Have you ever been reading a blog post.. you click on a link, but annoyingly end up on a 404 error page? Yep, that’s a broken link. Not only are they annoying, but they can also hurt your SEO efforts as well – Yep, search engines hate them!
When visitors stumble upon a broken link on your site, they can’t continue reading the other pages. And when visitors spend lesser time on your site, search engines will assume that your website is not providing a good user experience. Eventually, because of this, search engines will give you a lower rank.
To summarise, broken links chase your visitors away and hurt your SEO efforts; therefore, it is best to fix them asap. Nobody wants broken links on their site, but most people don’t know how or aren’t willing to spend time fixing or removing them. It is a tedious process, but it’s one that needs to be done. You can either do it yourself, or outsource it to a VA.
So How Do You Find and Fix Broken Links To Improve Your SEO?
On WordPress, you can install a plugin called Broken Link Checker to automatically do this for you. However, I find this slows my site down for anyone that’s using it and the constant notifications also drive me mad!
I use brokenlinkcheck.com but there are probably other websites out there if you search for them.
It’s really easy to use and sort of self-explanatory if I’m honest. It also lets you check up to 3,000 pages for free which I’d say is more than enough for the average blog.
Enter your URL and click Find Broken Links.
Once you hit submit, the broken link checker will slowly find any links that are broken on your site. It will list out all of the broken links with links to the page where they appear.
It takes some time to work, but this is what you’ll see..
I find that broken links fall into three main categories:
- Links back to your own blog which have been changed for various reasons
- The links to products on other sites that are out of stock or no longer being sold online
- Links which others have left within comments
Then, all you need to do is go in and fix the offending links!
How Do You Fix Broken Links?
Fixing links is really simple to do and I’ll explain how I fix each type of broken link
- Broken links to your own blog – I click the src link – Don’t be alarmed by all the coding, it will show you in red where the broken link is within the post and I manually change it. It can be time consuming, but worth it for the SEO benefits.
- Broken links to products on sites – this is the easiest one to fix. If the broken link is to a product which is no longer being sold, e.g. an eyeshadow palette which is no longer on the website, I look up the location of the broken link as above but then change the link to the brands’ homepage instead.
- Broken links in the comments – this is the hardest to fix when people leave links in comments and if they don’t work, they can have a negative impact on your SEO. If you’re using WordPress these are really easy to fix as you have the ability to edit the comment. I search for the person who left the comment using the search box and then take the link out of the comment box and from the URL box too and save the comment. This gets rid of the broken link but you don’t lose the comment. If you’re on Blogger, the only way you can fix the broken link is to delete the comment. It’s not the best fix but it’s the only one which I find works as Google don’t give you the option to edit comments.
How do you fix broken links? For more SEO tips, click on the posts below: