A broken link or dead link is one that is no longer valid for some reason or the other. It might be that the website owner has entered an erroneous URL or the linked page has been removed by the destination website. It might be that the destination website has been permanently taken down or the website owner has linked to a site that is concealed behind a firewall and denies outside access. Whatever be the reason, dead and broken links are certainly bad for your business.
How can broken links adversely impact your business and result in loss of credibility and integrity of your website?
Affect search engine rankings – Broken links negatively affect search engine rankings on major platforms such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. When visitors to your site are not able to access desired pages and information through given links, he/she will leave the page causing high bounce rates. This will by default also lower rankings on results pages of these search engines thereby reducing online visibility for your site and affecting traffic, rate of conversions and sales.
Erode existing customer base – When your existing customers find that they are unable to get full details of your products and services, they will naturally look for other sources. Many of them might even not want to come back to your site again. It’s very hard to restore credibility once it is negatively impacted.
Problems expanding customer base – A new visitor to your site will be left in despair if you have broken links. This is because he/she will not find the information being looked for. This lack of details of products and services offered by you will turn the customer away to other sites. This again will stagnate your conversion rates and business growth.
Damage your online reputation – Presence of stale links on your website shows that you have no respect for them and take maintenance of your website rather casually. This will damage your online reputation as well as reflect on the quality of your offerings.
Luckily for you, there are free online dead and stale link checkers that you can periodically use to verify their presence on your site. The tool will not only tell you which hyperlinks are dead but will show you exactly where they are located in your HTML code enabling you to quickly remove them.
The main point then is to have a site free of broken links if you want to optimise its functioning and focus on your core business activities.