How to fix broken links on your website: A complete guide

Users click on links in your blog posts to get more information. They don’t expect to face errors. These errors take place because the target page isn’t available or they have technical problems. The reason for broken links are various but the results are the same: Bad user experience & harmful for SEO.

In this article, I’m going to talk about what’s broken kinks, the reasons, and how to fix them.

What is a broken link?

A broken link (also called a dead link) is a hyperlink that leads visitors to another page in your domain or another website that no longer exists. The first case is an broken internal link and the second one is a broken external link. It always along with an error message such as 401, 301,410, and so on.

In other words:
Every link that doesn’t take visitors to the expected destination is a broken link.

Examples of Broken links:

Error 404 (page not found): This error means your target page isn’t available anymore.

Error 400 (bad request): It indicates the server can’t reach the target page due to an invalid demand. Here user needs to revise the request.

Error 410 (Gone): This type of error happens when a user tries to reach a resource that has been permanently deleted.

Error 500 (Internal Server Errors): It is the sign of an internal error or misconfiguration. So, the server can’t fulfill the request.

How to fix broken links on your website:Error 404

Why broken links are important?

Broken links are important because these links damage to SEO of your website in a variety of ways including crawlability, user experience, navigation, and structure. Broken links waste your crawl budget, increase your bounce rate due to bad user experience, diminish page authority and affect business opportunities because of losing the target page.

The broken backlink which comes to your website is losing opportunity. It prevents crawling your website and you can’t take advantage to receive the authority of referring domains.

Broken outgoing links from your website are harmful, and it creates a bad user experience.

These are good reasons to find these errors and solve problems as soon as possible.

What are the causes of broken links?

Every link may break due to a variety of reasons such as:

  •  Typos in URL
  • URL modification
  • Website downtime
  • Moving downloadable sources 
  • Changing domain names
  • Broken code
  • Removing the webpage

Some of these reasons are because of human errors and carelessness. Some of them are out of your control, and a periodic check can help you to fix them as soon as possible.

Below these common reasons of broken links are noted in detail:


Typo happens when you enter wrong URL. To prevent typing the wrong URL consider below points:

  • Check spelling
  • Don’t use space in the URL
  • Include “https://” or http:// at the beginning of URL
  • If you use hyphen or underline, pay attention to don’t use one of them instead of the other one.

URL Modification

Maybe you rename or make changes in your website’s URLs and forget to update these URLs after modification.
Old URLs work no longer after modification. Therefore you should use Redirect 301 and 302 instead of old URLs.

When you need to change your website URL, or even make significant adjustments to the content on your domain, redirects can help you maintain your PageRank and the reputation you have earned through backlinks and traffic. Consider below redirects while you are making change in URLs:

Redirect 301: It tells the search engine that the page has moved to a new location permanently and visitors see it in a new address.

Redirect 302: It tells the search engine that the page has moved to a new location temporarily.

For every permanent change in URL, you need to use a 301 redirect. It also passes SEO Rankpage and you can use the previous authority of the old URL. But 302 redirect doesn’t pass link authority.

Website downtime

Downtime happens when a website is unreachable, and it doesn’t load to perform the necessary function. It is inevitable for every website, but it can affect your SEO and reduce traffic. It causes any links point to your website failed and users can’t visit your website.

Downtime mostly happened due to:

  • Coding error
  • Hardware problems
  • DNS issue
  • Poor hosting
  • CMS issue

This technical problem appears in different level from broken links to disappearing entire of website. You need to fix it quickly. Any delay in fixing downtime problem=losing more traffic.

Moving downloadable source

Some links direct users to downloadable content like PDFs, eBooks, images, audio files, videos, and so on.
If these contents move or delete, the link will be broken.
So, check such content to make sure your links work well.

Changing domain name

Sometimes companies change the name of their brand and accordingly change the domain name. It may happen for small businesses too.
Changing the domain without applying the proper redirects causes all information could be gone and all the links to break.

Broken code

All codes such as javascript, CSS, HTML, and other codes can be broken.
Broken code leads to broken links.

Removing URL page

Maybe you delete the page linked to it accidentally or intentionally. It may happen for internal links. After deleting a page don’t forget to update the link.
For external links, it is out of control to know if the page has been removed. So, regular crawling audits of your website help to know it as soon as possible.

How to find broken links?

The first step to fixing broken links is finding them. It is possible to find them manually if your website is small. But I recommend using an automated tool. The advantage of a broken link checker tool is doing it flawlessly. Below you see some awesome broken link finder tools.

Google search console

Google search console is a must-have tool for every website. This tool has broad usage to check all aspects of your website, and finding broken links is one of them.

After logging in Google search console in the left-hand menu find Coverage. It gives you detailed information about the index status of your website and indicates pages have problem.


Ahrefs is a well-known name in SEO service companies.
Ahrefs has a tool called Site Audit. You can find errors on your website with the Site Audit tool.

One of the good features of the Site Audit tool is reporting all types of broken links. It includes internal links, external links (from your website to other websites), and backlinks (links that come to your website from other websites).


Semrush has everything you need for SEO. This platform has over 50 tools and reports to check all aspects of SEO.

It has a site audit tool that can analyze the crawling status of your website and specifically note each type of broken link.
When logged in to your Semrush account, under On-Page & Tech SEO go to
Site Audit section.

Enter the domain and select the number of pages to be crawled.
On your Site Audit report page, click on the Issues tab and look for Errors section.

In front of every error section, you can see the “Why and how to fix it” message which you can learn about the issue and how to fix it.


Sitechcker is an easy use SEO audit tool. It scans your site and shows all broken links and the way for fixing them.

Like Google Search Console, the Sitechecker SEO dashboard gives you valuable data about your website. But the difference is that Sitechecker gives you the solution too.

How to fix a broken link?

Fixing broken links isn’t hard.
The way of repairing broken links is different for internal links, backlinks, and outgoing links from your website (external links). Keep reading to discuss each of them separately.

Fixing Broken Backlinks

Resolve broken backlinks with the below solutions:

Ask the website owner

 Broken links that come to your website are out of your control to some extent. The easiest way is to contact a website owner who sends the link to your site. Ask them to fix this link.

Redirect broken link

Redirect broken backlink to another similar content to your website.

Use 404 error

 If you don’t have many 404 errors on your website, you can keep it as 404 error. This is a good way if that backlink isn’t important. Otherwise, you need to fix it via above mentioned ways.

Fixing broken internal link

Consider the below solution depending on the types of your issue:

Use redirect

 If the page that the link is pointing to has been moved, you can redirect the link to the new page. It will ensure that users go to the correct page, and it won’t damage your website’s SEO.

Update broken link

 If there is a mistake in writing the URL, or if the link is pointing to the wrong page, update the link by directing it to the correct page. It also will help improve your website’s SEO.

Remove broken link

 In some cases, it might be best to delete the broken link from your website. This is usually the case if the linked page has been deleted and is no longer available.

Fixing broken external link

To fix broken external link determine if it is worth fixing. If the link is important and relevant to my website’s content, then proceed with fixing it.

Find a replacement link and update the broken link on your website. This can be done by editing the page where the broken link was located and replacing it with the new link. After updating the broken link, test it to make sure that it is working properly.

How to prevent broken links?

As a website owner, prevent broken links seriously. Broken links can lead to a negative user experience and also harm your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). Here are some steps you take to prevent broken links:

Regularly check your website

You can use a link checker tool to scan the website for broken links on a regular basis. This helps you identify any broken links before they become a problem.

Update internal links

Whenever you make changes on your website’s structure or content, update any internal links that may have been affected. This ensures that all internal links remain functional.

Use permanent redirects

If you need to change the URL of a page, use a permanent redirect (301) to ensure that any incoming links continue to work. This prevents broken links due to URL changes.

Avoid linking to unreliable sources

Only link to reputable sources that are unlikely to disappear or change their URLs frequently. This reduces the risk of broken links caused by external sources.

Monitor external links

Regularly check external links to ensure that they are still working. If an external link is broken, either remove broken link or replace it with a working link.

By taking these steps, you are able to prevent broken links and maintain a positive user experience on your website.


Fixing broken links is an essential task for every website owner. It not only improves the user experience but also enhances the search engine optimization of the site.

By regularly checking and fixing broken links, you can ensure that your website visitors have a seamless browsing experience and are able to access all the relevant information they need. Moreover, it helps in building trust and credibility among the users, which ultimately leads to increased traffic and conversions.

So, I highly recommend incorporating regular link checks and fixes into your website maintenance routine. Remember, a well-maintained website is key to success in today’s digital world!


What is a broken link?

A broken link is a hyperlink that no longer works or leads to a dead end. They are non-functional links that can negatively impact user experience and search engine rankings.

What's the reason for a broken link?

There are different reasons that cause broken links including removing the target page, changing URL structure, typos, errors in codes, and other technical issues.

How to find broken links?

By utilizing website crawler tools, manual checks, backlink analysis tools, and Google Search Console, you can effectively identify and fix any broken links on your website.

What are the different types of broken links?

 There are 3 types of broken links: Broken internal links, Broken external links, and broken backlinks.

Does fixing broken links help SEO?

Fixing broken links improve SEO. Broken links are links that lead to pages that no longer exist or have been removed. These links can negatively impact user experience and search engine rankings. When a search engine crawls a website and finds broken links, it may assume that the website is not being maintained properly and therefore lower its ranking.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.