WordPress Tips: How to Deal with Broken Links
Fixing broken links is one of the important SEO practices that determine the success of your website/blog. Being a serious webmaster, you should make sure that all the links created in the web content work well, redirecting visitors to the page you intended. Too many broken links and dead links on your site will not only interrupt your visitors’ reading experience, but also stop search engines from crawling your site completely. This will potentially lower your site’s ranking on the search results and affect your site’s traffic.
In today’s post, we would like to recommend you some effective tips to deal with broken links on your WordPress blog. These solutions are determined based on our in-depth research on the net and our SEO experience. Hope you’ll find them helpful.
Tip 1: Identify Broken Links on Your Site
There are number of ways you can use to check broken links on your site. Online services like Google Webmaster Tools, Xenu’s Link Sleuth, Integrity (for Mac OSX) and WordPress plugins like Broken Link Checker and Broken Links Remover can be used to scan your site and list out broken links easily.
Tip 2: Remove Broken Links from Your Site
Given the facts that broken links are unfriendly to both your visitors and search engines, the easiest solution would be removing them from your site. Previously we’ve published a tutorial guiding you to find and remove broken links from Google search results by using Google Webmaster Tools. If you are WordPress user, install Broken Link Checker plugin to perform the same job.
Tip 3: Apply 301 Redirect
In many cases, broken link is caused by the landing page that’s no longer there. To solve the problem, you can apply a 301 redirect. This status code means that “a page isn’t here anymore, it has moved to a new location”. It helps to make sure that both visitors and search engines are redirected to the right page instead of presenting an error page or blank page. It’s important to understand the difference between 301 and 302 redirects. A 302 status code says that “This page is temporarily unavailable, but it will be back soon.” So, when the search engine bots crawl the broken link, it will not replace the old URL with the new one.
If you have no idea how to set up a 301 redirect on the web servers like Apache and Microsoft IIS, ask your server administrator for help. As for the WordPress user, plugins like Redirection, Quick Page/Post Redirect plugin and Simple 301 Redirects can be used to specify both redirect type and redirect location, and manage them easily.
Tip 4: Create a Professional Looking 404 Error Page
In case your website has broken internal links, then an informative 404 error page will be useful for telling your visitors about what happened, helping them to find what they’re looking for. Better yet, you can provide a search engine allowing your visitors to find other related pages on your site. It’s not advisable to show your visitors a boring and blank page which will cause them leaving your site immediately.