How to Fix Broken Links: A Complete Guide
05 Jan 2022

Assuming you have a website, you’ve probably invested a lot of time and effort into making it a useful resource for your visitors. Your website may suffer from broken links leading to many issues. Your hard work might be ruined if you have broken connections.

When users click on links and are sent to an error page, they are dissatisfied and may consider looking for your competitors. Broken links have a detrimental impact on your site’s ranking in search engine results because they obstruct the flow of link equity to and from your site.

Let’s dive into the details to know everything from scratch.

What is a Broken Link?

Web pages that are either devoid of content or no longer available are referred to as dead or broken. When a user attempts to access one of these broken links, 404 errors appear on the screen.

Whenever you attempt to reach a URL via a broken link, the server replies with the error message, “the page does not exist or cannot be found”.

One of the adverse effects of dead links on your website is lower page speed, leading to several other issues. When links are broken, the user experience suffers significantly. Someone browsing for information on your website and coming across a dead link, you have probably lost the race.

Another reason to be worried about broken links is their effect on search engine results. Consider the scenario in which a search engine robot checks your site regularly and detects many broken links. Consequently, the overall performance of your website will suffer adversely, resulting in a lower ranking.

One of the best ways to recognize and fix issues that lead to lower search engine results is to consult experienced SEO experts to analyze and fix these issues. It will also optimize your website for a fast browsing experience and search engine results.

How do Broken Links Impact Website Speed?

The most irritating aspect of a website is when it takes too long to load. Because of a slow website loading speed, conversions and search engine rankings suffer. Google has revealed that the speed of a website is a crucial element in determining its position in search results.

Site visitors complain about broken links, but they also use substantial bandwidth for the site owner. Usually, the sites can have huge 404 errors, which slows down the website.

If you have scripts in a queue, they will be called every time your website is loaded in a web browser. Before the site appears in the browser, it is necessary to empty the queue of scripts that were previously loaded.

This kind of queue comprises JavaScript and CSS files that prevent the browser from rendering the page. It leads to low browser loading speed due to broken links and heavy files. If this backlog is too long, visitors will not be able to get the most out of your website.

What Causes Broken Links on a Website?

When you dig deeper into the “WHY” factor, you may come across multiple reasons. However, we have collected a few prominent ones who can help you. Let us go through them quickly!

i) If you delete obsolete or inactive pages and documents from your website, links to those pages will continue to display on other pages and parts of the site. During the process, they get “broken.”

ii) When a website is changed, whether technical or aesthetic, it becomes more difficult to transfer data from one structure to another. Many data and algorithms may fail to consider the complexities of altering page content, resulting in broken links.

iii) Online stores and ecommerce businesses tend to store data on online portals. A little prick in the form of a broken link in these portals can put your data at risk. Hence, it would be wise to pay attention to this if you are running an online store.

It is crucial to remember that this is an inevitable procedure. Broken links will mostly show a 404 problem that can be internal or external. Both can hurt your website performance, and ignoring them would be tomfoolery. It is imperative to perform periodic inspections and website maintenance activities to ensure the smooth working of the web pages.

How to Remove Broken Links from the Website?

Mostly, the website owners don’t see which URLs and sites their visitors are clicking on. Moreover, they don’t know how long the links have been broken and how many visitors they have repelled. Broken links on any website can cause considerable damage and take a serious effort to detect.

There is a problem with the site’s traffic since people are not working when they arrive. A mess results because the webmaster is frequently unaware of this.

In the case of external linking, it is not easy to keep track of dead links. What if the other website has more than 20 pages and yours has only 4? Keeping track of all of the connections from a single site, particularly when you’re linking to several other sites, might be challenging to manage.

1) Detect broken links with Google Analytics

There are several free programs available that may assist you in locating broken connections. Google Analytics is a free tool provided by Google. It is highly helpful in tracking the performance of your website and identifying broken connections.

Go to the Behavior menu and choose “Site Content” and “All Pages” from the drop-down menus.

Google Analytics All Pages

Before you establish a time limit for reviewing, think about how long you want to spend on it. Set the period to the month that has elapsed since your last attempt to find broken links on the website.

Google Analytics Date Selection

Now, go to the Advanced option on Google analytics and check the filter for broken links. It is simple; you need to select the Page Title containing 404 errors. After that, click on the Apply button to see the results.

Google Analytics 404 Finder

You may either turn this information into a spreadsheet or set up redirects that take people to the right website to correct the links.

At this point, you may also hire an experienced SEO company for web page redirection and the elimination of broken links from your website.

Keep in mind that redirecting and fixing broken links is a never-ending process. For most websites, once a month is a reasonable update schedule.

2) Track the changes for monitoring broken links

After discovering your broken links, create an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all the redirection you’ve encountered. For this, you need to prepare a report containing all broken links’ redirection details.

You may export your Google Analytics report by selecting Export, CSV for Excel from the drop-down menu at the top of the page and download the file. Copy and paste the columns labeled broken links, page visits, and unique page views into the Excel spreadsheet and save the file.

Once you are done with it, you need to organize the stored data for effective decision-making regarding redirection and other activities.

3) Distinguished broken links for redirection

This is the phase in the process when everything must come together as a cohesive whole. In the first instance, you should review the web pages and figure out why they aren’t functioning as planned. Looking at Google Analytics, you can see several broken links on the website.

From Google Analytics, you can observe that not all broken links have the same characteristics. Some links are often visited, while the users seldom access others. Many broken links occur just once in a short period owing to run-time errors or scripting malfunctioning.

You don’t need to update some URLs because someone entered the incorrect URL into the address box. However, some broken links have been accessed several times and are likely worth the effort since they indicate a pattern.

4) Web page redirection in CMS

If your website is developed using a CMS, you may easily perform the redirection process. However, an essential understanding of admin penal management is a must for making any change in the website. For instance, if you are using Drupal content management system (CMS), consider the following process:

Select Administration, then go to Site building, choose the Redirects of the URLs from the drop-down menu. Now, pick “Add a redirect” from the drop-down menu. Paste the “From” and “To” blanks from the tracking report of Broken Links into the appropriate fields.

Choose “301 permanently” from the drop-down Redirect Type selection box. Now press the “Create a new redirect” button. Do it for all the broken links, and you are done with the task! The link format should be considered each time to ensure a smooth process.

Adding 301 Redirect

Image source: wordstream.com

It is worth remembering that when a website contains broken links, it is detrimental to the site’s overall performance; as a result, you must repair them and redirect them to the correct URLs. So, feel free to contact professionals from SpiralClick to fix broken links to ensure a smooth website surfing experience!

Top 4 Broken Link Checkers for WordPress Websites:

Examining a large WordPress site for broken links is one of the most time-consuming tasks. Moreover, these audits are necessary to keep your website in good health. When it comes to checking for broken links, a few great WordPress plugins will do the best for you and save you time.

Let’s go through the plugins now!

1) Broken Link Checker

Broken Link Checker is a tool that monitors and verifies all internal and external links on your website to identify and fix broken links. It assists you in the correction of broken links to improve SEO and user experience.

Features:

  • It keeps track of external and internal links in your articles, pages, comments, and any custom fields you’ve put up on your site (optional). It is adaptable to your needs.

  • Broken links, missing images, and redirects are all detected by this tool.

  • Notify you through the Dashboard or by email, depending on your option.

  • Broken links are shown in posts differently due to this feature (optional).

  • The search engines will no longer be able to follow links to pages that are no longer operational (optional).

  • You may search for and filter links depending on factors such as URL, anchor text, and others.

  • It is possible to make adjustments to links without individually editing each article by visiting the plugin’s home page.

2) WP Link Status Pro

It is one of the most popular premium broken link checker WordPress plugins, and it resolves broken links while also controlling redirection.

HTTP status response codes are also searched for on your website’s content links and images and the server. Before extracting its discovered information, this plugin searches your content for broken links, redirects, and nofollow links.

Features:

  • Scan reports and configuration options are accessible for several scans performed simultaneously.

  • You may also make edits to your posts directly from the reports section of the editor’s interface.

  • The plugin has a function that allows for quick link modification.

  • If you want to locate links based on the URL or the anchor text, you may use the filter.

  • It is possible to customize the crawler parameter in advanced settings.

3) Link Whisper 

Are you seeking a more effective approach to creating internal links on your website? Link Whisper is a valuable tool that may aid you in obtaining the benefits of strong internal ties without having to go through the process of actively establishing them.

Features:

  • Add several links at once with anchor text already defined.

  • Ability to add internal inbound links to old sites that may have been orphaned or merely need more internal link “juice.” The feature alone may have a major effect on your results in Google.

  • You can easily add, alter, or delete links to any page on your site from the report page.

  • Update phrases right within Link Whisper (huge time saving), click to edit anchor text or add custom URLs.

  • You may prevent Link Whisper from offering link possibilities for certain URLs or categories on your site by simply ignoring them. Take better control over the link structure of your site.

4) Quality Control 

Quality Control is a thorough solution that verifies the quality of the content of your WordPress website. The plugin frequently evaluates your site, then identifies problems or challenges, and helps you to boost your website quality.

This plugin includes many functions: reading statistics, image troubles, etc. But fundamentally, it is a broken link checker WordPress plugin that detects broken links, redirect links, external and internal connections, etc.

However, it would be best if you got the work done by professionals because broken link fixing is a critical task and affects the overall performance of your website. It includes the functionality and ranking in the search engines, so let the experts work for you.

Features:

  • The plugin highlights images containing alt text, readability statistics, and externally hosted or hot-linked information.

  • You may schedule scans of your stuff.

  • Identifies exceeding limit titles, descriptions, and snippets, etc.

  • Detects content information, including phone number, email address, and Twitter handles.

  • The Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score is used to detect difficult-to-read content.

Join Hands with Us to Fix the Broken Links on Your Website!

Dozens of new websites are launched every day, and hundreds of others are removed from the Internet’s search engine results. Despite this, well-operating websites make frequent changes to CMS, content, pages, and files and eliminate old ones from the site’s database.

A 404-error page is shown when a link is not working properly. It occurs when a website owner changes URLs or removes a page from the website. The term for these types of connections is dead links, and they’re detrimental to both SEO and the overall user experience.

So, fix the broken links today with the help of our SEO experts to improve your website performance. Contact us!