Do broken links matter?

The Damage of Broken Links

broken linksWhen it comes to your web presence, every single little detail counts. That is why our team at Nolen Walker works so hard to ensure our clients have a flawless online presence. Part of ensuring your website is operating properly is to rid your website of any broken links. If you have ever wondered, do broken links really matter? The answer is yes, they matter for your SEO, your reputation and your conversion rate.

What are broken links?

404 errorSo what are broken links? They are simply links that do not take somewhere to the page they intended to visit. Instead, the user will be sent to a webpage called a “404 error.” This error page will usually say something about how the page is no longer available (often involving something humorous). But the moral of the story: The user is left on an error page instead of the page of content they were looking for.

What causes broken links?

The basis of broken links is oversight. Often when someone is managing their own website and running their own business, they simply do not have the time to keep up with their website and broken links eventually will happen over time. A broken link can occur for any of the following reasons:

  • A page on your website was moved, but the internal links were not changed
  • A page on your website was renamed, but the internal links were not changed
  • Your site has links to content that is no longer up (photos, videos, etc)
  • Your site has links to third party pages that are no longer up, have moved or have changed their URL

What damage does this do?

Broken links will damage your web presence in a few different ways. First, they damage your user experience. When someone reaches a 404 error page instead of the content they wanted to read, they will likely leave your site and pick a competitor’s link instead. People do not have patience online and they want to visit sites that function smoothly.

Broken links will also damage your SEO. When people click on a link and reach an error page they will quickly leave that page. That gives you a faster bounce rate, which is a bad thing in the eyes of Google. They want to see that users reach your site and linger. Broken links will also stop search engine crawlers (the bots that index websites) in their tracks, causing your site to be improperly indexed.

Finally, broken links hurt your conversion. When a person leaves your site or is frustrated by their online experience with your company, you will likely lose that lead. And for any business owner, every lead counts.

How can I fix broken links?

If you do have broken links, or perhaps you are simply uncertain if your website has broken links, there is hope. Broken links simply need to be redirected or links to content that no longer exists should be removed.

Ultimately the best fix for broken links is to never have them occur. When you have a team like ours manage your web presence you will have people watching over your site to ensure it is always running smoothly. We help all of our clients identify, fix and prevent broken links. Talk to us today about cleaning up your web presence.