Remember the last time you clicked on a link and were given a ‘This page cannot be found’ or ‘404 Page Not Found’ message? How did you feel? What did you think about the brand?
Like most people, you probably felt frustrated, gave up looking on that website, and/ or looked at a different website. It may have affected the way you thought about the brand and how much you trust them. You may have thought the company doesn’t pay enough attention to detail and doesn’t care to properly check their website.
Broken links (otherwise known as ‘dead links’ or ‘404 errors’) may not seem like a huge problem, but when you consider their impact, they need to be taken seriously in your digital marketing, user experience (UX) design, and website quality assurance. Broken links frustrate and drive away users, ultimately tarnishing your brand and causing you to lose revenue. Broken links also negatively affect your SEO, search rankings, and Quality Score.
To reduce the possiblity of having these links lurking around your site, you should schedule consistent checks to detect faulty links and test existing ones. There are various free broken link checkers you can use to test individual links, but that's about all they do. To actually address the issue at hand, you would have to go through the pages of your site to fix each and every link mannually. If you have a small site, this may not seem so bad; but for bigger sites, the thought of repairing broken links individually is enough to make you shriek.
It is possible to eliminate broken links in a painless and stress-free manner. Web Governance platforms like Monsido makes it easier to clean up your site by automating the locating of broken links as well as the managing and prioritising fixing those links. If you want to improve your Google rankings, UX, and brand image, take broken links seriously.