We’ve spent some time discussing SEO, what it is and how it affects your business. There’s many elements that go into SEO as we’ve discussed, however, one of those very important elements are broken links. Broken links happen often and if you’re using external links, it can be completely out of your control. Monitoring your broken links is essential to ensuring you stay on top of the SEO game. Most people don’t realize what a broken link is or how it can affect their SEO in a negative way.
Any good webmaster knows that responsibilities do not end when the website goes “live”. Your responsibilities extend beyond setup and need consistent management. It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it aspect of your business but a dynamic, ever-changing tool of growth and marketing. One of the most crucial responsibilities of a webmaster is to check for broken links to the website. (A webmaster can be a hired contractor, the original designer, or even the website owner themselves.) Broken links can be one of the worst things that can happen to a website. Bet I know what you are thinking… “How can an old, dead, never used link make any difference to anything, it doesn’t work!?”
WHAT IS A BROKEN LINK?
Broken links can happen on your website for a variety of reasons but results in a user clicking on a link that fails. A link can become broken when a website goes down/has server issues, if the link was changed by the domain holder, or if the link was removed completely. These are common when utilizing external links on your website. It’s important that when you’re making any permalink changes you’re being cognizant of your internal links so that you don’t cause any broken links on your website.
Hyperlinks aid in the navigation of the website and directs users to related sources. A website without links is like a ton of documents piled one on top of the other, with no rhyme or reason, and no intelligent way for you to retrieve information. Link management is a very important and essential part of maintaining a website. Broken links may be detrimental to the traffic generated by the website as it has a huge negative impact on your SEO.
BROKEN LINKS CAN BE DAMAGING TO YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but as a small business or entrepreneur, your reputation matters. As our society continues to progress online presence is becoming a well-known term. Did you know that broken links can actually DAMAGE your online presence? From a technical perspective, broken links can stop search engine robots (crawlers) dead in their tracks. Effectively killing any SEO strategy you may have in place on your website. It prevents crawlers from completely mapping out a website for search engines. Websites which contain broken links looks unprofessional to visitors and that image is hard to change after the fact. Visitors who have troubles navigating your website won’t return. This is tantamount to losing prospective clients. Remember the last time you went to a site that didn’t work? How long did you stay there? Even your most die hard fans will jump ship if you make it hard. We’re in the age of easy… right? So we need to make it simple and user-friendly in order to attract and maintain our audience.
HOW DO I FIX BROKEN LINKS?
As internet users become more and more sophisticated, it will take website owners more effort to entice these users to visit their websites. There are resources out there to help you get your broken links under control and improve your user experience and I’m going to share MY favorite tools with you!
GOOGLE’S WEBMASTER TOOLS
When you think of SEO and wanting to rank on search engines, do you think of ranking on Bing? Chances are no, you’re thinking about your ranking on Google. We all know what a FORCE Google has become, and your ranking on that engine is a big deal to your presence and traffic. What better way to understand this than to use the tools provided from Google themselves? Optimizing your website based on Google’s standards puts you in a much better position to rank on their search engine. The tools will be able to tell you exactly where your broken links are on your website.
Brand Scrubbers uses this all the time, because the data they give you will tell you exactly how to optimize.
Hands down my favorite premium tool. This online based platform will run a thorough check of your website and provide details on everything – literally. You can generate as many website reviews as you like and track your progress in real time. With their in-depth website analysis, you’ll be able to learn how to improve your website rankings & online visibility through SEO, social media, usability and much more.
They have a free trail which I recommend everyone give a whirl too. Running the diagnostic will give you a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t and supplies steps to help you correct any issues.
We understand SEO can be a complicated process and sometimes you don’t have the time to search through and fix your broken links. At Brand Scrubbers, we’re here to support you and ensure your business maintains it’s online presence. Contact us for a free quote to analyze your website!