This post will go over the Broken Link Building Strategy for SEO. Broken link building is a technique that has been used by SEOs to improve their ranking on Google’s search engine results page.
Broken link building works by finding broken links on other websites and asking for them to be replaced with a link to your site.
This strategy can be particularly useful if you are looking for ways to boost your organic traffic, as well as help you rank higher in SERP (search engine result pages).
Broken Link Building Strategy for SEO: How It Works?
A broken link is a link on a web page that links to a page that has disappeared on another site.
Links are one of the biggest ranking factors, so the strategy is to uncover these broken links, reach out to the site owners to replace the broken link and your site receives the link power to boost your rankings and traffic instead.
Having broken links on your website can be bad for user experience and can have negative effects on your SEO, so it’s a good idea to ensure your external links all work and for this reason, site owners would want to replace broken links on their site too.
For example, if 100 different sites were linking out to a page on site which had now been deleted or disappeared, the broken link builder would ask those 100 sites to replace that link on those 100 sites to point their site instead, thus improving search engine rankings for the broken link builders site.
Continue reading to find out how to find broken links.
Use SEO Tools to Find Broken Links
There are several different SEO tools that you can use to find broken links on a website. Some are manual, for example, you crawl the website yourself and find the broken links, or you can use other tools that are more automated as they have already done the crawling for you.
Let’s look at a few of these tools.
The manual way
Screaming Frog is a website crawler that you can use to find broken links on your website. You simply enter the URL of your website and it will crawl all the pages and files, as well as any external links on those pages.
Once it has crawled your site, it will show you a list of broken Links, redirected links, and non-indexed links, as well as a list of no-follow links.
Nofollow links do not pass any value to your website. We want links that don’t have the nofollow attribute assigned so you can replace these with a link on your site instead and provide additional value in the eyes of search engines.
Xenu Link Sleuth
Xenu Link Sleuth is a free website crawling tool that you can use to check for broken links. It’s not as advanced as Screaming Frog, but it still does the job well and will find all of your external links on your site very quickly.
Once you have downloaded Xenu Link Sleuth, simply enter the URL of your site and it will start crawling all of the links on that page.
Once complete, you can filter down the list for broken links only.
The more automated way
Ahrefs Broken Backlinks
Ahrefs Broken Backlinks is an online tool that you can use to find broken links on other websites. It’s a paid tool, but it’s very comprehensive.
You can enter a website URL and go to the broken backlinks page, and all the broken backlinks are already listed for you (so you don’t have to wait minutes or up to hours like the manual crawlers above (depending on how big the site is and how many levels deep you go with the crawling!)). You can then simply export the list of broken links.
SEMrush Backlink Analytics Tool
The Backlink Analytics Tool works in the same way as the ahrefs broken backlinks tool, it’s a paid tool but a time saver too. The data is there waiting to be exported.
Finding email addresses for outreach
Now you have your list of websites with broken links, it’s now time to contact the site owners. If you are only working with a handful of websites, you can visit the websites manually and use their contact form, or find an email address on the website.
But, to do it more at scale, you might need some tools. Some tools for finding website owner email addresses are:
- Anymail Finder
Outreaching to Website Owners
Once you have your list of broken links and the corresponding website owners, it’s now time to reach out to them.
You want to make sure that your email stands out from all the other emails in their inbox (or spam folder). You also want to make sure that you are providing value with your request.
Some tips for reaching out
- Start with a friendly introduction
- Provide information on how they can replace their broken link
- Provide information on how it benefits them to make the change
Some friendly introductions
- Thank you for having such an informative website
- I was browsing through your website and noticed some broken links
- I am sorry to bother you, but I would love it if you could replace the link with one on my website instead
Some email content ideas
- We noticed that you have linked to an article that no longer exists. We would love if you replaced this with our latest blog post
- Hey, we saw your website linking out to another company’s site and wanted to let you know about some of ours.” (offer content marketing)
- I was browsing through your website today and I noticed two links in your side bar are not working
- It looks like you are missing out on some good link juice by not having your links live. We would be more than happy to replace any of the broken ones with our own
- I am reaching out because we noticed that one or more of your external links is/are not working. We can help fix this for you if you’d like!” (offering Broken Link Building Services)
- Hey, I was wondering if it’s ok with you if we replace one/some links pointing at your website with ours?
A broken backlink is a link on a website that leads to a page or site that no longer exists.
Broken links can negatively affect your SEO efforts as they lower your website’s authority and credibility. Broken links also lead to user frustration as visitors attempt to click on them and end up getting an error message. Replacing broken links with live ones from your website can help improve the overall user experience of your site.
There are a few ways you can find broken links on your website: manually using a crawler like Xenu Link Sleuth or Screaming Frog, or using automated tools like Ahrefs Broken Backlinks or Broken Link Checker.
There are several reasons why links can become broken, including: website shutdowns, moved pages, changed URLs, and deleted pages.
Can I fix Broken Links myself?
Yes! You can manually fix broken links by finding the replacement URL and updating the link on your website. Alternatively, you can use automated tools to help find and replace broken links.
What is a 404 error?
A 404 error is an error message that is displayed when a user attempts to access a page or site that no longer exists.
To prevent broken links from occurring, you should routinely check your website for dead links and update them as necessary. You can also use link management tools like Ahrefs Broken Links or Broken Link Checker to help automate the process.
There are three steps to the broken backlink building process:
- Find Broken Links on Websites With SEO Tools
- Export List of Broken Links for Outreach Purposes
- Once you have the email address, it’s time to reach out!
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Developing a Broken Link Building Strategy can help improve your website’s SEO and overall user experience.
By finding and replacing broken links with live ones from your website, you can help keep your site running smoothly and prevent users from getting frustrated.
By finding and replacing broken on other sites to point to your site you can reap the rewards of the link power with increased rankings and organic traffic.