You have an epic piece of content. It’s keyword optimized. Well-written and very useful for your readers. Now what?
Once you hit publish on a new blog post your work has only just begun. The adage, “build it and they will come” couldn’t be more false, especially when it comes to writing content for the web.
The success of your content will depend upon how well you promote your work and the types of links you’re able to pick up.
One strategy that works incredibly well is broken link building. It’s one of the few outreach strategies that’s a total value-add to both parties and can significantly improve your SEO.
Below you’ll learn all about broken link building, the benefits it can bring, and how you can get started with your very own broken link building campaign.
What is Broken Link Building?
A lot of websites are filled with broken links. When a visitor clicks on these links they take them to broken 404 pages. Not only is this bad for overall user experience, but it’s bad for rankings as well.
With broken link building your job is to find these broken links and reach out to a site owner about replacing that broken link with a piece of content you’ve created.
With broken link building you’re helping to make the web a more usable place, you’re improving the overall user experience, and you’re getting yourself a valuable backlink in the process.
Benefits of Broken Link Building
Imagine if someone emailed you and told you about a few broken links you had scattered across your site? You’d be pretty excited right?
Most of us don’t have the time to go through every page on our site, making sure every link still works. This becomes an almost impossible task when you have hundreds of blog posts to sort through.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of promoting your content via broken link building:
1. You Pick Up a Relevant Backlinks
Broken link building is unique in that you’re offering something in return right from the start.
You aren’t begging for a link.
You’re pointing out an issue with their site and offering them a great way to fix that issue.
A lot of times the website owner will happily link back to your replacement piece of content.
2. Could Lead to More Social Shares
Other times, it might not lead to a link. Maybe the website owner isn’t actively updating the page, or they no longer have access to the site?
But, since they’ve already linked to a similar resource in the past, there’s an increased likelihood that they’ll share your content.
When it comes to content promotion, every bit helps to move the needle.
3. Additional Link and Promotion Opportunities in the Future
Since you’re doing a value add reach out, there’s a much greater chance of building a long-term relationship with the site owner.
Just because they couldn’t add a link to your content, or share on social media, doesn’t mean it’s over.
For example, there’s a chance you could still guest blog on their site and link back to your site that way. Or, maybe you’ll publish a post in the future and they’d happily link out and share with their followers.
How to Find Broken Links
Broken link building can be an incredible way to promote your content. But how do you find these relevant sites with broken links?
1. Find Relevant Broken Links
Before we get started, there’s a browser tool you’ll want to install called Check My Links. Once you install this tool it’ll show any broken links on any web page you visit.
What we’re going to look for now are pages that are relevant to our niche, or the piece of content we want to promote. It also works better if these pages have a ton of different links.
For example, let’s say we have a blog post on marketing we want to promote, we’d head over to Google and type in some of the following:
- “marketing” + inurl:resources
- “marketing” + “helpful resources”
- “marketing” + “useful links”
This should give us a handful of different pages to find broken links on.
2. Find Additional Pages
Once we’ve found that broken link we can run it through a tool like Moz, Ahrefs, or Ubersuggest to see what other sites are linking to it.
This will give us a huge list of sites we can promote our content to, instead of just one.
The more sites we can reach out to, the better our chances of landing backlinks.
3. Create a Linkable Piece of Content
Now, you might already have the perfect piece of content to replace that original broken link.
But, if not, we can recreate that original piece of broken content. This can help to improve our chances of landing the link. Plus, we can use it as a way to inform our content strategy.
You can run the broken link through an online tool called Wayback Machine. This will let you see an archived version of the page before it was a broken link.
Then, you can recreate that dead piece of content, or improve an existing article to cover the same topics.
4. Pitch and Follow-up
Now you’re ready. You have a list of relevant sites to reach out to, and you have an incredible piece of content to take the place of that broken link.
All that’s left to do is send an email.
Your email will differ depending on your niche, but keep the following in mind:
- Keep it short and to the point
- Mention the broken link/s and something you liked about the site
- Reference your replacement article
- Make sure to follow up!
Promoting content with broken link building is a great strategy when executed properly. Hopefully, the tips above will help you improve your SEO and content promotion strategies.