What Is Link Building?
Updated 15th April 2016
Establishing good quality back-links to your website is crucial to improving the credibility of your site. It’s the only way that Google bots can tell if other people value your content. You can use SEO tools to Identify what content gets linked to most so that you can prioritise your content marketing activities to ensure resources are targeted in the right areas.
Care needs to be taken though as Google can penalise anything that looks like link building for its own sake as the priority should be to create quality content that people want to share. Your Google site ranking is of course determined by a number of factors such as citations, brand mentions and the quality of links.
For a brilliant and comprehensive article on how to build links read ‘The Complete List Of Link Building Tactics’ by Jon Cooper. From my research the top 3 link building tools that I have come across are:
Below I have summarised 20 of the top SEO link building tools:
1. ahrefs: Claims to have the largest index of backlinks. It is updated every 15 minutes and is highly recommended for identifying the number of referring domains that a site has, how many of these come from unique IPs, and how natural is your link growth over time.
Monthly plans range from $79 for Lite to £1,299 for Premium.7 day money back trial available.
2. Audisto: This is a tool to analyse websites and is able to crawl through millions of pages. The crawler can identify problems with the site structure, HTML code and technical issues, together with finding your most valuable pages and the best pages to link to and form.
Monthly plans are based upon a sliding scale of the number of pages crawled. Plans start from €90 a month for up to 100,000 pages crawled, €120 for up to 1,000,000 pages, and go up to €1,590 for 50,000,000 pages.
3. BuzzStream: A dedicated link building site which allows you to import lists of websites for prospecting and provides useful data for deciding which websites you should target. It will provide the domain authority of a site and how many followers they have on Twitter. It also allows you to easily contact websites through BuzzStream.
Monthly plans range from $29 for Starter to $249 for Premium. Free trial available.
4. BuzzSumo: A comprehensive SEO and content marketing tool. It is invaluable for helping to identify the most shared content across all social networks and run detailed analysis reports. Find influencers in any new topic area, and review the content they shared. ideas for new content. The “Backlink” tab shows the social shares of the the most popular inbound links.Track your competitor’s content performance and do detailed comparisons.
Monthly plans range from $79 for Pro to $239 for Agency. Contact BuzzSumo for Enterprise plans.
5. DeepCrawl: DeepCrawl is a comprehensive website crawler, designed to identify and monitor technical aspects that could affect your SEO performance. It is good at identifying duplicate pages, pages with meta titles that are too long, duplicate pages and pages that take too long to load.
Monthly plans range from £50 for Starter to £1,050 for Enterprise.
6. Followerwonk: A Twitter analytics app from Moz that you can use to find influential people by topic name, The app also allows you to compare users, analyse followers and sort users by name, days on Twitter, Tweet count and more.
The analyse followers function enables you to segment users into a number of psychographic groups including gender, location, and Twitter activity. 30 day Free trial available.
7. Google Adwords Keyword Planner: A Free tool from Google, Keyword Planner helps to build new search network campaigns or expanding existing ones. You can search for keyword and ad group ideas, get historical statistics, see how a list of keywords might perform and create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together.
8. Google Webmaster Tools: A Free tool from Google. If you use Google Analytics it is simple to add Google Webmaster to your account and start collecting data to identify how you can improve your SEO performance.
9. GroupHigh: A dedicated blogger outreach and influence management tool. This is highly recommended for larger organisations as it is able to import URLs by the thousands and provide basic blog information, SEO/traffic metrics and social networking data. GroupHigh maintains an extensive database of bloggers that includes social media data. This means you can see what topics a blog covers, but also how many Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook followers the blogger has.
Annual plan starts from around £9,000, but discounts may be negotiable.
10. Inkybee.com: A comprehensive blogger outreach resource that enables you to find bloggers on any topic. Has a dashboard to track and manage your outreach. Includes a powerful search engine with advanced filtering, a blog discovery tool to identify more relevant blogs, a sophisticated list management tool to create all kinds of lists, a tool for analysing the influencers in your Twitter followers and a sector segmentation tool to find the details in your lists.
Monthly plans start from $79 for In-house-team to $249 for Large team. Free 14 day trial available.
11. Keyhole: This is a social media analytics tool for monitoring posts on both Twitter and Instagram. As well as providing metrics such as posts, impressions and reach, Keyhole also gives you share of posts, geolocation, demographics and includes an advanced influencer filtering table.
Keyhole offers a week’s sample of Twitter data for Free. Paid plans start from $129 a month for 3 concurrent trackers and up to 50,000 posts on Twitter and Instagram. The Corporate plan costs $449 a month and offers up to 10 concurrent trackers and 100,000 posts.
12. LinkProspector from Citation Labs: Highly recommended tool for finding outreach targets. Powerful tool for quickly building lists of potential link targets. Very affordable and gives a quick return on your investment.
Free plan offers 1 credit (reports normally cost 1 credit) and pay as you go plan from $10 for 5 credits. Monthly plans start at $27 for Consultant and up to $97 for Enterprise.
13. Majestic: The Majestic Marketing Search Engine is best known for the trust flow and citation flow metrics. The topical trust flow aids analysis of a site’s topical data for evaluating the semantic context of a site. Identify top ranking sites in your sector and use the trust and citation flow data, together with topical trust flow numbers, to try to create a similar profile.
Plans range from £29.99 per month for Silver Quarterly to £250 per month for Platinum.
Monthly plans start at $99 for Standard and go up to $599 for Premium.
15. MyBlogU: A useful tool for blogs to establish new connections and backlinks. Facilitates knowledge sharing and you can choose between brainstorm, media and interview. The interview category can be used for creating interviews for you blog and for finding relevant projects to raise your profile.
16. SearchMetrics: Enterprise SEO platform that will gather data on your website, with information about SEO visibility, backlinks and more. The graphs facility enables you to identify any algorithm issues by looking for any sudden changes in visibility. Use the keywords ranking to help identify the most relevant websites to target. The social ranking feature provides evidence of how well the social marketing is performing.
Monthly plans start from $69 for Essentials and $2,000 for Suite Business. Contact SearchMetrics for pricing for Suite Enterprise and Suite Ultimate.
17. Screaming Frog: The Screaming Frog SEO Spider allows you to quickly crawl, analyse and audit a site from an onsite SEO perspective. It’s particulary good for analysing medium to large sites, where manually checking every page would be extremely labour intensive.
The Free standard Lite version allows you to crawl up to 500 URLs at a time, but does not give you access to the configuration, saving of crawls or the custom source code feature. An individual licence is available for £99 per annum.
18. SEMrush: A comprehensive and popular SEO tool for checking the health of a site. As part of keyword research the tool is also used to identify which top sites rank for primary keywords.
Monthly plans range from $69.95 for Pro to $549.95 for the Business plan.
19. Serpfox: A useful keyword position tracking tool. Set custom alerts and receive emails to inform you whenever a search term you are tracking enters the top ten positions, exits the top ten or changes by more than ten positions.
Monthly plans range from $10 for Starter and go up to $200 for Agency.
20. Skyrocket.Digital Similar Content Tool: A Free content promotion tool that helps you find authoritative and relevant websites that have linked to comparable content. This is a great prospecting tool as it allows you to target high-quality link prospects who have shared and linked to a comparable or related piece of content.
Simply enter relevant keywords for your content. The tool will then list prospects that already link to the top ranking content on those terms. You can export prospects to your outreach tool or add them to a spreadsheet. Then you are ready to start your outreach campaign and earning links for your content.
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- About the author: Neal provides digital optimisation consultancy services and has worked for brands such as Deezer.com, Foxybingo.com, Very.co.uk and partypoker.com. He identifies areas for improvement using a combination of approaches including web analytics, heuristic analysis, customer journey mapping, usability testing, and Voice of Customer feedback.
- Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on Usabilla.com and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website. If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to email@example.com. You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch and view his LinkedIn profile.