This is a guest post from Nikola Banicek, an internet marketing specialist at Point Visible, a marketing agency providing custom outreach and link building services. He’s a laid-back guy with experience in PPC, copywriting, and project planning. When he’s not working, he’s either gaming, watching football or anime.
Link building is essential if you want to rank higher and position yourself as an authority in your niche.
The problem is, of course, that link building isn’t easy. It takes time, effort, patience, and skill. The rewards are big – but only if you get the process right.
This is where tools come in.
Tools are designed to solve problems and make your life more efficient. And in the link-building game, there are lots of problems to solve! From finding better link building opportunities to managing your whole projects, tools have got you covered.
But which ones should you be using and for what purpose?
In this Process Street article, we take a look at all the tools you need to set-up an effective link building campaign.
Link building campaign tools: The quicklinks!
- Guest Post Tracker
- Moz Link Explorer
- Ninja Outreach
- Broken Link Builder
- Google Sheets
- Process Street
Ahrefs backlinks index has always been big, but last year it got even bigger.
It got so big that it’s now the largest backlink index on the planet.
Ahrefs was originally known more for its comprehensive backlink index than anything else. Nowadays, the software has evolved so that you can use it to:
- See search traffic for referring pages
- Transfer backlinks to canonical pages back to your original page
- Research keywords and find out the difficulty to rank for each one
- “Spy” on your rivals and which websites they’re getting their links from (which you can then reverse engineer)
Not just this, but the tool will show you if a particular website is linking out to two or more of your rivals. This is important because if a website is linking out to two or more of your competitors, it means that they’d probably be open to linking out to you, too.
As well as being an awesome backlink index, Ahrefs is also a fantastic all-encompassing SEO tool.
Guest Post Tracker
For more – and better organic links – you’ll need to launch a guest blogging campaign. Guest blogging not only helps to position you as an expert on a particular topic, but it also helps you to rank higher.
But let’s face it, guest blogging is far from easy. You have to find relevant guest blogging opportunities, create pitches, build relationships, write articles … and even after all of that, there’s no guarantee the website in question will even publish your blog post.
Guest Post Tracker will help you find opportunities quickly and manage your campaigns. It’s got a database of over 1,500 websites that are on the lookout for guest posts, which makes your life so much easier when it comes to finding opportunities.
You can also:
- Search for sites via category
- Ignore PBNs completely
- Gain access to the largest list of guest posting sites on the internet
And it costs just $99.
You can check out Guest Post Tracker here.
Meanwhile, go here for more information on how to launch a successful guest blogging campaign.
Email outreach is going to be a key part of your link building campaign. There’ll be emails to send, clients to work with and conversations to keep track of.
To make sure all of this doesn’t get on top of you, check out BuzzStream.
BuzzStream comes with a neat Discovery tool that helps you find websites to reach out to. It also:
- Uncovers their contact info for you
- Makes it super easy for you to reach out to folk.
Not just this, but BuzzStream keeps you up-to-date with the status of each conversation and email so that you know when to send that crucial followup email.
You can download BuzzStream here.
Moz Link Explorer
When you’re putting together a guest blogging campaign, it’s really important that you target websites that have high domain authority (DA).
The easiest way to do this? Find websites that have high DA.
An even easier way to do that is to reverse engineer your rivals’ backlinks.
This is where Moz Link Explorer comes in handy. All you have to do is enter a rival’s domain into the tool before it brings up all their backlinks.
Handily, it also shows you their DA and their spam score.
Although this particular tool costs $99 for the basic plan, Moz itself offers a toolbar feature that’s totally free, and which allows you to check the DA of a particular website.
You can get hold of the Moz Link Explorer here.
Ninja Outreach can be seen as an alternative to BuzzStream (see above) in the sense that it’s an outreach tool first and foremost. However, it’s got enough differences that make it well worth exploring as a useful tool in and of itself.
For a start, it comes with a massive database of influencers. We’re talking millions.
Secondly, it’s more focused on SEO than BuzzStream, which allows you to get really granular with your data. For example, you can sort results by:
- Page authority
- Domain authority
What we really love about it, though, is that it comes with pre-made templates that will help you create better outreach pitches. As we all know, grabbing the attention of an influencer isn’t easy at all, but this is where Ninja Outreach can really help you out.
As a bonus, it’s got a super clean interface.
You can get hold of Ninja Outreach here.
Meanwhile, go here for more blogger outreach tools.
The thing about guest blogging is that you have to keep coming up with interesting content and unique ideas that a webmaster and their audience will enjoy.
Moreover, the content needs to be relevant, and it needs to be content that people actually want to read and will find useful. Tricky.
This is where BuzzSumo comes in. BuzzSumo is a must for generating content ideas that you can then pitch to bloggers. Its Content Analyser feature works super simply: All you have to do is enter a short tail keyword phrase related to a particular topic in your niche (such as “digital marketing”) and BuzzSumo will display popular content.
For example, check out my results:
I can see what type of content in this niche people are engaging with, and which my link prospects will thus be interested in.
Not just this, but BuzzSumo also lets you discover influencers in your field who are sharing your rival’s content. Pretty cool, huh?
You can also use it to find examples of people mentioning your brand in a blog post.
While you can search for content ideas for free, high-volume businesses will most likely be interested in the premium plan, which costs $239 a month.
You can get hold of BuzzSumo here.
When it comes to your outreach campaigns, it’s really important that you track your conversions. To do this, you can use a tool like Pitchbox, which is primed for scalable content marketing and link building.
Whether you’re an agency, a team or an individual blogger, Pitchbox makes it easier to send and track emails. You can use the tool itself to:
- Reply to messages (while automating and personalizing the replies)
- Create your own customized templates that you can use again and again.
Another great feature of Pitchbox is that it makes it really easy to find leads related to your niche. Just do a bit of research on keywords you’d like to rank for, insert them in Pitchbox, and you’ll get a lengthy list of websites with similar content. On top of that, Pitchbox also finds you contact info for each website, this saves you lots of time and is super efficient.
Other than that, Pitchbox isn’t just an outreach tool. You can use it to create entire blogger outreach projects. For example, you can use Pitchbox to find blog article ideas, and you can find websites that are already linking to your rivals.
And the best thing is that the tool is incredibly easy to use and it can be connected with slack to send you notifications of any incoming emails.
You can get hold of Pitchbox here.
To put together an effective link building campaign you’ll need to perform link analysis. To do this, you need to use a tool. If tools like Ahrefs are a bit beyond your price range, you can try Majestic, a budget link analysis tool that does the trick.
Majestic shows you information such as anchor text analysis, referring domains and number of backlinks, and it also shows you how many links a particular website has from super trusted seed websites.
It’s definitely the one to go with if you can’t afford to spend more than $50 a month on a tool.
Broken Link Builder
Broken links represent awesome link building opportunities for brands.
It works like this: Many high domain websites unknowingly will have broken links somewhere in their content. Most of them won’t be aware of the broken links because they’re not spending time looking for them.
But broken links are bad news. They negatively hurt your SEO and they’re also a major turn-off to site visitors.
Who wants to click on a dead link?
Broken Link Builder is the savior. You can use this tool to find broken links on high DA websites in your niche. Then, make a list of these websites in your Google Sheets (see below) before checking to see if you’ve got similar content. Then, reach out to them. Introduce yourself, point out the broken link(s) and explain that you’ve got an alternative link they can replace it with.
To do this, of course, you must have a relevant piece of awesome content ready. The great thing here is that you already know people need your content. Boom.
For more help on broken link building, check this resource.
To download Broken Link Builder, go here.
And don’t worry – it’s a 100% white hat tool.
Want project management for link-building to be a breeze? (sorry)
Breeze can be used by anyone who’s launching a guest blogging campaign, from individual bloggers to agencies to mid-sized companies. It’s a tool for project management that helps you stay on track from beginning to end.
Breeze’s core features include:
- Time tracking
Breeze lets your team and your clients work together in perfect harmony. Everyone will know what their goals are, what their tasks for today are, as well as where they’re up to. And because everyone can see where everyone else is up to, it ensures a much better workflow. Perfect for your link building campaigns.
Breeze also integrates easily with…
When you’re working on a guest blogging campaign, you’ll have a small team behind you. To make sure communication is solid, you can use Slack.
Slack is a superb messenger app that allows teams to keep in touch with one another. When you integrate it with Breeze, you can define which notifications will be passed onto it. This means you can customize notifications so that your setup is optimized for efficiency.
Other than that, Slack just makes sure that each member of your outreach team – from your project manager to your content creators to your pitchers – are all singing from the same song sheet. It’s really easy to use and actually kinda fun, too!
When you’re working on a guest blogging campaign, it’s a good idea to use a tool like Google Sheets to help you stay on track. It’s totally free and it’s especially useful for agencies and teams.
Essentially, you can use it to keep tabs on your link prospects (websites/bloggers), as well as your content. For example, you could break things down like this:
- Prospects not yet researched – You’ve identified a website as a potential link prospect but haven’t properly researched them
- Prospects prepped – You’ve researched prospects but haven’t got in touch
- Attempting to reach – You’ve reached out to a prospect but haven’t yet heard back
- ‘In discussion’ – You’ve heard back from a prospect but a guest post hasn’t been confirmed yet
- Agreed to Link – They’ve accepted your proposal and now it’s time for you to write the content
You can also use Google Sheets to keep track of your best performing content. For example, which topics typically bring the most traffic/yield the best results.
Process Street is your go-to tool for all things process and workflow related.
Being a business process management and workflow automation tool, Process Street helps you determine the best way to approach tasks and then to enforce that way every time.
This means you can build a series of link building processes and design them in the way which is most efficient and effective.
Once your processes are built, you can look to delegate sections of each process or automate other sections. This helps your entire operation become more scalable, meaning more links and bigger networks.
Check out just some of the premade processes you can add to your account right now:
- On-Page SEO Checklist
- Technical SEO Audit
- Google Analytics Audit
- Product Launch Checklist
- UX Audit
- Social Media Manager Daily Checklist
- Social Media Influencer Outreach Checklist
- SEO Checklist: The Keyword Research Process
- New Affiliate Onboarding
- Advanced Content Promotion Checklist
- Peer-Editing Checklist for Bloggers
- Find Almost Anyone’s Email
- Submitting Content to Social Bookmarking Sites
- Daily Mention Tracking for Content Promotion
- Creating a Database of Influencers using Buzzsumo
- Scraping Broken Links with SEOSpider and Ahrefs
- Accepting, Formatting, Editing and Publishing a Guest Post
- PPC Audit Checklist
- PPC Daily Campaign Review Checklist
- PPC Weekly Campaign Review Checklist
- PPC Monthly Campaign Review Checklist
- Performance Marketing (PPC) Keyword Competition Analysis Checklist
- New Facebook Ads Creation Checklist
Sign up for a free Process Street trial today to give it a try.
Build a better link building campaign today!
Hopefully, you’re now in a better position to make the right choices when it comes to the tools you can use to put together an effective link building campaign. Tools are there to make your life easier and it’s all about picking the right ones for your needs, learning them and then getting the most out of them.
What tools did we miss? Are there any which are at the core of your workflow which the world needs to know about? Let us know in the comments below!
Great article Adam. I’m wondering if you have e used mangools and if you have any thoughts on it?I see it as an alternative to majestic that’s cheaper and has even more functionality.
I’ll have to check it out – thanks for the tip!