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WordPress Broken Link Checker Plugin – Improve WordPress SEO & User Experience | WP Learning Lab
In this tutorial you will discover the power of the Broken Link Checker plugin to reduce the number of WordPress 404 errors.
Why do you want to fix broken links? Let me explain.
From user experience perspective, if someone is on your website and they click a link because they want to see whatever was promised after clicking that link they don’t want to see a 404 error. They actually want to see what was promised. Makes sense, right?
From Google’s perspective, they want the provide the best user experience possible for people who use their search engine. If they find a bunch of 404 errors on your website, they want to send your site lots of traffic because it won’t be able to deliver the best user experience. Google has broken link checkers too and they check your site on a regular basis. Set up Google Webmaster Tools to see what I mean.
Here are two tutorials to help you do that.
Verify your site in Google Webmaster Tools: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68rCOBCuDtM
Add your XML Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools so they can scan for broken links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U57IvBAy5g
From an SEO (search engine optimization) perspective, we want to give Google what they want so that we can get what we want, which is traffic.
So, let’s install the plugin. To install this plugin please log into your WordPress dashboard, hover over Plugins and then click on Add New.
On the next page type “Broken Link Checker” into the search bar. The plugin we want should be the first one in the top left.
Click on the Install Now button and then click Activate after it’s installed.
Under the Settings menu you will now have a new option called Link Checker. Click on that to go to the settings page for the Broken Link Checker plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/broken-link-checker/).
At the top of the General Settings tab you will see broken link stats, eventually. Since you just installed the plugin you won’t see anything.
The plugin begins scanning your site immediately after being installed so, you may see results fairly quickly (within a few minutes if your site isn’t too large).
Until then set the settings as you want them and then click Save Changes.
When the scan is complete you will see a list of broken links or no broken links if your site is clean.
If there are broken links you will have the option to Edit the URL, Unlink the link, mark it as Not Broken, Dismiss the broken link notice, or Recheck the link.
When you find broken links you also have the option of creating 301 Redirects to a new page. Here are two tutorials to help you do that if that’s the route you want to go.
1. 301 Redirect using a plugin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r6yWJHy-m4
2. 301 Redirect using .htaccess: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgWPIu8hnG8
Checking for broken links on your website is important for routine maintenance. I hope this information helps you! If you have any questions leave a comment below or ping me @WPLearningLab on Twitter.
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