Broken link building is the process of finding broken links on other, high-authority websites that are in your company’s niche, and using them to build links to your own site.
This works in the form of replacing the broken link for one on your site that is working. For example, Digital Squad may notice a blog post on a relevant site that links to an article giving more information on long-tail keywords. However, when we click the link, we are sent to a 404 error page rather than the article that we wanted to see. In order to fix this issue and generate a link back to the Digital Squad site, we would get in touch with website owners to let them know that the link is broken and ask them if they would replace the broken link with a link to one of our blogs that focuses on long-tail keywords. If we didn’t have a blog on long-tail keywords, we might even write one so that we can get the backlink.
This technique works because website owners know that 404 error pages are bad for user experience and as such, can result in lost visitors. They are also bad for SEO as Google wants to direct users to high-quality pages. As a result, websites with lots of broken links have less chance of ranking at the top of the search engine results pages.
Web owners are typically more receptive to requests for a backlink if it is useful to them, and provides them with something in return. Fixing a broken link on the site definitely accomplishes both of these things.
The Steps to Creating a Broken Link Building Strategy
If we’ve convinced you that broken link building is a great SEO tactic that you should implement immediately, you may be wondering where to begin. The following are the steps that we take to find broken backlinks and replace them with links to our site.
Step 1: Make a List of Relevant High Authority Websites
The first step of the process is to create a list of web publications that you’d love to get a link from for your business. The easiest way to do this is to Search Google for popular blogs in your industry. Alternatively, tools like BuzzSumo can help you to find websites that have a lot of content about your niche.
Once you have compiled this list, look at the quality of each site that you find using Ahrefs or Moz. It will be more beneficial for your business to get a link from a high-authority site, so after a bit of research, you can prioritise these ones.
Step 2: Start Identifying Broken Links
Installing the Broken Link Checker Chrome extension can help you to identify broken links on a site easily. Navigate to relevant blog posts and go through any ones that you can find using the tool, which will highlight any broken links on that page.
Alternatively, the entire domain can be run through Free Broken Link Checker to get a full list of broken links across the site.
Step 3: Identify Relevant Content
Once you have identified a broken link, you need to work out the content from your site that can replace it. Alternatively, if you currently don’t have an article on that specific topic, you can create one that addresses the anchor text in the broken link.
With either of these solutions, the most important thing to remember is that your content has to be high quality; otherwise the website won’t want to link to it. Make sure the blog is interesting and insightful and goes into depth on the topic that you are talking about.
Step 4: Get in Touch With the Website Owner
This can be the most difficult part of the process. In fact, Backlinko studied over 12 million outreach emails and found that only 8.5% of emails got a response. In addition, backlink emails can seem ‘spammy’, which can immediately put the web owner off.
This means that the email you send and its content is vitally important. Be honest, and get straight to the point. Website owners can see through emails that follow the standard ‘I’ve been following your work for years…’ Instead, it’s better just to tell them why you are getting in touch and how you can mutually help each other.
For more information on backlinking, or for help with your wider SEO strategy, get in touch with Digital Squad. An award-winning SEO agency Auckland, we know what it takes to boost your position on the search engine results pages.