In an earlier blog post, we explained why it is essential that you scour your website for broken internal links to fix. What we didn’t address in the same detail, though, is how to do that finding and fixing. That’s why we’ve since prepared this follow-up article.
To put a long story short, if an internal link doesn’t lead the user to where it is supposed to, there can be worrying implications for your website’s SEO profile. So, how can you protect it from damage?
What’s wrong with just checking individual webpages manually?
In theory, there’s nothing technically wrong with it — especially if your website comprises, say, just five webpages. If this is indeed the case, it might not take you too much time to just click each of the website’s internal links to ascertain whether they work as they should.
However, checking manually in this way can still be tedious, not to mention a drain on your time. In fact, if the website comprises thousands of pages, the time aspect could render this particular approach far too impractical.
Are there online tools you can use to scan a website for broken internal links?
Yes — and three of those tools come from Google. For a start, if you use the search giant’s Chrome browser to view a webpage, you can right-click on it before selecting ‘Inspect’ on the subsequently appearing dropdown menu.
This Inspection feature and Google Search Console are good for identifying 404 errors that have arisen due to broken internal links. Meanwhile, Google Analytics can track 404 error responses automatically for the user to view.
We at Webahead Internet would be happy to hand you a WordPress-based content management system (CMS) where plugins and modules can also be used for identifying dubious links.
If you do find a broken internal link, what should you do about it?
Has your website been given an overhaul recently? In the process, the site’s structure might have been rejigged, potentially leaving some of its pages with different URLs to before.
If this has actually happened, you could utilise 301 redirects so that people who hit these links are, in each case, automatically sent to the new URL.
It’s also a good idea to implement 301 redirects if you have removed a page but a similar one has essentially replaced it. For example, a link pointing to a long-gone ‘Our History’ page can be pivoted in the direction of a newer ‘About Us’ page if this displays a timeline of the company’s development.
What if you come across an internal link that is only broken because of a mistyped URL? In that case, you could just correct this URL before testing the link to confirm that it now functions properly.
Need further advice on how to handle broken internal links?
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