When it comes to link building, you have dozens of tactics to acquire backlinks. Broken link building is one such tactic that has worked like a charm for several years. In fact, broken link building is considered as one of the most scalable link building tactics. But, is it?
If you have ever tried broken link building, you’ve most likely found out that it’s time-consuming and less promising. Many SEOs avoid this technique simply because it doesn’t deliver the expected results.
However, that’s not true. If executed in the right manner, broken link building can be one of the most reliable tactics to get quality backlinks. All you need is a well-defined plan to sail in the right direction.
So, in today’s blog post, we are going to share and efficient process to start and scale with broken link building.
What is Broken Link Building?
For those who don’t know, broken link building is a technique where you find all the broken links, craft a similar content piece, and ask the person to link to your content instead of a broken page.
Let’s understand this with the help of an example.
Here’s a broken link that we found on DIY Marketer’s link building guide for beginners.
Wayback Machine told us that this used to be a post about “7 Ways to Protect Your Website Against Google Penalties”. Now, since we are in the same field, we can easily write a similar post and ask DIY Marketer to link to our content piece instead.
And, the good part is they are most likely to replace this dead link with ours because, well, no one wants to link to a broken web page. Not only do broken backlinks damage the user experience, but they also hamper the site’s crawlability.
But, here’s the catch.
It is not necessary that broken link building always works. In many cases, you may not even get a reply from the other person, let alone get your link placed on their website. The key here is to find as many broken links and reach out to as many people as possible.
Even if half the people respond to your mail, you are on the winning side. Now, that you know what broken link building is and how does it work, let’s dive into the process of utilizing this tactic to get more backlinks for your website.
How to Get Started With Broken Link Building?
Finding broken links isn’t rocket science. In fact, it is way easier than you think. All you need is access to an SEO tool like SEMRush or Ahrefs.
Here’s an example of how you can find broken links using Ahrefs.
Start out by choosing one of the leading influencers in your niche. Quick Sprout is one of the top sources in the SEO industry. We can simply pop-in QuickSprout’s URL into Ahrefs’ site explorer to check all the 404 pages it has.
As you can see that the first link in the above list has 224 referring domains. It means that if you can manage to write a similar article, you’ll have 224 different link building opportunities.
And that’s not it. You can further check broken links for each of these 224 domains, and it’ll open a streamline of link building opportunities for your website. This is the reason why broken link building is considered as the most scalable link building tactic.
There’s another process to find broken backlinks, i.e., scraping resource pages. In this process, you’ll use advanced Google search operators to find the resource pages in your business niche.
Here’s the overall process:
- Use advanced Google search operators to find resource pages in your niche
- Scrape the search results using tools like Scrapebox
- Check the HTTP status for each page & look for pages that return 404 error
- Use an SEO tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush to filter out pages with most inbound links
Here’s a quick example.
Let’s say you promote weight loss tips on your website. So, performing a Google search for “weight loss intitle: resources” displayed the following search results.
The next step would be to bulk scrape all the search results using Scrapebox. Once you’re done scraping the pages, you would want to extract all the outbound links from these pages to find 404 pages.
Make a list of all the 404 web pages and use Ahrefs to find out a web page that has the majority of inbound links. That’s it! You, now have dozens of link building opportunities for your website.
How to Convert Broken Links-Tips for Successful Outreach
Like we mentioned earlier, finding broken links is the easier part. The real challenge comes when you have to convince the webmaster to replace the broken link with a link to your content piece.
As far as convincing the webmaster is concerned, it is extremely imperative to understand the thin line between outreach and ‘spam reach’. You would not want the webmaster to consider your e-mail spam, like dozens of others.
Moreover, it is also important to understand that a webmaster is likely to receive several outreach emails every day. So, it is also necessary that you put in the required efforts to stand out among others.
Here’s a list of quick tips that’ll help you convert broken links without any hassle.
Outreach to the Right Person
When you have a list of webmasters, you should not craft a simple template and hit the send button to all at once. It is necessary to check if the person you’re sending the email is actually responsible for the blogs or at least, cares for the broken backlinks.
For instance, if you want to write an outreach email to an industry expert like Neil Patel, it only makes sense to send it to his personal email. However, that’s not the case with an organization. Let’s say you want to outreach to Ahrefs.
In this case, there’s no point in writing about broken links to the CEO. It’ll rather make more sense to find out the people who are responsible for Ahrefs’ blogs, i.e., Tim Soulo.
So, make sure that you are sending the email to the right person otherwise you are less likely to make a successful outreach for broken link building.
Keep Your E-mail Short & Precise
Your e-mail should be short and to-the-point. It is never a good practice to beat around the bush and write a lengthy e-mail. Let the other person know who you are, why you’re here, and how you can help them.
Here’s a template to write the perfect outreach e-mail.
Hello (Webmaster’s Name),
Would you be able to update something on your website?
I have come across a broken link on your website. The link is on the webpage (webpage name) with anchor text (specify anchor text).
Luckily, I have created a similar content piece that can replace the broken link.
(Insert Page URL)
Hope this helps!
Of course, you can tweak the e-mail as you want, but the key is to stay on the point and don’t write a 300-words jargon that the person may not even read.
Follow-Ups are Necessary
If the webmaster doesn’t reply to your initial e-mail, there’s no harm in sending a follow-up. In fact, follow-ups can turn out to be great as there are several chances when the webmaster may have skipped over your mail.
However, don’t be pushy with the follow-up. Keep in mind that the follow-up should look nothing more than a nice reminder.
Here’s a quick template for the follow-ups.
Hello (Webmaster’s Name),
Just a quick reminder regarding the issue I talked about earlier.
There’s a dead link on your website. (Page URL)
The page links to. (URL of the Linking Page)
This could be a nice replacement for the broken link. (URL of the page you created)
This is one of the most effective ways to send a follow-up. However, make sure to send 1-2 follow-ups only. If the webmaster still doesn’t reply, he’s less likely to be interested in replacing the broken link. So, rather than wasting your time, get back to reaching out to more webmasters.
Broken Link Building-Final Words
Irrespective of what you may have heard, broken link building is still one of the most effective ways to acquire high-quality and meaningful backlinks. In fact, it is far better than other link building strategies such as guest posting.
The above-mentioned guide will help you execute the broken link building in an effective manner. So, utilize this technique and improve your website’s backlink profile by acquiring relevant and quality backlinks.