The Best Link Building Tools out there (2021 edition)

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  • Reading time:12 min(s) read

The SEO Dilemma

Do you ever wish your website could skyrocket to the top spots on the SERPs?

Do you feel frustrated you don’t get the visibility you deserve? After all, you’re creating all this great content, right?

Of course, you do! And you’re not alone.

Anyone with a domain shares these same goals and exploring technical SEO is crucially important for all marketing activities. 

If your organization’s goals are to improve organic traffic and visibility on SERPs, you’ll want to seriously consider building links. 

But before we dive into the best link-building tools to help get you started, we must establish the basics of link building.

Why do we need to build links?

Backlinks are one of the most important aspects of Google’s ranking factors. 

Their ranking criteria are usually kept under tight wraps but Google admitted that links, content, and RankBrain are their top 3 ranking factors

A backlink is created when one domain links out to another. Links can also be internal and send readers out to another piece of owned content or a landing page. 

Backlinks are important for SEO because they act as a type of endorsement for search engines. They work by signaling to Google what content is relevant and has value for users. 

Since Google’s entire mission statement centers on providing relevant results, it’s safe to say that link building isn’t going anywhere. 

Understanding the Link Building Process  

So we’ve established that you can’t really avoid building links. 

Though they aren’t the only factor that will affect your rankings, they are pretty indispensable. 

It’s difficult to know where to start because link-building is arguably one of the hardest and most complex aspects of SEO. 

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or even a SEO pro. White-hat link building can be mind-numbing at the best of times. 

Building links can seriously impact your search performance, but whether the impact is positive or negative depends on the way you choose to build them. 

In the past, the more links you had, no matter how irrelevant, guaranteed high visibility in search results. 

In 2021, thanks to multiple advances in technology and algorithm changes, Google can easily detect when it’s being manipulated. This also means that link building has gotten harder. 

Gone are the days where getting links was as easy as buying them in bulk from link-farms, or PBN’s. But that doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice quality. 

All links are not equal, and cutting corners or buying spam links can land you in hot water with Google. 

So how can you maneuver this challenge? We’re glad you’ve asked!

Link Building Best Practises 

We’ve listed some of the most important link-building practices to keep in mind, plus what resources you can use to make it happen. 

In case you missed it, we also created a much more detailed post that talks about some of the best link building strategies. 

P.S. The tips below are all White-Hat, and you don’t have to break your back to achieve them. 😇

  1. Create great content: This goes without saying. Your domain is your most important digital asset, and the quality of your content can make or break your rankings. But it’s equally important to create content that will be the most relevant for your users and niche, so never skip out on audience research. One of the best ways to create your footprint online is through blogging, which can attract a lot of organic traffic. Getting creative and branching out with alternative content such as video and infographics can also yield excellent results. 

Tabtimize Tip💡: We created a guide that breaks down how often you should blog for SEO results. Some key takeaways from the article stress the importance of updating older content and blogging consistently plus many others. 

  1. Relevance is Key: Contextual relevance is the most important factor for backlinks. Google zeroes in on relevance, giving higher weight to topically relevant sources over others. If your links aren’t relevant, they will bring down the user experience on your website, which can make your rankings take a nosedive. Plus, without relevant backlinks, Google may mark your content as spam, and in a worst-case scenario, de-index you. 
  2. Control your Backlinks: It’s vital to check the health of your backlinks to spot and get rid of any irrelevant links that may come from less-than-reputable sites. Staying up-to-date on who’s linking to you can help you avoid penalties on Google. Plus it’ll ensure your brand doesn’t show up next to shady companies that could hurt your reputation.
  3. Build relationships by interacting on Social Media: In 2021, most marketing activities take place in the digital sphere. Now more than ever, it’s essential to be on the platforms where your customers are and take part in meaningful dialogue. Increasing interactions on social media and posting content on social media channels are excellent ways to do that. Social Media doesn’t just help with brand awareness. Backlinks can be earned from social media interactions, as well. A proven way to get them can be by commenting on relevant blogs and sharing links to your own website on social media. 

Tabtimize Tip💡: The Tabtimize Platform lets you see who sent you a link request, their Link Relevance Score, and domain URL. The LRS will automatically tell you if the linking website’s content is a match to yours. So you can approve or decline link requests based on their stats. This helps to get rid of the need to check on them often. 

Best Link Building Tools for SEO 

Congrats on making it this far!

Now, let’s get down to some of the best SEO link-building tools we recommend. Here they are, in no particular order.

  1. Ahrefs 

Price: $99 – $179 per month for basic plans, up to $999 per month for advanced.

Free Trial: No 

Ahrefs is a giant in the SEO industry and for good reason. They provide a multitude of features that go beyond link building, making it a fantastic overall tool for SEO. They have capabilities and features in areas such as keyword research, technical SEO audits, rank tracking, and many more. 

They also have a very large and well-developed index of live backlinks. Features like Site Explorer let users see the backlink profile of any website along with several key stats. Site Explorer includes:

  • Backlink Strength 
  • Organic Traffic Research
  • Paid traffic Research 

These SEO tools allow users to explore important data such as the quality of backlinks of your competitors, what keywords your competitors are ranking for, and what websites are linking to the competition. 

Though it can be costly for those with a small SEO budget, Ahrefs link-building tool provides great competitive insights. What’s not to like? 

  1. SEMRush Backlink Gap Tool 

Price: $119.95 – $449.95 per month 

Free Trial: Yes

Similar to Ahref’s link-building tool, the SEMRush Backlink Gap tool helps you keep a close eye on what your competitors are doing. 

The Backlink Gap tool allows you to compare your own link profile with those of your competitors and find prospects. 

It aims to help identify the “gaps” in your link-building strategy, so you can look into acquiring links your competitors don’t have. 

The platform also compiles a list of domains to target in your link-building campaigns. 

  1. Google Search Console

Price: Free 

Free Trial:  N/A 

Though not technically a link-building tool, the power of Google Search Console is undeniable. It’s a must-have for every marketer, plus it’s free! 

It is an excellent resource when it comes to link building, though it is also useful for a variety of applications. Once it has crawled your domain, it can provide insights into your site’s link profile. It covers metrics such as:

  • Top Linking Text
  • Top Linking Sites
  • Internal/ External links 

In your link reports, you will have access to important information. Some examples are: which of your pages have the most links, what kind of inbound links you have, plus several others. 

Not only is this useful for understanding what type of content works best for your website, but also helps you to monitor the quality of the websites that are linking to you. 

  1. Tabtimize

Price: $0 – $285 per month 

Free Trial: Yes 

On our platform, we aim to take the hassle out of link building by doing all the tough work for you. 

We know that you’re a busy professional and have more important things to do with your time. That’s why we designed the platform to reduce the time spent on link building by 99.83%, (we actually performed a test that can prove it). 

Thanks to our unique NLP-based algorithms, we can automate all the time-consuming tasks. 

No more spending endless hours scouring the internet for prospects and searching for contextual relevant link opportunities.

The algorithm uses machine learning to analyze web-pages through 7 levels of text and context analysis, quickly breaking down information like content topics, relevant keywords, and much more. 

Once the platform analyzes the data, it goes a step further to assess the degree of contextual relevance between pieces of content which are called the Link Relevance Score. It can then show you the most relevant link opportunities for your site. 

It’s that easy!

  1. Moz Link Explorer 

Price: $99 – $999 per month

Free Trial: Yes 

No list would be complete without Moz Link Explorer, a tool that’s been helping busy SEO professionals for years.

The Moz Link Explorer is an extensive backlink checker with multiple capabilities. With this tool, users can get a comprehensive backlink analysis of their URL and the URL of their competitors.

This link-building tool gives users reports that showcase metrics such as Page Authority, Domain Authority, established links, plus many others.  

This insightful data is especially useful when you want to understand your own link profile and find new link opportunities. 

Like some of the other link-building tools, Moz Link Explorer also allows you to see what backlinks are attached to your competitor’s profiles. It can also help you uncover irrelevant or spam links, so you can disavow them immediately. 

Non-Link Building Tools that can still help you create links 

You read that right. 

Software and tools that weren’t created for link building, can actually have powerful link-building effects. 

If you’re not using some of these already, you’ll want to incorporate them into your strategy soon.

  1. Hunter.io 

Price: $0 – $399 per month 

Free Trial: Yes

If you’ve ever struggled to find the email addresses of site owners while manually building links, look no further. 

By simply entering a domain name into the Hunter.io URL, the platform can retrieve the email addresses of journalists or website owners. 

To help make sure you get the right address, the platform shows a list of sources around the results, allowing you to cross-reference for accuracy.

  1. GroupHigh

Price: $149 – $499 per month

Free Trial: Yes 

GroupHigh is the go-to content marketing tool if you want to find bloggers and influencers in your niche.

GroupHigh offers an extensive blog and influencer search, making it easy to find bloggers to connect with and link out to. 

The platform can also aggregate website, blog, and social media data to automate influencer search—helping you make an educated decision on who to reach out to. 

  1. JustReachOut 

Price: $99 – $399 per month

Free Trial: Yes

JustReachOut is another essential tool for marketers looking to target journalists and PR strategists. 

This platform is a great tool for building PR and helping create backlinks. This is because of its large database of journalists who are looking to write, blog, or podcast about niche topics.

JustReachOut software goes a step further and helps users find journalists that are most likely to link to your website or have you as a guest on their platform.

  1. HARO

Price: $0 – $149 per month

Free Trial: Yes 

Help A Reporter Out, or HARO has been a longtime staple for marketers looking to build their PR strategy. 

Here is how HARO describes themselves:

“HARO connects journalists seeking expertise to include in their content with sources who have that expertise.”

Every day, journalists submit requests on the platform for knowledge experts to mention in their articles. If you sign up as a source, you’ll be able to connect with journalists directly. 

Bottom Line 

Using software from third-party providers can maximize your efforts and help get you serious results. Using link-building tools can help you get closer to your goals, regardless of whether you have a big SEO budget or want to try to earn backlinks free with trial programs.  The important thing to focus on is working smarter, not necessarily harder. 

Have you tried any of these platforms before? Which is your favorite and why? Let me know in the comments below.

Zarifa Sadeq

Zarifa Sadeq is a Marketing Manager & Content Architect with 8 years of experience in B2B and B2C marketing.