Search Engine Optimization February 27th, 2015
Broken link building is an old, but very effective SEO technique that companies tend to overlook when trying to improve their website’s performance. When people think of white hat SEO link building tactics, the first things that often come to mind are content marketing, guest posting, and online PR. However, broken link building can lead to campaign success by simply finding and fixing broken links around the World Wide Web. When done properly, this strategy can be useful for gaining high authority links from .edu, .gov, and .org websites quickly.
Many SEO experts have different views about broken link building. Some say that it’s too time-consuming and offers low conversion rates, but I completely disagree with such a statement because they’ve clearly been doing it wrong. Every single SEO practice has its own way for boosting conversions and achieving success. Today, I’ll be providing a detailed guide to show the three easy steps that are needed for your website to benefit from broken link building.
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First and foremost, it’s essential that you find all web pages with dead links. Since this can be a heartbreaking and time-consuming task when done manually, it’s advised that you download a good plug-in for assistance. Some great plug-ins I recommend are:
• Check My Links: This Google Chrome plug-in will easily find your website’s dead links with a single click. Simply open any page, hit the “H” button, and it’ll automatically begin crawling the web page. Green and red colors will be used to highlight links with a 200 or 404 response code respectively.
• Domain Hunter Plus: This is another Google Chrome plug-in that will check for dead links in your web pages. In addition, the Domain Hunter Plus has the option to download a .csv file of all the dead links on the page by hitting “Export.”
By using these tools, it’ll be very simple to find broken links on your web page without doing all the clicking yourself. Now, the next part will involve using a search engine to find resource pages related to your website’s keywords organically. You could search with:
• Keyword + “resources”
• Keyword + intitle:resources
• Site:.edu keyword + “resources”
• Site:.gov keyword + “resources”
• Site:.gov keyword + “links”
• Site:.org keyword + “links”
• Site:.org keyword + “recommended sites”
• Site:.edu keyword + “recommended sites”
• Keyword + “related links”
If you’re looking for more options, here are more search queries that can be used to find resource pages. With these queries, you’ll be able to quickly locate websites and run the plug-in to find broken links. As a general rule of thumb, look for search results that are older because posts from over 12 months ago have a higher chance of having broken links.
Once you’ve made a list of websites with broken links related to your site, then you should start finding their contact information. When it’s not readily apparent, you should:
• Check the header, footer, and sidebar.
• Look at the Contact Us page.
• Search through the About Us page.
• Find an Email ID or Query Form.
• Try looking for contact details on Whois.
To stay organized, it’s suggested that you make a spreadsheet in Excel for keeping all of the contact information clear and updated. Here is one spreadsheet I’ve created for you to manage your website’s broken links.
When you have a completed list of websites with all the broken links, then check out whether you have similar, improved content that can replace the broken link. If you have something epic, then shoot an email to the webmaster and wait for a response with crossed fingers. However, what if you don’t have anything better to offer? Just keep on reading.
Copy the URL of the broken link page and open the Wayback Machine in another tab. Next, paste the URL into the search field and press ENTER. As the machine works its magic, you’ll quickly find the old pages published at that time. By clicking on any day marked in blue, you can see the content present on that page and on the particular date (Choose most recent date to get the last updated content). You’ll then be able to check the content and make it better (add some value) so that the webmaster jumps at the opportunity to replace the broken link with your website link.
By far, the most important part of the broken link building process is outreach time because you’ll need to clearly communicate to make your hard work pay off. Reaching out to webmasters with a rightful message can be a game-changing move. However, if it’s not done properly, then the message could be a waste of time. I always advise that you manage your broken link building sheet and start reaching out with an email template.
Being a random guy, try this out:
I was just browsing through (site name) and found that outbound links weren’t working on
(Page URL with broken links)
Following pages that you linked seems to be gone:
(Broken link URL )
(Broken link URL)
It would be great if you replace it with similar quality resource like:
(Your page URL).
Hope next time your visitor won’t find any broken links and keep loving your site for great
Being a big fan, try this out:
Just wanted to start off saying that I love your site (name).
In fact, I really spend most of my time to check out the latest news on your site because I trust
your shared articles and this is currently the best: (article URL).
Just to let you know, a link in the article is not working; maybe they have moved. But that’s not a big thing as many things just keep coming and going.
Just wondering, I posted a similar article that covers the whole topic in detail and you may
like it (article URL).
As a huge fan, I’d be honored if you’d consider replacing the broken link with the suggested
If not, then just replace it anyway, as it will be helpful for other followers of yours. Keep
sharing great stuff!
Of course, you could also try taking the fisherman approach to see who catches the bait. Just shoot an email to webmasters stating that you’ve found some broken links in their web page. Once they reply to you with thanks, then you can start suggesting your replacements. The more you try different email formats, the more chances you’ll have to convert.