Ultimate Guide: Find & Fix Broken Links on Your Website
Quickly find and fix broken links on your website. This guide will show you how to identify and fix 404 errors, internal linking errors, link redirects.
Nobody enjoys dealing with a broken link. It irritates consumers and might harm your search engine optimization efforts. If a visitor hits a link and does not receive the information they need, they may abandon your site.
There are several technical aspects to broken links. On the other hand, a broken link is simply one that does not work. If a user enters the URL or clicks on the link, they will either receive an error notice or be sent to a 404 page.
Broken links can occur when a URL is input incorrectly, the URL changes, the page goes offline, or access is prohibited by a password or firewall. If you own a website, you must understand how to repair broken links. "How can I detect broken links so I may fix them?" you may wonder. That is precisely what we will cover in this article.
While repairing broken links isn't difficult, it may be time-consuming. That is why many website owners put it off. You'll be able to surpass at least some of your competition if you make an effort to understand how to restore broken links on your website.
Types of Broken Website Links
There are generally four types of broken links:
These occur when a page can’t be found. This could happen because the URL was typed incorrectly, the page has been moved, or the page no longer exists. You can check this errors easily using broken link checker.
These occur when there is a problem with the server. You will see this error message if there is an issue with the coding on the website.
Connection Timed Out
This usually occurs when a website is taking too long to load. The user’s browser will eventually give up and display an error message.
these can occur for a number of reasons, but usually happen when a page has been moved to a new URL without properly redirecting the old URL to the new one.
Broken Links Dealing Guide for Your Website
The first step is finding broken links on your website so you can fix them. There are a few different ways to do this:
Check Google Search Console
If you have Google Search Console set up for your website, you can check for 404 errors under the “Coverage” tab.
Manually check your website
This is probably the most time-consuming method, but it is worth doing if you only have a few pages on your website. Simply visit each page on your website and click every link to ensure it is working properly.
Crawl your website
You can use a web crawler of NinjaSEO to deep-crawl your website and find broken links.
Once you have found all of the broken links on your website, it’s time to fix them. Again, there are a few different ways to do this:
Redirect the URL
If you have moved a page to a new URL, you will need to set up a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one. This will tell the search engines that the page has moved and ensure that users are directed to the correct page when they click on the link.
Update the URL
If you have changed the URL of a page, you will need to update any links pointing to that page. This includes internal links as well as external links.
Create a new page
If a page no longer exists, you will need to create a new page using webpage builder and set up a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one. Alternatively, you could set up a 404 error page which would allow users to navigate back to your homepage or another relevant page on your website.
Fix the server issue
If you are seeing 500 errors, it is likely because there is an issue with the coding on your website. You will need to contact your web developer to fix the issue.
By following these steps, you can find and fix any broken links on your website. This will help improve your website’s usability and your search engine rankings.
How Broken Links Harm SEO?
Broken links can have a range of impacts on a company's SEO performance. User experience, authority, money, and Google rankings are the most crucial.
Imagine yourself as a client. You go online, all excited to buy a product. After a time, you arrive at an intriguing website that sells the goods. Everything appears to be in order until you encounter a 404 error message indicating a missing page.
Would you continue to visit this website? Would you consider returning in the future? Most likely not. Consider conducting website audit to identify the errors before your costumers do so.
After reading the preceding example, you may have seen that broken links have an impact on the following.
- User Experience
- Domain Authority
- Google Rankings
1. User Experience:
When a user arrives at a broken link, their opinion of the site plummets, and rightly so. After all, it's frustrating to encounter an error message instead of the content you were hoping to find. This is why user experience should be one of the primary reasons you address any broken links on your website. A bad user experience will keep people from returning in the future and could even cost you customers or sales.
2. Domain Authority:
In addition to hurting your user experience, broken links also damage your domain authority. Domain authority is a metric that measures how strong or weak your website is in relation to other websites. The higher your domain authority, the better your chances are of ranking in Google search results. So, if you have a lot of broken links on your website, it's likely that your domain authority will suffer as a result.
In some cases, broken links can also cost you money. For example, if you have an eCommerce website, and a customer clicks on a broken link while trying to purchase a product, they may give up and go to another site instead. This not only hurts your chances of making a sale but could also lead to the customer leaving negative reviews about their experience on your site.
4. Google Rankings:
Finally, broken links can also impact your Google rankings. Google's algorithms are constantly changing, but one thing that has remained constant is the importance of delivering a good user experience. If Google sees that users are regularly encountering broken links on your website, it's likely that your rankings will suffer as a result.
What Factors Lead to Broken Links?
Broken links can be caused by a multitude of factors, the majority of which are inadvertent effects of page updates or moves, or by minor human mistakes.
Knowing the most frequent reasons for broken links might help you be more aware of what to look for when developing SEO and link building.
- Page Moves
- Deleted Pages
- Changed Domains
- Incorrect Links
- Dead Websites
Typos are one of the most common causes of broken links. They can happen when someone manually enters a URL into their browser or when a website owner updates their site's internal links. If even one character in a URL is entered incorrectly, it can lead to a broken link.
2. Page Moves:
Another common cause of broken links is when pages are moved without properly setting up a redirect. Redirects are used to tell search engines and users that a page has been moved to a new location. Without them, anyone who clicks on an old link will encounter a 404 error message. This can be frustrating for users and will damage your SEO performance since Google views 404 errors as evidence that your site is not well-maintained.
3. Deleted Pages:
Occasionally, pages are deleted without setting up a redirect. This can happen when a website owner decides to remove a page from their site but forgets to set up a redirect. As with page moves, this can lead to 404 errors and will hurt your on page seo.
4. Changed Domains:
If you've ever changed the domain name of your website, you know that it can be a complex process. One of the challenges is ensuring that all of your old links still work after the switch. If even one link is broken, it can cause major problems for users trying to access your site.
5. Incorrect Links:
Sometimes links are simply incorrect. This can happen when someone manually enters a URL into their browser or when a website owner is updating their site's internal links. If even one character in a URL is entered incorrectly, it can lead to a broken link.
6. Dead Websites:
One of the most common causes of broken links is when websites go offline. This can happen for various reasons, such as when a website owner forgets to renew their domain name or when a hosting company has an issue with their servers. When a website goes offline, all of the links on that site will be broken.
Broken links can hurt your website in several ways. They can damage your reputation, cost you money, and hurt your Google rankings. The most common causes of broken links are typos, page moves, deleted pages, changed domains, incorrect links, and dead websites. Knowing the most frequent reasons for broken links can help you be more aware of what to look for when developing SEO and linking strategies. Also, most SEO tools have an in-built broken link checker.
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