A broken link on your website can be compared to a canceled dinner reservation. Have you ever looked forward to a meal at your favorite restaurant, only to feel like you’ve been led on by the promise of a sure seat? Instead of the piping hot house specialty, you’re greeted with a 404 error, showing that the site was removed or relocated elsewhere.
While canceled dinner reservations typically don’t leave you with anything more than disappointment and a rumbling stomach, broken links can do quite a bit of damage to your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) standings.
Broken links are bad for business
The Internet is an ever-evolving environment, which is why it’s crucial to keep customers engaged with new content. Yet, change is the enemy of routine when it comes to steadily improving your Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) rankings.
In this article, we will share three basic tips to help you assess your pages’ broken links and how to go about fixing them:
1. Use checking tools
Google’s web crawlers are quick to assess a page’s viability based on several factors, including their backlinking capabilities. Broken outbound links don’t just create a bad user experience, but also drop your SEO ranking significantly. Although Google’s AI watchdogs are quick to put your ranking down a notch from your broken links, they’ve also made it easier for you to assess your pages for them.
You can manually review your pages backlinking through a “Check My Links” chrome extension, which examines whether or not internal and external links still work.
2. List your broken backlinks
It’s best to get an overall picture of your page before you start fixing the leaks one by one. Otherwise, you’d be making a do-over of all the progress you’ve done so far. If you’re handling a small website, then it might be possible to keep track of your broken backlinks through a Notes app. If you’re handling a more extensive site, however, it might be best to set up a spreadsheet to accurately record your revisions for future use.
If you don’t have a free weekend to deal with manual checking once every two weeks, then you might benefit from a paid backlinks checker. Services such as Ahrefs can help find and compile your site’s broken links through an automated and summarized report of your site. Alternatively, you can work with an SEO service like Ranked, which will provide you with other features such as blog content, on-page optimization, and real-time reporting for an affordable price!
3. Fix outbound links
Remember—identifying the holes in your website is only half of the job. The rest of it really comes down to auditing and repairing the links. Below are the three basic steps involved in repairing or replacing a broken link:
1. Assess if the content’s context works without the inclusion of the link. If it can, then it might be simpler to remove the link altogether.
2. If the link is necessary to provide additional information or lead to an internal page, check the text’s linking anchor to see where it’s supposed to lead.
3. If you’re linking to an external page, double-check if the page has been updated with a recent version or see if you can find a more recent and credible page to take its place.
It might feel like a massive task at first, but once you’ve gotten through it the first time, it’ll be easier to clean and update your site in the future.
Gaining traction on your website is necessary for growth and expansion, as digital marketers use SEO to aid them in improving their site’s visibility. Dealing with broken links is but one of the many tasks that you need to handle if you’re looking to stay ahead of your competitors. It takes perseverance and organized workflows to remain competitive in the digital space.
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