Have you ever reviewed your website to make sure that it doesn’t have any broken links? An example of a broken link is if a user clicks on a button on your website and they are redirected to an error page instead of where the link was meant to send them. This may not seem like a big deal, but there are two BIG main reasons why you should care.
Customer confidence could be badly affected
A couple of weeks ago I was going through the process of buying a bottle of wine for my sister for her birthday. She lives in Tamborine and I live in Cairns, so I was doing it all on my phone with a local winery in Tamborine. I made a lot of effort to pick the right bottle and went to the cart. When I clicked on ‘Checkout’, I was redirected to a 404 error page. How frustrating! I left that website, and found another winery in the area to begin the process again. Not only that, I mentioned the winery’s name to my sister and told her of my bad experience.
Maybe this winery’s website only had a broken link issue on their mobile device version? Maybe if I had used my desktop instead it would have been fine. Too bad! The issue is that this business has probably lost a lot of sales, customer trust and their brand’s reputation would be badly affected.
Of course, a ‘Checkout’ button is an extreme example of a broken link. But if you have multiple link issues on your website, no matter the purpose of the button, you will frustrate your user which will impact the likelihood that they will purchase something from you. If you never check for broken links, you’ll never know where one might be.
2. Search Engine Ranking
Where your website will be placed in a Google search listing
I’m going to use Google for this example as it is the most popular search engine out there. When Google is analysing your website to give it a ranking, broken links will bring your score down. Most importantly, the way a ‘Google Bot’ scans your website is by moving from page link to page link. So not ideal if they keep getting sent to error pages, right?
There are two kinds of website links – Outbound and Inbound:
Outbound links refer to the url links included in your website that divert a user to a different website.
Inbound links are sending a user to a different page or post within your website.
Why Might You Have Broken Links?
There are a couple of reasons why you may have broken links. One is that your website was never properly screened after it was launched to be sure it had no errors. Another reason is that the website of an outbound link used is not longer live on the web. It may also come down to a page, post or image on your site that has been deleted, but the buttons directing to that location have not been updated. For this reason, it’s a good idea to scan your website for broken links about every 6 months or so.
A few minutes work with potential to significantly improve your website’s quality.
As mentioned, it’s a good idea to check your website for broken links approximately every 6 months to be sure it is still clear. To do this, I recommend heading to: Broken Link Check
At the top of this website, there is a bar when you can paste your website’s URL and then click ‘Find Broken Links’. You will be directed to a page where you must do the following:
- Re-enter your URL
- Enter the Security code shown
- Select ‘Report all occurrences of each dead link’
- Click ‘Find Broken Links Now!’
The checker will scan your entire website for any broken links and within a minute or two, it will provide you with a list of these link issues.
If your website has problems listed, you can click on ‘Page Where Found’ to be given further details on where the problem has been found on your site. You can then log in to your website’s dashboard to fix these link problems, or get in touch with your website developer with the details they need to do it for you.
As you can see, it doesn’t take long to go through this process. One or two minutes! A pretty worthwhile investment to maintain the quality of your most powerful online marketing tool.
If you have any questions on this topic or on anything website related, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.