Broken link building can be a great tactic to use and a wonderful conversation starter when it comes to outreach. It can add real value to both you (getting a link) and your prospect (removing the broken link from their site). However, as a tactic, it can be very time-consuming. You are relying on something out of your control: that there are, in fact, broken links. A great deal of work and time can be consumed with no guarantee that it will pay off.
This is a simple method to bulk checking broken links for your targets. All you need is a couple of free tools.
- Xenu Link Sleuth
- Scrape Similar Chrome Plugin
Once you have both installed, open up chrome and set your search results to display the maximum of 100 results.
For this example, we are going to be targeting link building with resource pages. Resource pages are a good place to start with broken link building as they are a large collection of niche relevant links. The larger the number of links in a resource page – the bigger the probability that you can find a broken link.
In this example, we are going to be using the search query:
Just scrape all the search results into a Google Doc by right-clicking on the first result and select ‘scrape similar’.
Then just copy the URLs from the Google Doc and paste them into a notepad.txt file and save it.
Now it’s time to open up Xenu Link Sleuth.
Once it loads got to ‘Options’ and choose ‘Preferences’ and make sure that the maximum depth is set to ‘1’. Be careful with the maximum depth, there is a strong temptation to set this as high as possible. What the maximum depth controls is how far the Xenu crawler follows links if you set it to ‘1’, it will only check the pages you upload via the .txt file. If you set it higher than this, Xenu will follow the links and keep on crawling.
That is all the configuration that is needed.
Go to ‘File’ and then choose ‘Check URL List’ and upload your .txt file.
Now it is time to sit back, have a coffee and wait for the crawler to do its work.
When it has finished, Xenu will ask if you would like a report, just click ‘Yes’.
All that remains is to copy and paste the broken links and you are good to start outreaching.
Once you have exhausted all the broken links do not forget to also run them through a backlink checker to find more prospects who are linking to them and outreach to them as well.