Broken links, broken links, everywhere! Don’t you just hate it when you click on a link, and instead of getting where you want to go, you get a big fat error message? It’s like taking a wrong turn on a road trip and ending up in the middle of nowhere. It’s frustrating for your website visitors and can hurt your SEO efforts.
So, what exactly are broken links? They’re links on your website that lead to pages that no longer exist or have been moved. These links result in a “404 error” page, indicating that the page can’t be found.
Why are broken links bad for SEO? Well, first of all, they can lead to a poor user experience. No one likes to click on a link and get an error message, and your website visitors are no exception. This can lead to increased bounce rates and decreased engagement, which can hurt your SEO efforts.
Additionally, broken links can hurt your website’s crawlability. Search engines rely on links to navigate and index your website. When they encounter a broken link, they may stop crawling and indexing your website, which can also hurt your SEO efforts.
So, how do you find and fix broken links on your website? The easiest way is to use a broken link checker tool. These tools crawl your website and identify any broken links, making it easy to find and fix any issues.
Once you’ve identified the broken links, you have a few options for fixing them. The first option is to simply delete the broken link. This is a quick and easy solution, but it doesn’t provide any information or guidance to your website visitors.
Another option is to redirect the broken link to a relevant page on your website. This can help improve the user experience, and prevent search engines from encountering broken links. To implement a redirect, you’ll need to add the following code to your .htaccess file:
Redirect 301 /old-page.html https://www.example.com/new-page/
Replace “/old-page.html” with the URL of the broken link, and replace “https://www.example.com/new-page/” with the URL of the page you want to redirect to.
A third option is to create a custom 404 error page. This can help improve the user experience by providing information and guidance to your website visitors when they encounter a broken link. To create a custom 404 error page, you’ll need to create a new page on your website, and add the following code to your .htaccess file:
- Copy code
- ErrorDocument 404 /404.html
- Replace “/404.html” with the URL of your custom 404 error page.
Now, let’s talk about some best practices when it comes to dealing with broken links. The best practice of all is to avoid broken links in the first place. This means making sure that your links are up-to-date, and that you’re using descriptive and meaningful link text.
It’s also important to note that broken links can occur due to changes in your website’s structure or content. To minimise the risk of broken links, make sure to keep your website’s structure and content organised and up-to-date.
In conclusion, broken links can hurt your website’s user experience and SEO efforts. By regularly checking for broken links and fixing any issues, you can improve your website’s performance and ensure your website ranks as well from an SEO perspective as possible.
Links are just one of the things we can assist with at Tomedia. Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can help your website to achieve SEO success and beyond.