A Comprehensive Guide to Broken Link Building
Link Building has always been necessary for building authority in your website. SEO’s are always trying to find new ways to streamline the process to make it cheaper and more effective.
Outreach can sometimes seem pointless. Not to mention that it can be disheartening at how few results you receive from your hours of research and email outreach.
Sadly, there’s really no “easy out” to link building. However, there are ways that you can benefit the web while building authority on your site.
One of these effective strategies is what we have come to know as “Broken Link Building”. And while it still requires work and research, the process can be much more promising. It reaps benefits not only for you, but also the owner of the site you achieve a link from.
But how does it work? And how can you earn the link in a way that won’t send thousands of outreach emails to the spam folder?
Today, we’re bringing you a comprehensive guide to broken link building that will teach you how to earn those links nearly hassle-free. Ready to get started?
What Is Broken Link Building?
Broken Link Building is the process of locating a broken link within a website article in your niche and filling the void with your own content on your own website.
If the site you want to post your content on has a lot of visitors and the particular article you found containing the broken link is still active, the site owner is going to be more inclined to change the link out.
When you’ve successfully executed the proper outreach method and earned the spot, congratulations! A lot of times, earning broken links can be significantly more relevant than typical guest posting opportunities that you work so hard to place. And this is why the Broken Link Building strategy is so popular in recent history. Because it works!
Locating Broken Links
So how DO you find Broken Link opportunities on websites that are relevant to you?
There are a lot of programs and websites that can help you locate broken links – like SEMrush or Moz. When you’ve found a link that’s broken, you’ll need to find out what it was linking to. The easiest way to do this will be to use the Wayback Machine. When you’ve found a broken link and gone “back in time” to find out what was on the page, you’re ready to move on to step 2!
Research, Write, Repeat.
If you have a relevant article, your job is going to be a little easier and you can skip this next step.
However, if there’s nothing immediately relevant on your site, the next step is to research that particular article, write your own article around the subject and publish it on your site.
Your article will obviously need to be well-written. It will have to be full of the information that the site owner will be looking for. And be sure to include relevant links to authoritative sites in your industry that make sense.
The Art of the Outreach Email
Sending an outreach email can be tricky for a lot of reasons.
If you work in the digital marketing industry, you’re pretty well aware of just how annoying an outreach email can be when you’re getting a couple of dozen a day. Not to mention that fact that many times, the owner of the inbox is sending them to spam about as fast as they’re arriving in the inbox.
So how do you get past the initial glance in the inbox and build a trusting relationship with a site owner and earn broken links?
The answer isn’t simple either.
Often, we wish outreach was as straightforward as the answers to simple mathematics. But this just isn’t the case. Instead, it’s all about the way you craft it:
- The quality of your email
- The message you are sending through the words you type on your screen
- And perhaps most importantly, the quality of the article you’re hoping the site owner will exchange their broken link with.
One of the key elements to a successful strategy would be to replace the broken link going to content that’s just “OK”, with content that is superb.
The goal is not to just replace the content, but to make it better!
When you’ve published the content on your site, it’s time to get the attention of the owner of the website with that much desired broken link.
Time For The Outreach
While there’s no “secret formula” to good outreach, there’s definitely a difference between “good” outreach and “bad” outreach.
An example of a good outreach email would be something short and to the point, with no beating around the bush.
- Does your email have grammar or spelling mistakes?
- Is it written in a friendly but professional manner?
- Flattery can be nice, but most site owners can see through your shallow attempts at earning a link.
Going on and on about how much you love their site when you haven’t really clicked all the way through it means one thing: It’s going straight to the spam or the trash folder. And we don’t want that!
Blake Akers of Webology wrote an article explaining his broken link technique and the email he used for outreach:
Image Credit of Blake Akers at webology.technology
Notice that his email is short and to the point – there isn’t any useless flattery. And he has written an email that is free of the grammar and spelling mistakes that so often come along with outreach emails.
We know that the goal is to have a website owner link to your site. Do you really think they’re going to respond to an email full of spelling and grammar issues? They don’t have any interest in linking to a spammy website. The goal is to add something relevant and useful. An article full of trash that doesn’t hold relevancy doesn’t add anything to the site. If earning a link is important to you, you will work to make sure that you write professionally and carefully.
The End Result
Achieving a link on an authoritative site is powerful because of the link authority that is funneling into your site. However, it will take Google a number of months to crawl older posts. So results from your broken link building efforts may be awhile in coming. As with many other digital marketing practices, patience is key. But in the meantime, keep building links because it will catch up with you.
If you’re curious about exact results from a Broken Link Building Campaign, check out Ben Jackson’s case study on Moz.com.
Over To You
We hope that we’ve been able to give you some insight into how broken link building, when executed properly, can bring the results you’ve been searching for in your outreach efforts.
Do you have any insight into broken link building you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!
Jessica Lambert is a content and outreach strategist at Webology SEO in Birmingham, Alabama, and loves crafting educational and creative articles for a variety of different industries. You can connect with her on Facebook here, on Instagram here, or tweet her @jesslambert_97
You may also want to read: Your Authoritative Link Building Guide (Courtesy of Ahrefs)
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