A popular link building tactic is also a great way to identify content marketing topics. When combined, broken link building and content marketing can drive traffic for your site and provide a way to engage visitors.
Although broken link building and content marketing have similar goals, in some businesses, especially medium-sized businesses and enterprises, people working on search engine optimization and people developing content do part of separate teams with different departmental objectives.
Bringing these two groups together and using broken link building to trigger content marketing campaigns can improve the results of both of these marketing techniques.
Creation of broken links
SEO broken link building is a three-step outreach technique.
First, research websites relevant to the industry and customers your business serves, identifying broken links, which are HTML links directed to pages that are no longer available.
Second, your business would develop useful content that would replace, if desired, the content promised through the broken link.
Third, you would contact the owner or manager of the influential website, offering your new content as a replacement.
Here is a summary.
“Sites change and pages disappear all the time,” said SEO expert Greg Gifford in lesson five of SEMrush Academy’s “SEO Fundamentals Course.” “With this strategy, you’re looking for high-quality, authoritative pages that have links pointing to pages that no longer exist – that’s called a broken link. Then you’re going to create new content that answers the same question or need.You reach out to the website and let them know that the link on such and such a page is broken, but you have a brand new page that would work instead…and boom. Kickass quality.
Content marketing, on the other hand, is the creation, publication and distribution of content such as articles, videos, podcasts, white papers, infographics, etc., with the aim of attracting, engaging and to retain potential customers.
Content marketers want to create something of value, something useful, informative, or entertaining. It also tends to have three general stages.
First, identify topics that will help or engage potential customers in some way.
Second, create good content around the topic, posting it on a blog, social media, or similar.
Third, distribute or promote the content.
Find broken links
The three stages of broken link building and the three stages of content marketing are substantially similar. A content marketer has dozens of methods to generate content topics. Researching relevant websites to identify broken links could be one of them. Consider an example of how to find broken links on an influential website.
Let’s say we own an online kitchen supply store. We make a living selling cookware, utensils and kitchen gadgets. As part of our marketing strategy, we post helpful cooking and health articles on our store blog.
We have researched and know that the Academy of Culinary Nutrition is an important website for our industry.
There are tools we could use to find broken links on the Academy website. Some of the best include Ahrefs, PowerMapper’s SortSite, SEMrush, Screaming Frog, and Dead Link Checker, among many others. We want to choose one of these tools to help us locate broken links.
Using Ahrefs, we are able to identify 48 pages on the Academy website that have broken outbound links.
Among these was a link to a recipe for Strawberry Chia Jam.
Copy the broken URL link and open it in a new browser tab as a test. In this case, the page actually returns a 404 error. Thus, we have confirmed that we have a broken link opportunity.
Next stop is Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. The Wayback Machine stores copies of old web pages. There was a single copy of the jam recipe that the Academy was originally tied to.
We know the original post had several compelling photographs and an easy-to-follow recipe. It is not surprising that the Academy wanted to be attached to it.
Create new content
Our goal is to not only replace content that a publisher, such as the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, previously linked to, but to improve it.
In the example above, we identified an opportunity to write a recipe post for Strawberry Chia Jam. But we want to do better to provide an even better page for the Academy to link to.
Whenever you use broken link building to generate content ideas, always try to improve on the original. You want to bring real added value.
Contact the editor
Value is important. This will make the last step of building broken links much easier. And that last step is to contact a publisher and offer them the new content to fix the broken link.
In our example, we would contact the Academy with an email.
Salvation. I hope this note finds you well. I found a broken link in your article “12 homemade condiments you’ll never need to buy again”, at:
In the jam section, the link to Juyogi’s Strawberry Chia Jam now returns a 404 error. Thought you’d like to know.
For your consideration, I have a delicious strawberry chia jam recipe to use as a substitute. you can find it here [our link goes here].
So that’s it. We just used broken link building to discover a topic for our next content marketing article and, maybe, get a new inbound link. We can now use our usual content marketing techniques to continue promoting the post. We have SEO and content marketing working together.