WordPress’ built-in blogging capabilities make it a perfect platform for establishing outbound links that can be used to boost SEO performance. Perhaps this is one of the reasons WordPress continues to be the dominant content management system on the web. Be that as it may, outbound links are only useful as long as they remain operable. Broken links not only do not help but they can also actually hurt.
Below are three reasons you should be checking your site for broken links. If you don’t know how to do it, no worries. Remember that WordPress possesses a lot of functionality by way of plugins. Some of the most used plugins for checking and fixing broken links are:
- WP Broken Link Status Checker (SeedPlugins and Pau Iglesias)
- Broken Link Checker for YouTube (johnh10)
- Link Checker (Marco Beierer)
- Broken Link Checker (Vladimir Prelovac)
- Broken Link Manager (Huseyin Kocak)
As promised, here are the three reasons you should be checking your site:
1. Broken Links Produce Errors
When a website visitor clicks on a broken link, it produces an annoying 404 error. While no physical damage is done to a site by such an error, they can still tarnish the reputation of the site that generates them. Repeated 404 errors indicate to website visitors that you do not put a lot of time and effort into site maintenance. This is not good for your online reputation.
2. Broken Links Waste Time
Users visiting your website are doing so because they are looking for certain information. Let’s say they are browsing your content looking not only for what you have to say but also additional information from other reputable sources. Clicking on a dead link embedded in one of your posts wastes that visitor’s time. That’s not good. Visitors who feel they are wasting their time quickly get frustrated and move on to other sites where they can actually find the information they want.
3. Broken Links Harm Search Engine Performance
One of the ways the major search engines determine the value and relevance of a site is by checking embedded links. Search engine algorithms are looking for outbound links to other sites with content that is relevant to the site being analyzed. In other words, Google would expect a site focused on sports to offer links to other sites offering sporting news, athletic equipment, and sports-related opinion.
Broken links prevent the search engines from establishing relevance. The result is poor performance in search engine results. This leads to less traffic which, in turn, hurts search engine performance even more.
Broken links are not good for any website. As a WordPress user, you have an advantage over the competition thanks to a number of different plugins that will help you find and fix broken links relatively easily. Do not waste the opportunity. Making an effort to find and fix broken links will only do good things for your website and your online reputation.