Broken Link Building: What It Is & How to Do It Right In 2023
One of the most scalable link building techniques in the modern world is broken link building. Anyone who has used this technique in the past will agree with this concept. Even though the process consumes a lot of time, the results are more than impressive.
Broken link building is a highly effective SEO technique as long as you know how to use it. You only need to know how to scale broken link building efficiently.
It is good to know the importance of broken link building before we can proceed with this guide.
Table Of Content
Are Broken Link Building Strategies Still Effective?
Yes, absolutely. Just because some people find it difficult to execute doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t work.
We agree on the fact that broken link building is a time-consuming practice. However, if you can do it the right way, you will see measurable results.
According to the Aira report, broken link building is the 5th most popular practice of building links.
Understanding The Broken Link Building
We cannot assume that everyone understands the meaning of broken link building.
It is a tactic where digital marketers:
- Find broken links.
- Rewrite the old content.
- Inform the people who link to the dead resources to link to their fresh content which is of good quality.
The tactic works because people don’t want dead links on their websites. The reason is that dead links promote a poor user experience. Therefore, when you tell a person about a broken link on his website, he will happily replace it with yours.
What Causes Broken Links?
Broken links have several reasons. They’re:
- URLs that are mistyped are one of the most common causes of this problem.
- It can also be a migration issue, like when the site owner migrated from HTTP to HTTPS.
- It is possible that the domain has changed.
- Broken external links also contribute to the issue. When you link out to an unavailable external site, your site will have broken links.
Broken Link Example
Imagine browsing the internet for information about your favourite book series, “The Adventure Chronicles.”
Your eagerness builds as you click on a link that promises exclusive content and updates about the series.
However, instead of getting to your desired page, you get an error message that says “404 Page Not Found” – a classic broken link.
In any case, encountering a broken link can be frustrating, akin to hitting a roadblock when seeking knowledge.
As a result of broken link building, the user experience is negatively affected.
Therefore, fixing broken links and providing your users with a great user experience is vital.
Broken Link Building Is Ideal For…
Our experience tells us that link building works well for two groups.
Consider broken link building outreach if you’re trying to grow your traffic and attract more readers.
(ii) People Involved In Service Business
Service businesses should consider this as their next go-to strategy. Broken link building can help service providers reach target audiences. They’ll get an audience that’s more likely to take action.
Let’s Understand The Process Of Broken Link Building
For the purpose of building broken links, we have vetted and prepared a four-step strategy. They are as follows:
1. Find The Dead Links On The Top Websites In Your Niche
You should try to identify broken links on websites that have several backlinks. However, make sure you concentrate on linking back to websites that are in your niche. It is meaningless for a car part website to link to a food store.
Google will treat such links as Spammy, and it will do more harm than good to your website. The market has several tools that you can use to find broken links in your niche. However, the most effective tool is Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.
If you are beginning in broken link building, the LinkMiner Chrome extension is a free tool to check broken links. However, it is advisable to check the website’s page authority and domain authority before requesting the owner to link to your site. MozBar Chrome extension is a free tool that will help you get these statistics.
You can also consider Semrush Broken Link Checker.
First, you will need to create a list of good quality competing and authoritative websites in your niche. Then, you can analyze all these websites in Ahrefs’ Site Explores. You will filter your results for HTTP 404 errors to get broken links.
You will be able to find some of the pages in your niche that most people link to yet they no longer exist. The tool will rank them from the one with the highest links to the one with the lowest broken links. At this point, you need to check for sites that were linking to these websites.
You need to know what that website or the page was talking about. It can take you less than ten minutes to get to these pages. Analyze all the pages that have 404 errors on your list. You will get dozens or even hundreds of broken link building campaign opportunities.
First, you need to identify the links that have several backlinks from the list. You need to check the outgoing links and then go to broken links in Ahrefs Site Explorer. You will find the number of pages on the website that have external pages that aren’t available.
It will give you some of the broken links that have promising opportunities in your industry. You can write a relevant article and suggest that it is a fix to the broken link. And, you can do a lot of research around the dead link to get more opportunities.
You can speed up this process by using Ahrefs’ batch analysis. Paste every broken outbound link in the site explorer to check the number of referring domains for each of them. The Ahrefs Batch analysis tool is the best when exploring broken links. Then, you can use the ref. domains to sort your results.
You may realize that the pages have so many good-quality refs. domains more quickly. You can also use tools like Xenu’s Link Sleuth and Screaming Frog to scan the whole website. These tools will help you to find broken links, but the process will waste a lot of time.
This strategy consumes more time than the first two strategies. The process has several moving parts and a lot of manual work involvement.
The ExpeiredDomains.net allows you to use keywords to search for expired domains in your niche. You will get so many blogs and websites on your topic. If the list is too long, you can add a filter to only see .com, .org, or .net domains. It will help you to reduce the volume of junk results.
You can also allow the page to display a specific number of results in every search. From here, you can click on the ‘copy domains to clipboard’ button. Paste the domains into the Ahrefs batch Analysis tool and choose the option of ‘domains with all subdomains’ for the mode.
You can now sort your list using the ref. domains to get the results. You will have a long list of expired domains that have several backlinks. However, you need to understand that some of these links are just junk.
You need to go ahead and check for the page and domain authority of each to verify their authenticity. It is not easy for a person to allow a website that has high-quality links to expire.
If the expired domains would be available for buying, you could acquire them and redirect them to the right pages on your website. Though its not easy, still if you find a few, you may discover that they are too expensive for no good reason.
Ahrefs site explorer is still the best tool to find expired domains that have links. The good news is that you can export your results to a CSV for better viewing. Following the process will help you to get the best-broken link building opportunities for your website.
4. Use Link Pages Or Scraping Resources To Get Broken Links In Your Niche
Most people are using this strategy to get broken link opportunities out there. The first step is to identify the resource pages in your niche using advanced Google search operators. The next step will be bulk scraping your search results.
Scrap all the outbound links from every scraped resource page. You can now check the HTTP status on all the pages as you look for 404 errors. Ahrefs will help you to see the pages that have the highest number of inbound links.
You will need to use the right terms to find the right terms in your niche. A tool like Scrapebox will help you to scrape all the Google search results. It will help you to find outbound links from all the pages.
The other application that can assist you is Screaming Frog. The two applications will help you to see the HTTP status for all the outbound links. It will allow you to identify the 44044’s with a lot of ease.
If you do not have Screaming Frog, Google Sheets with formula can help you to extract links on a page. From here, a free tool such as LinkMiner will allow you to see the HTTP status of the external links on each, one-by-one.
Irrespective of the approach you take, the last step is to paste the list of 404 errors in the Ahrefs Batch Analysis tool. It will help you to identify the most appropriate broken link building opportunities. Even though link building takes a lot of time, it is one of the best SEO strategies in the market.
Tips For Carrying Out A Successful Link Building Outreach
By now, you should be having a spreadsheet with all your potential link building opportunities. However, you are not yet done with your work. You still have the role of reaching out and building the links.
What this implies is that you will be carrying out an outreach. You will need to find the contact details of the website owners you would like to reach out to.
Send these people an email alerting them about a broken link on their website. In the process, you can suggest your link as a perfect replacement. The process will not be hard as long as you are reaching out to people in your niche.
You can read more guides on broken link building opportunities. Here are some of the tips that will help you through the outreach process.
i) Do Not Be Lazy
The first broken link building opportunity is to avoid being lazy. You have to make sure that you are reaching out to the right individual. Once your list of broken link prospects is ready, most people upload it to their outreach software.
The software helps them in scraping email addresses for the websites. After this, most people make the mistake of clicking on the send button. No wonder the broken link building efforts of most people fail.
Trying to use a shortcut is not the best strategy in link building. First, you will be compromising on the quality of the email. Some site owners will just mark your emails as Spam. You may not even get a future opportunity to reach out to them.
The best strategy is to personalize each email with the broken link information. The website owner will treat such emails with the seriousness that it deserves. Check whether you can get the personal emails of site owners and use them for your communication.
Don’t expect a link unless you use the right approach. Also, make sure you are reaching out to the right person. If someone manages the company blog, you’d rather reach out to him and not the founder. Most founders will only manage the blog when the company is still small.
Therefore, you need to be keen when reaching out to a website that has broken links. Do your homework well and avoid being lazy or using shortcuts. Blog managers are the only people who will care about broken links.
ii) Keep It Sweet And Short
One thing you should never do when looking for broken link building opportunities is to be pushy. The first thing you need to do is to address the recipients by name. Mention the exact broken link and inform them of the exact location.
Suggest the most appropriate location which is your website. Explain why you are offering the most ideal replacement for the broken link. Using this approach will give you a high success rate in your campaign. You can also use a broken link email template but remember to personalize it to your campaign.
It is advisable to add your own customization and be fair to all the things that you find on the website. The email should be very far from being pushy. Simply inform the owner about the broken links and suggest a replacement. Anything above this can work against you!
Be polite by requesting them to replace the broken link with yours.
Saying things like “replace the broken links with this link” may not go so well with you. People don’t like you to tell them what to do. Once you suggest, the owner will replace the link as long as you have the right content on your website.
iii) Send One Or Two Follow-ups
Do this if you don’t get a response to your original outreach email. You can send a follow-up that is not pushy. All you are doing is to remind the recipient about the issue at hand. Well-crafted follow-ups tend to have a sky-high success rate.
In fact, follow-ups tend to earn more links than the original email. However, don’t send a broken link building to follow up more than two times. The user can report you as spam hence blacklisting your email or domain.
Template For Sending The Pitch
If you’re hesitant to contact the site owner, here’s a template you can refer to:👇
Subject: Helping Improve User Experience on [Website Name] – Broken Link Opportunity
Hi [Site Owner’s Name],
I hope this email finds you well. I came across your website, [Website Name], while researching [specific topic/industry] and was truly impressed with the valuable content and insights you provide to your readers.
While exploring your site, I noticed a few broken links within your articles. Since I’m passionate about enhancing the user experience, I’d like to help fix these broken links.
My recent piece of content on a similar topic would be a great replacement for the broken links. In my article, I cover the same subject matter but also offer updated information and additional resources.
By Replacing The Broken Links With My Content, You Can:
Enhance User Experience.
Improve Website Reputation.
Boost SEO and Organic Traffic.
Feel free to reach out if you’d like to learn more about this opportunity.
Please let me know how we can work together to make [Website Name] the best it can be for your readers.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
[Your Website/Company Name]
[Your Email Address]
One of the best SEO techniques is broken link building. The process is time-consuming but it has a high success rate. There are several ways of streamlining and making this process much easier.
If you want the broken link building opportunities in your niche, you can contact us. You have to make sure that your suggestion is a genuine and great replacement for the broken links.
Have any thoughts about this subject? Please share your views or questions here!