What is a broken link?
Many people and companies who have their own website do not check for broken links. But you really need to know why fixing broken links is important for your website. The internet is built on hyperlinks. Linking between web pages is a fundamental feature of it all and is one aspect of keeping a strength to your website. When all is well and good, every link on your site will lead exactly to the right place.
But sometimes links don’t work. A page may be deleted or unavailable. An image might not load or be missing. A site or resource you link to might disappear. Someone who you have linked to might move a post or page and not update others which link to it. A particularly regular problem will be linking to online magazines. Most articles will eventually get deleted and that can lead to lots of broken links.
What could happen?
When someone clicks on a link on your site and it doesn’t take them to its intended destination, the following can happen:
- It’s frustrating for the user.
- It shows that you don’t do regular housekeeping.
- It can harm your credibility as an authority in your field.
- It could affect your website conversion if it’s on a sales page.
- It can definitely hurt your SEO and page rankings.
The worst result for the user clicking on a broken link is to be sent to a generic browser 404 page. Then the user has to click the “back” button to return to the previous page. We know that this is really frustrating, so we are sure your customers would too!
Ideally we want to identify those links that are broken and change or remove them. This is basic housekeeping of your website and should be done on a regular basis.
Linking to external websites
It is a great idea to link to external websites. It actually helps to strengthen your own website slightly. However these links could always stand a chance of being changed or deleted; then you may have a problem. It will be your website that suffers, if they haven’t redirected this page somewhere else. And this happens so much!
However, this is a really easy fix to make. There are plenty of free broken link checkers online today that are so easy to use. Just add in your URL and they do the work for you. They tell you which pages have broken links and even the section of the page that is broken, along with the source code. Broken Link Check is one such website. We have just done a test on our own website and sure enough there was a broken link from one of our customers. They had moved a page and not redirected it.
Just keep up to date with this – always make sure there are no broken links! Here you have found out why fixing broken links is important for your website. Go to our blog to find out other tips and advice.
Thanks for reading!