How to Deal with Your Website’s Broken Links
Your website serves as much more than a collection of individual pages. It is a repository of information, products and/or services, with each page working in conjunction to accomplish your primary goals. This means that for every page on your website, there should be multiple points of access to other pages.
Likewise, each link on your website should serve as the intermediary, directing people to other internal pages or to other independent websites. From time to time, these doorways can become broken: websites go down, URL structures change and other big changes can occur.
Today, we’ll talk about why it’s so important to fix these problems and how you can quickly remedy the problem.
Why Fixing Links Matters
Let’s say you have a website with 1,000 pages, each of which has a few unique links. Out of the thousands of links on your website, perhaps a handful – say a dozen – are broken. This doesn’t seem like a big deal; it’s a small fraction, after all.
However, each individual link provides value in some way, shape or form. For internal links, they provide your visitors with an easy way to find content. If they suddenly click a link and it is broken, then you very well may have lost a customer, visitor or potential conversion.
For external links, this is of equal importance. Many external links when inserted properly can generate SEO credibility with search engines. If you are suddenly pinging search engines with even a handful of broken links, then search engines crawling your website may determine that your affected pages are out-of-date, improperly maintained or irrelevant. This can cause you to lose clout in various SERPs, depending on the situation.
Finding the Culprits
There are only a couple of ways a link can end up broken on your website: either the page or site you’ve linked to is no longer there or you mistakenly typed the wrong address. This can be true both for internal and external links. What’s more important is finding those broken links and repairing the damage.
There are many useful online tools for free that can be used to search every link on your website and subsequently test it. Within a matter of seconds, you can have a complete report showing which links return errors and which links work properly. Thanks to this, repairing the damage just got a lot easier.
Repairing the Damage
Depending on the size of your site and/or the number of broken links, the process of fixing these links may be easy or difficult. For most, simply editing each page where there’s a broken link will do the trick. You have options for how you repair the damage: you can either do it yourself, or pay someone to do it via one of the many freelancing platforms (link repair services are incredibly cheap). Either way, you’ll resolve the issue and be pinging search engines with the correct/updated links in no time.
Ultimately, broken links are not the end of the world usually, but the damage nevertheless should be repaired ASAP. You could be losing valuable traffic and SEO credibility in the meantime, and nobody wants to lose either of those. By using one of many site auditing tools available online, you can quickly diagnose problems with any internal or external links and solve the situation.