In this case, the page was a study where the author analyzed 1 million top-ranking pages. Unless we do the same for our replacement page, it won’t be easy to convince linkers to swap the broken link for ours.
3. Create a replacement page
Now you know why people linked to the dead page, it’s time to create a suitable replacement.
Let’s go through how to do that in three steps.
a) Create a rough outline
Although you don’t want to copy the dead page word for word, you do want to create something similar. This means crafting a piece that fulfills the same purpose and talks about similar things.
You can get a better sense of what the dead page discussed using the Wayback Machine.
For example, this page explains how to calculate your net worth in three steps, gives a few example calculations, and has tips on how to improve your net worth over time:
Looking at what the broken page is about via the Wayback Machine
If you were pursuing this broken link opportunity, you’d want to use a similar outline.
Here’s what that might look like:
H1: Net Worth Explained: How to Calculate and Improve It Over Time
H2: What Is Net Worth?
H2: How to Calculate Your Net Worth
H3: Step 1. Do x
H3: Step 2. Do y
H3: Step 3. Do z
H2: Example Net Worth Calculations
H3: Example 1: x
H3: Example 2: y
H3: Example 3: z
H2: How to Track and Improve Your Net Worth
H3: Tip 1: Do x
H3: Tip 2: Do y
H3: Tip 3: Do z
b) Bake in linkable points
Remember the work you put into vetting link prospects for deep recommendations? Now’s the time to add them to your content so that your outreach angles make sense.
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In this case, we covered most of these in the basic outline.
Make sure everything you include is accurate. For example, if a deep link references an out-of-date statistic, include a more recent statistic.
c) Find other ways to improve it
Most of the links to your dead page are likely to be general links. In other words, they’re people referencing the content for no clear reason.
You can’t do much to tailor your content for these people because you don’t know what they liked about the original piece. But you can make overall improvements.
For example, adding a template would probably improve our piece on calculating net worth.
Improving the content allows you to strengthen your value proposition to general linkers by adding a “why”:
Without improvement: you have a dead link > here’s a replacement
With improvement: you have a dead link > here’s a replacement > here’s why it’s a good replacement