Broken links are not only infuriating, but it can also harm your SEO efforts as well. Not only the users, but search engines also hate broken links too. When visitors encounter with a broken link, they wouldn’t want to continue to explore the other pages, because they can’t! When visitors spend lesser time on your site, search engine will presume that your website is not providing a good user-experience.
What are broken links?
Broken links are the links that send a message to its visitors that the webpage no longer exists, causing a 404 error page.
There are 2 types of broken links on any website:
- Internal Links – it refer to the links that go from one page on your website to another. These links are those that you have the most control on your website.
- External links – it refers to the links that are pointing to another website. However, the thing about external links is that you need to spend more time checking them because you wouldn’t know when the link changes will as we are not in control.
How to fix broken links?
- Find broken links – There are numerous tools you can use to identify broken links, many of them are free.
- Google Analytics – it is a great free tool for tracking website performance, and it’s also helpful for easily finding broken links.
- Xenu – It is another free tool recommended by On-page SEO experts.
- Generate a report as well as track your changes – after identifying your broken links, create an excel spreadsheet to track link redirect processes. We only need the data on broken links, page views as well as unique page views, so copy and paste columns into the excel spreadsheet you have created.
Organize the main data from Google Analytics as well as Xenu into separate sections on your Excel spreadsheets.
- Analyze data and decide which pages should be redirected – Booth Google Analytics and Xenu provides a list of links that may be broken. But before essentially redirecting them, you should first scrutinize the pages and the reasons they may not be working properly. You can effortlessly figure out the correct URL as well as fill in the data in the spreadsheet; for other links, we can put a tentative URL there and highlight it with a dissimilar colour; and for the rest of the links, we can readdress to the domain homepage.
- Redirect in CMS – Redirect the broken links in your content management system. Go to the ADMINISTRATION, then to SITE BUILDING, and URL redirects. Click on ADD REDIRECT. Then Fill in the FROM and TO blanks by copying and pasting from the final broken link redirect report. Pay concentration to the link format during this procedure.
Repeat the above procedure to redirect all the broken links and renew the broken link redirect report.