Less is more, especially in terms of SEO Tools these days. The Internet is literally full of tools, and link-building is no exception. Despite all the hype – despite Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird – the ‘oldie but goodie’ reality is that quality inbound links FROM another website TO your website continue to have a huge impact on your SEO performance. The days of social media authority and mentions are still, long coming: we are not even close to the day when shares on Facebook, shares on the dying Google+, or tweets will impact your rank on Google or Bing like good old-fashioned links.
Do you have a link-building strategy? Are you investing in above-board, post-Penguin link-building? Less is more. Quality is job #1. But you still gotta a) identify link targets, b) give them a reason to link to you, and c) ‘outreach’ to the decision-maker to get that all-important link. Here are my favority, top ten amazing link building tools for your enjoyment, circa October 19, 2015.
Link Building – Top Ten Free Link Building Tools
- Open Site Explorer – This tool hopes to occupy the niche left by Yahoo Site Explorer. Enter a URL and the tool will then identify backlinks to that URL. Similar to Link Diagnosis. A great addition to the fleet of link analysis tools.
- Buzzsumo – Buzzsumo is a ‘buzz’ monitoring tool for social media. Input a website (domain) and/or a topic and see what people are sharing across Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media. Great for link-building (because what people link to is what they share), and also for social media.
- AHrefs – AHrefs takes its name from the A HREF element/attribute (i.e., HTML hyperlink tag). This tool helps you investigate links and link-building issues for any website. A useful tool to use in companion with Open Site Explorer. You can also use it to reverse engineer competitor keywords.
- OpenLinkprofiler – FREE tool for backlink analysis. Input your site, or that of a competitor, and see NEW links to that site. What’s great is that it focuses on newly found links, not just all links, so that gives it a unique niche in the crowded field of backlink analysis tools. It also alerts to you to anchor texts and suspicious links.
- Link Building Query Generator – Another input keywords and generate Google or Bing link tools. It creates an easy to use first step, but then you have to do the hard work to go and look for all those link targets!
- Backlink Watch – Another checker of backlinks. Enter a website URL and this tool gives you a list of inbound links, after quite a few annoying ads. Still a useful tool.
- Linkarati Link Building Resources – In link building more than half the battle is the idea. Who might link to you? Why might they link to you? What carrot can you offer to encourage them, what approach should you use? This ‘evergreen’ article by the experts at Linkarati will get you thinking about your link strategy.
- Link Diagnosis – This fantastic, free tool can show you all the important information about your competitor’s links. The report includes PageRank, anchor text, no-follow information and more. You enter your website, wait (a long time) as it meticulously goes through link after link and ultimately provides a nice report about backlinks to your website (or better yet, that of your competitor). Can be downloaded for use in Firefox (only) or used on this website.
- Majestic Search Explorer – Who’s winning at your keywords, and why? We know it’s a function of a) on page SEO, and b) off page SEO, namely links. This incredible tool looks at the Google results for your keyword query, and shows the link score for the top players. A very revealing look at how links impact search engine results page ranking (SERP rank).
- Solo SEO Link Search Tool – This simple, but nifty tool, will take a target keyword and generate a list of Google searches for blogs, catalogs, and other sorts of sites. Very simple, but very useful as a starting point on your link building exercise!
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