Investing time ad money into your website is surely something your visitors will appreciate. Good user experience and valuable resources are things that attract new visitors and make the old ones come back for fresh content. However, often small details such as broken links on your pages may drive them away and hurt your business. That’s why regular maintenance of your website and taking care of these links are necessary to keep everything running well. Here’s a simple guide on how to find and fix broken links on your website and provide the best experience for your visitors.
Why is it important to find and fix broken links on your website as soon as possible?
We mentioned you should take care of the broken links, but we also want to make clear why exactly they can be hurting your smooth-running website. The pitfalls you can expect due to having broken links are:
- negative impact on the SEO – no matter how good your SEO strategy is, broken links can lower your rankings since they don’t let the flow of link equity, and in that way harm your website.
- users don’t like it – whatever you do, you have to avoid a bad user experience at your website. Broken links make the visitors frustrated, so the most common result is that they live and don’t come back again. Along with poor website navigation, duplicate content, and unnatural anchor text, broken links are one of the most irritating things for website visitors.
So, to make your website easy to navigate and without any broken links, make sure you do regular checks. On how to find these links and fix them – we prepared a simple, yet very effective guide. Let’s start!
How to find broken links on your website?
The first step of fixing this problem is finding all the broken links on your website. You should know that broken links can be both external and internal, as long as they are pointing to non-existing pages. So, broken links can lead to both pages at the website, or to some other domain. This can happen for different reasons, but mostly it happens due to typing mistakes ( you type the URL incorrectly) or the page has been deleted or expired (when linking to time-sensitive pages). Even though these seem like small details, they can help improve your rankings, too. Here are the tools you can use to find the links that don’t work anymore.
This Google tool is amazing in finding broken links, and what’s even better about it – it’s free! You can use it gt insights about your website but also find broken links. You can filter your pages by page title, including “404 Page” that will lead you to all the pages with such a name – the broken links. It allows you to see all the broken links in such pages, and check how many times those errors occurred.
Other free tools
There are other monitoring tools you can use to check your links. Some of them are Ahrefts Broken Link Checker or Xenu Link Sleuth, or Dead Link Checker. They let you enter your website’s domain and find the links that are not working. This is where you can start fixing the links or removing them from your website.
One of the signals that you might have some broken links on your website is to regularly keep an eye on your website’s traffic. Any unusual drops in traffic, bounce rates, or conversion rates might indicate that you have to find and fix broken links somewhere on your website. Depending on the size of your business and website, you can check the links one by one or use some more professional tools to do it.
The next step – fixing the broken links
Now, let’s deal with the problem. There are a couple of possible ways to fix the broken links. This depends on several factors, so let’s see each of these solutions in detail.
Replacing the links
One of the ways to deal with this problem is to ‘repair’ a broken link. This means you should find a correct replacement for the link and put it in the right spot on your website. If a link is just typed incorrectly, this can be solved quickly. However, if you need to find a new link, it might take away more time. Furthermore, the length of this process depends on the size of your website and the number of broken links. For that reason, regular checks are necessary to stop broken links from piling up.
Deleting the links
Another way to fix the problem is to remove a broken link. This is a good option for the links that are not visited anymore, and they’re not worth redirecting. For example, time-sensitive content that expired is not worth fixing. These are special promotions, time-limited offers, or events. Again, depending on the number of these links, this work can take away a lot of your precious time. That’s why hiring a pro to deal with your website and SEO strategy might be the best solution.
Maintaining your website will pay off
Doing everything you can to maintain your website will surely pay off, so don’t forget to find and fix broken links on your domain. It might take away a bit of your time, but it will help Google and your visitors like your business even more. These extra steps in confirming a positive user experience are the ones that make you better than others from the same area or niche. So, start exploring your website and fixing all the problems as soon as possible!