Do broken links damage your website?

The Damage of Broken Links

broken linksFor any HVAC company, the reputation you have online matters. The internet is a world of potential leads and in order to garner these leads you need a pristine web presence. So will broken links damage this presence and ultimately will they hurt your SEO? The answer is yes. Broken links, as their name implies, are a damaging thing to have as a part of your online presence.

So what are broken links?

404 error

A broken link is a link that when clicked on takes a user to an error page instead of the intended page. When someone for example clicks on a link to a page on your site about HVAC repairs, but instead of seeing the page you intended they come to a page that says “404 Error” they have encountered a broken link. Most 404 pages will have a humorous remark about why the page is not there, but ultimately: The user is not being taken to the page they wanted to visit.

What causes broken links?

Broken links can be caused by a variety of factors. And they are more common than you may think. In fact, the majority of small businesses that manage their own websites likely have a large number of broken links they are unaware of! The following are all reasons broken links may occur:

  • Moving a web page without changing internal links
  • Renaming a web page without changing internal links
  • Leaving up a link to content that no longer exists (videos, pdfs, photos)
  • Leaving up a link to a third party page that has changed their URL or moved their page

What damage does this do?

So how will broken links damage your web presence? Broken links will ultimately hurt your authority online. If a user reaches an error instead of your website, they may assume you are no longer in business or simply unprofessional.

And it will hurt your SEO because Google will see a high bounce rate (the time it takes people to leave your website) and they will rank you lower due to this. When you have links that go where they should and contain great content, people will linger longer and Google will see you as a great place to send future users.

In the end,┬ábroken links will damage your conversion rate. When people click on a link they expect to go where they asked. When they don’t, they will lose interest in your site and shoot for a website that works. This will hurt your business when you lose potential leads to broken links.

How can I fix broken links?

The good news is, it is not that difficult to fix broken links. The bad news is, it takes time to find all your broken links and redirect them. Once you locate broken links you simply need to redirect the link to the proper page or get rid of the link if it is simply irrelevant.

The best way to fix broken links: Never have broken links. This can be done through a properly managed web presence. At HVAC Webmasters we have an entire team on staff who watch over our clients’ websites so that broken links never happen in the first place. Talk to us today about how to ensure your web presence is not damaged by pesky broken links.