Is there a link building software tool that can do it all? I decided to revisit the all encompassing question of ‘what is the best link building tool?’ for SEO companies and marketing analysts, and one of our SEO specialists decided to trial out a couple of link building management tools and put them under the microscope.
Over the years, many of you have probably used some of the usual suspects from Advanced Link Manager from Caphyon, Market Samurai, SEOMoz & BuzzStream to name a few, but after some digging around decided to take a closer look at at Ontolo and LinkDex and what they have to offer.
Any SEO analyst worth his salt, has to rely on a myriad of tools, whether it be for link scouting, domain and keyword analysis, link management and for reporting. There’s no getting away from having to use multiple different tools for various tasks but have for a long time now been hoping for a tool which will perform the core SEO tasks such as, competitor analysis, on page analysis, keyword research, link management, task management & link prospecting / scouting.
Here’s a brief run down on Ontolo and LinkedEx and the benefits of each…
Ontolo Versus LinkDex: How they compare?
Ontolo is a comprehensive suite of link building tools enabling in house SEO teams to manage link building tasks efficiently; by automating research & reduce link research time, acquiring the best link opportunities, analyzing metrics link metrics and attributes and automate contact collection. There is a 2 week free trial for Ontolo compared to LinkDex’s 4 week trial.
Ontolo is impressive from an SEO technical point of view and easy to use, but does it do everything you want it to do for an SEO tool. Well it comes pretty close.
Here’s a quick look at the management interface for Ontolo;
By simply punching in a few details, it is capable of finding potential link prospects based on keywords, your competitor domains and the type of links you are trying to garner, from blog posts, articles to relevant web directories.
You can set a priority for the types of links your are focusing on. Save the campaign and Ontolo does all the hard work and a few hours later, sends you an email informing you that your campaign prospects are ready. Unlike ‘advanced link manager which’ is client based software that runs from your PC, Ontolo takes the performance hit, server side and doesn’t suffer the inherent problems with spidering and query building.
Ontolo then provides a search facility where you review, sort and garner the back links that you are most interested in.
So does it stop there? No, you can also manage your prospects and change the acquisition status. If you’ve canvassed a particular site and sent an email off to the web master, this can be reflected in the link prospect details. This is an essential part of any link building management software if you are working in a team – being able to track progress and link building time/resources is a must as an SEO manager.
You can also carry out a separate competitor backlink report. Ontolo gives you a choice of data source; SEOmoz, page rank, Google backlinks, mozrank etc.
To add to these existing bells and whistles Ontolo also include a suite of free tools including a ‘phrase occurrence analysis’ tool.
The Linkbuilding Query Generator Interface
If you are old school SEO and a google operator fan and don’t want to wait for Ontolo to spew out its link prospect data, they have also provided a link query generator tool (now on version 2).
This is a valuable tool as it saves time typing in the 100’s of operators to list potential link sources. Simply add your keywords, asset types, opportunities and campaign types, and generate a whole list of google queries. Click on each one and it opens up a separate window of link propsects for you to research.
2 week free trial
Can be expensive for a small SEO company or an SEO consultant to use, as the subscription is based on the number of domain projects you require.
An excellent tool and probably the best on the market at the moment that is delivering a tool that can do practically everything you want it to in terms of link analysis and powerful filtering.
Link building is always going to involve ‘coal face’ tasks such as emailing webmasters, contacting web site/blog owners, and would possibly like to see the email management included at some time in the future for a seamless link management process.
Linkdex is an SEO tool enabling you to manage SEO link building tasks amongst your SEO team including keyword analysis & rank tracking,
A Snapshot of the LinkDex Dashboard
The Dashboard is well designed and provides you with a top level overview of the link building tasks, who they are assigned to, workflow and break down of link sources into category.
The interface is clean and easy to use.
Link influence and relevance analysis for potential back links.
Use of link filters for anchor text, title etc
Very strong work flow and task assignment functions for multiple users.
Excellent reporting options – can be used to transparently show your clients the link building effort carried out month to month.
No functionality to carry out link scouting – currently you can only gain potential link sources from competitor sites/domains you add.
LinkeDex is a relatively new SEO tool on the market, and has already won awards for its design and functionality. I would recommend this software for SEO consultants, SEO companies and agencies. The only feature I would like to see added in the future is the ability to be able to scout and source links from the many online sources and sites – it currently only looks at competitor sites that you add to the database.
The pricing structure is based on the number of competitor domains you add, so starting off on the one domain plan is really not a viable plan even for one campaign – you are going to want to look at more than one competitor for your SEO campaigns. They do also have a premium tool for corporate accounts which has a few more added features up it’s sleeve.
Overall, an excellent SEO tool for analysis and task management and I look forward to the added features over the following months. Definitely, one to watch.
So Does the Ultimate Link Building Management Tool Exist Yet..?
In short no, not quite yet. The requirement for to run an efficient SEO business and to manage link building resources effectively, remains a primary goal especially in these times of austerity. Client reporting, accountability and transparency is increasingly becoming important for SEO companies to show how the money is being spent. The days of ‘black box’ SEO campaigns are now obsolete. Not forgetting social media and social search, there is much room for improvement here, although there are dedicated social media tools to manage campaigns for this.
Until all these aspects are merged together in to one tool, we are a few ‘Google algorithm updates’ away from the ultimate SEO tool.