Common SEO knowledge and popular opinion can have you running in circles — at least in 2017. Many of the changes in the industry have been for the better, but the continued emphasis on networking for guest posts and round-up features is tough, slow and not the most effective use of your time.
But how are you going to reach the top of Google without high-quality backlinks from sites with strong authority?
One of our favorite tools from our SEO toolbox is designed for just that. It’s a low-effort, high-return method we’ve used to have webmasters from high authority sites actually thanking us for taking the time to reach out — and going on to add our link to their site. If you’re an experienced link builder, you know how uncommon that is! With this simple method, you’ll be surprised how grateful webmasters are to link to your website.
Find Broken or Redirected Links in Your Industry
The first step revolves around finding a website in your industry that has recently changed to a new domain or URL. This is pretty common — sites change their URLs and domains all the time.
How to find it? A couple of options:
- Google News
- Press Releases
- Simply keeping eyes and ears open
Head over to Google news and type: “(keyword) rebrand.” Or, go to a site such as PRWeb or PRNewsWire and type in: “(keyword) rebrand.” The keyword to insert there would be a relevant keyword to your industry.
What pops up is a list of news articles about any recent URL/domain rebrands that may have happened in your industry. You see, lots of big industry websites that rebrand typically put out a press release announcing the new URL.
Doing this allows you to put together a list of high-profile websites in your industry — the type of sites that everyone will usually link to, no questions asked. Once you’ve found an industry website that’s recently changed its domain, it’s time to start making moves.
Find Sites Linking to the Old Page
All right! For this step, you’re going to need a backlink checker tool. Some good ones are:
Grab your outdated URL (as in, the URL that no longer exists, not the new current website domain) and type it into the backlink checker. Once you type it into your backlink checker, it should produce some websites that are still, even now, linking to the old website that no longer exists.
These websites need to update their links! Export all these unaware websites (which are great link opportunities) into a spreadsheet.
Pick and Create an Alternative Resource
When you’re reviewing your exported spreadsheet, you might come across some websites that are linking to a blog post on the old website domain.
For example …
Say you’re a mommy blogger who identified a website in Step 1 that had rebranded and moved to a new domain. In Step 2, you exported a list of websites linking to the OLD URL that no longer existed. Now, take it a step further … and figure out WHAT they were linking to. Maybe a bunch of sites in that spreadsheet were linking to an old blog post (for which the link no longer exists).
There might be blog posts on the obsolete website that you can take a stab at creating yourself. Let’s say you notice that a “7 Secrets to Putting Kids to Sleep” blog post had done very well in attracting backlinks on the old site. Create a better version — a more ambitious one with more content and insights. “10 Little-Known Secrets to Put Children to Bed” has a great ring to it!
Set aside some time to identify a resource that generated a lot of links, and put some effort into creating it. Once you’ve done so...
Reach Out with Your Version
Get ready to reach out to all the sites that link to the outdated resource. What you’re going to do is call to their attention to the outdated link and offer them a no-pressure option of linking to your new post/page instead. Kind of like an afterthought.
All you need to say in your email is:
- Tell them you came across their website on the hunt for industry news and tips.
- Bring it to their attention that the on-page link (to the old blog post or resource) is outdated.
- It’s good to mention that the link is now outdated because that website has updated its URL.
- Suggest that it may be a good idea to remove the link from their page.
- And, of course, let them know about your new and improved post on the exact same topic, and provide a link to it!
More frequently than not, webmasters will reach back out, thanking you. And since you’ve got a convenient link on the same topic, some will update the page with your link!
That’s all there is to it. This method accomplishes many things that traditional link building doesn’t. It’s not pushy or annoying, and since you’re offering value, people will usually thank you and sometimes even reciprocate in kind.
Give it a shot and be amazed at how much more frequently you successfully land links from websites with high authority and PR value.