The tools you choose will make it easier to execute your link building strategies of choice.
So I want to show you the best free and premium link building tools that you should be using to build better backlinks for your websites.
What Will I Learn?
Ready for the big-hitting tools?
These are the 4 best paid link building tools money can buy.
Pitchbox is the best outreach tool that you can get.
After using hundreds of link building and outreach tools nothing comes close to what it offers. If you really want to build links at scale Pitchbox is the tool to do it.
Pitchbox has a ton of unique features that will save you time and money.
The tool can help you…
But the biggest benefit of Pitchbox?
This tool automates a lot of tasks you would usually have to hire staff to do.
Take a look at how we use it in our podcast jacking strategy for example.
Ahrefs is my favourite link-building tool.
They have a complete link building tool suite designed for serious pros.
Ahrefs also has the world’s largest index of live backlinks, which makes it such a powerful tool.
Their index has almost:
That’s a lot of data. And every 24 hours Ahrefsbot crawls and updates the data on about 420 million pages.
This is why Ahrefs has provides comprehensive data of any available link building software.
These are some of Ahrefs top features:
Mention monitoring allows you to set up alerts to be notified whenever your brand or website is mentioned online.
Then you just reach out to the website that mentioned you and ask for a link. This is the easiest way to build links.
Mention monitoring can also be applied directly to your competitors.
You can even go as far as to set up monitoring so that when a competitor receives a new backlink on a specific URL – you are notified.
This allows you to quickly swoop in and potentially steal the link for yourself.
These powerful features are unique to Ahrefs and enable you to build links without any hard work from your part.
What about a competitor analysis?
Because Ahrefs has the biggest backlink index, it’s easy to get an accurate comparison of your backlink profile against any of your competitors.
This means you can:
You can even go a step further and reverse engineer your competitors’ link building strategy.
Once you have uncovered all of their backlinks, you can contact each of the websites that link to your competitors and get them to link to you as well.
Whatever link building strategies you like to use, Ahrefs makes it easier and faster to execute them.
One of the easiest ways to build links is by contacting the sites linking to your competitors.
Because if they link to a competitor, they are more likely to link to you.
This is where the “Ahrefs Link Intersect” report will help.
Here’s how it works:
Insert your competitors into the link intersect tool. Ahrefs looks through each of their backlink profiles and compares it to yours.
The report then highlights the websites that link to your competitors but not you.
Want to take it up a level?
The link intersect tool also comes with a bunch of filters.
You can filter the report to show:
This feature makes it easy to identify the websites most likely to link to you – so you clean up the low-hanging fruit.
Whatever link building strategies you like to use, Ahrefs makes it easier and faster to execute them.
Ahrefs isn’t just a link building tool.
It is an all-in-one SEO tool with tons of features you can use. And the best part is that Ahrefs is relatively easy to use, even for beginners.
Want to learn how to take advantage of Ahrefs? Take a look at my full Ahrefs review and discover all of the other cool things you can do with it.
Before Ahrefs came along, there was Semrush.
Semrush is another all-in-one SEO tool that has great link building features.
But where Semrush really shines is data analysis.
Semrush has a lot of powerful reports that provide really deep insights into your link building campaigns.
This makes it an excellent tool for those that love sifting through data to find unique opportunities.
Looking for a comprehensive link building tool?
Semrush can handle your link building campaign end to end. It will help you-
In theory, you can run your entire link building campaign through Semrush alone.
These are my favourite link building features from Semrush:
The Semrush backlink analysis tools are comprehensive, to say the least.
You can analyse and research any of your competitors. You’ll get a wealth of information and can easily see what you’re up against.
Want to dive deeper?
You can look at any URL and see all the backlinks that point to that URL.
This is a great feature if you want to build links to a piece of content to rank for a specific keyword.
Add in the URL, click “Backlink Analytics” and click “Backlinks”.
You’ll be able to work out what links you need to build to get ahead of them.
Semrush allows you to do outreach from directly inside of the tool.
This is a great feature because you can do all of the analysis and immediately kick off an outreach campaign.
Simply connect your Gmail or Google Workspace account to Semrush and start sending outreach emails directly inside the tool.
You can even take advantage of the link building templates they have.
Semrush’s Backlink Gap analysis tool is super powerful.
It’s similar to the Ahrefs link intersect tool but has some unique features.
Simply add your top five competitors and review the gap analysis report to find quality link opportunities.
You can then export the data to your outreach campaign and start securing those links.
Not sure who your “SEO” competitors are?
Let Semrush take care of that for you with the competitor “auto-suggest” feature.
It compares your content to similar sites and makes it easy to identify competitors you might have missed.
It also ensures you only find niche-relevant link gaps in your backlink profile.
One thing I like about Semrush’s backlink gap analysis is their unique filters.
You can filter reports by:
Why is this valuable?
You should build a mixture of links that your competitors don’t have and links that all your competitors have (but you don’t).
This helps you build a stronger and more diversified backlink profile.
Semrush is a great tool to add to your link building arsenal. They also have a massive amount of other powerful SEO features you can use.
Want to learn more about Semrush? Take a look at my full Semrush review.
If you don’t have the budget for Pitchbox…
Mailshake is a much more budget friendly but long winded option:
Mailskake is an outreach tool that takes the pain out of cold outreach link building.
It’s easier to connect with prospects by:
… which makes it perfect if you are looking for a cost-effective tool to launch large link building campaigns that generate results.
You can also track all the important metrics such as clicks, replies, opens and much more!
FindThatLead is my favourite email address finder.
It’s the tool we use most when tracking down the right prospect’s email.
There are lots of tools that will help you find email addresses.
The problem is that most of them find old emails that are no longer used.
FindThatLead has an advanced email checker built in to validate and verify emails for you.
It uses catch-all email checking, MX record testing and SMTP authentication testing to ensure the email is current and accurate.
This will ensure you reach the right people while reducing your outreach bounce rate.
FindThatLead also comes with a number of other features:
And more! All of this is in an easy-to-use interface that makes putting together campaigns easy.
If you are on a smaller budget and can’t afford a tool like Pitchbox, FindThatLead is an excellent alternative.
It has all the tools you need to run a complete and successful link building campaign.
Ontolo is a link prospecting tool that helps you find better link building opportunities quickly.
It has a bunch of unique features that will help any link building team.
Let me explain:
Ontolo has 80+ different prospecting methods.
These are the different strategies that the tool uses to find link building opportunities.
You can even customise the prospecting techniques to get an even more targeted search.
Over time you build your own strategy based on what converts best.
Another place where Ontolo really shines is data visualisation.
Every link builder that is trying to build links at scale understands the importance of good data analysis.
You don’t want to waste time pitching prospects that will never convert, right?
No other link prospecting tool allows you to find and highlight the right link opportunities better than Ontolo.
Quickly identify the prospects most likely to convert and load them into your outreach campaign.
If you need to breathe new life into the prospecting side of your link building campaign, check out Onolo.
And for good reason.
Link Whisper gives you intelligent link suggestions so you never miss an opportunity for internal linking again.
You set the rules and Link Whisper builds the internal links automatically.
This allows you to:
…in a matter of minutes.
Another great feature we use all the time is the internal linking report.
Link Whisper shows which pages on your site don’t have any (or many) internal links pointing at them.
Need to build internal links to a specific page?
Within a couple of clicks, Link Whisper makes it easy to add new internal links.
This way you’ll never have orphaned pags.
Link Whisper makes it easy to balance out your internal link structure, making sure your most important pages have enough internal links pointing at them.
It is a must-have (internal) link building tool for anyone serious about their SEO.
Want to outsource your link building to a service you can trust?
LinksThatRank builds the kind of backlinks you are actually proud to show off.
Whether you want top-tier link building on demand or complete white label link building services – LinksThatRank has you covered.
What sets LinksThatRank apart?
Here’s why they are so respected in the industry:
And as if that wasn’t enough – they also offer discounted monthly packages for site owners and agency discounts for SEO agencies that want to outsource link building.
All you have to do is choose the links you need and tell them your target keyword. LinksThatRank will take care of the rest.
It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Link building doesn’t need to be expensive.
If you haven’t got a massive budget for your tools, I’ve got you covered. These are the best free link building tools to use.
Ready to leverage your competitors link building strategy for free?
My Link Building Strategy Template automatically analyses your competitor’s backlink profiles and shows you their best backlinks:
It then tells you which backlinks are most important to focus on stealing first.
Pretty cool, right?
You don’t have to go to all the trouble and spend hours building a link building strategy. Just download my Link Building Strategy Template and you’ll get a customised link building strategy in minutes.
The Backlink Blacklist is a free tool that will help you to make sure you are not building links from sites you should be avoiding.
Just copy and paste your backlinks into the blacklist tool and see if any of them are blacklisted instantly.
On the results page, it will tell you precisely why a site is blacklisted…
And you can click on any of the reasons to see a screenshot of the evidence, for example, if it was sold publically on Fiverr or via a cold outreach email.
Bonus: You can also use this tool if you bought expired domains and want to check their links aren’t blacklisted and hurting their backlink profile.
Open Link Profiler is a powerful free link analysis tool that provides in-depth insights.
Just head over to their website and search for any domain:
The tool will crawl the site and show you all the data you need to determine the strength of their backlink profile such as:
And much more!
Not only that, but Open Link Profiler will show you the complete breakdown of:
And if you scroll down, you get to see all the websites that have actually linked to the domain you analyzed- which can help you find great link building opportunities.
In other words, Open Link Profiler is a great free SEO tool that allows you to do some serious backlink research quickly and easily.
The free backlink checker from Seobility is another powerful analysis tool that provides in-depth insights not only about your backlink profile but also about your competitors’.
To use it, just head over to the Seobility website and click on “Backlink Checker” (or click on the image below directly).
This will redirect you to the right page:
Then, just paste the URL or domain you want to check inside the tool and click on “Check Backlinks”.
It’s important to note that:
For each check, it will give you:
….For the URL or domain checked.
On top of that, it will give you a complete top backlinks report that you can export for free as CVS or PDF.
You can do up to 3 checks a day for free.
If you want to check more URLs or domains, you’ll have to sign up for a free Seobility account. This will allow you to check up to 1,000 subpages.
Not bad, right?
Wikipedia is one of the most authoritative websites in the world.
It has been the go-to source of information for millions of people for years. That makes Wikipedia links some of the most powerful links available.
Here’s how it works:
Let’s say you are writing a blog about Bitcoin. Go to Wiki Grabber and search for that topic:
It will bring up a list of all the relevant Wikipedia pages that either has a:
Now you just need to sift through all of the pages and see if there is a suitable place to put a link to your content. That’s it!
Wiki Grabber does all of the heavy liftings for you and makes it easy to acquire strong backlinks from Wikipedia.
As an added bonus…
Wikipedia gets tons of traffic every month. Getting placed on a relevant Wikipedia page is a great way to increase website traffic.
Make sure you check out my Wikipedia link building tutorial to learn how to get more links from Wikipedia.
To increase your link building success rates, you need to contact the right person when you do outreach.
You don’t just want to email a website’s generic email address such as: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is how you end up with a lot of rejections and often no responses at all.
That’s where Hunter.io comes in.
Hunter.io is an email address lookup tool. But it isn’t like the other email address lookup tools you’ll find online. It gives you direct access to real people’s emails using advanced verification to provide insane accuracy.
All you have to do is enter the domain of the website you want to contact.
It searches the internet to find all the email addresses connected to that domain for you. It will even show you the sources it used to find those email addresses.
Hunter.io will make your link building so much easier and more scalable.
It’s the best tool to use to ensure your outreach emails are actually reaching the right people.
On the free plan, you get 25 email address searches per month.
Scraper will save you hours trying to find prospects for your link building campaigns.
This powerful Chrome extension can extract almost any information you need from any page with just a few clicks.
There are many ways that I leverage Scraper for link building, including finding contact information for free.
But the best use case for Scraper is to find quality link building prospects.
Let’s say I want to connect with other blog owners and build links for my SEO blog. First, I would find a relevant blog post like this one on Backlinko.
Now if you scroll to the bottom you will see that it has 374 comments.
This is a popular blog on a popular website, so most of these comments will likely link back to personal websites, business websites or SEO blogs.
Highlight the link, right-click and select “scrape similar”.
This automatically selects all of the links in the comment section.
Now just export them to a Google sheet and you have a list of relevant websites you can do outreach to. Easy.
Want to build high-quality links from big news sites?
It doesn’t get much better than Haro.
HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out.
Journalists need expert sources that they can quote in their news articles. Simply put the HARO platform connects journalists with sources.
Here’s how it works:
If they like your reply they will take it and use it in their article. As a reward, they will link to your website when they quote you.
It’s as simple as that!
HARO is one of the easiest ways to acquire high-authority backlinks from well-known news sites.
Want to take the heavy lifting out of internal linking?
Think of Internal Link Juicer as your website’s personal assistant for building a robust internal linking structure for free.
I consider Internal Link Juicer one of the best WordPress plugins for SEO.
Here’s how it works:
On every page of your website, you simply add in your target keyword (or keywords).
When you mention those keywords on your website, Internal Link Juicer will automatically build an internal link.
There are now a number of tools that do this.
So what sets Internal Link Juicer apart?
Two words: Complete control.
…and so much more.
It allows you to scale your internal linking strategy while still providing the control you need.
Internal Link Juicer’s paid version has even more features, but the free version should suit most site owners.
If you don’t have the budget for Link Whisper, then Internal Link Juicer is a great alternative.
Don’t underestimate the power of Google when it comes to link building.
You don’t always need fancy tools to find great link building opportunities.
Google “footprints” are advanced search operators that help you get more specific results in a Google search.
If used correctly, they will help you find unique link building opportunities you would have never otherwise found.
We have used Google Footprints to build a number of great external links from .Edu and .Gov domains (and other quality websites as well).
Here’s how you can do the same:
To find Edu and Gov backlink opportunities, head over to Google and search for:
These searches will give you a wealth of potential backlink opportunities on hard-to-reach domains.
You may have to dig in the search the results, but the payoff is worth it.
They have a ton of strategies to build links from these powerful domains.
This is called podcast jacking. And Google footprints can help you do it for free.
Search in Google:
This will give you a list of potential podcasts to be a guest on. It’s an easy way to get your voice heard while building the quality backlinks you need.
Lastly, Google Footprints are one of the best ways to get listed on resource pages.
Just search for:
Now all you have to do is reach out and see if they are willing to add your site as a resource.
Check out my complete resource link building guide for more information.
Think of Google Alerts as a free way to build quality links on auto-pilot.
Sounds too good to be true?
The truth is that most people just don’t use Google alerts properly.
There are 4 ways that we use Google Alerts for link building:
The best part is that it’s super easy to set up.
All you need to do is log in to Google Alerts and create an alert anytime your website or business name is mentioned.
This will help you stay on track of mentions online where people don’t link to your site. The next step is to reach out and get a link to your site.
You can even take it a step further to find powerful guest blogging opportunities or monitor mentions of your top competitors.
Check out our complete how to set up Google Alerts guide for 16 different ways to use this incredible free tool to grow your business.
There are tons of link building tools available on the market.
But not all tools are of equal quality. Over the years, some tools have continued to evolve and become the go-to tools of the trade.
So I’m about to show you the best paid AND free link building tools.
My favourite link building tool isn’t really a tool.
The truth is that link building takes a lot of time, effort and technical ability – even if you have the right tools for the job.
So if you want to avoid the headache of link building entirely, you can just hire one of these link building services to do it for you
The best service though is LinksThatRank.
LinksThatRank has a reputation for building links that improve rankings and increase traffic:
They take quality control so seriously they even built a blacklist database that contains over 60,000 blacklisted domains.
Link building tools help you to find and then acquire the highest quality backlinks for your website.
Typically they help you find and prospects thousands of opportunities quickly, whilst also making the acquisition process simple as well.
They make it easier to:
It would be impossible to build high-quality links at scale without link building tools.
Professional SEOs have a link building tool stack that allows them to predictably and consistently acquire quality links.
Link building tools offer a lot of benefits.
Without them, it would be impossible to build quality links consistently. Here are 4 reasons to get a solid link building tool stack for your next campaign.
Good link building is all about quality.
Without the help of a quality link building tool, it would take forever to find high-quality sites that you can build powerful links from.
Link building tools speed up the process of finding great link opportunities and allow you to filter the results so you are only ever placing high-quality links.
Link building isn’t only about improving rankings.
You can leverage link building to get links from websites that already have traffic.
For example, if you can place a link on a popular, well-known website, you will likely get tons of referral traffic.
People do click on in-content links.
You can use link building tools to find websites that already have good traffic.
Then you can target those websites not only for the external links but also to generate more referral traffic.
Low quality and spammy links won’t help your SEO.
And in the worst case, they can even lead to you getting a Google penalty.
Link building tools help you improve your rankings faster by:
There are lots of link building strategies you can leverage with any of the popular link building tools.
This allows you to acquire the right links to increase your rankings in the SERPs.
When you get it down to fine art, link building can be an automated process with predictable results.
Here’s what I mean:
I asked my link building team to track how long it took to acquire a link using different link building methods. These were the results:
The reason they are able to build links so quickly is that we have designed streamlined processes built around the tools we use.
We are constantly using the automated features with our link building to cut down the time it takes to build a link.
There are tons of link building tools out there…
But not all link building tools are worth it. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using link-building tools.
Black-hat link building tools use risky or outdated strategies to get more links.
Avoid these at all costs.
While they might seem attractive because they’re easy to use, they can land you in a world of trouble down the road.
You might even see short term gains. But in the long-run, you can attract harsh Google penalties. And take it from me, Google penalty recovery is hard work.
It just isn’t worth the risk.
The truth is…
All link building is against Google’s policies.
But some tools take it a step further and leverage unethical methods to build links. These tools at best are unethical and at worst – borderline illegal.
Don’t go searching for sketchy tools. Stick to well-known tools with teams behind them that have a very good understanding of Google’s guidelines and policies.
This helps you stay out of hot water.
GROWTH ALERT: Sign up for my FREE link building training.
So there you have it.
The best free and paid link building tools to help you get the job done.
My favourite link building tools on the list are:
Are there any of your favourite tools that I missed?
I love to play with new software and tools, so let me know in the comments and I’ll check them out.
Don’t forget to download my free Link Building Strategy Template.
This is the fastest way to put together a complete link building strategy and it’s the exact tool we use with our clients.
You can also read my full link building checklist that exaplains all the process of link building, step by step.