DJ SEO Tip: Learn To Make Broken Links A Positive

March 1, 2019 by Matthew Campbell

What is a broken link?  A broken link is a link on your website to a page within your website or to a page on another website that does not exist.  It is important to find bad links because Google will have less trust in your website.  If Google has less trust, then this will result in lower search rankings.

How do you find broken links?

The first task is to find what broken links exist on your website – both internal and external.  If your website is built with the WordPress framework, a popular plugin is Broken Link Checker.  However, for larger websites, the plugin can be taxing on the server.

Another link checker is my favorite option: Screaming Frog Software.  The tool is free for websites less than 500 pages.  If your website has more than 500 pages, the annual fee is $99 EUR.  Screaming Frog will provide all the pages with bad links to pages within your website and also linking to pages that do not exist on other websites.

Lastly, to stay on track with new broken links, also known as 404 errors, you can find them in your Google Search Console account.  Check the errors in the coverage setting as seen below:

404 Google Search Console

Check 404 errors in Google Search Console

How do you fix broken links?

For links that lead to external websites, simply find a new authoritative website on the same topic and update the link.  You may also choose to simply remove the link.  Remember that Google likes to see links to authoritative websites when linking to other websites.

But what if you are linking to a page within your own website that no longer exists?  My favorite WordPress plugin for redirecting from one URL to another URL is Redirection.  Redirection is an easy to use tool too for when you want to optimize and update a URL to include your page’s focus keywords from what was originally generated.

Another consideration is every website has an error page not found – aka 404 page.  A 404 page is a great chance to showcase your brand image.  Do you really want a 404 page that simply says “Page Not Found”?  That is like telling a wedding couple “Sorry, I don’t have that song”.

Pixar did a great job showcasing their brand image on their 404 page…

Pixar 404 page

Pixar 404 page

When building your 404 page, one disadvantage of the Pixar 404 page is that you only have the main menu at the top.  The user experience if you are lost is poor.  AirBnB has a great image but at lease they do give you a few common links.  However, the user experience is still not ideal.

AirBnB 404 page

AirBnB 404 page

Here is another 404 page by My Wedding Songs.  They feature a funny image but also give users the opportunity to see blog categories and the option to convert a newsletter signup.

My Wedding Songs 404 page

My Wedding Songs 404 page

What about pages you don’t want people to find?

Lastly, if you have pages you don’t want people to find, I would suggest to “noindex” the page.  What pages would you include in noindexing?  Consider noindexing thank you pages, private access pages, and pages with very little content.  You can easily noindex pages with the WordPress plugin Yoast SEO.

In conclusion, here is a checklist regarding website broken links:

  1. Fix broken links to pages within your website.
  2. Fix broken links to external websites.
  3. Create a 404 page with a great user experience.
  4. Noindex pages you want Google and visitors to not find.

Filed Under: Mobile DJ Business, Mobile DJ Sales & Marketing