Broken links are links that lead to pages that do not exist. They happen more frequently than one would like because most site owners are not focused on making sure all the links on their site work. We know that link checking can be a chore and a lengthy one at that – but checking and fixing your site’s links although tedious can have many benefits.
Broken links make for a bad user experience. How many times have you been on a site and received an error message? When a visitor clicks on a link and it goes to a “404 page” or “page not found” it makes your site look sloppy. It says you aren’t paying attention to your contents. If you don’t pay attention – potential buyers may not either. Your customers or readers may become frustrated causing them to leave much sooner than they expected and sooner than you might like.
Broken links are harmful to SEO. Working links help search engines navigate your site. When search engine spiders crawl and can’t find their way around your site because of broken links – they can’t index it — causing it to drop in rankings. SEO is improved when all links are working and updated. It naturally follows that a site is more likely to get increased page views when search engines are noticing it.
Lastly, broken links can also cause pages on a site to load more slowly than they need to. Even if the slowdown is only slightly slower – it may hamper your site’s traffic.
There are a couple of ways to find and fix broken links on your site. Web administrators can use tools available in Google Analytics for finding broken links or work with a web development professional. However you do it – fixing broken links will be valuable for improving your website’s 2013 performance.