Building and maintaining a website isn’t half as fun as buying a car. Buying a new car is one of life’s great pleasures and there are few things as satisfying as walking into a car showroom ready to pick out the latest model.
I know you’re here to learn about fixing broken website links, but bear with me. Have a think about this scenario.
Imagine that you get to a car dealership and the door doesn’t open properly and the flustered salesperson has to help you enter. You then ask to see a brochure of the company’s full range, but he can’t quite put his hand on one. Still, you need a new car, and you’ve spotted a nice one.
How many miles per gallon does the car get?
He’s not sure.
What about the engine size? And the sat nav?
You’ll have to find the answers yourself because he doesn’t know that either.
It’s not a good start for the company, is it? If you’re like me, you’ll be off to try out their competitors. Make no mistake, the same rules apply to your website. Your website is often the first experience that a potential customer has of your business and a poor first impression can be all it takes to lose a sale. Of course, there are many factors to consider when building and maintaining a website, but I’d like to take you through one of the main culprits of poor user experience – broken links.
What is a broken website link?
A broken link is just that. A hyperlink on your website that doesn’t work as you intended. The reasons can be varied and part of my service is to figure that out for you. A broken link can be anything from a simple typo to a server issue. It could be that the page you’ve linked to has been removed or that a website has been restructured and the webpage isn’t in the same place as it was.
How do broken links cause a poor user experience?
Think about the car showroom scenario again. It’s frustrating when you want an answer from a business and the information isn’t forthcoming. It also sours the whole experience right at the point that you’re trying to win over a client or customer. I’ve seen enough broken links in my time to spot the ways that they can negatively impact your website.
Poor navigation – This is the most simple and most obvious side effect of broken links. It spoils the flow of your website.
You’re unreliable – It’s a valid conclusion to jump to. If you can’t keep your website functioning properly why would we trust your products or services? That leads nicely to the next point.
Reputation – You really don’t want to get a reputation for being unprofessional. Depending on your business this could also raise issues of trust.
The broken link is important – What if the broken link was crucial to making a sale? The link that the potential customer wants to access could be explaining about your warranty period or another important legal issue.
Your website is out of date – When your competitors are updating their websites regularly you don’t want to try and win over customers with a website that looks unprofessional and outdated.
If that wasn’t enough incentive to monitor and fix broken links – internal and external – there’s another massive issue to consider.
How do broken links impact a website’s SEO?
When you’re creating a website you’re designing it as much for search engines as you are for humans. Good Search Engine Optimisation is essential for your website’s success and broken links are a real negative. Google will penalise your website if you have broken url’s. Here are some of the reasons why website maintenance and link repair is crucial to your SEO strategy.
Google Ranking – Too many broken links are seen as a negative.
Out-of-Date Information – Search engines love the latest news. Broken links signal that you haven’t updated your site.
Crawlability – Search engines use bots to analyse your website and broken URLs disrupt this indexing.
Analytics – Again, a website that doesn’t work as it should doesn’t always report well.
Can I fix my broken links?
That’s what I’m here for.
I have more than a decade of experience working with companies on their marketing and a great user experience is central to my strategy. I’m here – with the latest tools – to analyse and fix your broken links. I can advise on website maintenance, SEO best practice, link repair and figure out the impact broken links are having on your business.
Don’t be the guy in the car showroom who disappoints potential customers. Get in touch to find out how I can make sure that your website provides your customers with the best user experience.