6. Improving Your Resources
Many of the resources you use daily have their own settings that you can adjust to make them work more effectively for you. This isn’t exactly automation but more a streamlined approach to your broken link building management.
- Google Search Settings: When you’re looking for a large number of keyword-related websites, you can save a lot of clicking time by changing your search settings to display 100 results per page. You will need to deactivate Google Instant.
- Link Clump: This is a Chrome extension that lets you copy a large number of destination URLs from a SERP so that you can paste them into a spreadsheet, document, or backlink finding tool.
Evaluating the sites that you have collected using your broken link finding tools is a lot harder to automate. While you can easily see the SEO stats and the Domain Authority of your target websites, it’s usually best to go through them manually. However, some useful tools can cut that manual task in half.
- Open Site Explorer: You can use API to grab data from Open Site Explorer so that you have immediate access to a spreadsheet that shows domain authority, the number of linking domains, and page authority.
- Majestic: The Bulk Backlink Checker tool from Majestic is a fantastic resource to include in your toolkit. Use your list of 404 pages and paste them directly into the Bulk Backlink Checker to see an ordered list of the 404s with the strongest/highest links pointing towards them. This is a fantastic and fast way to discover a whole new range of possible link targets.
- Check My Links: This is another very underused Chrome extension that visually identifies any broken links on a page.
- Link Sleuth Xenu: An incredible resource for saving time, Xenu is a downloadable tool that will check the resource pages on any list and all of the pages that those resource pages link to. This makes it incredibly fast for checking hundreds of pages in seconds, and you can narrow down your search parameters to search specifically for broken links only.
7. Measuring The Performance Of Your Automated Broken Link Building Strategy
If you don’t measure the impact of your broken link building strategy, you’ll never know if it’s paying off. Broken link building works, but too many brands dismiss it because of how complicated it seems and their lack of automation. Most broken link building strategies fail because:
- The replacement content is a different topic.
- You used generic outreach emails.
- You’re not helping the website owner.
While you may not win every broken link that you find, measuring your performance will showcase what’s working more regularly and what’s not. Here are the metrics you need to keep a close eye on to ensure that your automation is working as intended:
· Domain Authority
There are two elements to watch when it comes to domain authority. The first is your website. A robust broken link strategy should result in you seeing your domain authority increase, even if only in small increments. Use the Moz Link Research tool, the most well-known domain strength testing tool (mostly because Moz created the concept of Domain Authority). The higher a website scores on Domain Authority, the more likely it will perform well on SERPs. If your website has a lower domain authority than your competitors, they will appear above you on relevant SERPs. However, you can use the Moz Link Research tool to check out the domain authority of the sites that you are targeting with your broken link building strategy. You want to target sites with high domain authority, as this will boost your own.
· Page Authority
Different pages on a website can have a range of authority scores. Google uses the Pagerank metric that rates a page from 0-10 – most professionals use the same metric. If you don’t monitor your pages, you have no idea what’s performing well and what’s not. There are automation tools available from a range of sources, but these vary in terms of effectiveness. Free options like prchecker.info are about as impressive as they come, but it’s usually faster and easier to stick with Moz for this metric. Remember that page authority will usually be at its highest on your homepage and gradually reduce as you splinter away from it.
· Link Totals
You must know how many backlinks you have earned. Monitor Backlinks remains the best tool to ensure that you always have clear access to this data, and it will alert you automatically when you lose a link as long as you are paying for the service. Alternatively, use the Moz Backlink Explorer – this can tell you about competitor websites! Input the URLs separately for each site to discover the data you need.
Having a high number of backlinks isn’t always the best option. The goal should always be to look for backlinks from high-authority domains that are relevant to your field. Search engines may penalize you if you have too many backlinks from sites that aren’t relevant to your business or your content. So when you’re in the process of automating your broken link building process, remember to choose the sites that are more relevant to you, even if they have lower authority scores.
Unique Domain URLs
Ideally, you want to have more links from more high authority domains than lots of backlinks from just a few websites. Search engines consider backlinks like a seal of approval. Six backlinks from six different domains are much more valuable than six backlinks from the same website. Majestic SEO has a site explorer tool that will tell you your total number of backlinks and how many different root domains are linking to your website.