Link building is an important aspect of SEO.
Obtaining links from relevant and authoritative sites allows for a little bit of their accrued trust to be passed on to you. Acquiring links therefore helps you rank better in the search engines. When link building you want to make sure you the types of links your are acquiring are diverse. Meaning, you'll want links from blogs, articles, websites, directories and news sources.
A great way to acquire links to your site is to replace broken links in other folks' content with links to your own brilliant (and relevant) content.
Here's how to do that…
The first way is organically.
Simply reach out to bloggers and webmasters when you come across a link that is broken. We have all clicked on a link for more info only to find an error or worse irrelevant or outdated content. If you have a piece of copy that is more useful or can be updated from the version the site is linking to, offer to replace it and give them a reason why.
The second is to actively search for those link errors using tools (free or paid) that do the searching for you once you plug in the URL.
Here is a list of potential tools to help you find broken links. Use the one you find most user friendly.
- Xenu's Link Sleuth
- Web Page Mistakes
- W3C Link Checker
- Broken Links Bot
You simply plug in the site you would like a link from and it does all the work for you. Once you've found the broken link, test out the URL to see where it goes. Does it go to a page of content that no longer exists? Your next step is to reach out to the author or webmaster to let them know, point out the broken link and then offer up your link to make it easy.
Some helpful tips:
Don't know which sites to plug in to the tools?
Start with your competitors. Who links to your competitors site? Plug their URL in and see if you can get a link too!
How do I find The Right Person to Contact When I Find a Broken Link?
Most blogs will have information about the author right there for you to find and email or use a contact form. You can also use different tools out there created for the purpose of finding the right contact such as BuzzStream or Link Research Tools Contact Finder.
Find out who else is linking to the broken link!
You can use SEO Moz's Open site explorer or another tool to do this. Once you plug in the broken URL and find out who is linking to it, it gives you that many more sites to go after for a replacement link.
Looking for some more creative ways to use broken links to your advantage? Check out these awesome blog posts…
Have you had any success replacing a broken link with your own content? Share your strategy with us in the comments section!
Photo credit: by xJason.Rogersx