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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.

A broken link or “dead link” occurs for many reasons, but most often when the destination of a URL no longer exists. The path often leads to 404 errors, causing you several serious problems.

Once you’re familiar with broken links, you can start the identification process. Finding broken links across the web can be extremely challenging, especially if you have a large site with many pages. With a small site, manually searching frequently might be achievable, but for corporate websites this can be close to impossible. With a link checker tool, you’re able to locate all of these links in seconds, cutting out hours (or days) of manual mining.

Streamlining the Process

Making this process part of your content strategy is essential. Once you’ve located your broken links, you can fix them in a number of ways.

Correct the Error

As long as the broken link is found on your website, you should be able to correct the error. This is often a quick fix, but it is important to note that it does not completely solve your 404 error. Correcting the link only shuts down that single access to the 404 error, if the broken link exists externally you will need to find and fix it there as well.

Redirect the link

To solve the arduous process of manually mining external sites and correcting every error in a URL, a common best practise is to include a link re-direct. Re-directing links is one of the only ways to permanently repair 404 errors. If this seems overwhelming, don’t worry – we’ve got your back, connect with one of our experts now.

Remove or Replace the link

Sometimes 404 errors aren’t entirely misleading. If the page your site is linking to really doesn’t exist, which is common if a product or offer expires, you may want to consider completely removing or replacing the link. Just be sure if you’re removing a link that is no longer relevant that you also remove any corresponding outdated content.

Leave No Broken Links Behind

Offering the best user experience for your visitors means maintaining a standard of service they can rely on. Many experts recommend a best practise of running your link checking process on a monthly or quarterly basis. We believe your visitors are worth more to you than that. We’ve made it easy for you to automate this entire process, so that you can be improving your visitor experience daily.

A broken link checker tool like LinkTiger runs in the background and notifies you whenever a link breaks or moves. When the pressure is off to remember to run this process periodically, you are able to reclaim hours, days and most importantly, your sanity.

Removing broken links isn’t the most exciting task, but when done right can be among the most rewarding. We’ve all been there when we’re unable to access the information we’re after. If you can save your visitors from this same fate, you will realize the benefits right away.

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