Do broken links matter?

The Damage of Broken Links

broken glassIn order for your online marketing campaign to be successful, you must pay attention to every single detail of your web presence. Often when a website is neglected the amount of broken links on that site will increase. Will broken links really damage your web presence? The answer is yes. They will damage your SEO, your online reputation and ultimately your lead conversion.

What are broken links?

404 error pageBroken links are links that no longer take a user to the intended page. Instead, the user will reach a page with a “404 error.” So for example, if someone clicks on a link about a specific service you offer, but that link is broken, they will reach a 404 error instead of your service page.

What causes broken links?

Broken links happen due to oversight. When your website is left stagnant for a while, or things are moved around without the proper attention to detail necessary, you will wind up with broken links. The following are all reasons broken links can occur:

  • A web page is moved, but internal links are not changed
  • A web page is renamed, but internal links are not changed
  • Links are left up to content that no longer exists (videos, photos, etc.)
  • Links are left up to third party pages that have moved, been renamed or taken down

What damage does this do?

When someone tries to visit a page on your website, but they reach an error page instead, a few things happen. First off, this damages the user experience. They will not be able to read the content they were interested in and very likely will turn to a competitor’s page instead.

It will also damage your SEO because it will cause you to have a high bounce rate (i.e. people will leave your pages quickly since they are reaching an error). Google watches bounce rates and will rank you lower if they feel users are not lingering on your site. It also will stop search engine crawlers (the bots that index your website) in their tracks. This will cause your site to be improperly indexed.

And finally, it will ruin your lead conversion. When someone has a bad experience trying to reach information on your site, you will very likely lose that lead.

How can I fix broken links?

Broken links should be redirected or simply removed if the content is no longer available. When we set up a client’s web presence we search for any broken links and ensure they are all fixed. We clean up your website and then we continue to watch it constantly to ensure links do not break down the road.

Talk to us today about finding broken links on your website, fixing these links and preventing it from happening in the future.