In today’s business world, it is more important than ever to have a website that is up-to-date and functions well. Not only do potential customers expect to be able to find you online, but they also expect your website to be informative and user-friendly. One often overlooked aspect of keeping a website current is regularly checking for outdated content, including broken links. Although it may seem like a small detail, broken links can actually have a negative impact on your business’s search engine optimization (SEO).
When people visit your website, they may come across links to content that no longer exists. Broken links result in frustration, which adds up to a poor user experience. When this occurs, most people simply exit your website, which increases your bounce rate and decreases your SEO ranking, brand reputation, and conversion rates. Such seemingly small issues can ultimately hurt your business.
How a business shows up on search engine results pages matters. When searching on Google, most people won’t scroll past the first two or three pages of results. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important. Done right, when people search certain keywords, they will find your business website at the top of the list. More people will see your brand, and learn about your business and what you bring to the table.
Having a broken link on your website is a factor that Google takes into consideration when determining how your business comes up when people search your keywords. When fewer people discover your website through an online search, you lose out on that form of marketing.
Broken Links give the impression that your website is outdated.
Your brand’s reputation is what the public thinks of your products or services. If someone has a poor experience, it dampens your reputation as a business. It’s important that the public is impressed with their experience pertaining to your business online and off, because of course, your followers will talk about it to their friends and family.
Having broken links makes your website less user-friendly. If people are frustrated when they are on your website, it’s more likely that they’ll click out, and they won’t get the information they were seeking from you. Taking a step back, they may not even be brought to your website if Google detects old content with broken links. (Google’s crawler looks for content changes when indexing the internet.) Thus, when users search for what you are offering, they won’t even see your website on the top page results.
How Conversion Rates Are Affected by Broken Links
Conversion rates are how we gauge the percentage of users that take action on a website. For example, this includes clicking on a call-to-action such as making a purchase or requesting an appointment. This is is how your business makes revenue. If broken links ultimately cause visitors to exit your site, you’ve lost sales.
Bounce rate is another big consideration. The bounce rate measures how much time someone stays on your website. When people are visiting your site, they expect a trouble-free, intuitive experience. If they come to an issue or roadblock, they will most likely exit your website pretty quickly. When users leave too quickly, they don’t absorb your content, and you are losing out on potential business.
So how do we resolve broken links? If you have dead links, look for spelling errors and 404 error pages. It’s important to make it a regular practice to proofread all content on your site – even old content – to make sure it’s still relevant. Test your links and review page names. Also consider using a 3rd party tool, such as SEM Rush. If there is a 404 error page coming up, we can set up a 301 redirect to redirect users to a new page.
Is it time to freshen up your website content overall? Reach out to Karen Etchells at Innovast Digital Marketing for a free discovery call.