While link building is largely a manual and relationship-based process, you can't totally go it alone. To construct, run and maintain link building campaigns, one needs to utilize various link building tools. Link building is time-consuming and there are a lot of moving parts. It helps to have access to large databases and collect your data in an organized manner in order to maximize the effectiveness of your link building strategy and campaign. With that in mind, let's explore four of the best link building tools.
The granddaddy of all SEO tools. While there are certainly a lot of functions within Ahrefs that are not relevant to link building, it is by far the most comprehensive third-party backlink index. It's an invaluable tool for those looking to construct data-driven link building campaigns. Being able to look through the backlink indexes of client sites and using this to figure out which pages need links in order to maximize their keyword growth is a key part of link building. This is only possible by having access to the most extensive link building data.
In addition to their linking building technology, Ahrefs provides keyword rankings (including country origin of these rankings), estimated organic traffic, and Domain Rating and URL Rating scores for each URL that you plug into the Site Explorer tool. Domain Rating and URL Rating can be compared to Moz's Domain Authority and Page Authority. The difference between the two though is that Domain Rating and URL Rating codify the strength of a website or URL's backlink profile, while Moz's Domain Authority and Page Authority refer to how well a website or URL will theoretically rank on a search engine. Both are created on a logarithmic 1-100 scale, although the Ahrefs metrics are much more helpful in determining what types of sites you want to get links on, and which ones you want to eliminate due to poor link metrics.
For those who plan on doing their own outreach, it's often difficult to keep everything organized. Running these campaigns directly through Gmail or email marketing tools such as Mailchimp is not going to be your best bet if you are expecting to create a reciprocal, meaningful relationship. This is where Buzzstream comes in. Buzzstream allows you to scale your link building campaigns by directly tracking conversations, automating follow-ups, and setting up multiple campaigns that you can run side by side.
Buzzstream allows you to upload an existing list of contacts of websites that you want to reach out to. These can be found using Buzzstream's Discovery tool or via your own research and methods. If you find a list of sites and contacts on your own, you can upload them as a .csv file. After uploading your contacts, all you need to do is connect your email address to Buzzstream, write an introduction email and followups, and start sending out emails.
While automation is not always the best way to gain new contacts in the realm of link building, Buzzstream can help you scale this with a hybridized approach that allows you to focus on relationship-building. This can save you a lot of time and help you identify new and repeat contacts for your link building campaigns.
Buzzstream shines in outreach management, but for finding contact information, there is no better tool than Hunter.io. This is a relatively new tool in an SEO's arsenal, as it first came to market in 2015. Hunter.io differentiates itself from Buzzstream in finding contact information by having the most comprehensive database and search options available. Hunter.io is for more than just link builders and is a great solution for anyone in marketing and sales. The search functionality alone makes this tool an incredible option for those looking to connect with decision-makers at companies who may have the authority to run a link on their company's website. Furthermore, the email verification tool can make sure that your email leads aren't cold, and you can use this tool in conjunction with Buzzstream to make sure that all of the contact information you have for outreach is correct.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention what is perhaps Google's most underrated SEO tool. The link disavowal tool allows you to dissociate a website with spammy or problematic backlinks. You can check on a website's backlink profile using Ahrefs, and if they have a large number of backlinks versus the unique number of domains in their backlink profile, then it may be an indication that a disavowal needs to happen. It will weight down the overall strength of a website's backlink profile, and make it harder to gain traction for target keywords.
To remedy this, you can use Google's link disavowal tool to signal to Google that you do not want these links to be weighted in your backlink portfolio. To do so, you can download a website's entire backlink profile in Ahrefs. Next, manually check the lowest metric backlinks until you eliminate the bottom 10% of domains. Submitting more may create negative fluctuations in your backlink profile, and would be like taking out too many blocks at once during an intense game of Jenga.
Once you have these domains, you can submit them in a .txt file to Google's disavowal tool.
Like anything with SEO, tools take patience and practice to master. However, once you are able to integrate some of the best link building tools into your link building efforts, you'll find that everything related to running your link building campaigns will start going a lot smoother. If you're ready to start building your link profile, please reach out to us at SimpleTiger to schedule a discovery call.