How Can I Find and Fix Broken Links On My Website?

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), links are an important technique that guide users from one piece of content to another. However, broken links can frustrate your audience and damage your website’s search engine rankings. In this blog, we’ll explore how you can effectively find and fix broken links on your website.

How Do Broken Links Affect SEO?

Broken links are hyperlinks that no longer lead to the intended destination or target website. When a user clicks on a broken link, they are directed to a webpage that either does not exist or has been removed- marked by a “404 error code.” Broken links can have a significant impact on your website’s SEO efforts. When a user encounters a broken link on your site, it disrupts their browsing and can lead to a negative user experience. They may now perceive your website as unreliable or outdated, which can result in increased bounce rates and decreased user engagement. Search engines like Google prioritize user experience as a ranking factor. This means that websites with a high number of broken links can be penalized in search rankings.

Additionally, search engines rely on links to navigate and index websites. When the algorithm encounters a broken link, it acts as a dead end that can prevent the ability to access the linked content and other pages on your website. This can lead to lower visibility and rankings as well. If your website contains broken outbound links, it reflects poorly on the quality and credibility of your content.

How Can I Use Google Search Console to Find Broken Links?

Now that you know how broken links can detrimentally affect various aspects of your SEO performance, it’s important to understand how to fix this issue. Several online tools are specifically designed to identify broken links on your website. Google Search Console (GSC) is a great resource to find and fix broken links. To start, be sure your website is verified within GSC. From there, you’ll be able to access the tools and reports that help you measure your site’s performance and fix any indexing issues. On the lefthand side, in the section titled “indexing,” navigate to the pages tab. From here, you can analyze which pages are not indexed in Google due to a 404 error. These errors indicate pages that Google attempted to crawl but were unable to access because the links no longer exist.

Once you’ve identified the broken links, take action to fix them. Depending on the cause, you may need to update the internal link, redirect URLs, or remove outdated outbound links. After making the necessary changes to fix broken links on your site, use the “validate fix” option in Google Search Console to request a re-crawl of the affected URLs. This helps ensure that the errors have been resolved and the corrected pages are properly indexed.

How Can I Use Screaming Frog to Find Broken Links?

Alternatively, Screaming Frog is another popular desktop tool that can help you find and fix broken links efficiently. To start, download and install the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool from the website. Open the tool and enter the URL of your website in the input field. Click start to initiate the crawling process. Once the crawl is complete, navigate to the tab titled “Response Codes” and filter by status code. This will allow you to look for URLs with codes like “404 Not Found,” which indicates broken links.

Screaming Frog provides information that can help you pinpoint the source of the broken link and determine the appropriate action to take. Once you’ve identified he broken links, be sure to update, redirect, or remove them. After fixing the issues, re-crawl your website to ensure the errors have been resolved. This will help verify that all broken links have been addressed and your website is now free from 404-errors.

Get Your Website Audited and Optimized with Boston Web Marketing

Finding and fixing broken links on your site is essential. By using tools like Google Search Console and Screaming Frog to regularly audit your website for broken links, you can maintain a functional site while enhancing user experience and overall SEO performance. If you’re looking for a professional team to audit your website and manage SEO strategy, contact Boston Web Marketing! Our digital marketing specialists have extensive experience with Google’s algorithms and can help increase your website traffic. Contact us today at 857-526-0096, or explore our services to see how we can help grow your business!

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