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Building Your Own Broken Links Strategy

October 2nd, 2015

Laptop to show a broken link strategy

Learn how to build a strategy to eliminate broken links

 

Where to begin?

It is important to understand exactly what broken links are before you begin the repair process. While you may have encountered them several times in your own experience, broken links can be somewhat of a mystery for marketers.

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Managing Content with a Broken Link Checker Tool

September 16th, 2015

items neatly organized on a desk to show organized content management through broken links


Improving quality assurance and content management with a broken link checker tool.

Previously, we outlined many of the benefits of using a link checker tool. Once you understand all of the detrimental affects broken links can have on your websites’ user experience, it is time to take action.

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Website Design, SEO, Broken Links, What’s the Connection?

September 14th, 2015

There is a lot of weight put on the design of a website and on the SEO, both from a technically optimized standpoint as well as user experience.Connection between website design SEO and broken links

Jon-Mikel Bailey did a great article on this called: “The Design of Your Website Does Affect SEO, No, Really!

One of the great points he made was:

Design, UX (User Experience), and SEO

Design and UX matter more today than ever before when it comes to SEO. Google wants to provide the best listings possible in the SERPs. Basically, they want you to use their service because their results are always the best.

They can no longer rely on keywords and content to gauge the value of a website. Now they’ll also look at these indicators:

  1. Bounce rate– a visitor clicks on your listing in the SERP and then hits the back button returning to the SERP after they see your site/content.
  2. Time on site– if you get past the bounce, then the next indicator is time on site. Literally how much time the user spends on the site once they’ve clicked in from the SERPs.

Your bounce rate and time on site numbers can be improved with design and UX improvements. For example, if you click on a restaurant listing and the site looks like it was done in 1999, do you stay?

If you do stay, but you can’t find a menu or the hours or maybe there are no good images of the location or the food. Do you spend much time there?

User experience is about design and usability. But it’s also about value. What value does this website have for the user? Will they then pass it along to others in social channels, rating sites, or listed in their blog or on their site (backlinks)?

 

While we, at LinkTiger, completely agree with this statement, there is one component often overlooked, which is broken links internally within a website as well as broken links going out to other websites.

The impact of broken links within a site significantly affects the user experience AND it can also hinder the way the search engine spiders crawl through a website.  If a spider hits a broken link, it may assume there is no more content to crawl and it will leave the website.  This can lead to indexing issues and potentially not seeing all of the great content you have put so much effort into creating.

When you encounter indexing issues because a spider can’t crawl your site, this negatively impacts the SEO of your site.  When a user bounces because they are constantly encountering pages that don’t exist, this will increase your bounce rate and reduce time on site…which again negatively impacts the SEO of your site.

There is a solution though!

Broken link checkers can make the task of finding broken links much faster and regular scanning of your site for broken links can help ensure you are not impairing UX or search engine spiders.

So, when evaluating your site for SEO optimization ensure you take all of these ranking factors into consideration and don’t forget to deal with the broken links!

Your Broken Link Problem is Ruining Your Credibility

July 28th, 2015

Increased user experience

Why finding, fixing and maintaining your broken links is critical to user experience

 

Your team has put hours of thought and work into the content you’re presenting on your website. You’ve published detailed infographics, informative blogs and displayed compelling copy for your products. Your users love it and they’re moving through buyer stages as they consume your content. They click here, click there when all of a sudden it happens. They come across a dead link.

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LinkTiger Challenges Companies to be Broken-Link Free

June 8th, 2015

Broken Link Challenge for Big Companies

UPDATED POST – see original post

In 2014 we published a press release challenging S&P 500 companies to be broken link free by 2015. The problem of broken links is a big one on the internet. Most companies aren’t even aware of how big the problem is on their own websites.

Vancouver, BC – June 8, 2015 – LinkTiger is on a mission to bring awareness to some of the big problems that are caused by broken links on corporate websites. We ran another benchmark test but this time we focused on some of the world’s largest technology firms. We found that 15 companies like Cisco, Tech Data and IBM had more than 28,000 broken links on their websites collectively. These broken links can lead to lost customers, lost revenues and a poor corporate reputation and it’s a simple problem to solve with a broken link checker tool like LinkTiger.

“The problem is getting worse every year” said Steve Moskowski, President and CEO of LinkTiger. “This year we have seen sites with more than 8% of their links returning HTTP errors like 404, 403 as well as 301 and 302 errors which can really hurt your SEO performance. As companies invest more into SEO and digital marketing practices, link quality seems to be deteriorating and they should also be investing in a broken link checker online tool that automates the process.

Among those brands with higher than 3% of broken links on their website were Tech Data (8.62%), Cisco Systems (4.85% of their total) with more than 11,000 dead links, respectively.
“The good news in this story is, we provide a broken link checker software solution that is easy to use and quickly becomes a cost effective way to fix this problem. Addressing the issue of link rot is a simple way to drastically improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and your overall customer experience.” Concluded Moskowski.

LinkTiger believes in taking a programmatic approach to link quality assurance in order to improve your end user experience. As the internet continues to grow and evolve, organizations need to ensure they have procedures in place to identify these occurrences of broken links in real-time so you can identify problems before your customers do. Companies who do this can expect an immediate increase in web traffic, customer satisfaction, lead generation and most importantly sales revenues.

About LinkTiger
LinkTiger.com is a broken link checking service that hunts your website for broken links 7 days a week, 365 days a year! When errors occur, our dead link checker will make you the first to know.

What Your Competitors Don’t Want You to Know About Broken Links

April 30th, 2015

Fix a broken link

As digital professionals, we know that over 80% of the connected world will first turn to an on-line search when researching products, services, local events and more.

As brands continue to fight for share of voice in the digital world, each benefits from the edge that SEO provides. This is why building your credibility and establishing a firm position with major search engines is vital. Read the rest of this entry »

Link Building 101: Your Essential Guide to Fixing Broken Links

April 17th, 2015

Fixing broken links

Your website is the digital face of your brand. Your first impression is ever-increasing in importance as buyer behaviour evolves and search becomes the first step in the buying process for many consumers.

This guide explains one simple process that, once completed, will immediately improve your overall customer experience and strengthen the impact of your website. Read the rest of this entry »

Make Your Link Checker Work For You In 2015

February 23rd, 2015

For many small and medium sized business owners, keeping bills as low as possible is a necessity. There is really no way around it, but it is important to know where you can skimp on price and where you can’t. One of the most important and necessary elements for a successful business today is a website. Every business’ website needs to be up to date with regarding best practices in branding, development and search engine optimization

Making sure each one of these important factors are done correctly can have a positive effect on a company’s website. Yet, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for, and is your company’s website an area where you really want to penny pinch?  As a website owner you must realize that everything “free” still has a price. If your website is negatively impacted by the use of free tools, then you aren’t getting much of a value, in fact it could be hurting your website. Let’s be honest, your website is really making your first impression to every client and isn’t an area that can be neglected.

One prime example that we often find is the use of free broken link checker programs. These services are used to find broken links on websites, in HTML, or in the CSS. This is something that can be done manually but can take a long time to complete. Since it becomes such time-consuming task, it often gets pushed down on the priorities list and is forgotten about. Another thing to consider is that the majority of these free services are not designed to handle much more than a basic static website. So, if you use a content management system like WordPress or Drupal, and are creating a lot of new content, (something which you should be doing) there is a good chance that these free link-checking programs will not provide a thorough check or report. This becomes a waste of your time – time that you could have been spending on other efforts to grow your business.

In addition, and depending on what platform your website or blog is running, you will find that many free broken link checker solutions simply don’t work. If it is an on-site “plugin” or “module”, they can use up server resources and slow down your entire site, making them a little counterproductive.

Another concern with free broken link checker options is that they are typically designed to be used manually, and you cannot schedule regular checks. This means that if you don’t actively manage the plug-in or add-on, the site won’t be scanned. This means you will likely miss broken links that would have been caught by other, more reputable, services. Furthermore, these user interfaces can be clunky, technical, and don’t always include options to share the reports amongst team members, not to mention there is little or no support provided. If the check is manual and you forget, no matter how great a “free” broken link checker is, it isn’t helping your website OR your bottom line.

It is much more sensible to choose a low-cost, high-quality service as part of your broken link checking regiment. Every website owner should take advantage of fast scans that run without using your website resources. Since you can schedule them to run daily or weekly you never have to worry about new broken links popping up.

Link Rot vs. The United States Supreme Court

February 11th, 2015

We’ve all clicked on a link, assuming we would be taken to the right page, only to get a big fat, “404 Error” or “Page not found” shoved in our faces. It isn’t just annoying, it’s one of the biggest problems facing the internet at this time. For some it means missing out on that cute pic of kittens or trending video on BuzzFeed, for others it means the inability to pass legislation or research Supreme Court decisions. A 2014 study at Harvard Law School, discovered that 70% of the URLs in the Harvard Law Review and over 50% of the URLs in the United States Supreme Court opinions, don’t even link to the originally cited content. All these instances constitute broken links and are contributing to the general link rot problem plaguing the Internet. Yes, it’s sad that you are missing out on those cute videos, but when this issue is impeding a country’s law-making decisions, actions need to be taken to rectify the problem.

There are many contributing factors to broken links and link rot. Content and webpages can be permanently removed, temporarily moved, and URLs altered (by one character even), for instance. Even the advent of content management systems like WordPress and Drupal only further complicated the issue, as complete websites underwent restructuring and programing. New websites meant new content and in many cases, new URLs. Much of the old content ended up falling by the wayside and with it, the old URLs. This means that the end user can see the old URLs, through web searches or from other resources, but can’t get to it… an infuriating problem when it happens to you.

University scholars and large corporations alike are attempting to address the issue of link rot and broken links, and have come up with several promising solutions – like the creation of Perma.cc, a group of many law libraries that has set out to rid the Internet of link rot. There are several solutions to the problem, such as the implementation of permanent links to content or access to content as is existed in the past, not just as it exists today. This would help to mitigate the problem but content professionals and web developers that actually deal with a website’s content are slow to incorporate these solutions. Ultimately, it means more time that they must spend creating and organizing content.

Until a permanent solution is created and implemented, the responsibility falls to each individual Webmaster and content curator to ensure that their sites are free of broken links. Luckily, one of the most difficult steps in this process, namely identifying broken links and missing content on a website, can be done very easily with automated software. You can schedule daily or weekly scans and be emailed with the results. From there, it is just a matter of addressing your issues. After this is integrated in to your regular routine, it becomes a lot less time-consuming and is one of the most responsible things we can do as webmasters, content curators or web developers. Just as you would not pollute the environment with waste or debris, help to rid the Internet of broken links contributing to link rot.

By: Andrew Gunn

Learn more or sign up today at: LinkTiger.com

A Word About Broken Links, From The Developer…

January 26th, 2015

A word about broken links from the web developer…

As a web developer, one of your most tedious tasks is addressing broken links on the sites you manage and create. It takes time to fix those links, especially if you’re working with a static site and aren’t using a broken link tool to identify them. Fixing problem links is usually something that gets pushed down on your to-do list…way down! Then it becomes a nagging chore that roll your eyes at every time you look at your project management software. Well, if you want to keep your clients happy, and potentially your job, it is in your best interest to bump this issue up a notch or two.

Let’s be honest, broken links on a website are an unsightly sign of neglect. Like the detritus that collects at the bottom of your fish tank, it’s a sign of abandonment. Just as nobody will want to look at your dirty aquarium, nobody will want to spend time browsing your disorganized website. Remember, time is an important factor too! Users who spend more time on your site are consuming more of your content, and are more likely to become clients, customers, etc. Not to mention that time-on-site is a major factor when determining if your content truly is “relevant” from an SEO standpoint. The truth is, if you don’t care enough about your site to fix the broken links, why should anyone else care about it either? On the other hand, if you create an environment for seamless navigation and enhance your users’ experience, they will reward you for it by returning again and again!

There are several technical aspects to fixing broken links, beyond the basic user experience. It becomes very difficult for search engine spiders to find and index your pages without proper organization. Remember, these are the same spiders that are searching for relevant content so your site will show up as an organic search result. Unless your goal is to have fewer visitors, you need to fix your broken links. These spiders will also check for updates to your site. Addressing broken links is technically content revision and will register with the spiders as such.

Addressing broken links is especially important if you manage sites for smaller businesses. Their websites can and must be able to compete with larger companies, who undoubtedly employ people to ensure that their website is up to snuff. The Internet is a wonderful thing, in that it allows people to compete on an equal playing field…theoretically anyway. If you and your clients wish to compete at a higher level, frequent link checks must be incorporated into your routine. Whether it’s a daily or weekly exercise, find a good automated link checker scanner and start using it! It may seem a daunting exercise, especially if you’ve been neglecting it just like your fish tank, but it will prove to be time well spent. It will become easier and easier as time goes on and as you become familiar with the exercise.

I personally haven’t found a better services than Link Tiger’s. For more information or to start scanning for broken links right now, go to www.linktiger.com

Author: Andrew Gunn

(Senior Developer at Adroit Technology)


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