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The Best Link Building Tools Tried and Tested

Israel Gaudette
Published: July 29, 2020

Most people reading this article have come here because they want to learn about the best link building tools to use, or they want to know which are the best SEO tools. Even SEO veterans like us are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest tools that will not cost us an arm and a leg. That said nothing worthing using or having is ever cheap, and the same goes for SEO tools.

We have been doing SEO for a very long time, similar to many people reading this article. During our time and even today, we continue to run into exciting new link building tools which we’ve tried and tested fairly across numerous campaigns.

Some tools have worked perfectly, others not so much and then there were those that were so buggy we gave up. In our experience, you only need a couple of tools to achieve great results; everything else is just a distraction.

Why Use Link Building Tools?

Seasoned SEO experts can skip over this part of the article, but if you are relatively new, then please read on so that you understand why we chose the tools reviewed below.

Generally, all or most SEO link building processes will look something like this:

  • Pick a landing page or a target page, i.e., blog post, the home page, service page, etc.
  • Search for relevant prospects. These are websites in a niche who would be interested in what your website talks about and hence link back to you.
  • Find a way to contact these relevant websites.
  • Email them with a compelling email.
  • Follow up if you don’t hear back, track, and then manage the link building campaign.

The reason for using link building tools is because it makes the link building process more manageable. For instance, if you wanted to start a guest blogging campaign, your manual steps would be:

  • Find websites that are relevant to the niche that you’re targeting and which accepts guest post.
  • Vet each website and whittle out ones that don’t fit well.
  • Contact the shortlisted websites and email them to get your guest post published.

Now if you are reaching out to just a couple of websites, then it can be done manually. Though it isn’t a good use of your time. If you need to contact two dozen websites, which isn’t unusual, the manual approach is a massive waste of time. That’s why it is essential to use tools as it helps you save money, time, and effort.

So, now that we know what link building tools are, how they work, and how they are meant to make your life easier, let’s start with our top picks!

Ahrefs - The Best Tool for Competitor Backlink Analysis

ahrefs home

As an SEO, you know just how important analyzing competitors can be for your campaign. There is a lot you can learn from analyzing the top dogs for the keywords you want to target.

A thorough analysis will tell you a lot about what type of links are built and where the majority of link juice is coming from. Also which keywords are bringing in the most traffic. You’ll also be able to figure out what they aren’t doing or doing wrong, which you can use to gain an advantage over them.

Ahrefs is an industry-leading backlink checking and analysis too, which is considered amongst the best SEO tools which are unsurpassed to date. To start with if you don’t have a page to which you want to build links then the ‘Best by Links’ report is a good place to start which should tell you which are the best competing domains. It presents you with good linkable asset ideas. Plus by adding a “404 not found” filter it is possible to find dead or deleted pages that may have backlinks.

Using the report should suffice when it comes to providing you with a supply of broken link building opportunities. If anything, you can be busy for months building links from those pages.

Now if you already have a page to which you want to build links you can start by analyzing the competition. Enter a similar page used by the competition and check their backlinks report. You will see every backlink they have built pointing to that page.

Ahrefs – The Best Tool for Competitor Backlink Analysis

Now if you are just starting out or are prospecting for a particular niche, the best way to figure out how much competition you’ll be up against is to use the Keyword Explorer feature. The SERP Overview of the keywords you enter will show the top pages for those keywords and the number of links pointing back at them.

You can then drill down into further detail to find out where these links are coming from and if it is possible to replicate their success by acquiring the same types of links.

Content Gap

Another interesting and highly useful feature is called ‘Content’ Gap,’ which helps to highlight gaps in your content as well as in the competition's content.

You can check which keywords the competition is using to rank for and stay ahead of them. Filling in those gaps once you know what they are is relatively simple.

Content Explorer

The Content Explorer feature is used to generate a topic, relevant topics to the content, and for skyscraping. It isn’t just used for content research but also how the content is used by the competition. So, you will be using this tool a lot.

You can use different filters to narrow down what you are looking for and start applying what you’ve discovered right away. Further details can be found by using the drop-down button.

If anything, this is perfect for your content creation and your marketing effort because it shows things like backlinks for that specific result, the number of referring domains, the domains themselves, and the anchor text.

Link Tracker Pro (For Backlinks Performace Monitoring & Backlinks Management

Link Tracker Pro addresses one of the biggest problems that SEOs face when building links. It is amongst the best SEO tools for tracking backlinks. As you go about building links via guest posting, social bookmarks, profile links, and PBNs, it can be hard to know which of these links are working in your favor.

So, you don’t know which links have added value, which have not done anything, and which were detrimental to your website’s standing.

Ranking Toxicity Detection

One of the biggest issues for link builders is knowing if the links they are building are going to be toxic. By toxic we mean that the links will have an adverse effect on their rankings.

Unknown to those who are new to link building Google rates websites based on its unique algorithm. Low-quality websites are given a toxic rating, but website owners and link builders have no idea what Google thinks of their website. Link Tracker Pro uses its unique algorithm to figure out which websites and consequently, links will be toxic.

Being able to immediately identify potentially toxic backlinks helps you save time and money on building links from that website. It also makes it possible to remove toxic backlinks and keep healthy ones to boost rankings.

Rank Tracker

It allows users to track their rank via their link building profile. So, you get a more accurate picture of how well the link building campaign is progressing.

Ranking Monitoring

One of the keys to knowing how well you are doing is to be able to monitor your rank. It allows you to monitor the performance of all backlinks directly via the dashboard. So, everything needed by link builders is just a click away.

The dashboard also allows you to track ranking history, so you know as soon as the backlinks are indexed. It also gives you a reasonably good idea of what effect the links have had on your website. You also get to track the ranking evolution of all the money keywords via a historical graph. The graph can be shared with clients, business partners, and employees alike so that everyone is on the same page.

Global Ranking

Instead of using a separate tracker for your keywords, Link Tracker Pro saves you time and money while making it super simple. Link builders can track multiple keywords across 193 countries around the world directly via the dashboard. The rankings are updated frequently, and so you know exactly where your websites stand in the grand scheme of things.

Customizable Dashboard

A customizable dashboard means that you get to pick and choose what is important to your campaign. Categorize all the backlinks you build as well as personalize the data you want to see. So, your dashboard is clutter-free and only displays the information you want.

Other Features

  • MOZ Integration: Almost everyone is familiar with MOZ, and for most professional link builders, it is the tool of choice to figure out if a domain or link is worth the investment. Link Tracker Pro users can directly link their account to the MOZ account and receive instant PA and DA ratings for all their backlinks.
  • Categorize and Sort: You can choose what to see and how you want to see it. Everything is 100% customizable, which allows you to quickly find the backlinks you want to be sorted by metric, site, etc so, if you want to see all links sourced from DA-20-22 domains, it can be done in an instant.
  • In-depth Reporting: Whether you do SEO for yourself or others, the reporting feature is important. The report provides you with everything from the number of links, to the date they were published, metrics, etc. All of which makes preparing and sending a link building report to your clients quick and simple.

BuzzSumo – The Indispensable Tool for Link Prospecting

BuzzSumo screenshot

BuzzSumo quite simply put is a content marketer’s, and even a link builder's dream come true. You can prospect for potentially good content and even links. However, since SEO is just as much about building content as it is backlinks and choosing keywords, it is an indispensable tool for prospecting.

Regardless if you’re exploring a new profitable niche or want to determine what the latest hot topics are you can capitalize on it thanks to this tool. After all, if you want to naturally attract links, you can think of writing great content as being an excellent link-building tool.

BuzzSumo also serves as an excellent social media analytics tool. The powerful social media search engine helps you search for and analyze the best performing content within your niche. You’ll see all the best content sources, each with a success rating based on shares, likes, etc. That will tell you which type of content is doing well and which isn’t.

Get Great Article and Post Ideas

We see this as being BuzzSumo’s biggest selling point. Using it, you can come up with ideas for content, which is much more effective than just sitting with a blank piece of paper. Also, starting to write without BuzzSumo can be a hit or miss affair, and if you don’t want to leave things up to chance, then you’ll want to use this tool.

When you use BuzzSumo, you instantly know what is being shared, liked, and linked to. That gives you a good starting point from where you can start drafting the outline of your article. If anything, there is a higher chance of success with writing your article using ideas this tool provides versus winging it!

Research the Competition’s Content

BuzzSumo apart from showing you content that was most shared and liked within your niche can also show you the top performers for a particular domain. So, you can check your own domain as well as your competitor’s domain to figure out what content has worked best and draw a comparison between the two.

You will also be able to discover a couple of interesting facts like which other websites are linking back to the competitor’s best performing content, who authored the best content, and which channels are receiving the most shares. All of this information can be used to supercharge your own content and outperform the competition.

Alerts for Trending Articles

The content alert is another great feature using it; you can set up alerts for specific types of content using variables like brand name, domain name, etc. It is something like Google Alerts but with more customization options like being able to set up alerts for when competitors publish fresh content. It offers a unique way of finding potentially excellent link opportunities.

Many SEO professionals use these alerts to keep tabs on the competition and to see what is working so that they can replicate that success. The good thing about this feature is that the link appears ASAP in just under an hour. So, there is no time wasted from when fresh content is published to when you’re alerted.

Influencer Outreach

Another great feature so far, we’ve only found on BuzzSumo is the ability to find and reach influencers within your niche. The idea behind using influencers is that why spend so much time on trying to create an identity of your own when you can piggyback off the influence and credibility of influencers.

You start by creating a new list in the outreach lists tab. Once you’ve created that list, you can start adding the influencers you want to contact by first using the “Search Influencers” tab. You can search for influencers either by their name or by your keywords or even by the content they share.

You can also find influencers by using the “Top Authors” tab. Just insert your keywords that best describe the niche and wait a few seconds for the search to finish.

BuzzSumo makes link prospecting look easy with a comprehensive army knife of features. Depending on the type of marketing or SEO you’re engaging in, it will help to exponentially improve results.


We are aware of the fact that there are literally hundreds of link building tools being sold online. Some help you find good link opportunities and some focus on just one feature.

In all fairness, we’ve not used every one of those tools to declare those duds, and these the best choice. However, if you’re looking for the absolute best selection of tools that don’t cost you a lot of money yet offer the most features while making your life as an SEO easy, then the above is the way to go.

We aren’t stopping you from experimenting, only saving you time and frustration by listing what has worked for us and hundreds of others like us! You certainly can’t go wrong with our so-called our holy trinity of SEO tools.

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