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Fix Broken Links and Boost SEO with Redirects

Say goodbye to 404 errors and hello to a better user experience

Fixing broken links is a simple yet effective way to improve your website’s user experience and boost your SEO. 

When users click on a broken link and land on a 404 page, they can get frustrated and leave your site. That’s a missed opportunity for engagement and potentially a lost customer. Plus, search engines don’t like seeing too many 404 errors on your site. It can signal to them that your site isn’t well-maintained, which could hurt your rankings.

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Dirigible Tip

We recommend checking your 404 logs once a month to ensure that your website users aren’t encountering broken links. 

That’s where setting up redirects comes in

A redirect is a way to automatically send users and search engines from one URL to another. When a user tries to access a specific web page or URL, a redirect instructs the browser to navigate to a different URL instead.

There are many ways to create redirects, but if you have a Dirigible site, you have access to the plugin Redirection. This plugin makes monitoring your site for 404 errors and setting up redirects to guide users (and search engines) to the correct page simple. It’s like having a helpful little traffic cop on your website, making sure everyone gets to where they need to go.

The Redirection plugin automatically logs 404 errors as they occur, so you can regularly check the “404s” tab to monitor for new broken links. Reviewing and addressing these errors regularly is a good practice for maintaining a healthy website and improving user experience.

How to Check for 404 Errors

  1. Log in to your dashboard.
  2. In the left-hand menu, click on “Tools” and then select “Redirection” from the submenu.
  3. Once you’re on the Redirection plugin’s page, click on the “404s” tab at the top of the page. This will display a list of all the 404 errors that the plugin has recorded.
  4. The 404 error list will show you the URL that resulted in a 404 error, the date and time it occurred, and the referrer (the page the user was on when they clicked the broken link, if available).
  5. From this list, you can identify the broken links and decide how to handle them. You can either update the original link to point to the correct URL, create a redirect to guide users to the appropriate page or ignore the error if it’s not critical.
  6. To create a redirect for a specific 404 error, hover over the entry and click on the “Add redirect” button that appears. This will allow you to set up a redirect for that particular broken link.
Pro Tip

If you have a large number of 404 errors and want to clean them up in bulk, you can select multiple entries using the checkboxes and then choose the appropriate action from the “Bulk Actions” dropdown menu (e.g., “Add Redirect”).

Once you’ve identified which pages need to be redirected, redirecting them is a breeze. Just enter the old URL (the broken link), and the new URL (where you want to send users), and Redirection will handle the rest. Depending on your needs, you can set up permanent (301) or temporary (302) redirects.

Visit Dirigible’s Support Website for a step-by-step tutorial on how to use Redirection to create redirects. 

Remember, when creating redirects, consider the following:

  • Use 301 (permanent) redirects for pages that have permanently moved to a new URL.
  • Ensure that the destination URL is correct and properly formatted.
  • Update any internal links on your website that point to the old URL.
  • Monitor and test your redirects to ensure they are working as expected.

Implementing redirects for broken links can improve user experience, maintain link equity, and prevent potential SEO issues.

Happy redirecting!

Author: Kindra Goehler

Partner & Creative Director, Dirigible

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