Over time, links of a website break because the pages may be removed or the url structure may be changed. With link reclamation, you can effectively boost your SEO efforts by fixing any broken links.
301 redirect will help to bring some value to those pages, but a link reclamation will help to get full link value.
What is link reclamation
It is the process where you find the broken links on your website and contact other websites that are linking to you. Link reclamation is done in 3 main conditions-
- Removed content
- Changes URLs
- Redesigned website
How can you regain the link value
Take the help of tools like Ahrefs or Majestic and create a spreadsheet with old URLs, anchor texts, new urls and the location where broken links are. The best way to fix internal linking is to go to the page with a broken link manually and replace the url.
If you have to fix the broken links from external websites, 301 redirects and link reclamation are the only solution. A direct link is always of more value than a redirect. Thus you should wait for at least 2 to 3 weeks after link reclamation to do the redirect process.
Number of links to reclaim
Find out how many page links are there to the broken pages. Run each of the 404 pages on the link building tool to find out each link and the anchor text that points to these pages. Repeat the same process for every 404 pages. You will finally get a list of links that need to be reclaimed.
Fix 404 pages
Ahref allows you to find out which links have gone down, site migration for new HTTPs Urls and eliminate redirected urls.
After fixing 404 pages, reach to the external websites that linked to these pages. Tell them about the broken link and give them the new correct link. No matter if you have already done the 301 redirects, this will further make sure that the correct link is listed.
Brand mentions and links through images
You can also carry out your link reclamation process through brand mentions that do not link to your website. Similarly, you can reclaim your image links as well. There tools such as Tineye wherein you can insert your image or image title to see what all places are your image being used.
This way you can find out where your brand content is being used so that you can improve your link building.
You can not reclaim every link
Depending on how old the link has been, the average response rate is usually 50%. Old links do not get much response. Some people will still fix it because it gets them site visitors.
The best way to get the best response from links is to avoid any spammy link building outreach. Be informative and relevant. Once you are done, wait for a few weeks and make sure there is 301 redirect set up for all the 404 pages. If if the broken link is fixed, redirect will still be beneficial.
Tools needed in link reclamation
- Screaming Frog
Benefits of Link Reclamation
- Regain your lost link value with a better ranking and link profile
- You can easily start off a new and better link building campaign