Broken link building is an old-school link building tactic that still works.
I think that one of the reasons it’s working so well is that most people have forgotten about it or it’s not being talked about too much.
Here are the reasons, why I think it’s an awesome tactic:
- average link cost is low (<40$/link based on my experience),
- it’s easy to do,
- converts well, you’re actually adding value to other website owners,
- you get more informational content to your site that can rank by itself.
How to Actually Do It?
#1 – Find 3 super popular sites in your niche.
They have to be big sites that have a tonne of links and articles. If your niche is so tiny that there aren’t any big sites around, take a big site that’s in a related niche to your site.
Let’s take the health niche for example. 3 sites that come up in my mind are:
Btw, if you have a hard time coming up with sites, just put search for a popular query in the niche and find the bigger sites from the first page. In the health example, I could type in “how to lose weight”.. and I’d get a number of really big sites.
#2 – Put them into ahrefs site explorer and click Backlinks -> Broken
Here you’ll find a list of pages on their site that are broken, but have links pointed to them. Bigger sites usually have a lot of broken pages and often those pages have a lot of links pointing to them.
Now take the URL that’s broken and put it into ahrefs site explorer to see how many referring domains does that broken article have.
In my example, the broken article that I checked has 86 referring domains:
That’s a decent amount of prospects. Now think about it.. how hard is it to create a similar article?
My writers charge me 30$ on average for an article. Let’s say that I’d require double the effort to craft a super in-depth article for this one.. that’s 60$ content cost.
My current average success rate with this strategy is 6%. In the case above, it would amount to 5 links. You could get 15, but you could also get 0. It all depends and it’s hard to forecast, but overall, you’re getting links at very good prices.
In my example here, you could calculate that 5 links for 60$ isn’t 40$ per link as I stated earlier. The thing is, I pay someone to find me these opportunities, someone to find their e-mails and to send e-mails as well.
This all adds up to 40$ per link, which is still cheap. Cause these are actual links that move the needle. Not some link farm links that you’ll get via regular ways.
#3 Export the list of referring domains.
This is easy to do with ahrefs. Once you export all of them, I’d recommend using manual checks to find their contact information in addition to using hunter.
Hunter.io will find 25-40% of the e-mails, but you don’t want to miss out on sending to every possible prospect, cause you’re already creating the article and there usually aren’t too many prospects to reach out to.
#4 Create a very similar article on your own site.
You don’t need to do skyscraper here, just create something that’s as good as their old article was. In order to check what they had, use archive.org.
#5 Reach out to the people that link to the broken article and suggest your link instead.
I usually just create a template and customise the links per each e-mail.
In the e-mail I tell them where exactly the broken link exists on their page and kindly suggest my replacement, if they would care to do so.
That’s it. From this one example site alone (eatthis.com), I found hundreds of broken pages that had a decent amount of links going to them.
If you put effort into this, you can realistically get 30-40 links per month with just one VA and a writer.
Hope it helps and good luck with link hunting!