
  • How important is reporting?” – Are you reporting to clients? If so, detailed (and nice-looking) reporting features can be massively helpful.