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Broken Link Building

Content Marketing, Digital PR, SEO 29th Jul 2020

(This is the transcript from our new video so it may not read as well as a normal blog post would)

Hi, my name is David. I’m Content and PR Lead here at Koozai. And today I just want to share with you a really cool quick tip on something you can add to your link building strategy. Now obviously a lot of the time, depending on what you’re doing and who you are, you’re gonna want to be doing proactive, digital PR campaigns. They’re often still re-read and they’ll often be your best bet to getting the highest quality links as part of your campaign. However, there are some other things you can do around the side. And one of those is something called, Broken Link Building, which can be a really worthwhile task to do in some instances. And this is essentially where you look on the internet for dead pages, so 404 pages, that are relevant to your industry and your niche, but that are heavily linked to. And then what you do is try and recreate that 404 dead page, and then go back to everyone who’s linking to the dead 404 page, to let them know they’ve got a broken link in their article and to offer yours as an alternative for them to link to. And this tends to work better than a lot of other tasks, like Link Reclamation, which is essentially where you just go back to someone who’s published an article about you and ask them to link to you, but offer more traditional link-building activities. Because it provides the additional incentive for them to link. You not only have you told them that they’ve got a broken link in their article, but you’ve also given them an ideal article to link to as a replacement, so you’ve made it easy for them. And that’s provided quite a high incentive for them to go in and swap out the link. Particularly if your website looks the part and the content is relevant enough for them to link to. But the question still remains, how would you find 404 pages that are relevant to your niche and industry that you could recreate? And this brings me to Ahrefs. Now Ahrefs is obviously a very well known tool in the industry. It’s well known for its link analysis features and it’s Keyword Explorer and that sort of thing. But today we’ll look at another cool aspect of the site, which is it’s Content Explorer. So once you’ve locked into Ahrefs, click on the Content Explorer, and this will take you through to a search bar. And in here you can search key terms that relate to your industry or niche, or even your keywords and see what comes up. But as an example, I’m going to type in Mental Health. And here you can search within different areas of the page, so I’m gonna search everywhere. But you can also search just the title of relevant pages, as well as just in the content and just the URL structure. But I’m gonna search everywhere for now. And what this has done is it’s brought up a list of everything that Ahrefs has in it’s directory, everything that it’s indexed relating to mental health. But what I want to find is 404 pages. So following where my cursor is, if you go to the top toolbar where it says, Live and Broken, click that and then click, Only Broken. And what this will do, so what this has now done, is brought up a list of everything related to mental health that is a broken page, is a 404 page. And that’s great! That gives us a good start. Another cool thing you could do is go to, Add Filter, and go and click on Domain Rating. And this will essentially allow you to narrow down this list by only those pages that have a good domain rating, and therefore are more likely to have a better backlink profile. So if you’ve got a large number of results, so for example, 18,000’s quite large, you might want to search everything between just 30 and 100. Now we’ve narrowed those down. You might also then want to go down here and go, Sort By. Currently it’s sorted by relevance. Now you’ll want to sort this by referring domains. And what this has done is it’s essentially just organized this list, or ordered it, by the number of fit referring domains that each page has. Now we can see a list of 404 dead pages relating to mental health, that have a high number of referring domains. Now, not everything in this list, in fact most of it, will not be applicable to you. For example, “Keto BHB reviews expose five reasons to choose diet pills.” That’s probably not gonna be something that you’ll want to recreate. It’s probably not gonna be an effective strategy either, because this looks to be at first glance, a highly time-relevant piece of coverage that was higher linked to at the time. And therefore it’s unlikely that many people are gonna go back and want to link to it. So what you’re looking for is examples such as these. Here you’ve got an article by Healthline, which is the popular health website. It’s got a high domain authority. Here it’s essentially by domain ratings, it’s a similar metric to Moz’s Domain Authority, but it’s just slightly different. But you can treat it in a very similar way. And so here’s a good example here, there’s 359 backlinks pointing to this one page about, “Five benefits of healthy habits.” Now if you’re a health company, a fitness company, or you work in the diet space or something like that, that could be a relevant blog topic for your blog. And you may want to recreate something that’s similar to that, and then go to the people that are linking to this page and tell them, “Hey, you should know you’ve got a broken link in your article.” And, “Hey, here’s something else you can link to instead.” So how do you find the backlinks behind those? If you click here where my cursor is, on Referring Domains, this will bring up the referring domains here. So we can tell already at first glance, we’ve got good referring domains: medium.com, entrepreneurial.com Yeah, others: bustle.com, IBC Times. Good, really high domain rating, ’cause these are links that you potentially want to get. If you go to, Backlinks, we can then see all of these backlinks. Let’s have a look. If we go to, this is an example, say, entrepreneur.com you right-click on it, you can open the page in a new tab, and then within here you can look for the anchor text. Where it says, Proven Effects, we know that within this article there should be a link going to that dead page. There we go, Proven Effects. So if we right-click on that link, perfect, they’re linking to a dead page. Now what you want to do is go to this guy, Peter Gasca, or even the Web Editor of the page, or the Corrections Editor, it would depend on the publication. But you’ll want to go to the right people. Go to them and say, “Hey, did you know you’ve got a broken link in your page?” “Here’s something you can link to, how ’bout it?” Now you’ll still have a relatively low response rate, but a higher response rate in my experience, then things like Link Reclamation. And if you can find really great opportunities like this, and you have the time to go through them all and research content details and that sort of thing, it could be a really useful link building activity, and something to bear in mind when you’re putting together a digital PR strategy. That’s it for me today. I hope this helped and good luck!

David Wilson

Content & PR Lead

Fountain of all knowledge, David, has a penchant for domestic and EU politics; so much so, in fact, that he did a masters in politics just because he likes it! A lover of street food and food festivals but not so hot on cooking, David also samples cuisines from around the world as he travels a lot for work and pleasure.

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