All search engine algorithms are driven at least in part by links, which makes link building an essential aspect of SEO. It's also a cost-effective marketing principle that, when done right, allows you to essentially advertise on other reputable websites for free, while gaining high-quality referral traffic.
The term "link building" refers to the process of creating links on other websites to increase search engine rankings and drive referral traffic back to your site. You can embed links to your site within various forms of content -- including, but not limited to, blog posts, infographics, articles, press releases, and images.
Link building is one of the most important SEO practices today, and using the best link building software is essential to getting it right.
Here, we're going to explore six of the best SEO link building software solutions. But first, let's dive into the importance of link building.
The Important Role Links Play
If you're a marketer, you want to increase your business's online presence, but that's nearly impossible to do without a fair number of quality inbound links pointing to your site. Online, links are the infrastructure that people rely on to reach you. Ignoring them is like building a brick-and-mortar store without any roads leading to it.
In a 2017 survey of online marketers, nearly three-quarters of respondents said they believe that link building is a critical SEO factor. It helps establish you as an authority in your area of expertise by connecting your website to highly reputable and credible sites in the same niche.
As you build your brand with quality backlinks from credible sites, Google will trust your content more and, eventually, you'll see your website's organic rankings increase.
Ultimately, links enable you to build brand recognition, and increase trust among your clients. By link building with high-quality sites, you also generate higher-quality leads that are more likely to follow the path to becoming loyal clients.
However, not all link building is created equal. I preach white hat link building, and we transparently showcase our link building process on our site. We believe that if you create useful content, websites will gladly link to you -- and our methodology supports that.
The success of your link building campaign will naturally boost your brand's relationship with other brands and their websites. Customers can more easily connect with other great products and services, and your network of links will boost your website's value in the eyes of the search engines that crawl, index, and rank it.
Link Building Best Practices
The bare-bones definition of link building is strategically acquiring links pointing back to your website to increase organic rankings and potentially drive referral traffic.
However, successful link building is more than that -- it also means carefully considering where you place your links, the type and format of the links, the links' anchor text, and how diversified the backlink portfolio is.
I've found these best practices to be effective parts of an overall link building strategy:
- Create awesome content: While there are several best practices you should follow, it all starts with surrounding your links with stellar content. High-quality content is the most important part of the value you can bring to online users. The more valuable and engaging your content is, the more likely you can earn coveted spots on popular websites. That includes making your content easy to read but full of valuable information like stats, quotes, and other trustworthy data.
- Keep links relevant: The links should also lead back to high-quality and relevant information on your site. Search engines emphasize relevance, which is another reason it's important to target websites within your industry. For example, if your site offers professional cleaning services, linking to a site offering cleaning equipment would be more relevant than linking to a sports equipment company.
- Less is more: As you aim for quality, you'll realize that placing a few links on high-quality sites is much more effective than placing a larger number of links on suspicious or spammy sites. For instance, with the right social media management tools, you can make the most of your link building software on the most visible online platforms. It's all about quality over quantity. I also recommend diversifying your link portfolio to have a mix of different kinds of links.
- Build relationships: Popular blogs are quickly becoming the place we go for reliable, relevant news for just about any industry. Take advantage of the existing audiences on blogs in your industry by commenting on posts or even guest blogging if you can. Blog comment links won't pass any clout, but it will grab the author's attention. If you are adding value, that will make it easier to partner up on content opportunities. Similarly, developing strong ties with industry influencers and reputable authors can help you add to your arsenal of well-placed links.
- Aim for resource pages: One of the more proven link building strategies is to get links included on a popular resource page. Websites often list helpful links and resources for specific topics, such as a recipe page on a food blog centered on a particular restaurant. If you have a recipe or related content to share, you can reach out to the website's author to ask if he or she could include your links on the page. If it's a good fit for the page and your brand, it can turn into a home run.
SEO Link Building Software
While there are many different ways to execute a successful link building strategy, one constant is the need for the right software for SEO link building to accomplish your goals. There are several to choose from, though -- so how do you know which one is best?
Don't worry. Here, we've compiled some of the best SEO link building software programs in 2019.
HubSpot's link builder tool can assess the number of links and their overall contribution to your company's SEO efforts -- which means you can use the tool to measure the effectiveness of your links. First, you need to open a HubSpot account to get a clear picture of all your metrics. Then you can track domains linking to your website, see the total number of links to your site from those domains, and view the sites linking to your competitors so you can add them to your list of inbound link targets.
HubSpot's link building software is part of a larger set of Marketing tools that HubSpot offers.
Mailshake is a simple-to-use software that sends email requests for link building, guest posting, and networking opportunities. The software allows you to choose from a collection of message templates, personalize your favorite, and send. This strategy improves the effectiveness of your email campaign as well as your business's overall efficiency.
In addition to saving you time, Mailshake allows you to monitor replies, clicks, and more. The tool costs $29 per month to use, making it an affordable link building software solution for marketers who are just starting out with their cold email outreach.
Ahrefs is a powerful, well-rounded SEO software that provides several link building treats. With Ahrefs, you can analyze backlinks and referring domains, narrow them down with filters, and even secure your profile against suspicious links. The full suite of options lets you do anything you need your SEO link building software to do.
Ahrefs also features a speedy crawler that crawls over four million pages with no delays. Find link prospects by viewing your competitors' data -- including their top linked pages, new links, broken links, and more. To access Ahrefs, sign up for a seven-day trial, and then choose the plan that fits your needs and budget best after the trial expires.
4. Check My Links
Check My Links is a free Google Chrome extension that crawls through any web page to check for broken links. It's one of the fastest link checkers you can use, and registers and reports all of the broken links on a website within 20 to 30 seconds. This gives you a significant advantage when reaching out to websites to promote links.
After checking a site with Check My Links, you can compile the broken links that are most relevant to your subject matter and propose replacing them with your own functional links. Hopefully, the site's owner will appreciate you pointing out the broken links and offering a solution, and will update the post with your replacement links ASAP.
5. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is another popular software among SEO experts. It's able to automatically monitor link building profiles and generate accurate reports. Screaming Frog's most notable value is that it enables you to thoroughly understand your backlink profile as well as the other various factors that impact your website's current search ranking. As a link building software, it also ensures that all of your links are working correctly.
Screaming Frog has a free and a paid version, both of which highlight any broken links and generate reports. However, for $149 per year, you can enjoy all of the software's features along with unlimited website crawling.
ScrapeBox is a comprehensive link building software that pulls links out from search engines that match your keywords. It's most useful if you want to analyze your competitors' link profiles to gain insight into where you should target your link building efforts. You can even scrape hundreds of proxies to be used in other link building SEO software.
ScrapeBox offers several important advantages for your link building campaign, including the competitive edge of seeing into other brands' link profiles. It also offers you the option of adding custom search engines and collecting not only the usual URLs, but all of their proxies, as well.
Best SEO Link Building Software
- Check My Links
- Screaming Frog
Link building is essential for the success of any online business, which you can measure by the volume of targeted traffic to your website. By following proven best practices and investing in the best SEO link building software, you can ensure that both traffic and prosperity remain high.