16 tools every link builder should use

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As any seasoned marketing executive knows, an effective outreach campaign hinges around many different factors. In this day and age, gimmicks do not work and there’s no substitute for good old creativity — although there are some fantastic tools to make your job easier.

Acting as a digital Swiss-army knife, the tools streamline and simplify your job. Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran relationship builder, these tools can help you research opportunities, prospect partnerships and successfully outreach your campaigns.

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1.      BuzzStream

Arguably the most important tool for any outreach executive, BuzzStream makes organising a campaign much easier. Whether you’re an agency or an individual, you can create ‘projects’ for each client to keep things organised. You can then track opportunities, create outreach lists, perform your outreach and keep a log of all replies and live links. With so much on offer, it’s tough to categorise BuzzStream as anything but the must-have links tool. Once you’ve used it, other methods seem redundant.

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2.      BuzzSumo

Need to know what content goes viral or the format that performs best? BuzzSumo is the place to start. A content search engine and analysis tool, BuzzSumo allows you to see content trends for a chosen topic. You can look at competitors to see what has performed well for them, allowing you to make decisions about the content you create and outreach.

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3.      URL Profiler

Need a tool to quickly look through thousands of URLs and return useful data such as link prospecting, content audits and domain level research? Enter URL profiler.

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4.      Ahrefs

Entering a URL into Ahrefs gives you access to a complete view of its SEO performance. You can see backlinks, linking domains, broken backlinks and other useful information. This is the go-to tool for broken backlink outreach — you can also analyse competitor websites to spot opportunities.

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5.      SEMRush

When it comes to building keyword-relevant links, SEMRush is a fantastic tool. It’s a must-have for content marketing outreach, as it allows you to enter a domain to see in-depth analysis of the keywords your site ranks for and the opportunities you can build on.

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6.      Open Site Explorer

Moz.com offers the veritable lion’s share of great SEO Tools. Open Site Explorer is one of the most useful for outreach. Run a domain search on your site or a competitor and see information such as linking domains, domain authority and even anchor text. It’s great for providing an overview of your efforts so far.

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7.      Brandtale

Want to know what popular brands in your niche are doing as part of their content marketing campaigns? Brandtale shows you other successful campaigns — it’s a great first-look tool to consult whenever you’re planning a new content outreach plan.

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8.      Huballin

Building any kind of content to help generate links means knowing what people want. It can be tough to guess what type of content will perform well.

Luckily, you don’t have to. Huballin allows you to enter content topics and generate titles and ideas. Whether you’re writing them yourself or sending them on to your content team, you’ll have a head-start on creating linkable assets that are backed by search intent.

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9.      Answer The public

Similar to Huballin, you can enter a keyword at Answer The Public to discover the different approaches to the topic, like ‘what’ and ‘why’ posts. This is a great way to gauge your initial content asset creation plan and create some valuable linkable assets.

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10.      Google Analytics

Google Analytics gives you access to domain level data. It’s such a useful tool that everyone in marketing should be familiar with it. In terms of outreach, Analytics can help you measure your efforts, tracking traffic brought in and goal completions.

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11.      Google Search Console

If you have Webmaster Tools access, you can head into the Google Search Console to see everything from internal and external links to the search phrases that are helping people find your site.

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12.      Google AdWords

Google AdWords gives you access to Keyword Planner, a tool that lets you see the search volume behind phrases. By entering a subject, it can also help you plan new keywords to target.

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13.      Majestic SEO

Majestic offers a full view of a website’s link profile, from a visual breakdown of backlinks to most common anchor text terms. You can see backlinks by domain, date indexed and date lost, helping you chase down lost links. You can also access a page-by-page report.

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14.      Fresh Web Explorer

Another Moz tool is Fresh Web Explorer, which is invaluable for tracking unlinked brand mentions. Enter a term and see mentions on the web day by day. You can set up alerts too, which makes keeping on top of any unlinked mentions easy.

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15.      Coverage Book

Designed for PRs to show off their coverage, Coverage Book works just as well for outreach executives. The tool designs reports that show estimated views and coverage achieved by your content, so it’s ideal for reporting on infographics and other outbound content marketing.

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16.      Image Raider

You might already have lots of linkable assets without knowing it. Images can be used across the web without attribution, denying you a valuable link. Using Image Raider, you can upload an image file and see where it has been shared. Go and hunt down the attributions!

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