How to Execute a Successful Broken Link Building Campaign
Ranking on search engines is now more important than ever. To rank higher, it is necessary to have your on-page and off-page SEO on track. Broken link building is a popular link-building strategy in off-page SEO to improve your ranking. However, there exist contradictory views in the SEO community regarding broken link building.
While some believe it is a complex and time-consuming task with little results, others feel it works if you do it right. We agree with the latter, and that’s why we are here with a guide for executing a successful broken link-building campaign for businesses.
What Is Broken Link Building?
Broken link building is a process wherein you find broken and outdated links on other websites and offer the website owner to replace them with complete, relevant links. It is beneficial for both the parties, as it increases your credibility and provides prospective clients with viable links that help them trust their content.
However, not every website owner may respond well to replacing broken links. Hence, ensure that your content surpasses their own link in both quality and credibility.
What Are the Benefits of Broken Link Building?
Before starting the broken link-building process, it is essential to know how it can benefit your SEO efforts and your business. Here are some undeniable benefits of broken link building:
A. Improves Authority: One of the major benefits of broken link building is that your links get more outreach and your authority improves, enhancing your overall rankings with time.
B. Improves On-Page SEO: When you replace broken links on a particular website with more relevant good links, the on-page SEO of that website improves.
C. Increases Efficiency: It is a quick and cost-efficient way to build authority if you can find websites with good authority in your niche.
How to Execute a Successful Broken Link Building Campaign?
Broken link building requires a systematic approach that helps you get the most out of it. Let’s look at the steps you need to follow to execute your broken link building campaign.
Step 1 – Select a Tool to Find Broken Links
The first thing you need for a broken link-building campaign is broken links, and it is impossible to find them on thousands of websites without a tool to help you out. There are several tools that you can use for the process. Some popular ones include:
A. Google Search
It is the most basic option that you can use to find broken links. You can use different operators to find broken links on websites through Google search. The most common ways include:
- Using the Inurl operator: It enables you to find pages that contain specific keywords or phrases in a URL.
- The Site operator: It allows you to find pages hosted on a specific website. So if you are interested in a particular website (like your own!), use this method to find the broken links on that website.
- Filetype: PDF is another incredible operator you can use on Google search to find pages with PDF files and replace the broken links with files of yours.
Ahrefs is a popular SEO tool used by web admins and SEO specialists for multiple SEO practices. For best results, use the trial version of Aherfs and input the URL of the website you want to find links for. Once you click on the search button, the results will show up. It will include all the links on that website, how many clicks each link gets, and which ones are broken. You can filter broken links and pick out the ones you can easily replace or inform the concerned web admin about.
C. Screaming Frog
Another efficient tool you can use to search for broken links is Screaming Frog. It is a free website crawler that you can install on your device and crawl websites. After the crawling is finished, you can get a full report that includes the broken links on the website.
Step 2: Dig Deeper Into the Results
Once you have the broken links on hand, you need to determine the ones you can replace to benefit your proposition. Using Ahrefs’ content explorer, you can find results with broken links and filter out the ones with a minimum number of referring domains.
The oldest links would have the most chance of not being maintained, and probably no one would want to fix them either. Therefore, go for the most recent ones without compromising your target results. Then filter down the links for which you have relevant content on your website, or for which you can create content quickly.
Step 3: Qualify Your Content
Once you have a list of target links, the next step is to develop excellent and quality content for those. Providing new quality links which are far better than the previous ones makes it very hard for the website owner to say no to your proposal.
The best way to determine what you are up against is to find out what the previous link looked like. Go to archive.org and type the URL for the broken link to see the old website. It can help you understand what the previous content covered, how long it was, and what it was missing. After analyzing all these factors, you can create a high-quality link that surpasses the old one.
Ensure that your content is not just better than the old version but also meets all the recent standards of search engine algorithms. Also ensure the link page is optimized for on-page SEO so that it can easily rank once live.
Step 4: Create Your Outreach Mail
Once you have created and updated the content for all the broken links you want to target and replace, the next step is to reach the respective website owners or admins. You should start by getting the email addresses of all the concerned website admins, and sending them the broken link information along with their replacement. Create a custom template for all the website owners so you can simply customize the details according to their preference during the call/email conversation.
It is also essential to send this information to the right person, as otherwise your efforts may just go in vain. Aiming for the higher-ups in the company, such as the CEO, marketing heads, or CFO, won’t get you any response. So try to go for mid-level managers and regional team heads to get the responses you desire.
You can also check the company’s LinkedIn profile to find the relevant person(s) to reach out to. Once you have identified the right person(s), you must also get their email addresses, which is the more difficult part. However, there are certain tools, such as Hunter, Skrapp, and Voila Norbert, that you can use to find their emails.
Many outreach emails you send may end up in the recipient’s spam box if you are not careful. You should keep a few things in mind while creating your email template to prevent that from happening. They are:
- Use clear and curiosity-generating subject lines.
- Use their name to address the recipient.
- Be polite and compliment them through your email. But ensure that your compliments aren’t generic or sound fake.
- Utilize social media to find something unique about them and incorporate that in the mail to make it more personalized.
- Keep it short and to the point.
- It is best to use an inverted pyramid style of writing where you mention the most important things first and move further in descending order.
- Do not use misleading subject lines or titles in your email.
- Give an opt-out option for the person to show them that they have full control over the conversation.
- You should also include your complete details like company name, address, and other information, to earn their credibility and trust.
You can also use Gmail’s custom templates and tweak it according to your requirements.
Don’t forget to include the following things in your outreach mail:
- Information about the broken link viz. a viz. URL, the website page where it’s present, and the title (if any)
- The anchor text for the broken link
- URL of the replacement link
Here is a template for your first outreach mail –
Step 5: Follow Up
Once you send your outreach email, you may feel that the job is done and you can just sit back and relax. However, that is not how it works in the real world. Wait for a few days, and if you don’t hear anything or the broken link isn’t replaced with your new link yet, send another follow-up email and wait. Repeat the process once or twice; if you still don’t see any response, you can move on. Broken link-building is effective, yet you need to be ready to accept that the other party may not accept your link or want to replace the broken one. So, keep moving!
Most websites have broken links, covered by one simple explanation. Most website owners don’t have the time or resources to go back and update every link they added to their content months ago. That’s why it is a great idea to get more backlinks for your website and gain more authority. However, it is not always successful, and it does take time.
You should only opt for it after considering all the aspects of your SEO strategy and the goals you want to achieve.