Ah, link-building. It’s the proverbial Wild West – a treacherous landscape of competing algorithms and ever-evolving search engine optimization strategies that seem to do the same thing.
And it can be difficult to determine which link-building app is right for you. You need a comprehensive suite of link building tools and advanced analytics capabilities to squeeze every drop of that SEO juice.
But with so many options on the market, how can you know which is best?
Well, fear not! We’ve narrowed down the top nine link-building apps for SEOs and outreach specialists to try in 2023. You will find out their top features, pricing plans, and what makes them different.
So hold on to your hats and get ready for a ride through SEO paradise below. Whether you need SaaS link building or links for some other industries, these tools will help you out.
1. Ahrefs: Best for Website Audits
- Audit & optimize your website (Site Audit)
- Competitor Analysis (Site Explorer)
- Finding keywords your customers are searching for (Keywords Explorer)
- Finding your industry’s top-performing content (Content Explorer)
- Monitoring ranking progress (Rank Tracker)
Pricing plans: $99-$999 per month
Alternatively, you can use Ahrefs free version – albeit with limited functionality.
Ahrefs is a powerful digital marketing tool that you can tap into for its array of info on website performance and SEO metrics. Its best features include backlink analysis, keyword research, and competitive analysis.
The domain authority checker is arguably one of Ahrefs most lauded tools.
Use it to:
- Analyze the backlink profiles of any website
- Identify where your competitors are getting their links from
- Understand how difficult it would be for you to rank for certain keywords
- Check your domain rating
- Discover new and lost inbound links to your website
- Find broken links to get them back or build broken link campaigns
Ahrefs also offers stellar keyword research tools. These allow you to determine which keywords people search for in your industry and how difficult they would be to rank for. This helps you create content that is more likely to appear in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Besides, Ahrefs’ competitive analysis feature helps you understand your competitors’ strategies so you can backtrack on them. That’s how you create the proverbial competitive edge.
What makes Ahrefs different:
Ahrefs is a powerful SEO tool, thanks to its wide range of features and capabilities:
- One area in which Ahrefs excels is backlink analytics: Its intuitive user interface makes it easy to see detailed reports about your website’s external and internal backlinks. Use that to identify new opportunities for link and SEO growth.
- The competitor research feature is not negligible at all: Leverage it to improve your own backlink strategies.
2. SEMRush: Best All-in-One SEO Solution
- All-in-one SEO tool to grow organic traffic and check link profiles (both internal and external backlinks)
- Content marketing tools to create high-quality content that ranks
- Market research tools
- Social media
- SEO agency solutions
Pricing plans: Starting at $119.95
You can scale up each plan depending on your needs. For example, you can add new members, access traffic analytics, or pick the agency kit.
Alternatively, SEMRush allows you to contact them for a customized plan.
SEMRush is not your average backlink checker. This all-in-one SEO platform has tools for all link building campaigns, such as accessing over 23 billion keywords for 130 countries. You can also use them to determine any domain’s backlinking profile, run technical SEO audits and see your SERP positions daily.
After analyzing your current situation, move on to analyzing your competitors.
SEMRush lets you peek into their marketing strategy and tactics, gauging their traffic, keywords, and backlinks.
You can also use SEMRush to create SEO-friendly content and campaigns, tracking them in real-time. That means you can effectively target your precise audience and maximize your results.
What makes SEMRush different:
SEMRush is different than similar link building software because you can use it for comprehensive campaigns. Apart from link-building-related capabilities, the platform has additional features to create content, PPC campaigns, and social media campaigns.
Basically, SEMRush allows you to scale up or down your marketing efforts, accompanying you every step of the way.
3. Buzzstream: Best for Link Prospecting
- Qualified list building
- Finds email addresses
- Streamlines email sending
- Keeps your inbox clean
- Data monitoring
Pricing plans: $24-$999/month
BuzzStream presents itself as the world’s best outreach CRM, and that’s probably because it combines link-building features with digital PR.
This popular SEO tool can help you:
- Discover key metrics
- Discover promoters' email addresses to help you with relationship-based link-building
- Send personalized emails to your list of prospects and ultimately get more links
- Track all conversations so you can streamline communication with link-building blog owners
- Measure email performance, such as open and reply rates, placement, plus team activity
The results are bi-fold:
- You can kickstart relationship-based link-building and streamline your SEO efforts.
- You can constantly optimize your outreach campaigns' ROI.
What makes Buzzstream different:
Buzzstream is an intuitive CRM outreach platform for link prospecting. The tool doesn’t do link-building or website audits like SEMRush and Ahrefs. However, you get the Ahrefs integration with the Growth, Professional, and Custom plans.
4. Hunter.io: Trusted email Finder
- Domain search
- Search feature by name
- Advanced filters
- Score and verification
- Lead save
Pricing plans: 0-399 €/month
You can also contact Hunter.io to opt for their Enterprise plan, customized to your needs.
Hunter is one of the most advanced tools to streamline your outreach process.
For example, the email finder allows you to get the right email address quickly. You can then connect with the people you want to develop relationship-based link building campaigns.
It’s as easy as using Hunter’s intuitive Domain Search function, which you can test for free in the limit of 25 searches per month.
You won’t be disappointed, though:
This database indexes over 100 million emails, and the effective filters will help you sleuth out the people you’re looking for. Alternatively, you can simply type a person’s name, and Hunter will do the heavy lifting for you.
Hunter is also an email verifier. The software gives you verified email addresses along with a confidence score in percentage.
Then, you can download the results as a single CSV file. Save the emails you want as leads and export them to your CRM tool.
What makes Hunter.io different:
What makes Hunter.io stand out is its free plan for 25 monthly searches. Their Sources feature is another unique selling point because all these retrieved emails have public sources you can check.
5. HARO/Help A Reporter Out: Best for Getting Expert Mentions
- Connecting with journalists
- Daily emails
- Keyword alerts
Pricing plans: $0-$149/month
HARO is a famous tool for link building. Here’s how it works:
- Journalists need advice or insights for their pieces, so they post queries on HARO.
- You respond with useful content ideas.
- If your comment gets chosen, the journalists will mention you and include valuable backlinks to your website.
To make all this happen, you must create an account on the platform and select relevant target keywords from your industry. HARO then sends you three emails per day with different questions.
Of course, you have to browse and choose the questions you respond to very carefully – otherwise, you’ll spend all day on the platform. This is probably the most tedious part of the link building process because you have to weed through hundreds of emails at a time on some days.
And remember, HARO isn’t a link-building strategy that works by itself.
Your response may not get chosen at all, or the article may be published months down the road. Besides, HARO you will need additional backlink tools and software for personalized outreach emails to complete your link building campaign.
What makes HARO different:
HARO is different because it identified businesses’ need to get mentions on quality websites. And that’s something you can rarely achieve without constantly writing guest posts or long-term relationship-building.
So HARO works well, especially for new companies who have yet to be noticed in the market. However, HARO is also the least foolproof of al the methods here because it requires a lot of hard work and a lot of luck and you may end up with no results at all.
6. Pitchbox: Best All-in-One Outreach Platform
- Contact discovery
- Outreach and follow-up
- SEO tools integration
- Skill-based workflow
- Specialty CRM for link builders
Pricing plans: Starting at $195/month
Pitchbox has customized pricing plans for your needs without any free trial.
Pitchbox is a good tool for influencer outreach and prospect discovery. Basically, Pitchbox allows you to find content creators, contact them, and build long-term relationships.
And why is that, you ask?
Because that gets you more exposure, traffic to your website, and sales.
Here’s how that works:
- Create a new campaign on Pitchbox.
- Select the type of people you want to connect with (e.g., bloggers).
- Select your keywords. Hint: Pitchbox offers good keyword suggestions you can browse.
- Create outreach email templates and sequences with follow-up messages.
- Send these personalized emails using Pitchbox’s customization fields.
- Monitor metrics for each opportunity because Pitchbox integrates with tools like MOZ, Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Majestic.
- Pick the right opportunities.
- Monitor your campaign results.
What makes Pitchbox different:
Pitchbox has several unique selling points.
- It allows you to reach out to influencers and bloggers: Compare that to HARO, which helps you find journalists. Or Hunter, which lets you connect with basically anyone, like CEOs and marketers from your field. But in this case, you have more chances of a paid partnership to get more exposure to your links.
- It allows a slew of integrations: SEO integrations, Zapier, Slack, and Google Data Studios are just a few of these tools that connect with Pitchbox. Using all the programs you need from one platform (Pitchbox, in this case) helps you focus and streamlines your work.
- It helps you from A to Z: Use Pitchbox for prospecting, managing your team’s workflow, outreach, follow-up, and reports.
7. MOZ: Versatile SEO Tool
- Keyword research
- Rank tracking
- Site crawl
- Content optimization
- Link research
- Analytics and reporting
Pricing plans: $99 to $599/month
You can also try the 30-day free trial before deciding on one of MOZ’s price plans.
MOZ is one of the best tools for link building, especially if you need a good backlink analysis tool. Each of MOZ features has a different benefit, though:
- Keyword research: Best for analyzing your audience’s search intent to increase traffic and conversions
- Rank tracking: Best for understanding your own and your competitors’ metrics
- Site crawler: Best for finding and fixing your website
- Content optimization: Audits your page SEO and delivers recommendations that would improve your search engine rankings
- Link research: Gives you insights to attract authoritative and high-quality links
- Reports: Best for high-quality analytics that help you seize link-building opportunities
The only downside is that MOZ doesn’t have an outreach tool.
What makes MOZ different:
- MOZ Link Explorer: This cool feature renders detailed link statistics for virtually any website, with charts and everything. Plus, you will also see when you win or lose links.
- Its learning opportunities: Besides its free guides and how-to articles, MOZ has on-demand webinars and a whole SEO academy.
8. Majestic: User-friendly backlink Tracker
- Backlinks audit
- Keyword generator
- Website finder
- Website tracker
- Competitor analysis
Pricing plans: $49 to $399
Majestic is an excellent SEO tool that allows you to understand who links to your website. Then use this data to gain a competitive edge in the market.
Majestic helps you:
- Understand link quality and quantity
- Analyze broken links, anchor texts, top pages, and more
- Find relevant editorial-style links and other link opportunities. That way you can remove low-quality links.
- Understand the topical relevancy of your web pages, comparing them to your competitors in over 800 categories
- Find and monitor your favorite websites, filtering by a slew of metrics
What makes Majestic different:
One of Majestic's most powerful features is Link Context. This tool allows you to discover and analyze backlinks in a whole new way, learning about:
- The surrounding context: Text or images
- The type of link: Editorial or part of a directory
- Page position
- Other websites with links nearby yours
9. MonitorBacklinks: Free Backlink Checker
- Highlights relevant, high-quality websites that you can contact
- Updates on link-building activity
- Monitors your competitors
- Tracks keyword ranking
Pricing plans: Starting at $25
You can use Monitor Backlinks’s free version to see if it fits. Then, you can choose one of their pricing plans or contact them directly to settle on a customized plan.
Monitor Backlinks is similar to Google Alerts*. This software monitors backlinks, and you can use it for your website or your competitors. Key in the domain name, and this powerful tool shows you all the backlinks related to it.
* Of course, Google Alerts can also monitor blog posts, videos, and any piece of content you're interested in.
The best thing about it is you can organize these results however you feel is more effective, based on the metrics that interest you more. These metrics include:
- Status: Follow or nofollow
- Trust flow: Checks link authority to sleuth out spammy links
- Citation flow: Checks the number of external links
- List of URLs to web pages where the backlink is placed
- Your webpage’s URL that the link sends to
- Anchor text used
That’s what the free version does and how you can build backlink profiles for every competitor in your niche.
A paid subscription gives you access to other features, such as personalized weekly emails with the links you’re losing or gaining.
All this allows you to improve your backlinking and content strategy to rank higher on search engines.
What makes MonitorBacklinks different:
Monitor Backlinks is different because it keeps track of all links, even the dead links. That allows you an eagle’s eye view of your entire backlinking strategy.
Start Your Link Building Adventure
It’s time to get started on your link-building adventure. With the nine best link-building platforms above, you have all the tools and analytics capabilities to create high-quality backlinks and stay ahead of the curve.
However, link building is more than just creating backlinks. It’s about building relationships, reaching out to people, and seizing opportunities.
If you want to ensure no stone is left unturned, Breeze can optimize your website. We’ve assisted brands like Monday.com InBeat, among many others.
Book a strategy call, and let’s see how we can help you too.