How to Find Broken Links – A Webinar from James Agate

Late last month (20th January), we hosted a webinar with James Agate, founder of Skyrocket, a link-building agency located in Chester, UK. James explained to us how to find and capitalise on broken links in your industry.

The principle of the broken-link-building strategy is quite simple, but rather time consuming. Firstly, you have to find websites that have broken links, which doesn’t sound difficult at first because the Internet is full of broken links, but it is essential for you to fix only those that are relevant to your industry, and that they’re also be highly ranked. After that, you then have to reach out to these sites’ webmasters to switch their broken link for your asset instead.

James proposed the following five-step schema for applying the broken-link-building strategy.

  1. Finding broken link opportunities

There are several ways you can find broken link opportunities. Firstly, you can use authoritative resource pages related to your topic. To find resource pages, you can use prospective phrases.


Resource: James Agates’ presentation

After you find relevant pages, you’ll need to run them through special tools. For example, Check My Links will analyse the chosen pages for you and fix invalid links, alternatively, you can use Domain Hunter Plus. After you’ve collected the data, you can use a spreadsheet, listing the broken links, domains they came from, and link count (to get that data, you can use Majestic Bulk Link Checker), which is important for qualifying a certain page.

  1. Qualifying broken link opportunities

When you have a list of prospects, it’s time to qualify them – this is mainly a manual process. You should estimate if a particular page is relevant and valuable for your website and pay attention to both the content on the page and its general purpose, you also have to decide if you have enough consistent assets to replace the broken link.

  1. Replacing broken links or creating relevant assets

It is essential to remember that you should sort out only relevant and high-quality pages to get links from. To meet a response and get a valuable link, you need to propose content of a similar quality and of the same topic. You may need to refresh the content on your website with up-to-date and accurate information in order to make your page more compatible with a website you want to replace a broken link with yours. James suggests thinking of different formats to present your data/content that you want to receive links to, like creating infographics or an illustrated guide for example. In other words, you should find or create an asset that will bring additional value to a website you want to get a link from.

  1. Reaching out to your prospects

After you’ve found or created a link asset, you can start reaching out to your prospects. In fact, one of the key advantages of the broken-link-building strategy is reciprocity. It’s harmful for a website to have broken links on its pages, that’s why your message informing them about a broken link you’ve found on the website is valuable. If you have a helpful link to replace the broken one, that’s a positive contribution, so this strategy could provide you with links from high-ranked websites that you wouldn’t be able to get in any other situation.

You should pay close attention to the email template you use for reaching out. James states that the response rate of emails with broken link replacement suggestions is higher than any other type of link-building strategy. Nevertheless, this technique does not guarantee that you will receive a positive answer, if any. Keep your message succinct and persuasive – the shorter your email, the greater your chances of getting a response.

As you can see, the broken-link-building strategy is quite straightforward. It gets better results and higher publishing rates than other link-building techniques, but it is time consuming – you have to analyse and qualify your prospects; choosing, adjusting and updating your content.

Thanks, James, for a very insightful, detailed webinar on the not-often-talked-about topic of link-building technique.