What is a dead link and why should I care?
Dead (or sometimes called broken) links are a dead end for the user, the page did not take the user where the author wanted them to go. There are a number of reasons for a dead link:
– web page no longer exists
– server not responding
– the URL is incorrect on the website
What we are going to focus on today is a dead or broken link from the user experience. You want a seamless customer experience for everyone that comes on to your website. This is your ONLINE brick and mortar store, and so you want everyone to have that Starbucks experience.
A broken link does a few things to anyone visiting your website:
– Annoys them. Never good to start a customer relationship with an annoyance.
– Makes them not want to come back. Unless you have some SUPER offer that they are waiting for, otherwise. Nope. They have moved on.
– Doesn’t give them confidence to refer you. That one stings, but it is true. You have to give each online customer the confidence that you know what you are doing. The confidence that you will take care of all of their friends and family with the utmost care.
A bit far? Maybe. But you get the idea.
And introduce dead link checker. This online platform gives you a list of dead links on your website. They have a free version, with the option to upgrade to a pro version. I find the platform a little bit confusing, but once you get going on it, they tend to be similar errors. I have found that the key is to understand the error code. 404 errors are the easiest to fix.
One thing to note is that if you are going to use Dead Link Checker on a regular basis (and why wouldn’t you), sign up for the free account. And then add a filter to your Google Analytics to exclude the dead link checker URL. The instructions are here. This means that going through and checking your website won’t count in your analytics as a user.
I check my website every 30 days or so. There usually aren’t that many changes. This is a great way to understand the power of your customer journey.