According to a survey, most small businesses (72 percent) aren’t using search engine optimization (SEO).
Successful SEO website content requires keyword research and link building to attract customers. Unfortunately, 75 percent of that content lacks inbound links.
If you do have links throughout your website content, you’re one step closer to an effective SEO strategy. However, some of those links might not work properly. By learning how to fix broken links, you can ensure your SEO strategy is up and actively working!
Keep reading to discover how to find and fix your website’s broken links today.
How to Find Broken Links
There are a number of free, online resources you can use to find broken links on your website.
For example, you can use Google Analytics to track your website’s overall performance. The “Content – Content by Title” section can show you there are errors throughout your website. This includes broken links, which trigger a 404 error page.
Whether they’re internal or external, broken links can hurt your SEO campaign. These links are supposed to encourage people to explore your website and interact with content.
Using Google Analytics, you can also set alerts to inform you when broken links appear.
You can use tools such as Xenu Link Sleuth or Site Audit instead. Once you recognize these links, create an Excel spreadsheet. Now you can track your overall redirect process.
Why Fix Broken Links
Search engine optimization makes it easier for website visitors to find your content.
An SEO-optimized website also prioritizes user experience. Google rewards websites that make it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for.
When you include links within your content, you can send visitors to relevant pages on your website.
As an added bonus, this can guide them through the conversion process. That way, you’re also encouraging website visitors to turn into leads.
By fixing your site’s broken links, you can give your ranking on search engines a boost. That way, people find your website before they discover a competitor’s.
Broken links, however, can hurt your rankings and your credibility.
Links that lead visitors to 404 error pages cause poor user experience. They make your website appear unprofessional as well. With strong link building instead, you can show visitors you’re a credible, helpful online resource.
Analyzing Broken Links
Developing this list of broken links is only the first step.
Before you redirect these links, it’s important to determine why they’re not working. Sometimes it’s as simple as a mistyped URL, indicating a human error. Other times, the issue shows a trend throughout your entire website.
Other common reasons for broken links include:
- An unintentionally deleted page
- An unintentionally moved page
- For backlinks, the linking site may have made a mistake with the URL (extra/missing characters or typos)
Using your spreadsheet, you can determine the correct URL or a new URL to redirect to.
If there isn’t a replacement page you can use as a redirect, try redirecting to the domain homepage instead.
Analyzing these broken links and determining the cause of the issue can help you avoid these problems in the future.
Here are a few actionable SEO tips you can start using now.
How to Fix Broken Links
Now that you know where to find broken links, let’s talk about how to fix broken links next!
There are multiple ways you can fix all the broken links on your website.
For one, you can replace each broken link with a live link. The difficulty and time you spend on this depend on how many broken links you find. In some cases, it can take five minutes.
If you have a large website and many broken links, on the other hand, it could take a few weeks.
Grab your Excel spreadsheet of broken links. Then, determine which correct link should replace the broken ones. You can then easily replace these broken links on your website.
That way, website visitors travel to the correct intended webpage.
If you don’t have a replacement link that makes sense, you can delete the links from the content instead.
For backlinks, make sure you contact the linking website. That way, you can request a fix (whether it’s a typo or incorrect link).
If you changed the URL and forgot to redirect it, just find the new page to insert the redirect. You can also recreate the missing link as a new page. That way, the link actually works with this new destination.
Finally, you can also use a 301 redirect so the broken link sends to another (but still relevant) page on your website. This tactic ensures that website visitors still find the relevant content they were looking for in the first place.
Broken Link Tips
Don’t just send a broken link to a random page on your website. In many cases, it’s actually better not to send people to the homepage.
Instead, consider user intent.
What are your website visitors looking for when clicking on the broken link?
Determining user intent can help you improve user experience, too. Take a look at your anchor text and the surrounding text. If you know what customers are searching for, you can replace the broken link with a relevant one.
That way, you’re still helping website visitors find what they need!
You should also remove any duplicate content on your website, which can hurt your SEO campaign.
Find & Fix: How to Fix Broken Links on Your Website
With this guide, you can find all of the broken links on your website. Now that you know how to fix broken links, you can improve your website’s user experience and SEO ranking.
That way, more people find your website when searching on Google or another search engine.
Don’t forget to check and find broken links regularly. That way, you can make fixing these broken links a part of your regular SEO maintenance routine.
Discover more helpful SEO tips and tricks by exploring these new posts.