Broken website links can cause a severe loss of traffic to your site.
You can do all the SEO in the world and easily fall right out of the search engine charts due to broken internal or external links on your site.
Understand that different sites which you have linked to or sites that link to you can sometimes move without using proper redirects. Most of the time the links go down because the website owner no longer maintains the site or just doesn’t re-purchase the domain. Either way…this can cause a broken link on your end.
If your site contains broken links you are basically doing two very bad things.
(A) You’re telling your visitors that you don’t care about your site or their ability to navigate it. Thus, they probably won’t come back after the first visit.
and more importantly:
(B) The major search engines will gradually move your site and pages lower on the rankings or de-list your site all together causing a massive loss of organic traffic.
Needless to say, it’s a good idea to regularly check for broken links on your website and blog.
I do this with a few different free programs.
Download Xenu’s Link Sleuth. A free software developed by a very smart man in Germany named Tilman Huasherr. Works great for static websites but seems to timeout when checking blog links. I’m sure there is a work around for the blog links timing out. I probably just haven’t found it yet. It’s truly an awesome tool.
In addition, I use the free version of Web CEO. You can download it at this link. It does a wonderful job of identifying broken links and errors on your website not to mention the added help with other SEO techniques. Once you’ve downloaded it just click on the icon to bring up the Quick Launch Panel. Next you’ll enter your site where it says “add new site.” Once your site is added you can click on “control site quality” under the heading “Maintain Your Site.”
Finally….for my blog, I use Broken Link Checker by Janis Elsts. This plugin is absolutely a must for a WordPress blog. All you have to do is click on the plugin in settings once it’s downloaded and it will find and list any broken links in your site. It also gives you the opportunity to de-link or fix the links on the spot saving you a lot of time and aggravation from trying to find the broken links on your own.
The above free tools should give you an arsenal of great weapons to help you track down and repair broken links on your site.
To sum things up…..broken website links will cost you a loss of visitors and in the long run they will cost you a lot money if left undone. Don’t wait around….find them and fix them.