Broken link building is considered as one of the best methods to build links today. Google Penguin Update has really crashed many webmasters methods of building links to their site, most of them were considered as spam. Then they came to a method called broken link building were a broken link of other site is being replaced by yours.
None of the webmasters would take pride for their webpage leading visitors to a 404 page or a business which no longer exists. This method also does a favor to the webmaster and is accredited as a white hat SEO method.
The Right Tools for this Strategy:
Before creating a strategy it is important that you have the appropriate tools for the same. Here are some of the best tools for broken link building:
Cognitive SEO: This is not just a tool to show backlinks, but allows them to be filtered by keywords, sort them by authority and much more, making it perfect to be used while trying to find the best backlinks for the broken links discovered by you.
Cognitive SEO is paid tool, you can go for Open Link Profiler if you want Free option.
Google Alerts: This helps you be in the race by keeping up with the latest news about your competitors especially if they are out of business and in a verge of shut down. Make use of this opportunity well and build your links.
Link Checker: Spunky extensions present in your Chrome and Mozilla Firefox allows you to see the broken links of any webpage instantly. Use this on large resource link pages to find outdated websites in the industry you are looking for.
Discovering broken links:
Now you have acquired the tools for broken links and the next step here is to discover the broken links. This could help more links to be targeted towards your websites:
1. Resource list checking: The best method to find broken links is by browsing through the resource lists which fits the industry well that you are link building for. Find out the similar websites which are no longer operational.
For example if you building links for a finance website. You can search for the variety of keywords combinations in Google to find websites that links to the financial resources.
Click on the best results and then use the Link Checker browser extension to display the broken links present in the page. This will display or highlight the entire list of links present in your page.
Once you have obtained the list of broken links by using this tool, make a note of them. Take some time to verify each page.
2. Make note of your competitors:
Perhaps the best news to discover online is that your business competitor site with tons of links has gone out of business. If you keep up with the latest news of your competitors on a regular basis and one day if you find them going out of business then use this opportunity well.
The best example for this is that Timely.is who recently announced their retirement. This is a great broken link building opportunity and this site is not completely down but mentioned Buffer as their alternative.
Buffer now could use backlink checking tool to see the type of links built by Timely.is to their domain and obtain them. The plus point here is Buffer’s competitor endorses them. Hence it is never waste to monitor news about your competitors as you never know when multitude of links comes through your way.
3. Remember the local opportunities present:
If you are working for a local business website then don’t forget the local broken links present. Yelp is the best tool to find out local businesses in your area and you could also identify the ones which are closed.
For example if you are building links for restaurants in New York Area. You could use the following Google search for similar restaurant businesses in the New York area which are closed.
Visit the Yelp pages to find the websites of local restaurants, then use your backlink reporting tool to find the websites backlinks.
Now look in to the details and if a business has only one single location and it is closed then it is pretty easy to build backlinks. For local businesses which has multiple locations some websites will still be up but your goal is to find the backlinks to the sites that are actually closed.
After this is done now filter the backlinks using backlink reporting tool, which allows you to filter backlinks by keywords. Now you could contact the webmasters that are linking to the closed restaurants, letting them that it is closed and have a new place to try instead.
Now you have acquired the methods to find broken links. The next goal is to contact the website owner and convince them to switch out their broken links with yours. Here are some methods depicted to convince webmasters and bring in success.
As a business owner: Present yourself as a business owner pertaining to the industry. Educate the webmasters that their site is no longer active in service but the one you are providing is its alternative giving the similar set of services. For bigger brands it is better that you offer a trial of your service to bring in some confidence of promoting their dead site with you.
As website fan: The next approach is like a random visitor or fan of the website having broken links. Let the webmasters know that you love the resources shared by them but you just noticed that one of them is outdated. Then offer them some alternatives for the same.
As a marketer: Webmasters are getting more cautious about the broken link of theirs. But you approaching as a marketer should make sure that the request offered by you is pleasing them. Let the webmaster know about their broken links and also the best set of alternatives for the same. If you focus your e mail more on helping the webmasters and less on the SEO stuff then there is great chance of winning the race.