One critical element of planning for a link building campaign or to do some competitive analysis is to find out how many incoming links you have to your (or a competitor’s) website and what those links are. There are a ton of great resources out there that help you do this. Here are three free ones that we have found to be very useful.
Neil Patel is one of the most popular names in SEO. Some people love him, some people not so much, but he does have a pretty nice free backlink checker.
Google Webmaster Tools is a must to set up for anyone with a website. Not only does it have a report for incoming links, but it also allows you to submit XML sitemaps to Google, find top search queries for your site, analyze Googlebot crawler data, find broken links, and many other useful things. I love how you can even see the anchor text (The text that a link says when it links to you, like “Check out this cool site!”) of incoming links to your site, but a bummer is that you cannot tell it to NOT show you links originating from your own domain. It also allows export of data to a spreadsheet file.
Backlink Checker Tool by Rankwatch is a free backlink generator tool to get a look at how many domains or pages are linking to your website. With just one single click, you get access to a plethora of backlinking information that’ll help you in preparing a robust Link Building Strategy. A single click on “Explore Links” is all you need to do after putting in your desired domain, and you’ll be presented with a huge amount of actionable Backlink Profile Data.
As I mentioned, there are tons of tools out there that have these features, and many are notable, such as Linkscape from SEOMoz, and SEO Spyglass, but they are all commercial software and not free, or they offer minimal information until you upgrade to the paid versions.
You can accomplish the same thing with any of these tools, but the important thing is to make sure you keep building links to your site, and being smart about it.