066: How to find and fix broken links on your website

One of the ways you can improve the user-experience and ranking of your site is by fixing broken links. In this blog, I will share what are broken links, why they are bad for your website/business, how to find them and how to fix them.

How to find and fix broken links on your website?

What are broken links and how do they happen?

Broken links are links on your website that lead to a ‘404 error’ page or do a ‘page not found’ page. Essentially, that means when someone click on a link it leads to a dead end. That’s why they are also called “dead links”. There are several “innocent” reasons for broken links:

1. It may be that there was simply a typo and a link was typed in incorrectly.
2. It may be that the external website that was linked to, is not longer active.
3. A program or an event that your organization once hosted, is not in offer anymore.
4. It may be that a domain name is no longer in use or was changed.

In fact, there’s been research done that leads to the conclusion that about every seven years, your website is prone to lose 25% of its links. This is called a “link rot” and there’s a natural tendency of sites to do this according to Maciej Cegłowski.

Types of Broken Link Error Codes:

400 Bad Request
401 Unauthorized
403 Forbidden
404 Not Found

fix broken links

Why are broken links so bad?

There are two reasons why broken links are not so good for your website.

1. Broken links hurt your SEO rankings.
Your website ranks higher in search engine results such as Google or Bing when it’s considered to a healthy, value-giving website. One of the factors that contribute to your search ranking is whether all links lead to where they promise to lead you. When you click on a link and it goes to an error page, you hurt your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and that’s clearly not a good thing for your website.

2. Broken links give a poor user-experience to your site visitor.
Another way broken links hurt your website is by giving a poor user-experience to your site visitors. If someone looking for something on your site clicks a link that yields nothing a broken link, it not only affects how professional your site is perceived by the visitor but it ultimately wastes their time and they may immediately jump off your site. Thankfully, this is something you can fix either by investing your own time or hiring a professional to fix. (Hint Hint: You can hire me by the hour to clean up the broken links on your site).

What can you do to fix broken links?

The way to fix broken links is to find them and correct them periodically. You can use free or paid tools. Here are some free tools to get you started:

1. Dead Link Checker: https://www.deadlinkchecker.com
2. Broken Link Finder: https://brokenlinkfinder.com/
3. Dr. Link Check: https://www.drlinkcheck.com
4. Broken Link Check: https://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/

I recommend using all four of these (free) tools. Last week, I used one of them and cleaned up all my broken links. I came back to write the blog and plugged in my domain name into the remaining three and still found some new broken links.

So I hope that this article is helpful to you and you will go and test out your website for broken links. I’d love to know about your experience so chime in the comments if you found any of the above links helpful.

Get Your Broken Links Fixed!

A healthy website means that the links across your site are alive and well. If you have broken links on your site, it’s hurting both your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) affecting how your site shows up in search engine results as well as causing a poor user-experience. In this service, I offer to find broken links on your site using several broken link checking apps, create a report which we go through together via a video screenshare and then I go ahead and implement the correct changes.  

Hello! Glad to Meet You!

Squarespace Authorized Trainer

I am Sophia - the person behind this website. My intention is to provide useful content that helps solopreneurs, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations to build trust with their audience, grow the number of beloved fans as well as happy clients. I'm a Squarespace Authorized Trainer and a Certified ConvertKit Expert.

I love helping people through producing my weekly video tutorials and blogs, live workshops and online courses. Also, I work directly with clients in all aspects of content and email marketing strategy + implementation as well as designing high-converting Squarespace websites.  Let me know in the comments if you've got a question and I'd be happy to help.