Broken Links

For a good user experience and for crawling efficiency, you’ll want to make sure to fix any broken links on your website.

Finding Broken Links

Screaming Frog

In Screaming Frog, click on the “Response Codes” tab. In the “Overview” tab on the right, click on “Client Error (4XX)”. This will pull up a list of all pages that have 4XX errors. You can see the “Status Code” column to see which ones are 404s (broken links).

1) Click on a link in the main box. 2) Then click on the “Inlinks” tab at the bottom (you may have to drag up in order to see this section). 3) This will show you all the pages on the site that contain that specific 404 link. These are the pages you will need to go to in order to fix this broken link.

screaming-frog-broken-links

Ahrefs

This is the best way to find broken links on a site that have backlinks pointing to them. We don’t want this to happen!

In Ahrefs go to “Site Explorer” and then “Best by Links”. Choose HTTP Status Code = “404 Not Found”. Sort by the number of rererring domains.

ahrefs-best-by-links-report-404

Google Analytics

In Google Analytics go to the “Behavor” > “All Pages” report. Choose “Page Title” as the primary dimension. Choose “Page” as the secondary dimension. Now create an “Advanced Filter”. Choose: include page title containing “404” or “not found”. This will only work if the 404 page has a page title that includes the words “404” or “not found”.

broken-links-google-analytics

Google Search Console

In Google Search Console, click on the “Coverage” tab. Make sure to select the “Error” and “Excluded” tabs. Then look for anything that says “Not found (404)”.

You can click to expand this and see all the URLs that are 404s.

broken-links-google-search-console

Fixing Broken Links

Manually Fix Links

If there are only a handful of broken links, you can fix these manually. You’ll need to update the broken link on the page to point to the correct link.

Fix Links in Bulk

You can use a Search and Replace plugin to update broken links in bulk. But be very careful. It’s super easy to mess things up using a search and replace plugin. Make sure to backup the site and database first.