LinkBird Review

 

Introducing the tool

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Is there a gap in the market for another bird branded SEO tool?! This German software company thinks so. LinkBird is a relative newcomer on the SEO tools market but has an interesting offering aimed at being an all-in-one solution for SEO project management with a number of tools under one roof. Comparisons with the better established Raven Tools are inevitable here (part of the reason I think the LinkBird brand name is a massive mistake).

What interests me about LinkBird is how its positioned itself as more of a project management tool for modern SEO projects rather than just a tactical SEO tool. It also has the advantage of monitoring keyword rankings, a feature which Raven removed from their tool.

Lets look into some of the main features of LinkBird to see how it stacks up with the competition.

Rank tracking

LinkBird offers a built in rank tracking solution which runs remotely and provides weekly updates on your keyword positions in the main search engines.

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The tool has a really nice clean display for rankings over time and against competitors with a useful average ranking stat which lets you benchmark yourself against the competitors which you can specify during your setup.

The ranking tool also has a nice display called “ranking spread” which shows the number of keywords you have on each page of Google compared to your competitors. It a nice graphical way of displaying ranking information which I haven’t seen before.

My only criticism would be the limits on the number of keywords you can track inclusive of your plans. I would like to be able to monitor more than 100 keywords in the Pro plan which is designed to be used across 5 projects. You can pay extra to monitor more keywords if you need them however.

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Link building and management

LinkBird has several tools to help you with your link building campaigns. Firstly there’s the link manager which stores information on your links like a mini link CRM. When you load up the tool for the first time you can optionally import a bunch of links which you already have. I’m not sure I’d use this feature personally, I think the CRM functionality is more useful when you add your links manually along with the contact information for the sites you’ve built links with manually. The import function filled up my link manager straight away with a load of links of varying degrees of quality, most of which I don’t have any control over. The link manager works well but its not nearly as sophisticated as BuzzStream if link management is your main use of the tool.

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Like Raven and BuzzStream, LinkBird also provide a toolbar for Firefox or Chrome. (note – at the time of writing the links to install the Firefox toolbar goes to the German Mozilla site and you’ll get a warning about installing an unverified extension). The toolbar is handy – it lets you click a “save link” button and be taken straight to the link import screen with the details of the links on that page pulled into the form.

LinkBird also has several built in tools for researching link building prospects. Like BuzzStream the tools are geared up for link building campaigns which make use of content seeding and outreach, reassuring as this is widely considered to be the “right” way of link building these days. There’s no mention of out-dated tactics like link exchanges that we still see in other tools such as SEO Powersuite.

Sitehunter” is the main backlink analysis tool within LinkBird. I wasn’t entirely sure where the backend link data for this tool comes from, it looks like MajesticSEO. Anyway the tool works by inputting a competitors domain and downloading their links. You can then choose to add the best links to your link manager to approach them via outreach. Fairly basic stuff although its well executed and its nice to have the research and management tool joined up so there’s no copy/ pasting between tools. The Sitehunter tool isn’t a patch on the backlink research tools in the Link Research Tools suite but like the built in research tools in Raven it does a solid enough job for most novice to mid-level link builders.

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I found the navigation around the LinkBird toolset took some getting used to. I would have expected a section for “links” with the link manager and research tools housed in one place but instead the link manager is found under “visibility”.

Onsite optimisation

Surprisingly the toolset doesn’t have any functionality to help with onsite optimisation. I had expected a site crawler of some sort in order to round out the set of tools into a comprehensive SEO offering like you get with Moz or Raven. I don’t necessarily think this is a problem as I’m not a massive fan of these automated crawl reports but if you’re looking for this functionality you’ll need additional software for auditing and managing onsite and technical SEO projects.

Price

LinkBird plans range from £49/ month to £499+/ month for a bespoke enterprise licence. The £49 “basic” plan is a little on the light side in terms of keyword ranking quotas but may suit an in-house SEO with a relatively small site. Agencies will need the expert plan (£229/ month) which gives access to 5 users and 25 projects but only up to 500 keywords by default so you’re likely to end up paying additional charges for extra keywords

Note that prices quoted are based on a minimum 12 month contract which is the shortest contract term that is on offer, although you can pay monthly. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions and are happy with these before paying for the tool. I would definitely rather see LinkBird follow the convention of most SaaS companies in allowing users to cancel their plans at any time, rather than tying them into contracts. Although if you’re looking at a tool like LinkBird you probably want it as a long-term investment.

You can get a free 14 day trial of LinkBird from the website.

Conclusion

LinkBird is a really promising bit of software for the management of SEO campaigns and I think some people are really going to like the approach it takes, although it will take some getting used to, particularly if you’re switching from other tools.

You can see areas where LinkBird have taken inspiration from other tools like Raven and BuzzStream (in their link management section), which is fine, but LinkBird is more expensive than Raven and it ties you into a 12 month contract. It does have one very big advantage over Raven in the form of its ranking tool which is notable by its absence from the Raven Tools platform. So if you’re looking for an all-in-one tool and still need access to keyword rankings then LinkBird may well be worth a look.

As an aside and similar to SE Ranking its really frustrating to see so much work go into this software and it be let down by poor English. The website and help files as well as the tool itself are full of poor translations and grammatical errors which would make it frustrating to use on a daily basis for English speaking users. In part this is the reason its hard to get used to the workflow inside the tool because the naming of elements in the UI just isn’t quite right for English speakers.

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Go back to  SEO tools comparison report.

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