The Best Freemium + Premium Link-Building Tools You Should Try

Search engine optimization (SEO) efforts are never-ending. As soon as you’ve mastered one tweak, Google rolls out newer ones. Then you have to unlearn all the SEO hacks you’ve become accustomed to and start all over again. 

Every blogger and website owner dreads this nightmare.

What if I told you there’s a long-term solution to improve your SEO ranking? 

Although there are tons of SEO strategies available, link-building is one of the most effective ways to improve your rankings. However many people have unfounded concerns that link building is challenging, expensive and time consuming. This is far from the truth! 

When you have access to the right tools, link-building is straightforward and speedy.

In this article, we’ve put together a list of the best link-building tools. The list cuts across premium and freemium tools that can help you build links faster and more efficiently.

Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Why Does Link-Building Matter?

Link-building gives credibility to your site as they serve as a third party, indicating the authoritative strength of your domain. Google’s #1 priority is to satisfy users’ with the most relevant results. 

So, the higher the quality of your backlinks, the better your chances of ranking high in SERPs.  

According to a survey by Backlinko, websites with a higher domain rating score from Ahrefs, Moz and SEMrush rank better on the first page of Google results. These domain rating scores are directly proportional to the number of backlinks you have pointing at your website.

In essence, good-quality links outweigh bad ones. Therefore, in order to improve your ranking, instead of prioritizing the number of links, focus on the quality.

The Best Free and Paid Link-Building Tools

Now, let’s explore some of the best link-building tools available. Our extensive list features both free and paid tools. 



Today, Ahrefs is one of the top link-building tools on the market. Marketers from the world’s leading companies use the tool to track their ranking progress. It’s simply a must-have tool for Link-Builders. 

Ahrefs gives you access to your competitors’ links. You can see where they get their links, how many backlinks each site has, and how many pages link back to them.

All this data makes it easy to identify which sites are likely to link back to yours and which ones aren’t worth pursuing.

The tool also lets you access keyword ranking for each site. This information can be used to determine the sites with the highest rank for target keywords and the number of backlinks they have from other sites in your niche. 

With the feature, you can easily find sites ranking well for your target keywords and determine whether they have the backlinks needed for your website’s ranking.

Backlinks and content play crucial roles in search engine ranking. With Ahrefs’ Content Explorer, you get to see how often sites link back to your content. 

The data makes it easy to highlight the top-performing content. It also provides insight into the type of content other sites in your niche are publishing. 

Ahrefs premium starter plan goes for $99/month. It comes with features like an SEO dashboard, site explorer, keywords explorer and rank tracker.



SemRush is another blogging tool for link-building. It helps you identify your competitors and their backlinks. 

The tool can build your website’s backlinks and gives you access to the sites that link to your competitors.

SemRush also comes with a backlink checker that assists in locating all the sites with links to your competitor’s websites. The feature makes it easy to determine sites linking to your competitors and the number of links they have. You can also see the link type (do-follow or no-follow) and where that link is placed on the page.

Link building and organic research go hand-in-hand. With this tool, you can find out which keywords your competitors are ranking for and how well they’re doing with them. You can also see which sites rank on the first page of Google for those exact keywords and the number of backlinks on each site.

Without proper traffic analytics, your link-building efforts are futile. With Semrush’s traffic analysis tool, you can conduct competitive research. It provides an estimate of a website’s mobile and desktop traffic as well as how the audience engages with the site. 

SemRush offers two free plans, namely a simple sign-up account and a free trial account. 

The former is the right choice for those that would like to enjoy limited access to certain features without any time constraints. The free trial gives you 7-day access to the premium features before committing to a monthly subscription fee.

SemRush’s premium starter plan goes for $119.95/month. It gives you access to five projects, 500 keywords to track and 10,000 results per report. You also get keyword, domain and backlink analytics.



Do you want a seamless link-building experience? PitchBox is another excellent link-building tool for SEOs and content marketers.

It helps you build and manage campaigns, find link opportunities and gain insights into your competitors’ backlinks. The best part? Anyone can find their way around the tool.

PitchBox has a blogger outreach feature that allows you to search for relevant bloggers and send them personalized pitches. You can also create a list of influencers to keep track of who you’ve approached and who hasn’t responded yet.

One of the fundamental challenges link builders face is finding quality resources for successful link-building outreach. 

However, PitchBox has a resource page listing various tools and websites you can deploy for your link-building campaigns. You’ll find everything from email templates to research tools on link-building devices.

Pitchbox’s reports & analytics lets you track the progress of your outreach. It provides in depth insight into your outreach campaign performance and progression. 

With the feature, you can easily identify what works and which of the implemented campaigns still needs improvement. It’s ROI-focused for link builders.

PitchBox has no free trial plan, however the premium plan starts from $195/month.



Hunter is a fantastic tool for finding link-building opportunities on your site and across the web.

An effective link-building strategy starts with thoroughly understanding your target sites. Hunter’s domain search feature allows you to find email addresses connected to a list of domains. 

Additionally, Hunter’s email finder and verifier allow you to search for a specific domain and find contact details for the owner, Website Administrator and Webmaster. 

With Hunter’s bulk tasks, you can effortlessly search for multiple websites and perform the same task over and over again. 

The tool is handy for finding contact information for all sites on a competitor’s list and checking backlinks from a group of pages to send outreach emails to.

Hunter comes with a built-in feature for managing campaigns that allows you to create lists of targets and tasks that need to be completed, like finding contact information or performing backlink analysis.’s free plan allows you to perform up to 25 searches and 50 verifications per month. You can also have one email account with 500 recipients per campaign.

If this isn’t enough for you, Hunter’s starter premium plan goes for $49/month. It offers you 500 searches and 1,000 verifications per month. You can also add up to 5 email accounts with 2,500 recipients per campaign. 

Other notable features in the starter premium paid plan are attachments and images in emails, and link tracking.

One of’s most striking features is its combination of email outreach and link building. This combo is ideal because it brings accurate, hard links to your website. 

Furthermore, helps you find and reach out to influencers in your niche via email. allows you to search for domains, addresses and third-party emails. All these features make it easy to find influencers in your niche and reach out to them via email.

The email validation feature is essential for any effective link-building tool. It allows you to verify if an email address is genuine. It also lets you check if an email address has been blacklisted on any spam lists.

Drip campaigns are an effective tactic for nurturing audiences as well as lead generation. allows you to build drip campaigns for your outreach efforts using their templates. You can choose from the available templates and easily customize them to suit your preferences.’s free trial comes with 150 renewable credits, 100 recipients and one mailbox warm-up per month. You also get an email finder, an email verifier, drip campaigns and sales CRM.’s starter premium plan costs $30/month. It offers everything in the free trial package plus bulk lead search, bulk verification, unlimited team seats, Calendly integration, Pipedrive integration, 5,000+ integrations, unlimited data export, REST API and webhooks.



Linkody simplifies the link-building process and saves time. It’s a link-building software that allows you to find sites related to your niche and reach out to them for backlinks.

This feature allows you to check the quality of backlinks and determine whether they’re do-follow.

You can also use this tool to see the number of referring domains on a website, their page and domain authority.

This feature enables you to compare your website with your competitors’ sites. You get access to the number of backlinks, social shares and referring domains each site has to get a clearer picture of why they’re performing better than yours.

Linkody has a free one-month trial, which is the best way to get started with the tool. It lets you use every tool and feature and see how it works.

However, the plan has CSV/PDF export limitations. When the free trial is over, you can easily opt for one of Linkody’s premium plans.

Linkody’s webmaster premium plan goes for $14.90 per month. It lets you monitor two domains and 500 links. Only one user is allowed in this plan.



HARO is an acronym for “Help A Reporter Out.” When used correctly, it’s the perfect platform to build links and create awareness of your brand’s PR efforts – irrespective of your industry. 

It helps journalists and other people working in media feel connected by helping them gather feedback, engage credible expert sources and collect quotes for new content. 

750,0000+ Journalists/Bloggers and 1 million sources on the platform make it an impressive channel for seeking and sharing information with other industry experts.

Here, you either register as a source or an inquiring journalist. When that’s done, you need to keep an eye on your inbox if you are a source. Similarly, you need to send a request if you are seeking a source or quote about a particular subject.

While HARO link-building might have been helping to shape the SEO industry for a couple of years. Today, getting results on the platform requires hard work. It’s difficult to rely on the platform when you have hundreds of queries daily, most often from people who may not be a great fit for your business. 

Quality should always trump numbers. Therefore, filtering through links and sources worth pursuing is the key to making the most of HARO.  

It’s free to enjoy HARO’s basic features, however the premium plan which starts at $19 per month – gives you access to features like keyword alerts. This feature helps you filter HARO results for quality link-building outreach.  



PitchResponse helps position you as a thought leader — by sharing expertise and industry-related experience on source-scouring platforms like HARO, or (Help a Reporter Out).

The platform was built by marketers who specialize in journalist outreach and have build thousands of backlinks using this tool.. 

By providing regularly updated data on metrics such as a publications backlinking policy, as well as traffic and DR, while allowing you to filter through ALL available opportunities at once, it is a massive time saver for business owners or marketing teams. The keyword notifications are also super handy for niche specific website outreach.

Finally, PitchResponse is also expanding their our unique opportunities that cannot be found on HARO or elsewhere, making it well worth taking advantage of the 1 month moneyback guarantee to try out.



Sending personalized and thoughtful pitches should never take a back seat in your link-building outreach. Naturally, after you’ve spent time crafting pitches and brainstorming brilliant content ideas, your outreach must get to the right people.

NeverBounce is an email verification tool that helps you validate the authenticity of a prospect’s email address before sending personalized pitches. It can serve as the crowning jewel of your linking building by making sure that your carefully crafted pitches don’t bounce.

Over 125,000 users trust NeverBounce for real-time email verification and email cleaning services. One of the tool’s most sought-after features is the 80+ integration which includes Mailchimp, Zapier and Salesforces.

It also makes it straightforward for Link Builders to work with Google Sheets.   If you are verifying up to 1,000,000 email addresses, NeverBounce charges $0.003 per verification. 

Google Alerts

Google alerts

Google Alerts is the right tool for getting inspiration for your link-building campaign. It lets you strategically filter relevant search terms and also receive alerts directly to your email inbox.

Whenever researching link-building prospects, the search engine you’re using bombards you with millions of results. With Google Alerts, you can easily zero in on the most valuable results. Consequently saving you time and adding impact to your link-building outreach.

Filter options like sources, languages and regions help you get the specific results desired. Whatsmore, you get to decide how often you receive the alerts and the email address where these notifications are received.

The best part is it’s free to use Google Alerts for your link-building campaign. 

Google Advanced Search Operators 

Google Advanced Search Operators are effective for tailored results on the search engine. They are used to extend the capabilities of standard text searches.

Google Advanced Search Operators are special commands and characters that narrow down your search on the search engine with results that have SEO in their page titles. When done right, your searches are much more efficient and accurate.

In a link-building process, Google Advanced Search Operators are great for searching branded terms, editorial contact information and guest post opportunities.

Here are some of the most fruitful ways to use the search operators listed above for your link-building campaigns. 

Guest Post Opportunities

Guest posting should never be an afterthought in your link-building strategy. It’s an effective way to get backlinks and more traffic to your website.

Guest posting on a notable publication that lets you add links to redirect to your site is a surefire way to improve your link-building campaign.

So, how to find guest post opportunities with search operators for your link-building outreach?

There are a couple of ways to unearth guest opportunities. If your niche is SEO, use this command SEO intitle:”write for us” inurl:”write-for us”

SEO write for us search

You will get tons of guest post opportunities in the SEO niche.

You can also use the operator for multiple keywords. Here’s an example below

Google search

Additionally, if you want to know for sure if a publication accepts guest posts, you can try entering this command site (“this is a guest post”) | “this is a guest contribution”)

Pro tips: Don’t limit your search to “write for us” you can also explore different ideas like:

  • “contribute to” 
  • “become a contributor”
  • “guest post guidelines”
  • “inurl:guest post”
  • “inurl:guest-contributor-guidelines” 

Access to Prospects’ Social Profile

If you are going to reach out to prospects, search operators can give access to their social profile. For this to be effective, you need to know their name.

There are a couple of ways to find your prospects’ names, you could check the about us page or simply search for it.

Here, we used Inbound Blogging as an example.

Now that we have the name, we’ve entered this command Nikola Baldikov InBound Blogging ( | |

Access to prospects social profile

Discover PR Opportunities By Finding Your Competitors’ Mentions

Competitive link analysis should be a cornerstone of your link building strategy. Get started by identifying your competitors. Chances are you already know who they are. But if you don’t. We’ve got you covered.

There’s a search operator command for sites that are related to yours. All you need to do is enter this command related:then your url. 

Related search

Now we have a list of competitors, including MOZ and Seobook. The next step is finding sites that have mentioned them.

site Ahrefs , intext MOZ

The command gives you an overview of their mentions of your competitors. So, with this information, the next phase is finding an opportunity. Reach out, connect with them and they might just write about you. 

Keep in mind that patience is key, this tactic is a long game, however the results can really pay off.

Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar

Ahrefs SEO toolbar

Source: Ahrefs

Ahrefs’ SEO toolbar is a browser extension for Chrome & Firefox that provides valuable SEO data about your pages or SEO. It offers succinct on-page SEO reports.

The SEO toolbar also has an internal and dead link highlighter. While most browser extensions have the two features, it’s hard to find one that highlights dead and internal links together, like the Ahrefs’ SEO toolbar.

Those hunting for resource page opportunities would love this unique combo because it provides valuable prospects for your outreach.

It’s free to use the browser’s extension on your device. However, it displays additional valuable data for those already on the Ahrefs premium plan. Ahrefs’ starter premium plan goes for $99 per month. 


Granted, link-building can be a tedious and time-consuming process. You can’t afford to make any errors in your strategy because it could cost you dearly.

However, with these link-building tools, you can easily spot and fix your link-building flaws as these tools give you access to your competitors’ keywords and backlinks.

Not only that, they enable you to monitor your link-building campaign’s progress and pinpoint exactly where to make improvements, so you can get the results you desire. We hope you’ve found this article helpful with your link building efforts!

Article by

Nikola Baldikov

Nikola Baldikov is an SEO magician with a passion for helping companies succeed in their online efforts. He is a founder of Inbound Blogging, where he specializes in SaaS marketing, SEO, and outreach strategies. In addition to his work, he is an avid football fan and loves to dance.

Posted in SEO

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