Do you use an internal link checker?
Having broken links on your site has many downsides.
First, your SEO falls. Since your links don’t work, your readers get annoyed and leave. This tells Google you have a poor site and your bounce rate suffers.
People who try clicking your broken links will get a 404 Error Message. Not only will your bounce rate suffer when they leave, but people that might have signed up for your newsletter or made a purchase won’t.
You should use an internal link checker, a free tool, or experience reduced search engine traffic. Google won’t show your articles to users who might be annoyed by broken links.
Also, removing the broken links show Google you have an updated blog. Google likes blogs updated with fresh information. A new link provides new information.
Also, Google’s bots can’t crawl pages with broken links.
As you can see, broken links are extremely detrimental to your website. They cause your SEO to suffer, your traffic to suffer, and your conversions to suffer.
An internal link checker will find your broken links for you so you can fix them.
This post reviews three free internal link checkers:
Check My Links,
Broken Link Checker, and
Dead Link Checker.
These tools offer you choices of methods of fixing broken links.
Let’s get started choosing an internal link checker.
What is a Broken Link?
When SEO experts were asked the biggest SEO problem on their website, do you know what they responded?
You guessed it. They reported broken links are the worst SEO problem on their websites.
If a link is broken, it means it’s lost, it no longer exists.
This happened with my links.
When I moved from my original WordPress blog, Reflections, to my current blog, Mostly Blogging. All the links pointing to Reflections (I published many articles there) were broken. The site didn’t exist anymore, so my links didn’t work.
When I changed to MostlyBlogging.com, I was plagued by broken links.
I contacted my new host, A Small Orange, and they assured me a redirect from my old site to my new blog was in place.
At this point, I only had one option, or so I thought.
I stuck my head in the sand and chose to ignore the situation.
People emailed me and commented on my blog annoyed about my broken links.
Someone actually wrote what seemed like an essay citing a multitude of my broken links.
Now I had two choices: First, I could continue to ignore the situation. Thankfully this was a virtual world! I wouldn’t have to hide my head in a paper bag when people saw me at the market.
I picked my second choice: I called Upwork, a freelance virtual assistant agency, for tech help.
Shehab, my tech helper, was so amazing; he quickly solved the problem of broken links for me.
This post will explain what he did so you are not besieged and embarrassed like I was.
There could be many reasons such as this for broken links.
Consider these comments from blogger Gary Jefferies:
“Fixing broken links is well worth it as I believe SEO checkers hunt for those. The hard bit is finding them. If the link has been deleted the only real way is to edit it out.”
How to Use an Internal Link Checker
Check My Links
Check My Links is a Google Chrome Extension.
There are many helpful, free Chrome extensions for bloggers. Check My Links is one of them.
This screenshot shows you how Check My Links color codes your links.
Check My Links shows the broken links in red. Delete them or Google could take away the visibility of the post containing this link. If you don’t want to delete the link, you can remove the link and keep the anchor text. Another option is replacing the link.
How to Use Check My Links
To get Check My Links, when you are using Google Chrome, go to Settings/ More Tools/ Extensions.
In the Search Extensions Bar, type Check My Links.
After downloading, click the checkmark in the browser extension to start the scan.
Broken Link Checker
When I first self-hosted my blog, I really could have used an internal link checker since I encountered many internal linking problems.
I discovered my links were broken in several ways. First, my website visitors wrote to complain my internal links were broken.
Then, I started using the Broken Link Checker plugin. The plugin makes my broken links appear crossed out. This way, people know my links are broken and I do as well.
The way to fix the broken links is by removing them and putting in new links or not using an internal link with that anchor text. Using the Broken Link Checker plugin will alert you to the problem.
Once I installed the plugin and removed the broken links, my organic traffic rose 294%!
Broken Link Checker is a WordPress plugin. This tool shows your broken links crossed out in red. This is helpful so readers know which of your links don’t work.
Broken Link Checker will check your posts, pages, and comments and let you know if you have broken links by putting red lines through them.
Over 700,000 people use the tool. Broken Link Checker is compatible with WordPress.
To install, in your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins/Add New. Type Broken Link Checker into the search bar.
This is an example of an email you receive when you use Broken Link Checker. Notice the tool tells me I have 1,271 broken links on my site!
LinkSearching includes Broken Link Checker among the 9 best internal link checker tools.
Dead Link Checker
This tool emails you to tell you if you have broken links on your website.
How to Use Dead Link Checker
Log in to make a free account.
No downloads are required.
You have several choices. For example, you can opt to have Dead Link Checker check many blogs or you can have the tool check just one.
Next year, Google plans to count User Experience more than ever as part of its “Mobile First” program.
If users are frustrated by broken links, you will pay by a loss of search traffic. Implement one of these tools now before your loss of traffic occurs.
Wrapping Up: How to Use an Internal Link Checker
In closing, fixing broken links on your site is a form of on-site optimization. This post explained how to use an internal link checker to get notified of broken links so you can fix them.
Even if you don’t suffer from broken links on your website, using an internal link checker gives you peace of mind.
Since the URL checker tool tells you when you have broken links, you don’t have to worry about them.
Not only can you sleep easy at night knowing you don’t have to worry about broken links, but also your reader’s experience on your site can improve.
Readers, please share so bloggers and other website creators can avoid the embarrassment I experienced. These tools cost nothing and are easy to use. Using them is definitely preferable to angry readers and a loss of Google traffic.
I look forward to your views. Do you use an internal link checker? Which internal link checker do you recommend?