For anyone that is putting together or maintaining a website, many things need to be taken into account, and one of the most important aspects is making sure that your content stays relevant and up-to-date. Links are what tie everything together and allow the user to navigate the information being displayed easily. If the links on your website are broken, this disrupts the flow of your content for both the user and search engines.
Most likely, at one point or another, you’ve landed on a “404 Page Not Found” or something similar while going through a website and this can be caused by several reasons:
- The website is no longer available.
- The URL of the web page was changed.
- The web page was deleted.
Websites are bound to get some broken links the longer they are online, but there are two big reasons to check your site regularly for and to fix any broken links.
For existing websites, one of the easiest and often overlooked ways to improve traffic and the user experience is by making sure that there are no broken links on your website. You want to provide relevant and helpful information but having content that leads to 404 pages turns users off from your website. If someone on your website is looking for something and they find a potential answer that leads to an error page, it is a huge let down for the user, which ultimately leads them to another website.
SEO or search engine optimization is crucial if you want to rank higher and be seen more often. Search engines crawl through your website every so often looking for new and updated content and having too many broken links is a big sign of a low-quality website. The broken links can also stop your site from being indexed, which is how Google and other search engines know what is on your website.
Merely removing the links would technically resolve the issue but would not be as beneficial as if you were to replace the link with a more accessible and reputable website. Every link on your website is an up-vote for your website’s rank with Google and the higher your status, the higher you will appear in their search results. So, fixing the issue is just as important as how you correct it because it is more valuable to use quality links over too many links, which will prevent future broken links and also help you provide more relevant content to your users.
Fixing broken links a simple but essential step in the maintenance of your website. Broken links negatively affect your users and how search engines rank your website, which overall lowers the number of people your website is reaching. Replacing broken links with quality and relevant content is a sure fire way to improve the quality of your website.