The internet is broken (literally).
Millions – if not billions – of links get broken daily due to expired hosting, incorrect site migrations, and typing errors.
That’s not good news for the respective site owners.
For link builders, however, the broken links present huge opportunities.
In this article, you will learn how to leverage these opportunities in the form of broken link building.
I will show you the exact process of scouring the web for broken links that you can turn into a backlink to your site!
Before we begin, you need to understand why broken link building is one of the best ways to build a formidable link profile for your site.
And here’s the answer:
It’s all about reciprocation.
If you do something nice for the site owner, there’s a good chance that s/he will return the favor in kind.
In this case, if you point out broken links on a site owner’s page, s/he could be more willing to link back to one of your pages as a way of thanking you.
This principle is well above other link building tactics where people demand links from sites without giving something in return.
Let’s put it this way:
If I don’t scratch your back, will you scratch mine?
(Answer: probably not)
And that’s the thing with broken link building. Both parties benefit from this tactic.
The site owner points to pages within the content that work.
You gain a backlink for your effort.
It’s a win-win!
Now that we’ve discussed the why, let’s hop onto how you can proceed with your broken link building campaign.
Below are the exact steps that you should follow to properly pull off this tactic for your blog:
Find resource pages
Have you heard of resource pages?
You know, pages with lots of outbound links related to a specific topic?
Here’s an example of one:
This page is a treasure trove for broken links!
The goal of resource pages is to provide visitors with information from third-party pages about a topic.
However, as the years go by, some of the sites no longer operate, which render their links broken.
And site owners don’t have the time to check each link on the page one by one and see if they work.
Therefore, consider this your job of helping them out.
By identifying the broken links, you can request to get one of your blog posts included in the page!
More importantly, site owners are more willing to link back to you on their resource pages.
This is only assuming that the blog post you want a link from is relevant to the topic.
But first, we need to find resource pages related to your blog’s niche.
Hop on to Google and use the following search query:
[Niche] resource page
Replace [niche] with your actual niche.
From here, Google will return results of resource pages that you comb through.
Click on each of the pages and keep the best ones in a spreadsheet.
Here’s an example of a broken page.
It’s a page on a blog or site informing you that the link you visited no longer exists.
Your goal, therefore, is to find 404 pages or broken links from resource pages!
Using the Chrome extension, Check My Links, helps find broken links.
It’s what you need for quickly checking pages for broken links.
Install it and it’ll appear as a small checked icon alongside your address bar.
Clicking it automatically scans links in the page.
It gets highlighted in red if there’s a broken link, together with an error report at the text’s right side.
Using the same spreadsheet, keep the pages with broken links and remove the ones without.
Find the email of the site owner
The next step is to inform site owners about the broken link.
However, you can only do this if there is a contact page or an email address available on the site.
But what if they don’t have either?
Not to worry – there’s FindThatLead to the rescue!
It’s another Chrome extension that lets you find email addresses of people who own or work on the site.
By installing and clicking on its icon, you will see the different emails of people who are part of the organization.
To help verify their emails, you must click on the check icon.
It shows if it’s either GUESS or VALID. Filter out the guesses and keep the valid ones.
Once you have their emails, you need to craft a message informing them about the broken links.
Since you’ll be sending to as many site owners as possible, the process even becomes tedious and repetitive.
However, there’s a way you can automate the process to make the job easier for you.
Gmail’s Canned Response allows you to create an email template you can use for your broken link building campaign.
Therefore, instead of crafting new emails talking about the same thing, you can pull out the template and fill in the blanks for each new site owner!
In the email template, address the site owner by their first name.
It’s the first step of personalizing your campaign.
Next, talk about how you came across their page.
You were probably looking for resource pages to help you write a post about the topic they’re covering.
After that, point out the broken link on the page.
It’s the very purpose of the email, after all.
Now, here’s the most important part:
Mention that your blog has a similar page that can replace the broken one.
In this part, don’t make it sound like you’re forcing your link to be included in the page.
Just suggest your link to the site owner.
Give them the choice to either include your link or not.
You have to trust them to make the best decision for their page.
Here are other tips on help you write the template:
- Make your email short and sweet. Your recipient is more likely to read the entire email. It’ll also be easier for them to understand and follow your requests.
- Be professional by maintaining the proper grammar and punctuation.
- Follow up with another email once or twice if they don’t respond. But more than that, and you end up spamming someone.
- Be polite and know that you’re just asking a favor. If they ignore your emails after multiple times of reaching out to them, move on to the next site.
Finally, review the results of the campaign with the template you’re using.
If the response rate is low, maybe you need to tweak your template to generate better responses.
As you can see, broken link building is more about building relationships more than everything else.
Once you click “Send,” there’s nothing much you can do about it.
They may link to your site on their resource page.
They may not.
However, as mentioned earlier, you need to trust people to do the right thing.
If you pull off your broken link building campaign flawless, they will link to your blog posts 100% of the time!
If you’re not confident in developing and implementing this campaign, you can ask agencies like SEOExplode that offers SEO services with years of experience in link building.
They will help guide you in the process of broken link building.
This way, you can develop a link profile that will bolster your blog’s SEO performance.