Broken Links are Like Setting Off on a Cross-Country Trip That Starts on a Dead End Street
Designing your website and going “live” is only the beginning of the website owner’s responsibilities. Unless you or someone else maintains your website on a frequent basis, broken links and other issues will go on undetected. This causes issues with unhappy and unimpressed visitors as well as search engines.
Writing fresh, well-optimized content on a consistent basis is important. Promoting your website and blog posts to specific online sources is also a must. Not checking for broken links, however, is one of the most negative things that can happen to your website.
From a visitor’s perspective, clicking on a broken link means that the website owner isn’t paying attention. It means that the information they thought they were going to find no longer exists, causing frustration and disappointment. Chances are, they won’t be back. A well-maintained website builds trust and confidence. Your visitors know that they can go to your website to access the information they want.
From the search engine’s perspective, a broken link ends the robot’s ability to map your website for search engine ranking. Making sure your website doesn’t have broken links is every bit as important as optimizing your website with the appropriate titles, descriptions and keywords.
In preparation for this post, I went to a free broken link checker site and added my URL. Since I am consistently working on my site, I was very surprised to find that I had 4 broken links. If you have a self-hosted WordPress website, you can add a link checker plugin that will notify you when it finds a broken link. I just installed Broken Link Checker, a WordPress plugin, on my site today. No more broken links for me.
There are many things that cause a broken link; many beyond your control. For instance, you may have a link to an event on the local Chamber of Commerce’s website. When the chamber updates that link, you now have a broken link. When you create a featured listing on a blog post, the links you add to that listing will undoubtedly break once the listing has been sold or removed.
Maintaining the links on your website take time and effort. If you don’t have the time, hire someone to do it for you. It’s one of the most important things you can do to ensure higher search engine ranking and visitor satisfaction.