Link building is among SEO marketers’ most difficult responsibilities. It’s hard enough to generate links from prominent websites. But broken links could be dragging you down even more, putting your business in jeopardy.
Marketers often assume a new inbound link is a job well done. But links to your old or removed pages can accumulate. They will hurt your traffic and search rankings over time.
SEO experts call this ‘linkrot’. Once helpful inbound links can no longer serve their purpose. Outbound links to once great resources can hurt your credibility as well.
You need broken link building campaigns to maintain your domain and page authority. Marketers must have deteriorated links replaced with fresh, authoritative new ones. Keeping these connections updated is part of maintaining a healthy website.
Almost half of companies devote a majority of their budget to link building. So why do so many fail?
The Pitfalls of Broken Link Building
Broken link building is the process of updating broken links on third-party websites. When those websites link to outdated content on your website, they have become broken. Your goal is to have that third-party update their links to your relevant content.
Many organizations have little recourse for updating broken links. That’s because those links can appear anywhere. The process of identifying those links can be tedious without the right methods.
As a result, many companies come short in their broken link building campaigns. Many websites don’t undertake these campaigns at all. But identifying your problem areas can put you on track to a more successful website.
5 Reasons Broken Link Building Campaigns Fail
You may be taking great efforts to replace broken links. You may find that you are still coming up short. If this is the case, it’s likely a problem with your methods.
It may not be a question of what you are doing. It might be a question of what you aren’t doing. We’ve identified five likely reasons your broken link building efforts have failed.
1. You Aren’t Finding Broken Links Successfully
Discovering all broken links is a challenge for most internal teams. That’s because they can appear anywhere without notice. These links can go unnoticed for years and become toxic for your website.
Your first step in improving this problem is finding desirable sites. These are relevant sites you would like to link to your content.
Start with general search criteria. Refine your searches to bring back results more specific to your subjects. Then, identify the most recent content to ensure a long lifespan for inbound links.
You’ve now identified several desirable websites. It’s time to locate the undesirable ones. Even with sophisticated tools, this can be a long process for your team.
Choose the best resources for finding your broken links. Locating all these links will take time. But doing so will maximize the value of your campaign.
2. You Aren’t Focusing on Qualifying Pages
Reaching out to every website with a broken link can be an impossible task. You would have to craft messages for each individual website owner. You would have to follow up and negotiate on taking down the links.
You can maximize your time and improve results by qualifying pages. That means establishing which pages are most important to your SEO. Pages that rarely show up in search results aren’t worth your time, for example.
Start by looking at certain criteria. Don’t bother with sites that have too many ‘spammy’ outbound links. Sites that have no valuable content are a waste of time as well.
Identify sites that receive heavy traffic. They should be sites that attract your target audience members. They should meet your standards before you start reaching out.
3. You Aren’t Reaching Out to Prospects Successfully
Reaching out to prospects is another time-consuming effort. You don’t know how website owners will respond, if at all. You have to craft the right message to produce any results.
Start by building an outreach list in Excel. You will need to craft a unique message for each website owner. Find email templates online for a framework to start.
Be prepared to follow up with website owners. Track your progress in your outreach list. Create rough templates for each type of follow up email, increasing urgency as you go.
Don’t make your messaging complicated. Highlight this as a mutually beneficial effort. But don’t hesitate to double down on sites where replacing the link is critical.
Identify your existing pages that will serve as great alternatives. You’ll want to offer something of value when you ask them to remove the link.
4. You Aren’t Sharing the Right Resources
Website owners come in different shapes. Realizing their link is bad, they might remove it immediately. But they need to be motivated by a better alternative.
Be prepared with a few recent options relevant to the previous subject. You can share them in one or across several emails. You can keep track of the new links you share in your outreach list.
Try to minimize the amount of rewriting they must do. If a small rewrite is necessary, offer a suggestion for the new text. The less effort you request of the website owner, the more likely you’ll see the results.
5. You Aren’t Recreating Content When Necessary
You may encounter stubborn website owners that won’t update your links. Perhaps some of these are critical to your success. It might fall upon you to recreate old content.
That means creating a new page to which the existing link directs traffic. You will have to populate the page with relevant content. That may require a simple update to your old content.
You should also begin engaging website owners from your list of desirable sites. As you fix old links, you need to acquire new ones.
No broken link building campaign will produce perfect results. But performing these occasionally is a great way to maintain the health of your website.
Partner with Link Building Professionals
Broken link building is a process for which many internal teams are not prepared. It is infrequent enough so that those capabilities aren’t in place when you need them. Adopting the right tools can help you overcome these challenges.
BackLinks.com has revolutionized link building campaigns for over a decade. We take the hassle out of link building using automated tasks for your team. Contact us for a free SEO consultation and get started on your next campaign today.