Nobody likes broken links, neither ordinary users nor website owners. Broken links are, of course, those links leading to pages that no longer exist or have been removed with the web.
Pretty much anyone and everyone knows the frustration of clicking on one, and suddenly being presented with a ‘404 error’ or ‘Nothing here!’ page. Broken links aren’t only bad for the user experience, as they also do little for your brand’s online reputation and lower your search engine optimisation (SEO) potential. In short, they’re menaces that you need to keep on top of.
Well, here are a few ways to find and fix those menaces on a WordPress site, like those that our own SEO marketing agency builds.
1. Fix broken links manually
Yes, this is definitely the more time-consuming way to identify and root out broken links on your WordPress site… but it’s worth being aware of, anyway.
Basically, you use the Check My Links extension in Google Chrome to run a scan on whatever page of your site you wish to check for broken links. Links will be labelled as either green, meaning they are working, or red, which indicates they aren’t.
Then, you simply need to enter the editor for the given page and correct whatever broken links the extension has picked up.
But as we’ve touched on already, this is hardly the most efficient or effortless process. Having to manually click around your site and check pages can consume a lot of time – literally hours if you have hundreds of indexed pages.
Plus, given that there are always previously functional links becoming broken across the web, it’s not even a permanent remedy. So, let’s look next at how you can automate the process.
2. Automate broken link detection
One of the great things about having a WordPress website, of course, is that it enables you to use WordPress plugins, and there seem to be plugins for almost everything these days.
That’s certainly the case with broken links, too. Install Broken Link Checker, for example, and it’ll work straight out of the box, without you even having to do anything else.
Even better news is that it provides you with a single, centralised dashboard listing the broken links across your entire site.
Oh, and you can also set up the plugin to keep checking your site’s links at a certain time interval, such as every 72 hours, thereby helping you to tackle the above problem of links becoming continually freshly broken.
The only problem is that this plugin hasn’t been updated in 2 years, so you take a risk installing on the latest release (5.1) of WordPress.
3. Outsource broken link detection
It’s a simple repair process with potentially massive rewards. The only problem is staying on top of it on a regular basis.
As a leading SEO marketing agency here at PENNInk Productions, we can provide the complete package with regard to site design, search engine optimisation and ongoing maintenance.
The repair of broken links is just one of the many potential issues our team can assist you with on an ongoing basis. In the process, we can empower you to markedly enhance the user experience and search engine rankings that your site delivers.
So, why not contact us today to discuss how we can play our part in bolstering your brand’s online presence throughout 2019?
Edward Solomon has over 15 years’ experience in project management, technical education, computer networking, web design and development and is a Digital Business Consultant for PENNInk Productions Ltd.