Broken link building is one of the most important link building techniques, but it can be time consuming and inefficient if not carried out smartly. This article highlights the most important points about broken link building, and how you can make your own process easy and efficient.
This is a technique that involves identifying resources within your niche which are no longer active, recreating another version of the content and then contacting webmasters with the broken links and requesting that they replace that broken link with your own content. You’re giving the webmaster value, because you’re ridding their site of inactive links that could reduce quality of their site.
Broken link building isn’t new, but changes over the last few years, including site redesigns, site migrations and new web technologies have increased the opportunities for broken link building. There are countless resources to broken link building, including this one and this one. In a nutshell, this technique involves prospecting for links, creating content and outreach. Looks easy, right? Once you get to doing it, however, you’ll realize that prospecting alone takes a great deal of time and energy.
How to make it easier
The fact is that link building, in and of itself, can be quite difficult and confusing, particularly for newer SEO experts. Getting new links is much harder than fixing your own broken links in other sites. Therefore, you can begin by ensuring that all your inbound links to old or non-existent pages are fixed. This is easier, and can actually make a significant difference in your link profile.
Redirecting everything can be time-consuming. Instead, you can use the Ahrefs database to identify broken inbound links. This provides information about link sources and the destination pages within your site. From here you can prioritize your redirects according the pages with the highest equity i.e. where broken links will hurt the most. This is technically called link reclamation, since it prevents others from finding your broken inbound links and then taking them away from you.
Joomla directory websites like those based on JV-LinkDirectory have in-built broken link checker utilities with which you can easily and routinely check for broken links and eliminate them.
Performing link reclamation against your competitors
If instead of performing your own link profile check on Ahrefs you go for a competitor’s site, you will get the same broken link profile and save up to hours in prospecting. All you need to do is to export the link profile and separate according to the pages being linked to.
Next, you’re going to content creation. Because you’re targeting a competitor, it’s likely that you may already have relevant content. If you do, you’ve saved yet another chunk of content creation time, though this won’t always happen. It goes without saying that you need high quality, in-depth content to show the webmasters that your page is worth linking to.
Outreach tips and ideas
The final step is to collect contact information for all webmasters of the link sources and reach out to them. Unfortunately, there isn’t a shortcut for this, you have to do it one by one and then wait for a response. Sometimes webmasters are quick to respond, and sometimes you’ll have to wait a little longer.
Outreach has its own set of rules and techniques, so you may want to polish your technique before approaching a webmaster. The most important point in outreach is to carefully look at the target site. Don’t just identify a broken link and speedily whip up something to serve then throw it at a webmaster. Look at the content around the link to understand the author’s intention for linking to the other page first. This is the intention you need to fulfill.
You may seem eager to do it with the first few links you’re targeting, but after a few hundred links you may get tired. The key is to carefully select the broken links to target. Choose links that are in pages with high traffic and current information, which will land higher link equity as readers will come back to your site. Older pages are also okay for SEO purposes, but when you have hundreds of links, careful selection is necessary. Such sites are likely to have active webmasters. Carefully craft your outreach email, personalizing the text and explaining the value your content will bring.
Lastly, make it as easy as possible for the webmaster to link back to you by following their site guidelines. You can suggest anchor texts if possible, but remember that the webmaster has the final say. Too many conditions and you may just put him off you completely. Using extensions like JV-LinkDirectory and JV-LinkExchanger on your Joomla websites can facilitate the link exchange process seamlessly with little effort from your side.
There! Now you know how to cut more than half of the work when building broken links. Go forth and raid your competitors’ link profiles.