Website management: Watch for broken links

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Broken links can mess up your website — and your reputation. It is a good idea to check them on a regular schedule.

Do you have broken/disabled links on your website?

These can be costly, in both reputation and search engine rankings.

Today, for example, I viewed a site discovered through Google Alerts for the keywords “construction marketing”. (The fact that the Google alerts connected to the site of course is a good sign that the site’s SEO hasn’t been totally destroyed.)

However, when I investigated the site, I noticed a few rather awkward broken and “disabled” links, like this one.

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Ouch! (I won’t link to or identify the site here because this reporting is negative and it is my policy not to report negatively on individual sites or organizations.)

Clearly, someone finding this reference even on an otherwise well-set-up site would do a double take and the effective branding message would be dissipated.

These observations led me to check the links for this blog and (gulp), I discovered a tool, freebrokenlinkcheck.com, had uncovered 314 broken or bad links.

The checking tool provides the URL and site reference, though you need to pay extra to download or manipulate the data directly from the checker (or for very large volume situations). However, the tool provided enough information for me to start searching around for problems on this site.

In some cases, the tracker reported problems with links that appeared to be okay. And quite a few of the links relate to old, historical blog posts that see few visitors and, in any case, where a visitor wouldn’t be surprised to find some broken link issues considering the information’s age.

However, there were some glaringly serious broken links — especially on my contact page!  In other words, readers wishing to subscribe to the newsletter or (removed) phone me through a direct link would have hit a painful dead-end.

I corrected these issues, including the Construction Marketing Ideas eletter signup form. No wonder no one has requested a free eletter subscription for some time from this blog.

Take some time to check your site links. You might be shocked by the problems you uncover.

And here is the corrected eletter subscription form:

 

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