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 websites open, others closed, some are attacked, content is removed or moved, and after a while, to be the link to sites or pages that no longer exist. It is terrible in terms of SEO, and more importantly, it is a bad experience for users.
The solution for this problem is simple: check all links – internal and external, 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 visitors. Only It deploys the user experience, and it hurts the WordPress SEO ranking slowly. So you have to find and fix the broken links in the WordPress blog. It is one of the parts 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 broken links from time to time. This time we’ll see how this works in WordPress. Then its time to find and fix your site s broken links and broken backlinks
In this article, we are discussing these issues and their solutions. It helps you to improve your blog user experience and WordPress SEO rankings.
What is a Broken link?
The definition of the Broken link is the link that is not accessible by the user on the web page that can not be found for various reasons.
What causes broken links on a Website?
The most common causes of generating broken links in WordPress website are given below:
- If you rename or move your web page to the new without changing your internal links
- If your content like PDF, videos, and any other media files was deleted or moved
How to solve broken links issues in the Blogspot platform?
If you are using the Blogspot blog, there is no choice to know the broken links details from their dashboard like WordPress. To check the details, you have to depend on the 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.
- Open your Blogspot blog platform dashboard with your logins.
- Now go for Settings > Errors and Redirects, then click on Custom Redirects > Add.
- In the From box, paste one of your broken links.
- In the To section, pastes the destination or new URL to redirect and make it permanent redirects. You can place your homepage instead of the destination URL.
- Finally, check the links and make them permanent redirects; click on OK to save the changes.
- Repeat the same process to all of your broken links. That’s it.
What is the difference between lost links and broken links in SEO?
- Broken links are links that do not work. A specific website is no longer available. A particular website is moved to another domain without the need to add a redirect. The URL structure of the webpage could have changed. If you click on the broken link, you will see a 404 error message. But It can repair broken links by contacting your webmaster.
- Lost links no longer exist. That link does not continue to link to your site in search engines. You may have lost the link from a particular location. Either It could have created the link manually or naturally.
How to find Broken Links in WordPress?
Finding broken links is easy if you are using the WordPress blogging platform. There are few SEO tools available on the online market as in the 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: By 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 terms, the SEMrush tool is used by bloggers and other digital marketers to bring more 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, and SMM&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.
To find the broken links on your site, you have to follow the below steps.
Step 1: Get SEMRUSH
SEMRUSH Site audit is a powerful tool to make your site SEO friendly. This tool checks over 130 checks and a high-speed crawler and provides in-depth info about your site’s health. Grab this tool to start.
Grab the SEMRush 14 days trial and register your details, and activate your account.
Step 2: Create Project
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 go for the Errors section.
Step 5: Export the Links
You find the list of External and Internal broken links. Now you will get the list of broken links in the tabular form. You can export the list in the CSV format to fix the issue from the primary source page.
You have to remember this tool gives the list of broken links URLs of the external and internal links. To fix this issue, open each Page URL in the new tab and set it manually. It has no option to rectify these links from the SEMRush dashboard.
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An e-book explaining all of the mistakes that our tool can catch
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Method 2: Using WebSite Auditor
A few years back, I purchased Website auditor tools from SEO Powersuite (enterprise edition). Of course, SEO Powersuite is the all-round software filling all my SEO needs.
The website auditor is a part of the tool in this bundled software. It is the best internet marketing tool, which helps you optimise your website for a better search engine ranking.
The website auditor is my all-time favourite tool. It is another best internet marketing tool and helps to audit blogs and websites.
Now start the site audit. To create website auditing, you have to download this tool first. Here is the special 14 days trial available for blogging readers. Of course, enjoy the tool along with the other three tools – Rank tracker, link assistant, and SEO Spyglass up to 14 days. After 14 days, the tool becomes a free version with a few limitations like Export and Project saving features won’t work. But It works everything well with lifetime usage. You can read the SEO Powersuite review and 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, which helps you to 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
Website Auditor is one of the best SEO tools to make your site audit process easy. You can find broken links and site errors in one place to fix those immediately. Download Website auditor free14 days trial now.
Download the software and install it on your computer. In these 14 days, you can use all premium features. After this period, the software functions with limited features like locking the data export and Project save part.
Step 2: Start Audit
After trial activation, open the Website auditor software to start an audit.
After opening the auditor, add the URL of the website, put a tick mark in Enable expert options, and then click on the Next button.
Step 3: Choose the source for Auditing
Here place the tick mark as per the below-given screen like Follow robots.txt instruction for and Search for orphan pages (choose Sitemap for better crawling and auditing). Keep the remaining features as default and then click the Finish button.
In my case, I have observed that the total audit time is more than 45 minutes to complete the audit.
It starts 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 for Resources with 4xx and 5xx status code 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 get those details in the specified columns.
Step 5: Export the Broken links
In the right side box, you will find the list of 4xx resource links. Now open the source page link where you found the broken link from 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 with fix URL errors. If you need more details, you can read the Website auditor review and SEO PowerSuite Review for detailed guides.
Method 3: By using AHRefs Broken link Checker
Ahrefs is another most 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 free. Recently the team released the AHRefs Webmaster tool. It is free to use by giving its Site Explorer and site audit features with limited website owners access.
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 Health score, Domain Rating, Referring domains, backlinks, organic traffic, and organic keywords. Just click on the Health Score section.
Then go for All issues > Links section to get the list of broken links.
AHREFS broken link checker is a free tool to scan websites for broken links. Just open the site and enter the URL and hit Check broken links, then solve the captcha and get the broken links list.
I am using the Ahrefs Premium tool so my site SEO analysis. Its search volume, backlinks, rankings and social shares data is excellent. To create the best backlink creation strategy, this is the most popular tool to collect relevant backlinks 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 which starts from $99 per month. If you want to try this tool, they offer a seven days trial for $7. You can try.
After logging into the Ahrefs dashboard, enter the domain name 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 find the overview of your results in the six categories. They are Backlink profile, Organic search, Pages, Outgoing links, Paid search and Export.
To get the broken links list, you need to go to Pages > Best by links section.
Now use the filter HTTP code and choose 404 not found. Now your site’s broken links are ready.
You can export this report in the CSV format to proceed with the next step to fix broken links on your WordPress site. If you are using this tool already, you can try these Ahrefs alternatives.
Method 4. By using Google Search Console
Google search console is another best place to find the 404 pages. Most of the webmasters’ first choice is Google search console to know the best insights of their website stats and their performances.
To use this search console, you need to verify your site’s ownership and submit an XML sitemap. After verification, it takes some time to audit your site and places the reports as per their pre-designed format.
You will get the 404 error reports in the search console interface.
To know these details, you need to login into your google webmaster account and go for 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 the broken links. The name is the Broken link checker WordPress plugin.
First, you need to install the plugin by searching in the Plugin section from the WordPress dashboard. Install and activate the plugin. That’s it.
The broken link checker monitors test all the internal links and external links on your site.
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 the plugin is compatible with your hosting. Few hosting does not accept their usage because of their high usage of server resources. If this plugin is compatible with your hosting, deactivate it after using this plugin immediately.
Method 6. By using BrokenlinkCheck service
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 on 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 7. Some other Tools to check Broken Links
Of course, there are hundreds of SEO tools on the web. but few tools are getting more popularity. I listed few of the services below.
1. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog is another best desktop website audit tool after Website auditor. It helps you to find broken links and provides fixation guidance without losing the site SEO.
If you are new to this tool, you can follow this guide to start.
2. Xenu Link Sleuth
It is one of the old tools and web scraping software to check websites’ broken links from the images, frames, CSS scripts. It is a straightforward interface. To work with this tool, you have to download the tool from their official site and install it on your computer. It is an ancient tool. It has no recent update but sometimes works well.
Other Online Services to find Broken Links
Name of the Tool
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.
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.
Most trusted service and recommended by big companies like HP, envisia, and many more.
This is not only a dead link checker. It comes with a complete SEO audit tool .
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 in WordPress site?
I have discussed six different methods before to find the broken links in WordPress sites. After seeing the links, you have to fix those issues to improve SEO and user experience.
Let us discuss how to fix the broken links issue in WordPress within 5 minutes.
It is a manual method. After checking the broken links:
- Download the list.
- Open the source page where the 404 error link is present as an internal link, find the linked anchor text and unlink it or remove the link.
- Save the page by hitting on the update button.
If you have fewer dead links, you can follow the manual method to remove the internal dead links. After this, you need to fix the redirection path for better SEO.
Now you have to use the Redirection method to fix this issue finally. 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, whether redirecting to a new connection or not. If it is redirecting, then repeat the above process for all broken links on your website.
Final Words on Find broken links and how to fix
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 hesitations.
You can follow the above six methods to find the Broken links on WordPress sites. If you have any problems with the broken links issue fixation process, you can drop the query in the given comment section or directly use the Contact form.
I will drop the solution according to your issues. If I missed any broken link checking solutions, mention the service in the below comments.