10 Link Building Tools For Boosting Your SEO Strategy in 2021

A comprehensive list of our preferred tools for creating a strong backlink profile
10 Link Building Tools For Boosting Your SEO Strategy in 2021
Holly Stanley
Holly Stanley
Freelance Content Writer for B2B, SaaS, and Digital Marketing Brands
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If you’re looking to boost your site in search engine rankings, solid link building tools should form a part of your SEO strategy. While links aren’t the only factor influencing your rankings they certainly play an important part. 

While you’re busy running your business or writing for your blog, you may not have time for one of the finer points of technical SEO - monitoring and building those all-important backlinks

This is where link building tools come in. Automating the process of finding, monitoring and reporting backlinks, top link building tools should be an essential part of your digital marketing toolkit.

Here are 10 of the best link building tools for supercharging your rankings.

10 Best Link Building Tools

1. SEO (PowerSuite) SpyGlass

SEO PowerSuite - SpyGlass Sample Dashboard - Best Link Building Tools

If you’re looking to comprehensively monitor your backlinks while spying on your competitors, SEO SpyGlass is a great tool to add to your SEO strategy. 

Under the SEO PowerSuite umbrella, it’s super useful for spying on your competitor’s backlinks as well as helping you clean negative backlinks that might result in a frustrating Google Penalty. 

SEO SpyGlass will also help you discover backlink building prospects like guest posting opportunities, people who review products or services in your sphere, quality directories and forums that you can join to build awareness of your brand. 

Price: A free plan includes all data although exporting or copying data isn’t permitted. A Professional Plan is $299/year while an Enterprise Plan is $699/year.

Pros Cons
Metrics are presented in an aesthetically pleasing and visual format making a change from often clunky interfaces. Requires a heavy desktop installation - no option for using it on a browser.
Compare up to 5 of your competitor’s backlinks side by side. Have to subscribe to all of SEO PowerSuite’s tools as a bundle - it’s not possible to separate one from the other.
Discover the best link building practises - SEO SpyGlass shows you 50+ link quality factors including domain age and page authority. Need multiple licenses for more than one user to access the tool.
Automate backlink reports analysing dofollows, nofollows, and anchor text. Frequent software updates interfere with working on current tasks.
LinkAssistant automates research into each link building prospect, saving you hours of time and effort that you can put into other areas of your business. Extra charges for software that’s compliant with search engine algorithm updates.

Best for: Agencies and businesses looking for a link building tool with emphasis put on competitor analysis. 

2. Linkody 

Linkody Sample Dashboard - Best Link Building Tools

Linkody is one of the cheaper, more user-friendly link building tools available. Simple to use, Linkody will give you a complete picture of your backlink profile. 

See how you shape up against the competition with powerful competitor analytics and receive reports on your backlink progress. 

The simple dashboard presents backlink data in an easy to understand format and doesn’t distract with other SEO metrics.

It’s best for if you want to know exactly when your backlinks are created, or when an active one goes down.

Price: A basic Webmaster Plan for 2 domains starts at $14.90/month. Plans steadily increase until the Agency XL top plan at $153.90/month. They also offer a free 30-day trial. 

Pros Cons
Set up daily notifications to alert you of lost or new backlinks. User interface looks basic and outdated.
Analyse where your competitors’ links are from so you can incorporate this into your strategy. 24-hour delay on backlink reports following your request.
Use the disavow tool to remove spammy damaging links. Have to manually refresh the page to reveal results when conducting a backlink profile analysis.
Discover the ‘SEO value’ of your backlinks - Linkody draws data-driven rank metrics from Raven and Majestic to measure how well a site will rank on search engines. No API available for developers which could be a negative if your business requires developer access.
Access the Link Quality feature to find out the quality of each link. Some crawl errors - reports are occasionally filled with hundreds of backlink errors, meaning accurate reports are delayed further.

Best for: Businesses just starting out with their SEO strategy who might have limited knowledge of SEO and a smaller budget. 

3. cognitiveSEO

cognitiveSEO Site Explorer Landing Page Snippet - Best Link Building Tools

cognitveSEO’s Site Explorer tool accurately examines a site’s backlink profile

Unlike many other link building tools on the market, cognitiveSEO provides up to 5 years worth of historical link research data, so you have an in-depth view of how your site stacks up with its backlinks. 

cogntiveSEO updates its data in near real-time, so you can receive updated information on new inbound links, anchor text, active and lost backlinks, as well as dofollow vs. nofollow links. 

Their database is loaded with trillions of links too so you can analyse historical backlink data and find growth opportunities for your SEO strategy. 

Price: The Site Explorer tool comes as part of a bundle of cognitiveSEO tools including keyword research and content optimisation. A starter plan for individuals is $129.99/month while business plans are customized upon request. There’s a 7-day trial. 

Pros Cons
Access professional link audits so you have a clear understanding of what’s going well and where your link building strategy could be improved. The Site Explorer tool is not available as a standalone product, users must purchase a pricey monthly bundle subscription.
Identify and fix broken pages and links. Competitor analysis is limited without the more expensive plan.
Filter and view thousands of inbound links. Platform can feel complicated to use for SEO newbies and requires a bit of a learning curve.
Navigate anchor texts. Load time can feel long.
Use a visual link explorer for easy viewing. No training or resources provided in the basic plan.

Best for: Businesses with some SEO knowledge and a higher budget looking for a complete bundle of SEO tools including backlink analysis. 

4. Monitor Backlinks

Monitor Backlinks Landing Page Snippet - Best Link Building Tools

Monitor Backlinks is made up of a solid backlink checker and a keyword research tool. Use Monitor Backlinks for building backlinks, analysing your competitors and rank tracking. The tool will help give you an accurate summary of which backlinks are boosting your pages and which are pulling down your SEO efforts.

Sourcing its data from Majestic and Moz along with a few other databases, Monitor Backlinks then checks for errors, tidies up the information and aims to present in a more user-friendly format that’s intuitive for users to assess. 

Price: A Start Plan is $25.00/month with a top tier 10D4C plan costing $187.42/month. There’s a 30-day free trial as well as a free backlink checker with limitations. 

Pros Cons
Discover backlinks that offer your site no SEO value (specifically noFollow links). Interface can feel clumsy. The formatting seems messy and inconsistent, other sites are slicker in design.
View the backlinks of up to 4 competitors on the competitor’s page to figure out how you can beat their strategy. The History Page is only updated every 5 days - other tools are updated in real-time and send you instant notifications.
Manage the rules of link disavowal so spammy or negative links are consistently removed. Basic paid plan only includes 2 monitored domains and 4 competitors which is lower than many other platforms.
Monitor old backlinks on the History Page so you know which backlinks no longer work. Information can feel hidden within the interface - it’s not always easy to find the exact data you’re searching for.
Easily navigate the platform. Features and different tabs are fairly self-explanatory and easy to figure out. Less focus on competitor analytics which is a negative if you want to figure out exactly what they’re doing right.

Best for: Businesses looking for an affordable middle ground backlink checker as well as a few other bonus SEO features including keyword research. 

5. Ahrefs Backlink Checker

Ahrefs Backlink Checker Landing Page Snippet - Best Link Building Tools

With an impressive 22 trillion backlinks, Ahrefs has the second most active web crawler after Google and possesses one of the largest and most accurate databases of active backlinks. 

The Site Explorer tool gives you a detailed backlink profile for any site. Discover the websites linking to it, the backlink strength, and the anchor text being used. All of these are valuable insights into your own backlink profile as well as those of your competitors. 

Once you understand what your competitors are getting right in their backlink strategy, you can then implement it into your own link building strategy and overtake competing sites in search engine rankings. 

Price: Lite Plans are $99/month for 1 user. Plans are priced based on the number of users and projects with a full-blown agency plan costing $999/month.Yearly plans come with discounts. 

Pros Cons
Use the Site Explorer tool to spy on your competitors. Access to the full version of the backlink checker is limited to those with full Ahrefs subscription.
Access a comprehensive and up to date backlink database - it’s updated every 15 minutes. Plans are pricey and limit the number of users.
Receive Ahrefs Alerts, and be notified immediately when you or a competitor is mentioned in a link or loses a backlink. No guidance on when backlinks should be considered spam.
View the growth and decline of backlink profiles. User interface can be complex for those unfamiliar with the platform, some knowledge is required to make the most of the tools.
Backlink metrics are incorporated in other Ahrefs tools like the site audit tool to allow for a more streamlined experience. Site can run slowly when you go deeply into link results.

Best for: Businesses and larger SEO teams who have some experience with SEO and are looking to use one of the industry’s most powerful and comprehensive SEO platforms that comes with a link-building tool. 

6. Buzzstream

Buzzstream Sample Dashboard - Best Link Building Tools

Buzzstream is designed to help you build high-quality links quickly and effectively. Developing a strong strategy for creating good opportunities for link building can be overwhelming, as well as challenging as search engines evolve and improve their algorithms. 

Buzzstream’s main strength is its link building outreach tool, actively sending emails to possible linking prospects which saves you countless hours in sourcing high-quality links for your site. 

Their leading link building tool is also fully customizable so you can adjust the features according to your site’s individual needs and requirements.

Price: A Starter Plan is $24/month. Plans steadily increase while a top tier Custom Plan is around $999/month. 

Pros Cons
Browser extension automatically scans possible linking websites for contact information saving you time from searching for email addresses, social media and contact forms. ‘Discovery’ feature sometimes shows prospects that haven’t published relevant content in years making its accuracy questionable.
Send personalised and automated outreach emails increasing the success of your campaigns. Only searches sites for contact information and sometimes misses details that users would find such as emails written in images as opposed to plain text.
‘Discovery’ feature streamlines the finding and evaluating of sites according to your criteria. Only includes a link building tool, no other SEO features are included.
Track your outreach campaign to manage relationships with link building prospects. The outreach procedure can be confusing to first time users, the platform should offer step by step tutorials.
‘Sequences’ feature automates follow up outreach emails. Doesn’t offer a pre-built campaign like other competing platforms who give the user everything from the list of prospects to sequences.

Best for: Businesses looking for a complete link building tool to save them time and boost their SEO strategy.

7. Moz Link Explorer

Moz-Link Explorer Landing Page Snippet - Best Link Building Tools

Moz Link Explorer, (previously Open Site Explorer), is a long-term favourite with SEO specialists for its easy to use well-designed user interface and detailed analysis of backlink data.

Using Moz Link Explorer means you’ll gain access to over 40 trillion links, 700 million domains and 7 trillion pages. 

Leveraging all this data, learn more about your own backlink profile and those of competing sites to help you identify future opportunities.

Unique and useful features include an ‘anchor text’ tool to show you which are the most widely used anchor texts other websites use when linking to your site. 

There’s also integration with Moz’s domain authority concept which is handy if you want to use that as a metric of how well your overall SEO strategy is going. 

Price: A Standard Plan is $99/month. Plans range in price up with a Premium Plan geared for agencies and large enterprises costing $599/month. Annual plans offer discounts. Some free link data is available with limitations. 

Pros Cons
Discover who’s linking to you and your competitors with its robust research tool. No outreach campaign management - once you have your strategy it’s up to you to implement it.
Identify damaging links so you can disavow them and boost your rankings. No link building automation features included.
View a complete set of metrics including page authority, domain authority, page link metrics, and the number of already established links. A pricey subscription to Moz Pro is required to access all the features.
See useful data including the title, anchor text, and URL of the linking page. Some SEO knowledge required to fully understand the differences between different metrics including page authority & domain authority.
Rank sites that link to you by domain authority so you can target those sites for more valuable links. Data export isn’t instant and can lag.

Best for:  Agencies and businesses with a larger budget looking for a link building tool that comes with other comprehensive SEO features. 

8. Link Prospector

Link Prospector Landing Page Snippet - Best Link Building Tools

Link Prospector was created to ensure that link building isn’t a time consuming, tedious or inaccurate process. 

Its main weapon is organising your site’s outreach opportunities making sure you’re reaching as many sites, bloggers and websites that are relevant to you - the key to social mentions and link opportunities. 

Link Prospector has a detailed report function allowing you to enter the types of sites you want to prospect as well as the relevant keyword. You can then view an incredibly thorough list of prospects for your link building strategy. 

Price: There is an affordable pay as you go account offering top-up credit for $5 a go. A Consultant Plan is $47/month, an Agency Plan is $127/month while a top tier Enterprise Plan is $497/month. 

Pros Cons
Discover pages that offer a higher likelihood of being a converting prospect and linking to your site. Viewing such long reports turns into a time-consuming task and you’ll spend a lot of time combing through the results to find sites that are most relevant to you.
Receive up to 16 different types of reports that fall within categories of Content Development and Outreach, PR, Conversion and Outreach. Results beyond the 150 mark range from mediocre to unusable.
Within the Outreach feature access link pages where you can find resource pages on which you can add your site - particularly useful for localized businesses. No explanation detailing advanced search operators.
Easy to create reports, simply enter your keyword phrases and choose your report type. Massive amounts of data can be overwhelming for users who prefer only the most relevant information to be presented in a user-friendly and visual format.
Clean and simple interface. Reports take a while to generate - no instant results given the enormous quantity of data.

Best for: Agencies looking for seriously in-depth backlink reports to fuel a thorough backlink strategy. 

9. Raven

Raven Link Manager Sample Dashboard - Best Link Building Tools

Raven provides a complete solution for your digital marketing needs, however, their link building tools truly stand out as some of the best on the market.

Instead of focusing on a huge quantity of link building opportunities, Raven instead provides a shorter high-quality list of the most relevant prospects for your site. 

Sourcing data from Majestic SEO, it’s not quite as in-depth as say Ahrefs, but it’s well-presented and easy to understand. Their link-building tools also come with other SEO features so you could use Raven as your go-to SEO tool. 

Price: A Small Biz Plan is $39/month with plans steadily increasing in capacity and price until the Lead Plan at $399/month. 

Pros Cons
Discover which links your competitors are using to outrank you on the top spots so you can try and implement a similar tactic. Majestic database is not as extensive as others including Ahrefs.
Identify which websites could link to yours and have a positive effect on your rankings. Visuals and interface are not always appealing or user friendly.
Link Manager tool helps you source high-quality sites via an effective outreach campaign. Platform can feel buggy.
Find negative links that actively harm your rankings in Google and disavow them. Customization of reports is limited.
Use Link Spy to identify competitors and find their backlinks for competing pages. Limited training materials that feel outdated.

Best for: Agencies and businesses looking for an all in one SEO tool that gives them sufficient link building tools. 

10. Link Detox

Link Detox Landing Page Snippet - Best Link Building Tools

These days, powerful search engine algorithms are adept at detecting spammy or negative backlinks which means one thing for you - not all links are created equal. Unfortunately, it’s not a case of any link is a good link. 

High-quality links coming from pages that in Google’s eyes have authority are what you need to boost your rankings. Poor quality links will actually actively harm your rankings

Google is pretty tough on low-quality links and any other violation of its Webmaster Guidelines.

Link Detox is great for helping you recover from Google Penalties, protecting your site from future Google Penalties as well as preparing you for any future updates to the algorithms. 

Price: A Link Detox Smart Plan starts at $249/month with a top tier Link Detox Agency Plan costing $1799/month. 

Pros Cons
Identify negative backlinks that are pulling you down in rankings. No focus on building links.
Clean your backlink profile. No outreach tool for contacting prospects.
Automatically create a disavow file that Google has to address within 3 days. No competitor analysis.
Clear layout with important link metrics properly displayed. Doesn’t produce customizable reports.
Combines 26 data sources to identify all links pointing to your domain. Doesn’t provide guidance on how to create positive link building opportunities.

 Best for: Businesses looking to efficiently clean up their backlinks to ensure nothing is negatively impacting their rankings. 

The Bottom Line on Link Building Tools 

Building positive backlinks is an essential part of any robust SEO strategy. However, it’s also pretty technical, time-consuming and tedious so it’s best to subscribe to a link building tool that can automate the process for you. 

Whether your priority is cleaning up negative backlinks, sourcing prospects, creating an outreach strategy or simply figuring out an internal link strategy, take the time to try these link building tools and find the one which best fits your business’s needs. 

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