Get rid of broken links to reduce SaaS churn
Any link that doesn’t lead a visitor to the desired webpage (404, dead links, etc.) is a disaster for your website. It kills user experience and is most likely a reason why your website’s churn rate is skyrocketing.
Whittington Consulting increased its website traffic by 74% and organic traffic by 109% by fixing broken links and crawl errors.
Segment improved its organic traffic by 127% in 2 months after implementing the required technical and content audit recommendations.
PDF Pro increased search traffic by 106,283% in as low as 6 months primarily with linkbuilding and cleaning technical SEO glitches.
How to use the technique
- Identify broken links on your website using a tool like Ahref’s Broken Link Checker. It lets you find 404 not found pages on your domain. Check our free guide on how to improve your website’s performance using website audits.
- Use Fetch as Googlebot in the Search Console to see what errors you’re getting from broken internal links. Use the information to identify broken links and codes so you can deal with them to reduce churn rate.
- Fix broken links by re-creating new webpages or using 301 redirects. If you don’t need a page anymore, use 301 redirect to send traffic to an appropriate webpage. This helps reduce bounce rate as well as churn rate.
- Make 404 useful by clearly guiding visitors that the page they're looking for has been moved or isn’t available, and provide them with useful links to get desired information. This doesn’t hurt the user experience. More on user experience improvement techniques can be found in this free guide.
Mistakes to avoid
- Redirecting broken links to the homepage is a bad idea. Google doesn’t like it and your audience won’t either because anyone who clicks a link expects a specific page. Show them a relevant page.
- Not reaching out to external websites that linked to one of your broken links. It is essential to identify websites that have linked to a broken webpage and ask them to link to a new and better page (that you have re-created).
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An article published on Science Direct found that error messages (such as 404 or invalid pages) develop psychological stress. While a couple of pages won’t hurt but when users tend to see a lot of such invalid pages, it leads to frustration and users eventually give up and churn.
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