Broken Link Building in 3 Easy Steps
This is a guest post – Aaron Rudman-Hawkins is the owner and founder of Evergreen SEO, a UK search marketing agency providing a personal SEO service that gets results through hard work and doing things properly.
“I want to make it to the first page”
Don’t we all…
SEO has evolved and Google keeps getting smarter. But one thing is still certain – if you want to rank well in a Google search, authoritative backlinks are an extremely important factor.
Today I am going to share with you one of my favourite link building techniques – broken link building.
Why is it one of my favourite techniques? Because it works so damn well, in just about any industry because there are broken links all over the Internet.
What is broken link building?
For those of you who are not familiar with what broken link building is, essentially you find a website you want to be listed on, establish there is at least one broken link on that website – then contact the site owner. By helping them fix the broken link and politely suggesting your link as a replacement/addition, you accrue new links back to your site.
Sounds simple right?
That is because it is and I am going to share with you how to do it in 3 easy steps.
1. Getting started
This is where we roll our sleeves up, open Google and an Excel spreadsheet and do some searching. You want to list as many niche related websites as you can that you would love to have a link on.
Create a long list of websites that we can check for broken links and highlight the pages that have the most links on them.
The key is to find resource pages with lots of external links, so you should be using search strings such as these:
- Your keyword + inurl:links
- Your keyword + inurl:resources
- Your keyword + “friends”
- Your keyword + “partners”
- Your keyword + “other websites”
Using the above terms and various iterations of them will ensure the results returned are likely to be the pages on each website with the highest volume of links and therefore a higher likelihood of us finding a broken link we can then tell the site owner about.
Create a list of 100-200 websites in Excel and then move onto step two.
2. Check for broken links
To quickly and easily check for broken links you’re going to need to use a plugin for the Chrome web browser. Download this plugin.
Once installed, open Chrome and in the top right corner you will see a new icon.
All you need to do now is load each of your listed website pages into the browser and then hit that icon and it will run a broken link check on all the external links on that website, highlighting any that are broken in red.
Be sure to double check any broken links it finds as the tool is not always 100% accurate. Click each of the broken links and those that are indeed broken you can record in your spreadsheet. Work your way through the entire list, on average you should find at least 30-40% will have a broken link meaning we have a lot of website owners we can get in touch with.
3. Contact the website owners
Once you have your list of web pages with broken links, you can go back to each of those websites with a broken link and look for the contact details for the website owner, web manager or webmaster. If you cannot find a specific email then take whichever email address you can find on their website.
Next you need to compose an email to send to these website owners to tell them about their broken link. Keep it short and sweet and simply highlight that you found a broken link on their site. When they reply you can seize the opportunity to help them if you know how to fix the broken link. For example the URL has a spelling mistake or the http:// is missing (often the case).
Once you have done your good deed for the day, don’t forget to add in a footnote about adding your link. Highlight the benefits of adding your link to their site and what is unique about your content.
You will find that often website owners are so thankful that you have helped them out that they will add your link to the same page.
As mentioned at the top of this article, broken link building is a fantastic way of building links in ANY niche.
It is one of the few techniques that works across all industries and sectors (even the dull ones). Taking our above example, if we found 100 websites and 40% had a broken link of some kind and we contacted all 40 websites. My experience would suggest you could expect a 5-15% link back rate (on the basis you have something worthwhile for that prospect to link back to) meaning the above process could provide you with 2-6 high quality, sort after and otherwise impossible links.
Not a bad return on your time invested.
Aaron Rudman-Hawkins is the owner and founder of Evergreen SEO, a UK search marketing agency providing a personal SEO service that gets results through hard work and doing things properly.
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