Are you searching for the best solution to find broken links and fix them as part of technical SEO?
If yes, this is the right guide for you on how to find broken links and how to fix the issues within one hour to make your site a better user experience.
The internet never stops. Every day, some websites open, others close, some are attacked, content is removed or moved, and after a while, the links point to sites or pages that no longer exist.
Broken links are bad and is terrible in terms of SEO, and more importantly, it is a bad experience for users.
The solution to this problem is simple: check all the internal and external links regularly.
This article will talk about some tools to detect and fix broken links on their websites.
Broken links are giving a horrible experience to your blog’s visitors. It only improves the user experience while gradually harming the WordPress SEO ranking. So you have to find and fix broken links in the WordPress blog. It is a part of technical SEO auditing or specific technical maintenance tasks. So you have to correct this to make sure that all of your links within the content work properly. To do this, you need a smart way to find and fix the broken links in WordPress.
“A soft 404 means that a URL on your site returns a page telling the user that the page does not exist and also a 200-level (success) code to the browser.”
Broken links degrade the user experience. In addition to this, search engines also don’t like it if the pages have many broken links. So it is a good idea to remove or fix a broken links from time to time. This time, we’ll see how this works in WordPress. Then it’s time to find and fix your site’s broken links and broken backlinks.
Search engines can locate similar information on your website to rank for by fixing broken links within your content.
In this article, we are discussing these issues and their solutions. It helps you to improve your blog’s user experience and WordPress SEO rankings.
What is a broken link?
A “broken link” is a link on a web page that the user can’t click on and that can’t be found for any number of reasons. You can do a search and replace in the database and update the old internal links to point to the new page, thanks to this, you can avoid unnecessary internal redirects. Always use a 1:1 ratio of 301 redirects on any links that may be broken after a permanent change to the website’s structure.
What causes broken links on a website?
The following are the most common causes of broken links on a WordPress website:
How do I solve broken link issues on the Blogspot platform?
If you are using a Blogspot blog, there is no choice but to know the broken link details from their dashboard, unlike WordPress. To check the details, you have to depend on other third-party tools like Screaming Frog and other online tools.
After the analysis, use the URL to fix the issue manually by using the below simple step.
What is the difference between lost links and broken links in SEO?
How to find Broken Links on your website?
Finding broken links is easy if you are using the WordPress blogging platform. There are few SEO tools available on the online market, both in free and premium versions.
Here I am using the most popular Internet marketing tools to find the broken links in my blogs. They are SEMRush, SEO PowerSuite, and Ahrefs Webmaster Tool. These tools show the broken links in digit format: 4XX and 5XX.
Let us know in detail.
Method 1: Find broken links using SEMRush
SEMrush is an all-in-one digital marketing package with all types of professional tools like SEO, PPC, and keyword research. In layman’s terms, the SEMrush tool is used by bloggers and other digital marketers to increase website traffic and revenue. SEMRUSH is one of the online visibility management platforms for bloggers and webmasters.
SEMRush provides more than 40 tools to analyse your digital marketing challenges like SEO, content, market research, advertising, SMM, and SERM.
In the SEO section, On-Page SEO has a site audit feature. By using this feature, we can find the broken links on your site.
Follow the steps below to locate broken links on your website.
Step 1: Get SEMRUSH
Grab the SEMRush 14 days trial and register your details, and activate your account.
After login into the SEMRush dashboard, add your domain URL then click on Create
Step 3: Site Audit Setup
After a few seconds, you will be redirected to the project dashboard. Then choose the site audit setup.
Step 4: Start Audit
Now configure the Site Audit basic settings, then click on “Start Site Audit.”
After a few minutes, you will get the complete site health score. Then click on the Errors tab.
Step 5: Export the Links
You will find a list of broken external and internal links. Now you will get the list of broken links in tabular form. You can export the list in CSV format to fix the issue from the primary source page.
You have to remember that this tool gives the list of broken links’ URLs for both external and internal links. To fix this, open each page URL in a new tab and manually type it in. It has no option to rectify these links from the SEMRush dashboard. With this tool, you can find both broken links on your website and broken links on other websites.
Here is an e-book explaining all of the mistakes that our tool can catch: Get Free PDF Guide
SEMRush is a complete premium tool. SEMRush pricing is divided into three plans.
a. SEMrush Pro Plan
It is the best way to learn how to start your own business or become an expert. The website was made with freelancers, new businesses, and marketing teams in mind. You won’t have to spend much time carrying it.
You will be given a number of tools that will help you improve your online presence. Also, it comes with a 14-day Trial Pack to help you figure out if the plan is best for you or if it’s better.
For freelancers, startups, and in-house marketers with limited budgets,
b. SEMrush Guru Plan
It may have been a while since you worked as an entrepreneur, but a simple one won’t work for you. This is because the Amazon plan lets you keep growing the area where you work. For marketers who want to get better results, this plan will work.
Even though these plans cost almost half as much as a pro plan, trust me, they are worth it. This guru plan gives you a free 14-day trial to make sure you get everything you want. Here are some of the things you can do with the free trial of SEMrush.
The SEMrush Guru plan is ideal for small business owners in marketing and marketing agencies that are growing.
c. Business Plan
You need a better plan if you have a larger business plan. These plans won’t contain any details. It’s intended purely for agencies, e-commerce projects, and businesses that have large websites. This plan is perfect for agencies, e-commerce projects, and businesses with a large web presence.
The Pro and Guru plans offer comprehensive features. The only downside to the plan is that there are no free trial packs for you to try. Substitute this only when you know that your needs are greater than an individual plan.
The features you will find here are:
What do you think about the price of this tool? Do not worry; we have exciting news for you. It is only for Blogging Den’s valuable readers like you. Here is the SEMRUSH review for more details.
We have an excellent relationship with SEMrush. They are providing a 14-day free trial for valuable services to users. So you can grab the deal after reading this step.
Method 2: Find and fix broken links by using Website Auditor
A few years back, I purchased website auditor software tools from SEO Powersuite (enterprise edition). Of course, SEO Powersuite is the all-around best SEO software that fills all my SEO needs.
The website auditor is a component of the bundled software. It is the best internet marketing tool that helps you optimise your website for a better search engine ranking.
The website auditor is my all-time favourite tool. It is yet another excellent internet marketing tool for auditing blogs and websites.
Now start the site audit. To create a website audit, you have to download this tool first. Here is the special 14-day trial available for blog readers: Of course, enjoy the tool along with the other three tools—Rank Tracker, Link Assistant, and SEO Spyglass—for up to 14 days.
After 14 days, the tool becomes a free version with a few limitations, like the export and project saving features. But it works well with lifetime usage. You can read the SEO Powersuite review and the Website Auditor review for more details.
The website auditor will come in the desktop version, which is available for both Windows and Mac users separately. This tool comes with a very good content editor feature that helps you make SEO-friendly content. It is one of the best content optimization tools. First, download the software and install it on your PC.
Step 1: Download Website auditor
Download the software and install it on your computer. You have 14 days to use all premium features. After this period, the software functions with limited features, like locking the data export and the project save part.
Step 2: Begin the audit
After trial activation, open the Website Auditor software to start an audit.
After opening the auditor, enter the website’s URL, check the Enable expert options box, and then click the Next button.
Step 3: Choose the source for auditing.
Place the tick mark as shown on the screen below. Follow the instructions in robots.txt and look for orphan pages. If you want to crawl and audit your site better, choose Sitemap. Keep the remaining features as default, and then click the Finish button.
In my case, I’ve seen that it takes more than 45 minutes to finish the audit as a whole.
It gets the site crawling. The completion of the task depends on the size of the site and its content.
Step 4: Final Audit Report
Now the final audit report is ready. Now open the report from the Site Structure > Site Audit section. Then go to the Resources with 4X and 5X status codes section in the indexability and crawlability.
Tip: If you need additional information like post pageviews, social shares, and domain authority, you have to connect your Google Search Console and Google Analytics accounts. To join this, go to Edit > Profile Settings > Accounts and authenticate it. After a few minutes, you will see those details in the specified columns.
Step 5: Export the broken links
In the right-side box, you will find a list of broken link report as 4xx resource links. Now open the source page link where you found the broken link in the Found on Pages column. The page will open in the default browser. You can fix the link manually.
You can use this site audit report to start the issue fixation process and fix URL errors. If you need more details, you can read the Website Auditor Review and the SEO PowerSuite Review for detailed guides.
Method 3: By using Ahrefs Broken link Checker
Ahrefs is another popular all-in-one SEO tool for internet marketing for bloggers, marketers, and SEO professionals. It helps you to analyse the backlinks and site SEO issues.
The tool is providing detailed SEO insights into your site and your competitor site. It has excellent features like Keyword explorer for keyword research, Site Explorer for competition analysis, Site Audit for Site health analysis, and Content Explorer to find the Trending content.
It has one of the best keyword research tools. Ahrefs is a premium SEO tool. But it offers a few of their services for free. Recently, the team released the AHRefs Webmaster tool. It’s free to use because the site explorer and site audit features are locked down.
To use this feature, you have to verify your website’s ownership by giving them permission to use Google services like Search Console and Analytics.
After a few minutes of this, you will get the complete details of the domain, like the health score, domain rating, referring domains, backlinks, organic traffic, and organic keywords. Just click on the Health Score section.
Then navigate to All issues > Links to see a list of broken links.
AHREFS’s broken link checker is a free tool to scan websites for broken links. Simply open the site, enter the URL, click “Check broken links,” solve the captcha, and you’ll see a list of broken links.
I am using the Ahrefs Premium tool for my site’s SEO analysis. Its search volume, backlinks, rankings, and social sharing data are excellent. To create the best backlink creation strategy, this is the most popular tool to collect relevant backlink data by using competitor sites.
To access the competitor’s site details, you need premium access. To get this, you have to sign up for an Ahrefs account. It is a paid service that starts at $99 per month. If you want to try this tool, they offer a seven-day trial for $7. You can try.
After logging into the Ahrefs dashboard, enter your website in Site Explorer and press the enter button. After a few seconds of their crawling, it gives the complete report. It took some time for large sites to have more pages.
Once it finishes the report, you can find an overview of your results in the six categories. They are backlink profiles, organic search, pages, outgoing links, paid search, and export.
To get the broken links list, you need to go to Pages > Best By Links.
Now use the filter HTTP code and choose “404 not found.” Your website’s broken links are now available.
You can export this report in CSV format to move on to the next step of fixing broken links on your WordPress site. If you are already using this tool, you can try these Ahrefs alternatives.
Method 4. By using Google Search Console
Another good place to look for 404 pages (404 broken link) is Google’s search console. Most webmasters’ first choice is Google Search Console to get the best insights into their website stats and performance.
To use this search console, you have to prove that you own your site and send in an XML sitemap. After your site has been verified, it takes some time to audit it and put the reports in the format they were made for.
You will see the 404 error reports in the search console interface.
To know these details, you need to login to your Google Webmaster account and go to the Coverage tab > Details > Error section.
You will get the details of the 404 error pages list.
Method 5. By using the Broken link checker plugin
If you are running your blog on the WordPress CMS platform, there is a fantastic plugin to check for broken links. It is the Broken Link Checker WordPress plugin.
First, you have to search for the plugin in the Plugins section of the WordPress dashboard and then install it. Install and activate the plugin. That’s it.
The broken link checker keeps an eye on and tests all the links on your site, both those that go inside and outside of it.
If any link is damaged or lost, it will be notified from the plugin page’s widget area. It helps you to fix the wrong links and improves site SEO and user experience.
Note: Before choosing the Broken link checker plugin, you need to confirm the hosting provider is compatible with your hosting. Because of their heavy use of server resources, few hosting companies accept their use. If this plugin works with your hosting, turn it off as soon as you’re done using it.
Method 6: By using SitecheckerPro
SiteChecker.pro is a full-featured website SEO audit tool that can help you monitor and improve a site’s search engine optimization (SEO) performance in an easy and quick way. It helps businesses and website owners monitor the performance of their websites. It gives users powerful information about the health and performance of their sites, so they can act quickly if they need to.
This tool has the following features.
How do I check for broken links with the SiteChecker Pro audit tool?
It will then generate a report that will list all the broken links found and their locations.
First you need to go to Broken link checker tool.
To use the tool, you simply need to enter the website URL of the website you would like to audit, and click “Start Audit.”
The tool will then quickly scan your website and display any broken links in an easy-to-read report.
The Sitechecker Pro audit tool is a great way to ensure that all of your website’s links are working properly, so that visitors can easily navigate your site without getting stuck in dead ends.
Pricing of Sitechecker Pro
The SiteChecker Pro has the following prices:
- Basic: This plan is good for people who want to follow a startup, run a small business, blog, or work as a freelancer. The pricing starts at $29 per month.
This plan is suitable for in-house professionals and small agencies. Pricing begins at $49 per month.
This is a suitable plan for dedicated SEO teams and mid-size agencies. The plan starts at $99 per month.
This plan is for big agencies and enterprises, and it starts at $399 per month.
SiteChecker Pro special discount: If you choose the one-year plan, we will give you a special discount of up to 20% off any of the plans listed above. Grab the tool now
Method 7: By using BrokenlinkCheck service
If your site isn’t very large, you might be able to use a free online broken link checker tool to find broken links. Here brokenlinkcheck is my favourite web app tool and works great. It becomes easy to find the broken links on any website.
Open the site, enter your domain URL, and hit “Find broken links” to use this service. Then you need to add the security code to confirm.
It starts working and checks the site for broken links. It took a few minutes to complete, and finally, you will get the complete list of dead hyperlinks. You can use this BrokenLinkCheck service.
Method 8: Some other Tools to check Broken Links
Of course, there are hundreds of SEO tools on the web. But few tools are gaining popularity. I listed a few of the services below.
1. Screaming Frog
After Website Auditor, the Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool is also a great desktop tool for checking a website. It helps you find broken links and provides fixation guidance without losing the site’s SEO. It helps you crawl your website. Obviously, you’ll want to know the source of the broken links discovered (which URLs on the website link to these broken links), so they can be fixed. If you are new to this tool, you can follow this guide to get started.
2. Xenu Link Sleuth
It is an old tool and web scraping software used to check for broken links in images, frames, and CSS scripts on websites. It has a straightforward interface. To work with this tool, you have to download it from their official site and install it on your computer. It is an ancient tool. It has no recent update, but sometimes it works well. It helps you find broken links within pages on your website.
3. Other tools to check broken links
Other Online Services to find Broken Links
- W3 Link checker: It is a free service to contain all links and anchors in web pages.
- Dr Link Check: It helps you find out malicious links, broken links, blacklist check and parked domain check.
- Power Mapper: It helps you to find error links, missing images, server configuration images and to contain script errors – warnings.
- Small SEO Tools: provides short and free service, and you can check with a single click.
- Link Tiger: Most trusted service and recommended by big companies like HP, envisia, and many more. It is a premium tool and comes with a 14 days free trial.
- iWeb tool: This is not only a dead link checker. It comes with a complete SEO audit tool .
It helps you give the audit result in six different columns, including links. You can try it once.
- SEO Review tools: It comes with 52 real-time free SEO tools, including a lost link recovery tool.
- Google broken link checker: This is another simple service to scan your site with the help of their chrome extension.
How to Fix Broken Links on your site?
I’ve previously discussed six different methods for locating broken links in WordPress sites. After seeing the links, you have to fix those issues to improve SEO and the user experience. Let us discuss how to fix the broken links issue in WordPress within 5 minutes.
You can then see all the broken links on your site and the internal pages they are appearing on. You should then update the broken links with the correct ones.
It is a manual method. After checking the broken links:
If you have fewer dead links, you can follow the manual method to remove the broken internal dead links. After this, you need to fix the redirection path for better SEO.
Now you have to use the redirection method to finally fix this issue. I am personally using the Rank math SEO plugin to make my site more SEO-friendly to my readers and search engines.
If you are using this plugin on your site, you will find most 404 error pages from the Rank math > 404 Monitor section.
Suppose you found that link important or your article moved to another location or deleted. In that case, you can redirect those links to similar page URLs or closely related content of the past article.
You can use the Redirection feature from the Rank math SEO plugin section to redirect the links collected from the site audit tools. You need to set up 301 redirects for this solution.
If you are not using Rank math SEO, you have to install a Redirection plugin to make the above process. After activation of the redirection plugin, go for the Tools > Redirection page.
You have to add the broken link URL in the source URL section, add the new URL in the Target URL section, and then hit the Add Redirect button to save your changes.
After saving the changes, you can test and check the old broken link to see whether it is redirecting to a new connection or not. If it is redirecting, then repeat the above process for all broken links on your website.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Broken links on your website
What Are Broken Internal Links?
Broken internal links are links from one page on a website to another page that no longer exists. They can occur when pages are deleted, moved or renamed, leaving the link pointing at an old URL that is now invalid. Broken internal links can be frustrating for users as they will reach a dead end when clicking on the link and may not be able to find their desired content. Webmasters should regularly audit their websites and check all internal links to ensure they all point to valid URLs.
What Are 404 Errors?
A 404 error is an HTTP status code that indicates that the page a user is trying to access could not be found on the server. This could be due to either the page being removed or moved to another location, an incorrect URL was entered, or the web server couldn’t be contacted. To avoid this issue, websites should make sure all of their links and pages are up to date and functioning properly. If users experience a 404 error, they should double check the URL they have entered and try again or contact the website owners for assistance.
What Is Broken Link Building?
Broken link building is an SEO strategy which involves finding and replacing broken links on the web. This involves searching for websites that have links to outdated or non-existent pages, websites and resources, then notifying the website owner of the broken link and offering a replacement in the form of a relevant page or resource from your own website. The goal of this link building strategy is to earn quality backlinks to your website while also helping users find more useful content. Broken link building can be used as part of an overall SEO campaign and helps boost organic search engine rankings, increase referral traffic and build authority for your brand. It is important to ensure that you are only providing valuable content when doing broken link building, as it will help improve user experience and trust in your site.
Why are broken links harmful?
Broken links are harmful for both website owners and their visitors. Broken links can lead to a loss of potential customers, as users will be unable to access the content they were looking for. This can also lead to a decrease in search engine rankings, since search engines take into account the number of broken links on a website when ranking sites. Furthermore, broken links can damage the user experience by leading visitors to pages that no longer exist or are irrelevant. Having too many broken links on a website can give off a negative impression and make people less likely to visit again in the future. For these reasons, it is important to regularly check your website for any broken links and fix them as soon as possible.
Why Are Broken Links Bad for SEO?
Broken links are bad for SEO because they hurt your website’s user experience and reduce your site’s overall ranking in search engine results pages. They also have a negative effect on the trustworthiness of your domain. Google penalizes websites with broken links by lowering their ranking in SERPs.
Final Thoughts on identifying broken links within your website
Broken links are very bad links for SEO, user experience, and crawlers. So, it would be best if you fixed them immediately without a second thought. Of course, this is a technical SEO part of making your site SEO-friendly within a few minutes.
So, you can choose any of the best web-based SEO audit tools, desktop software, and broken online link checking tools to fix the broken links without any hesitation.
You can follow the six methods listed above to find broken links on WordPress sites. If you have any problems with the broken link issue fixation process, you can drop the query in the given comment section or directly use the Contact form.
I will tailor the solution to your issues. If I missed any services that check for broken links, please list them in the comments.