How to Find Broken Links

Wanting to diversify link building strategy with broken link building? It can be difficult to find broken links that are relevant and able to provide you with quality and authority links. We have the best tips on how to find broken links and use these to your advantage for successful SEO.

What are broken links and why are they important for SEO?

A broken link is a hyperlink that often leads to an error page, especially 404 pages, or does not work at all.

This can occur for a few reasons, such as…

  • the website is no longer available
  • the page no longer exists and no redirect was added
  • an incorrect URL was specified or
  • the URL structure was changed.

Therefore, following this link means you will not reach the correct destination. This can have a negative impact on SEO.

If your website has a large number of broken links, search engine crawlers will spend a lot of time verifying the broken link and categorising it. This wastes crawl budget and can result in other pages not being crawled fully and ranking.

Additionally, broken links decrease the user experience and can increase bounce rates. This can happen in two ways.

If your website presents a 404 error page from a backlink, visitors will leave immediately. As well as visitors to your own content that find broken links can also bounce quickly, unable to find the information they want.

Both bounce rates and user experience impact your SEO rankings through on-page and off-page optimisation. Ultimately, broken links can effect your optimisation from many angles.

However, broken links offer a great opportunity for link building as your content can replace broken links on other websites. Successfully executing broken link building will boost your SEO through the obtained links. As well as help out other websites to avoid too many broken links on their website.

It’s a win/win!

Man's feet infront of broken pieces to find broken links

How to find broken links for outreach

There are a few different techniques to find broken links for outreach. Although, they can be time-consuming and labour heavy.

This makes the strategy you choose to use important. To ensure you are obtaining the right results for the amount of time invested. 

Manually checking Links

Simply put, this includes finding pages and using tools like Link Miner to check individual pages for broken links. This can be time-consuming as you may need to check a lot of pages to find even one broken link. 

Good places to check are resource pages where there are a collection of links to high-quality content. Another good tip is to search for resource pages that may be older. Meaning many of the links are also out-dated and possibly broken.

Use SEO tools to check backlinks

There are many SEO tools available that can significantly reduce the time you are searching for broken links. Including paid tools like Ahrefs.

These tools can audit all the backlinks of popular websites in your niche. But it is the broken links and 404’s that you need to check and filter the results by. This brings up all the backlinks that point to dead pages on your competitor’s website.

These are the backlinks your content can replace. SEO tools will also provide you with the metrics of the websites that are linking to your competitors. Therefore, you can easily select websites with good authority and referring domains to obtain the best links.

Check backlinks to pages during manual checks

Whilst checking links on content like resource pages and even whilst browsing your competitor’s websites, you can also check the backlinks here too. Are any of the backlinks pointing towards an incorrect URL or causing any errors? Your content can replace these links easily.

Check outbound links on mass

There are more than just links pointing to websites. There are also thousands of links to external sources. This is what you are checking in the first technique, however, your competitors can be huge and link to thousands of websites.

Checking each page individually will be much too time-consuming.

Use SEO tools again to check outbound links and those that direct to 404 pages. Make sure you are also ruling out links that are pointing to old affiliate products or irrelevant pages. Then you can reach out and have your relevant content replace these broken links.

How to complete successful outreach for backlinks

Using the above techniques to find broken links, you’ll have a healthy list of pages and websites to pitch to. Now its time for your email outreach.

Here at outreach lab, we know the importance of sending the right email for successful outreach. A blogger outreach program is a big part of any SEO strategy to obtain backlinks. Here are some quick tips for broken link building outreach.

  • Be specific with your message – you don’t want to lose your recipient’s interest with a long email. Get straight to the point at the beginning of your email and introduce why you are emailing in the first few sentences.
  • Ensure you pitch appropriate content – Pitching content that is completely different and irrelevant to the blog or website itself will not have successful results. The website and URL the broken link is going to, the anchor text and the blog content where the link is placed can provide enough context for you to create or pitch your relevant content.
  • Explain why it is a good fit – Have the tips in your content help you or your clients in a certain way? What can your content provide their audience? Again, use one powerful sentence to get straight to the point about how your content is going to benefit them.
  • Follow up – You want to follow up once or twice in order to remind the recipient of your pitch. To avoid losing contact and the relationship you could building. Admins receive so many emails daily and your first or even second email could be missed so follow-ups are essential.

Start finding broken links today

Now is the time to take action for your SEO strategy. Start finding broken links on popular websites in your niche, resource pages and content you browse. Remember that broken links can occur within the outbound links of content and the backlinks content receives.

Once you find suitable and relevant backlinks for your content. Pitch your content effectively in your email outreach. It is not just finding the broken links but also obtaining the links through your email outreach.

If you need any assistance with broken link building, contact Outreach Lab today for our SEO link building services