Step 1: Prospecting
The first step to BLB is to prospect for broken links. Let’s start with a simple broken links definition: A broken link is also known as a dead link, which doesn’t work anymore because of specific issues:
- The website or page doesn’t exist anymore (it may have been removed).
- The link contains an incorrect URL.
- A firewall is blocking access.
- The owner of the website no longer allows outside access to their web property.
The most common broken links definition is the first on the list above because you’re looking for links from high-authority sites relevant to your niche when prospecting. For example, if you’re running a vegan blog, you should prospect from vegan nutrition websites.
Prospecting involves searching for a broken page with links pointing to it. A broken page produces a 404 error when you enter the address on your browser. A broken link example is a hyperlink that redirects you to a “404 not found” page or something similar.
Here are three of the most effective ones you can try:
Simple Prospecting and Link Building Outreach
This strategy involves just going over blogs and posts on relevant sites and finding broken links, as described earlier. Next, you reach out and offer a link to your page with similar content. This is a slow process, but it can still get you results.
Keyword Based Prospecting
This step is the most straightforward approach to broken link building. It’s also the easiest way to check broken links. Start by selecting keywords relevant to your site. Then, you will use those keywords in your backlinking strategies.
Select relevant keywords for your audience but not necessarily pertinent to your products with this approach. So, how do you do that? Use generally broad terms. For instance, Instead of using the long tail “Dallas health resources for children,” use the search term “health resources.”
It will help you find potential pages with dead links on them. Enter the links you found using this method in a backlink analysis tool to find broken links and the websites still linking to them.
Using Resource Pages
Resource pages and resource sections of web pages can also be a source of broken links. Use link analysis tools to find these resource pages. For example, check the list of hyperlinks, test them to see if they’re broken and find the links to them.
Step 2: Create Matching Content
The content you offer should match the content previously linked to. It doesn’t have to be a 100 percent match of the original page. But if you can provide better and more updated content, you’re showcasing your niche authority and your thought leadership in your niche.
Remember, you don’t want to blindly email the webmasters of the sites linking to the page. Not knowing what the page is about diminishes your chances of getting a backlink from site owners, especially if your content doesn’t match the original. If you have a blog post or article that is somewhat similar, you can update it to match the content you’re targeting. This step is part of a content repurposing strategy.
You can use tools from Ahrefs to view the content from the dead URL. There are other link building tools for SEO used by any experienced local link building agency.
Step 3: Sending Link Building Outreach Emails
After identifying broken links and publishing matching content, reach out to the site owner with a compelling email. In your email, you should point out the dead links and provide details about them, such as the type of error they pull up, if the site still exists or if they just mistyped the URL.
Here are a few outreach emailing tips as part of a backlink strategy:
- Use the subject line to sum up your intent, which is to check broken links and offer an alternative resource.
- Don’t forget to ask for a strategic link – some fail to ask.
- Demonstrate your credibility by providing a summary of the original content.
- Add a screenshot where you found the broken link.
- Make your pitch concise and sound mutually beneficial, especially for link building SEO.
Step 4: Follow Up To Improve Success
Broken link building is not a foolproof strategy; your success rates will sometimes vary. To improve your chances of success, remember to send a follow-up email to those who don’t respond after a week or two. In addition, you can add value to your proposition by offering to link to their page in one of your campaigns or some other method to improve their SEO.
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