If you own a website, I’m sure you’ve worked long and hard hours to make it a valuable resource for your visitors. However, if your links are broken, it can jeopardize all of your hard work. There are multiple ways to scan websites for broken links. Your website’s broken links can be harmful in two ways:
- They create a negative user experience – Users become disappointed when they click on links and receive 404 errors, and they may never return.
- They undervalue your SEO efforts – Broken links prevent link equity from flowing freely throughout your site, which negatively influences rankings.
To avoid these hazards, you should regularly scan the website for broken links. You’re not alone if you’re stumped on how to do this. Continuing in the article, you will find a complete guide for scanning and fixing broken links on your website.
Identifying Broken Links
There are various methods for finding broken links on your website. One option is to take advantage of Google Webmaster Tools. Broken links on your website will be listed under “Crawl Errors.” However, this will not scan the website for broken links to external pages. To fix broken links, you must first locate them. Another alternative is to create a custom filter in your Google Analytics account for your 404 Error page, which will allow you to measure how many visitors it receives.
Repairing Damaged External Links
An external link is any link from your website to another website. It communicates to users that you are untrustworthy. Many web admins believe that broken external links are unimportant because they impact their bounce rate or on-site time data. On the other hand, broken external links might be devastating for your website. Too many broken external links can signal to Google that your site is out of the current, which could hurt your rankings.
It is relatively simple to fix broken external links. You have two choices:
- Remove the connection entirely.
- Change the link to a legitimate URL.
How to Fix Broken Internal Links
Internal links, unlike external links, are entirely within your control. You may avoid broken links on your website by instituting proper web practices. Still, they involve tactics such as developing a consistent standard for naming URLs, eliminating old material, and making new draughts of pages.
It is a significant problem if you discover a broken link on your website. It will affect your SEO, reduce trustworthiness, and reduce conversion rates. There are four methods for repairing broken internal links:
Is It a Typo?
Typos are a typical source of broken internal links. Check to determine if the 404 Error results from a typo and rectify it. The issue is resolved!
Restore the Page’s Authenticity
This is the most effective approach for repairing broken links in terms of SEO, especially if the missing page has backlinks pointing to it. However, this requires more work (you must recreate the page). And, in other circumstances, it makes no sense to reconstruct the deleted page.
See Also: Increase Page Speed and SEO Scores
Google advises that broken internal links be repaired using 301 redirects. Ideally, it would be best to redirect you to a page with related content, such as a relevant article or a category or tag page. As a final resort, redirect to the Home page. Redirecting broken internal links takes some time, but it keeps the link juice flowing and increases page visitors, good for SEO.
Dispose of the Broken Link
This is the easiest way to deal with broken internal links. The disadvantage is that you miss out on increasing page visits, time on site, and passing link juice. Only remove the broken link if it isn’t critical to your site.
Five steps to fix broken links
Here are a few critical methods for reducing broken links on your website:
- Use a link checker (like this one) to scan the website for broken links. After that, you can go to the relevant sites and edit or remove any broken links. It’s also an excellent idea to create a reminder to check in and keep connections up to date every few months.
- Before publishing a new page, test the links in blogs or new web pages to check their work. The same is true for any links you include in newsletters, emails, or social media posts.
- If you modify the URLs for your content, make sure to set up 301 redirects, which will immediately transfer anyone who clicks on the old link to the new page. There are various WordPress plugins available that may be used to set up 301 redirects.
- Make limited access sites clear so that users know what to expect. For example, if a page is only accessible to members, place a ‘member login required’ note next to the link.
- When developing new pages for unique events, items, or campaigns, utilize simple URLs. Thus they’re easier for users to find and type in.
Broken links are not only inconvenient, but they can also be detrimental to your SEO efforts. That’s right! Broken links are not only disliked by users but also by search engines. When visitors see a broken link, they will not want to study the following sites since they cannot!
Search engines presume you’re not giving a decent user experience if consumers spend less time on your site. You will eventually rank lower by search engines. Because broken links have a bad influence on your SEO, the amplification of your content, the visitor experience, and your overall reputation, it’s critical to detect and fix broken links as soon as possible.