You just nailed your most informative, yet witty blog of your life. You got your natural keywords down to a science. Your meta-description has just the right number of characters and it’s tailored to your perfect target audience. Great. And your SEO title has a nice little dash and just enough information to entice your readers to click.
But wait. Didn’t you reference articles you read some time ago? Or maybe you migrated your pages to another address?
If you have internal and external links leading in and out of that web, the spiders need to know how to get through it. And if you have a broken link, you will get a 404 error. A dead end page. And that’s not good. If a user sees a broken link, you appear unprofessional and people will drop-off the page, which lowers your click-through rate. Not too mention that people want information super fast these days. They don’t want to check your links for you. So at one glance of a broken link, your user will likely bounce right back out of there. And bounce rates hurt your reputation, which can send you down the food chain in favored sites.
Now, you could manually go through all of your pages and click link by link by link. Or you could save yourself time and energy with a link checking tool. Link checking tools will help you find those pages so you can get them fixed faster. And save your reputation. That means you get to stay at the top of Google search engine results.
SEO Link-Checking Tools
LinkTiger is a sophisticated broken link checking tool that crawls through the web to hunt down broken website links and catch them for you. LinkTiger focuses expertly on broken links with their automated tool. Once you set it up, you can focus on other things while the tool searches for you. Once they find a dead link, you will be sure to be notified.
If you switch between computers and workstations like me, you will probably love that LinkTiger is a cloud-based software. There is no need to download anything. No software installation is required. Just log into your account and start sweeping through those broken links before your customers see them.
You can choose the plan that fits your budget and needs. If you are casual blogger or a small start-up, you can start with the personal $10 plan. LinkTiger will scan 1 domain for you weekly and find up to 1000 links for you. As your company grows, you can scale up your plan. When you reach unicorn status, you can upgrade all the way up to the enterprise plan. LinkTiger will check up to 100 domains daily for unlimited users on your team and find up to 100,000 links.
- • Will check up to 250,000 links a day (depending upon plan)
- • Up to 100 domains
- • Up to 50 users can you one account
- • Can scan secure sites
- • Can check for 404s,302s, 301s and other http errors.
Check out their power:
Screaming Frog is one of the most popular SEO tools on the market. You can download their basic SEO Spider Tool for FREE on your PC, Mac, or Linux almost instantly, which is great as long as you do not switch between computers often. The tool crawls through your entire website and scans for both onpage and offpage issues including; web page links, CSS, images, scripts, h1 and h2 tags, http status codes; you name it. It goes through just about everything that you may need to understand about your performance.
Once you set up the tool, you will have to manually run it every time you need a report. So make sure that you put in in your calendar to scan your site.
The tool generates a spreadsheet with a list of pages they checked. If it says ok, you are good to go. For the case of broken links, you will want to click on the URL tab and scan for 404 errors and 301 redirects. If you see an error message, you know what to do.
Personally, I am not a fan of the bland black and white list format with no aesthetic appeal to the report. It feels as if it was made specifically for techies and SEO experts, so I am not sure that this tool is the best tool for a casual user. The report might look a little overwhelming for the novice. But if you are a career SEO manager, it will get your job done.
I can jump on the canonical URL’s and pages that have run wild with Screaming Frog. But I still prefer automated systems. Because frankly, I don’t want to have to remember to check my site all the time.
Whoa! Deep Crawl is expensive! Plans start at $758 a year and go up to nearly $10,000 a year. But if you have hit the big time and money is not an issue for you, the tool can help you superpower your website.
Deep Crawl is a comprehensive on-page site checker that syncs with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and any of your devices so you can check your site wherever their is a need.
They have a pretty cool service specifically for link checking. If you keep a comprehensive list of URL’s and backlinks, you can upload a CSV file. Or you can just scan your whole site and look for surprises.
Either way, Deep Crawl has an easy to understand visual dashboard. You will see your errors highlighted– a great feature for tired eyes accustomed to looking at coding all day. Moreover, they provide bar graphs and an interactive pie chart so you can keep track of your results for reporting purposes.
Bottom line: It all depends on your needs and your budget. As a writer, I really prefer something that helps me with my online reputation. So that means that I need to stay on top of internal links and backlinks on top of the integrity of site. If I see a source that I need to fix, block, or change; I tackle it myself. Anything else, I send to the tech team. Moreover, writers are not known for their wealth. So I go with the most cost-effective, yet efficient tool I can find. But it’s up to you.