As more and more local Australian businesses jump on the SEO bandwagon, it’s gotten harder and harder for local establishments to get top ranks for their target keywords. This is not going to change anytime soon.
The old SEO tricks don’t work anymore. In fact, local Australian businesses are bombarded daily with all sorts of cheap SEO comeons. From “rank your site #1 in 1 week or your money back’ to the fantastic “get top ranks in 24 hours,” there’s no shortage of hucksters taking advantage of local businesses who are unaware of blackhat practices.
‘Churn and Burn’ SEO can kill your business online
As tempting as many of these offers may seem on the surface, they have a dark underside. Whatever results they actually deliver are made possible only through ‘blackhat’ search engine optimization practices. Using software to blast links all over the Internet to create artificial ranking boosting networks to more intrusive site hacking and link injection schemes, blackhat practices are not viewed favorably by Google and other search engines.
Indeed, Google has repeatedly banned whole blackhat link networks from Google’s index. We’re talking thousands of sites completed wiped off Google results. Sadly, if you do business with a service provider who uses blackhat techniques, your site might get banned-sooner or later. The worst part? You’re the last to know.
Whitehat SEO is the only way to go
High value firms who expect to remain in business for the long haul don’t mess around with blackhat techniques. They are purely ‘white hat.’ This means they meticulously follow Google’s Website guidelines. They don’t use doorway pages, cloaking, sketchy redirects, and other tricks to get their clients’ website ranked. They don’t use ‘quick and dirty’ techniques.
Instead, they do things the ‘hard way’-they use high value content to earn highly targeted and highly relevant backlinks from the the Web. It doesn’t get any more basic than this.
Using custom-coded specialized software tools, high quality search marketing firms find third-party independent sites in your niche who would want to link to your site. As an ‘incentive’ for a credit link back to your site, they provide them with high quality, very useful content and web graphics.
As you can probably tell from the description of the process above, the biggest challenge whitehat firms face in earning links for clients is in getting third-party websites to approve contributed content.
Our specialty: hard to get links
Considering how competitive local, regional, national, and global SEO has become, one critical ‘Golden Rule’ has emerged among search engine optimization service providers. The rule? The harder a link is to get, the more valuable it is!
One category of these ‘hard to get’ backlink assets involves ‘broken links.’ Make no mistake about them, broken links provide a tremendous SEO advantage precisely because they take quite a bit of work to get.
How to get high quality backlinks for your site using broken links
Step #1: Compile a massive list of all your competitors
‘Competitors’ can be businesses in your local area, nearby suburbs, your state or province’s region, or even a national chain. As long as these businesses provide the same service as yours or sell the same merchandise, they are fair game. Get a massive list of these.
Step #2: Scan all your competitors’ sites for broken links
From time to time, even well-maintained websites screw up and delete pages without updating their internal links. These are pages on the same site that link to the now deleted or dead internal page.
Use software like Screaming Frog to create a complete list of dead internal (note: these are not links pointing to pages outside of your competitors’ sites) pages.
Step #3: Scan the backlinks of competitor sites with broken links
Using backlink checking tools like Majestic or AHREFS enter the broken link urls you found on your competitors’ pages. You should be able to retrieve a list of a few pages on third party sites that link to those now deleted or dead pages.
Step #4: Review third party pages for quality
Once you have a nice big list of third party sites that linked to your competitors’ dead pages, the next step is to do a quick Return on Effort analysis (ROE). Simply put, you want to get the most value for the time, effort, and energy you’ll put into writing ‘missing page replacement content,’ outreach to third party sites, and negotiations. You wouldn’t go through all that hassle only to get a backlink from a page that doesn’t have much backlink power!
Analyze the average SEO value of the potential backlink sources you found. “Replace” only missing pages with high value backlinks.
Step #5 Research the content of the missing pages you will be ‘replacing’
Go to Archive.Org’s Wayback Machine and enter your competitors’ missing page urls. A lot of the time, you should be able to retrieve a backup of the dead pages. Many times, these pages aren’t archived.
Study the archived content closely. How can you replicate its information? How can you improve on it?
Step #6 Come up with ‘new and improved’ replacement content
Write a better version of the content of the dead pages you are trying to ‘replace.’ You can choose to create longer content, include more up to date information, add graphics and videos, add header graphics, include explainer videos or diagrams, or try other methods that obviously boost the value of the content.
Step #7 Find the contact information of third-party backlink sources
Go to the website of the third party sites that link to your competitors’ dead page. See if those sites have a ‘contact us’ page. If they don’t search for the site on social media. Look through their social media profiles on Twitter or Facebook to get their contact information. Try Linkedin.
Step #8 Use a two step outreach process
Reach out the third party sites by first informing them of the dead link. You can gently remind them of why this is a bad thing-can harm their rankings, make their site look unprofessional, etc.
Tell them that you have a better version that replaces the dead link. Spell out, in a few brief lines, why the replacement is so much better. Tell them that you feature updated information, awesome graphics, so on and so forth.
Do not give them your link. Make them ask for it.
Step #9 Wait for the response or follow up
At this point, truly interested third party publishers would reach out to you and ask for your link. This is a very effective technique because you aren’t pushing the prospect or imposing yourself on them. They ask for your link.
If they don’t respond after a few days, follow up.
Follow the steps above to get ‘hard to get’ backlinks. These are context-driven, niche-specific, and category-targeted. No wonder they pack such a punch when it comes to boosting your website’s rankings!