How to Fix Outbound Links on your Website
What are Broken Links?
Broken links are just links that no longer work. These could be links with a destination page that is no longer available, they could be misconfigured or there could be some other kind of technical issue.
Regardless of why the link isn’t working1, the thing to avoid with broken links is a poor user experience. Both search engine spiders and real people follow links and creating a poor user experience can negatively impact SEO.
Links can break for many different reasons. Updates to a website can change the way links are configured. Pages that were linked to in the past may have been taken down or URLs changed and never redirected.
Linking Best Practices
Along with actually working, there are many other best practices to follow with outbound linking.
- Always ensure that links work and lead to working pages
- Scan your site once a month to look for any broken links
- Use obvious web conventions when linking like underlined text or images that are clearly clickable
- Make sure links are relevant to the content they are linked to
Scanning for broken links (especially on larger attorney websites) can be a daunting process. Thankfully there are software programs that do it for you.
One of the easiest to get started with is W3C’s Link Checker. Paste in a URL and the page gets scanned for broken links. It will scan your entire site and spit out a report on what links are busted.
SEM Rush is another great tool for checking broken links. It is a paid solution but lawyers can check 100 pages for free before they commit to anything.
Even though software can make the job of finding broken links a lot faster, there is really no substitute for a person checking all the links.
Try to make time to crawl through your website or have others help you. Click on all links and see where they take you.
Fixing Broken Links
Once you have a list of all the broken links on your site in hand, it is simply a matter of finding where they are on your site and fixing them.
Replace links that lead to non-existent pages with other relevant content or remove the link completely.
Misconfigured links should be fixed so that they work and any links made with methods other than HTML should be changed.
Fixing broken links on your domain (and off your domain2) is a great way to improve usability, authority and eventually ranking for your website in search.
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Tags: broken links
, broken outgoing links
, external links
, onpage seo
, onsite seo