Your Site's Monthly Checkup: Broken Links

Broken plate
Christine Germeroth
Christine Germeroth

Imagine you spot a taco restaurant across the street, and you start to really crave tacos. When you cross the street, you realize the restaurant is closed. Now you’re sad, hungry, and don’t have any tacos. 

This isn’t too different from the way your site visitors will feel when they click on a link and it leads to a dead end. Broken links are bad for user experience. They can also negatively affect your SEO and bump your site down in search rankings.  

So, let’s fix them!

There are a number of tools that scan your site and check for broken links. Try Broken Link Checker or Atomseo. If you have a WordPress site, there’s a Broken Link Checker plugin. For Drupal sites, check out the Link Checker module.

Fire up one of these tools and go get some coffee while it peruses your site. When you get back, marvel at all the work you have to do. You may want to create a handy spreadsheet to keep track as you work. 

  • If the link was directed to an internal page - whoops! - someone forgot to create a redirect. Creating a redirect is simple and painless. If you don’t know how, your content management system should have some documentation that walks you through the process, or you can ask your friendly neighborhood developer. 
  • If the link was outbound, not necessary for the content, and not a citation, you can remove it. 
  • If the link was outbound and is still necessary, try searching the host website to see if it was moved elsewhere.   

This may be time consuming, but well worth it. Give your site visitors a better experience, and maybe some tacos too. 

This is the first post in our series “Your Site’s Monthly Checkup.” Subscribe to our newsletter to get simple how-to guides like this one every month.

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