Human beings have an age-old relationship with tools.
They’re the reason behind our survival and success as a species.
Even though we’ve left the caveman days behind us, we still need them.
You can’t hammer a nail into a hard surface using your hands.
It’s pretty hard to crack open a beer without a bottle opener—unless you know a cool party trick.
The same thing goes for linkbuilding.
You need tools.
Without linkbuilding tools, you won’t be able to find all the best backlink opportunities, dangling there like ripe, low-hanging fruit. You won’t be able to automate outreach, and you’ll instead spend hours upon hours crafting, sending and following up on emails.
Your hands won’t bleed without linkbuilding tools, mind you. But the time you’ll be able to save, the resources you’ll take advantage of and the powerful backlinks you’ll score will all be worth it in the end.
No longer will you have to manually do research on your competition and dig up link prospects on your own.
With help from linkbuilding tools, you’ll be able to automate the entire process with just a few clicks and taps.
How to Choose Your Linkbuilding Tools
There’s just one problem with linkbuilding tools.
There are too darn many of them. What makes the issue worse is that the differences between each tool can’t always be seen by the naked eye—sometimes you end up paying for a subscription only to find out that it’s not what you needed.
To simplify matters for you, we’ve identified the different parts of a linkbuilding campaign.
Below are the basic steps that you need to follow to execute an effective and sustainable linkbuilding strategy. You’ll ideally have a tool to cover each step.
- Check your backlinks — Get a bird’s-eye view of your current link profile. Organize your links based on the most relevant metrics to identify the good links from the bad.
- Link prospecting — Scour the web for linkbuilding opportunities by identifying influencers in your niche with the most likelihood of linking to your site pages.
- Contact and information research — Find contact information of your prospects (email, position, company) with whom you want to build links.
- Outreach management — Conduct an outreach campaign in which you send drip emails to influencers with the intent of asking for a backlink to your site. This step should also help you find more prospects and measure the performance of your campaign so you can improve its conversion rate.
- Rank tracker — While not really a linkbuilding tool in the strictest sense, a rank tracking tool will help you make sense of your linkbuilding campaign. Since backlinks bear the most weight as an SEO factor, higher ranking for your keyword correlates to a good backlink profile.
5 Handy Linkbuilding Tools to Automate Your Research, Outreach and Monitoring
Your linkbuilding strategy starts and ends with your link profile.
Check Your Links
First, you’ll want to scope out the backlinks you already have, and pounce on any missed opportunities. For instance, if someone gave you a backlink that’s now broken, you can reach out to have it fixed. Bam! Easy new backlink.
This is made easy with Monitor Backlinks, because you’ll see all your backlinks right on the dashboard:
Do Competitor Research
You can also use Monitor Backlinks to track your competitor’s backlink activity. This is key for finding good backlink opportunities. See all their best and latest links to sniff out their current linkbuilding strategy. What’s working? What’s not? What can be successfully applied to your site? What opportunities are they missing?
Clean Up Bad Links
This tool empowers you to improve and build on your backlink profile like no other. However, the harsh reality is that you don’t have full autonomy when it comes to building links. There’s a chance that other people will build links to your site, whether you like it or not.
While that doesn’t sound like a bad thing, it could be bad if the generated links come from spammy sites—or if a jealous competitor tries to slam you with a negative SEO attack.
In the case of negative SEO, you could be blasted with hundreds and thousands of backlinks from low-quality sites, with the aim of having Google penalize your site and knock you out of the competition.
This is just one more of the reasons why Monitor Backlinks exists.
Stay on Top of Your Link Profile
Monitor Backlinks helps you identify the quality of your backlinks using Trust Metrics, Moz Rank and other key indices. Once you’ve filtered for links with high scores on all indices, you need to make sure that you never lose the link so you can maintain the purity of your backlink profile.
If by any chance the site owner removes your link, you need to contact him or her and secure the link again. If you’re constantly getting backlinks from spammy sites, you can create a disavow rule from the tool.
Plans and Pricing
Monitor Backlinks has a Free Backlink Checker tool which you can use if you just want to take a peek at the most important backlinks of a website.
And Monitor Backlinks also offers a 30-day free trial that lets you use all its features, including everything from backlink auditing and bad link disavowal to keyword rank tracking.
After the trial period, you can to choose from its affordable plans, starting with the $25/month plan that lets you track 500 backlinks from a single site and add up to two competitors. Higher plans will let you track more domains, backlinks and competitor sites.
You don’t just want to find the right authoritative domain, but also who’s behind the domain.
Oftentimes in linkbuilding, people get caught up on the site metrics which are used to determine whether to pursue a backlink from that domain.
However, what’s important is getting to know the person who’s running the site. After all, it’s the person and not the site who will have the final say on whether or not to link back to you.
Research Your Backlink Prospects
BuzzSumo will help you find out more about the person from whom you want to get a backlink.
There are two ways you can find influencers using this tool.
1. Search for the most-shared content for your keyword. Find the Twitter sharers of the posts and filter out the most influential users based on their followers, Page Authority and Domain authority.
2. You can also use the reply ratio index to determine how responsive they are if you message them. The higher the reply ratio, the more chances that they’ll open and respond to your message, at the very least.
Once you’ve found influencers using this tool, you can try to score a share or backlink. Start by connecting with them, and mention that they shared a piece of content related to your niche. You can then introduce a post similar to the one that they shared on social media and ask them if they would like to share it as well, if not link to it.
That’s just the gist of the process. You can improve the message, of course, but the idea is to leverage the fact that they shared content related to your niche, thus increasing the likelihood that they’ll share similar content from your site.
Another way is to find influencers from your niche and then focus on building relationships with them. You’ll need to warm them up by sending them multiple emails and gain their trust before you can request that they link to your site.
Plans and Pricing
You can sign up and use BuzzSumo for free but it will only give you limited results.
For $99/month, you can search for as much content and as many influencers as you want, plus the ability to set up email alerts for backlinks and mentions.
More comprehensive (and thus more expensive) plans will give you access to the tool’s Facebook Analyzer and Question Analyzer.
Once you have your link prospects from BuzzSumo, you’ll want to get in touch.
Get the Contact Information of Your Prospects
While you can message them straight from Twitter, email helps you craft a more personal message to them. Personality and customization help increase response and CTR. It definitely won’t hurt your cause if you conduct your outreach via email instead.
To get the email addresses of your prospects, you’ll need to use a tool like FindThatLead.
The tool will help you find emails of influencers using their Twitter URL. The tool will extract the best email of your prospect using its algorithm.
If you can’t find their emails from their Twitter URL, you can use the tool’s Lead Search by typing out their name and Domain Search if they happen to own a website.
Find New Backlink Prospects
FindThatLead also lets you prospect for hundreds and thousands leads based on their company, size, position, skills and other key characteristics. This feature is ideal for those who conduct cold email outreach on a regular basis.
Plans and Pricing
The free account allows you to search 10 emails a day. If you want more juice from your email prospecting and verification tool, FindThatLead offers at least 1,500 credits a month for searching emails starting at $29/month.
Lemlist is a fairly new email outreach tool that’s making a splash in the market.
Created Automated Email Campaigns
Similar to Mailshake, you can send a drip campaign to your prospects so you can automate your outreach campaign.
If the prospect didn’t open your first email, you can set up another email that will be sent to them until they finally open your messages.
However, what makes Lemlist different is the ability to add personalized images to your emails.
Create meme-style images that mention the name of the recipient to make your outreach emails stand out. Upload your own images or use available templates from the tool. You can then include the images in the emails you’ll create from scratch or edit based off a template.
Keep Tabs on Your Email Performance
Once you’ve dispatched your outreach campaign, Lemlist shows how your emails are faring. Check the open and click-through rate to determine how effective your emails are. Tweak the sequence after the campaign is finished to improve its performance.
For example, you may want to edit your call to action of asking for a link back from prospects so the email won’t feel forced and spammy.
Plans and Pricing
For $29/month, you can send a drip campaign, save up to five email templates, and create a personalized image.
The Gold plan, although much more expensive at $69/month, lets you build up to unlimited drip campaigns and email templates, as well as create 25 personalized images.
The best way to analyze the performance of your link profile is to track your organic search ranking.
Check Keyword Rankings
Instead of manually searching Google for your keyword and listing down the ranking of your site pages—which is pretty inaccurate anyway—you can simply let SE Ranking do the heavy lifting for you.
It will show you updated ranking of your keyword on Google. The movement of your site page’s ranking for its keyword will help give you an idea of your linkbuilding campaign’s effectiveness.
If they dropped, then the links you’ve built this past couple of weeks aren’t enough to help push your site to the top of the organic search. If the rankings increased, then you need to keep doing what you’re doing!
Keep an Eye on Your Site’s Health and SEO Metrics
Aside from rank tracking, SE Ranking also offers SEO features such as website audit, competitor research, keyword research and more to help you build a fully-optimized site for Google and Bing.
Plans and Pricing
SE Ranking is highly affordable with a $7/month plan (paid annually) to track 50 keywords of up to five websites.
SEO agencies will want their higher plans starting with $39/month with the ability to track 250 keywords of up to 10 websites.
Of course, the alternative is to opt for the Monitor Backlinks tool which has a keyword rank tracking feature as well. This is much more backlinks-oriented, whereas SE Ranking is more focused on on-page SEO matters. The choice depends on your own focus.
Final Thoughts on Linkbuilding Tools
Linkbuilding is like a puzzle. You need the different pieces to make sense of the bigger picture.
You can’t launch a linkbuilding campaign if you don’t have all the pieces in their right places.
For your linkbuilding campaign to click, you need not only the different steps fully fleshed out in your campaign, but also have the best linkbuilding tools at your disposal.
Luckily, all of the tools mentioned above will help you get started on your path towards a killer backlink profile.