Link building is an essential skill for any Search Engine Optimizer. It is a culmination of several other talents such as to master content, sales, psychology, market trends if you want other people to link to your website. Around in 2003, Google confirmed that links are the number one ranking factors. Google said that it is tough to get ranked without links.
Google cares about links more than anything else. IT has remained an important part of its algorithm ever since its inception. The Penguin update changed the way backlinks are used in SEO. Links possess a risk now and are a must-know for SEO professionals.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks, also called as “incoming links” or “inbound links” are created when one particular website links to another. The link to an external background is called backlink. These links are highly significant in determining the popularity of a website for search engines.
Why backlinks are important & when to build them?
The backlinks are valuable since they represent the trustworthiness from one site to another. A backlink to your website informs the search engine that other sites vouch for your content.
When many websites link to the same page, the search engine starts recognizing your website and its content is worth linking and should be resurfaced on the SERPs. Earning valuable backlinks have a positive effect on a website, and over the time, it increases the ranking position and overall search visibility.
Never dive into link acquisition before having a stable and robust website. Conduct a technical SEO audit on site before starting the process of link building. Technical SEO resolves the errors and rectifies mistakes in the structure of a website. It is important since the site need to get indexed on the search engine and get optimized structure according to its guidelines. When few backlinks are more effective, inducting more in number is unnecessary.
What is a broken the link and broken link building?
When the developers delete a linked page, set an incorrect URL in a text link, or even change a URL, a broken link is created. In other words, when searchers browse through your site and click on the link, they may get directed to a 404 error page.
Considering it a link building tactic, broken link building is an active, white-hat, content-focused link building strategy that builds links by finding broken links, helping recreate the content and offering webmasters, a replacement link to your content if preferred.
If you notice a high-ranked website with a broken link, you contact its owner. Since it is a small favor to them by reporting a broken link, they might favor you back by including a link to your website or even ask for a replacement if suitable.
Broken link building is not a new concept. It has been on the web for around years. It is an SEO tactic that will never get exhausted as the internet is full of new broken links.
Techniques for Broken link building
1. Send Bulk Requests
Broken link building process must be scaled. Broken link building does not have a high success rate. You will get only around 5-7 links every 100 emails you send. If you keep sending a few emails now and then, you will not get satisfactory results.
Following a sophisticated process, you can send many emails and requests every day to achieve some good quality links. This tactic of sending bulk link building requests can be beneficial for the overall link building campaign.
2. Use Tools to Find Broken Links on the website
Tools are needed for speeding up the process of broken backlink building and conducting it at a large scale. Many options are available with paid and free versions. Here are few tools that are free and provide all you need for it.
- Check My Links Chrome extension is an extension based tool that quickly scans the page for broken links. After installing, it appears as a bookmark. When you click on it, the extension starts checking all the links on the page. The broken link is highlighted in red; the working links are in green. It also shows the type of error on the red link.The only backdrop of this extension is you need to scroll the complete page to find the red links.
- Domain hunter plus is an extension that can be used as an alternative to Check My Links. Similar to the former; it scans the page for broken links. The advantage of this tool is that it checks to see if the domain name is available for registration as well as what number of links point to the domain.
If the domain is available, you can either purchase it or send email to all the links to that domain notifying them about the issue and ask them to link to your site instead.
3. Search sites by Keywords & strings
Using this technique, you can find the websites related to your content, domain or niche. Finding sites that are related to your works might speed up the process of broken link building.
Combine the keywords in your niche with search strings to find many links on them. The more the pages you get in search, it is more likely to find broken links.
The optimizer can use creative strings to search for website links. Some of the search strings examples are:
- keyword + “resources”
- keyword + “related links”
- keyword + “blogroll”
Scrapebox is the best tool for implementing this technique. It allows you to scrape thousands of sites according to keywords and strings. However, it is a paid tool.
4. Search for links by keywords through search engine
This is the final option for searching the targeted keyword. Though it is a tedious task, optimizers prefer to search for keywords on search engines such as Google for getting links that are related to the website. You can not down all the sites and search them individually for broken backlinks through extensions such as Domain Hunter Plus or Check My Links.
5. Engage targets and get your links
After following the steps mentioned above, you will surely have a large pool of URLs that have broken links. The major part of this process is to contact the webmasters and let them know about the dead links. Some sites make it easier to get contact information about the site owner. Avoid sending emails to the support emails or inquiry mail addresses. They have low conversion rates.
If the website is a blog, signing up for the e-mail list is the best way to get contacts. You will immediately receive the email ID which gets actively used. Sites with .gov and .edu are the hardest ones to find to get any contacts or email.
6. Draft your outreach email
Once you have the email addresses, its time to draft an outreach email to the owner for requesting to add the link to your website. Below mentioned are some things that you should keep in mind while drafting an outreach email.
- Start your email with a name if possible. Do not include any informal salutation such as “Dear Sir” or “Hey.” If you cannot find a name, start with “Hello Sir” or simply a “Hi.” Try to add a customized line so that it does not feel as if same mail is sent to multiple email addresses.
- Keep it short. The shorter the mail, the more likely the reader will be able to understand what you want to say. Be concise if possible.
- Don’t spam the webmasters. Don’t follow-up more than once or twice. Keep language simple and grammar correct.
- Be polite throughout the mail. Don’t hurl insults or make demands. Always remember, it is a favor that you are asking for.
7. Track the Results
It is essential to track the results of the emails you have sent. This helps in improving the search engine optimization strategy for the future. Don’t waste time by emailing the same site. Check the ROI. Also, you can make a set of templates and check for which template is performing better.
Make sure your site links are getting added. One of the methods to check if the link was added is to go to that page manually and right-click anywhere. Select the option of “View page source.” This will bring up the HTML code of the site. Press ‘Ctrl+F’ and search for the link. It will be a link tag with your link in it.
Broken link building technique is a powerful and robust technique to increase the site’s rankings by getting high-quality links in any domain. It is a technique that will take time to get used to. Research more and learn about quality websites that have higher domain authority.
As mentioned above, it is not a tactic that has a high success rate. However, getting 4-5 quality links are enough to make a good website. Combine the broken link building techniques with other Search Engine Optimization strategies to get better results.