Deadlinks, what exactly are they?
The Internet is made up of a plethora of links used for content, retrieving images from the server, linking to pages on your own or other website(s). There can be millions of these links on a website. When these fail, it can affect the appearance and functionality of your pages. It can lead to a large number of problems, ranging from a confused visitor to structurally affecting the value of your website and degrading the effect of your total (online) marketing as a whole. And that is of course not so nice.
What are dead links? The answer...
Deadlinks are simply links to resources that no longer exist. This can be images, other pages on your own site or pages from other websites. Every website sometimes has a deadlink, which is not surprising at all. But the intention of a good website maintainer is that he or she performs a check every now and then and provides you with a report to make choices. Simple enough, you would think? True, but many companies don't do this, because it can take quite a bit of time. You can read below why it is important not to let your links die!
The influence of deadlinks on your findability and SEO
Part of search engine optimization is making sure all links behave well. When the links result in a 404 error, this can frustrate the visitor enormously, lead to a bad experience and as icing on the cake, you will be penalized in the search results. Sites like Google value fully functional websites. If you are good for your website users, you also indirectly improve your reputation with Google.
Credibility of the website decreases
Links ensure that you remain credible as a website and author. If the links are broken here and there, you won't have to worry immediately. But the longer and more often this happens, the more unprofessional it is and the worse for your rankings and results. One of the most important factors in upholding your reputation is making sure that the site is working properly. Otherwise, it shows visitors that their experiences don't interest you. If your website has too many 'deadlinks', people can no longer use the site normally and they will not come back.
Deadlinks and conversions
A site that looks professional and clean will have a higher conversion rate than a site with a bad image link or incorrect page URL. This will affect your conversion rates, especially if the links you provide lead to products or services you sell. If someone doesn't have access to those pages, they won't be able to buy anything.
Make your website user happy.
With all the websites available today, people have less faith in sites that seem to have been abandoned. Deadlinks are often a sign that someone has neglected a site for a long time. This creates mistrust among the visitor, who simply proceeds to a competing website that is regularly maintained. A website is an important part of customer retention: prevent them from switching to the competitor and just take good care of your website users.
Finding dead links, what should you pay attention to?
Links do more than just send someone to a new page on the web. They are responsible for retrieving images, data and even maintaining applications.
- Deadlinks to other websites.
- Deadlinks on your own website
- Deadlinks to documents, images and other media files.
Check the deadlinks to other websites
Someone can design their website tomorrow completely different than how you see it now. The website structure can be changed and when that happens deadlinks are created on all sites that link to that page, you trust that the page will stay there forever. Unfortunately, that's not always the case, as people often resize, delete archives, or even completely shut down the site.
Check the deadlinks to internal pages
Linking the pages of your own website together is useful for SEO as well as for visitors. However, a link can be broken if the page is renamed, moved or deleted. Sometimes you may even accidentally misspell the name of the URL, but the website's memory still serves the last remembered link. As a result, you cannot visually see that there is something wrong with the link.
Also check the deadlinks to documents, images and other media at the same time
Many people forget that removing the source of an image (placeholder) from the website can cause a "broken link" icon or indicator to appear where the image used to be. While most browsers display the 'broken link' indication, other browsers are set to simply not display anything. Especially people who use this last form of a browser do not see on the website that something is wrong. An algorithmic check must then be performed.
Finding dead links: it's worth it.
A deadlink can cause so many problems that we as a company already take this into account as standard. All website customers get this special treatment once in a while. If too many deadlinks arise, it has such an impact that we cannot leave this unanswered.
Would you like to have a free check done? Please contact us! If you have time to spare, please let us know about your experience with deadlinks.