Online marketing can be tiring! That’s where UpCity comes in. As a trusted advocate for small businesses, we’re here to navigate you through the piles of confusing and suspicious offers. UpCity will lead you in the right direction by providing easy insights and simple solutions for your business marketing plan. Members receives an in-depth, personalized action plan to help optimize their site, and our team is here to help you along the way.  Each week, we’re featuring an in-depth look at one of the recommended tasks built into the UpCity software.

Background:

Dead or “broken” pages are webpages that either do not contain any content or are no longer valid. These invalid pages return a 404 error to the user when a user clicks on them. The broken links on a page do not lead the user or search engine anywhere useful because the page does not exist on the web. Therefore, these broken links have no value and should be found and “cleaned out” from your site.

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Whether the page was removed by the host, moved to a different URL, or not created from the beginning, this is a significant SEO practice to verify and delete invalid links from your website. Simply put, it is important to eliminate dead pages for SEO ranking and optimal user experience.

Below, we’ve outlined the steps to remove broken pages on your site.

Processes to Find and Delete Broken Pages

If your website has only a few pages:

If your website contains a small number of pages, then we advise you to manually detect and delete these pages. You can delete pages on your own through CMS or ftp access, based on the nature of the website. Refer to specific directions in your CMS for next steps.

If your website has many pages:

If your website has a lot of pages, we recommend using a trusted online tool to help discover and get rid of the broken pages more efficiently.

These web-based tools or plug-ins work with all types of browsers and check your entire site. They clearly indicate the broken links and their locations, which create a doable method for beginners. In addition, most tools will scan a very extensive number of pages; so don’t worry about a limit.

Step 1:  We will use the free web validator called Online Broken Link Checker to walk through the step-by-step process of getting rid of any broken pages.

Step 2: Open your browser and type brokenlinkcheck.com.

Step 3: Enter your website name in the space provided, and click on “Find broken links.”

Step 4: Enter the Security captcha code and click “Find broken links now!” The process to run the search may take some time depending on the number of pages available on your website. The tool will spider the entire website in search of broken external and internal links.

The elimination tool provides a report that lists all of the broken links. The helpful report also includes the page link, the source code, and the type of error (404 or 301).

With this necessary information, you can manually delete the webpages or use a permanent redirect for such pages to the homepage of your site.

After you run the website through a reputable broken link checker tool and then remove any and all dead links, you should be all set and on your way to establishing a more optimized presence on the search engines! Users visiting the site will find a cleaner, optimal experience when they do not land on broken pages.

UpCity members, follow the pathway to complete this task in your UpCity account: Website 201: Optimize Your Presence > Establish Your Presence > Website Optimization.

What scanning tools are you using to remove broken pages from your website? Share your experiences below.

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