You probably have links all over your blog. I know I do. In fact, in some of my off-site content I have six or eight links in each article. We all know how important it is to check grammar and spelling, and we take a look at formatting to make sure everything lines up nice on the page, but how many times have you forgotten to check those links to make sure they work?
You lose credibility: I don’t know about you but the second I click on a dead link the first words that come to my mind are – “What an idiot! He gave me a link that doesn’t even work!” Now, I just assume the blogger didn’t check any of his links and I don’t bother clicking. After all, that first one landed on a 404 page, but what if some of those others go to some dark, scary place I don’t want to visit?
You’re wasting your readers’ time: The second words that come to my mind are, “Jeez! I have better things to do than sit here and visit 404 pages! This guy is wasting my time!” And, again, I don’t click on any more of his links because now I’m just being stubborn and angry.
You look bad to the search engines: I don’t know what the search engines say when they hit those bad links but I can imagine it’s not very nice. After all, one of the top search engine ranking factors is navigation. If your links don’t work, the search engines don’t like it and you get a big, black check-mark.
Nobody can follow your links: Of course, the most obvious result of those broken links is… nobody can follow your links. Duh! Wonder why your landing page isn’t converting? Because nobody can follow the link!
The new links you’re adding to your content today aren’t the only links you should double check. Look at your older content, too. Advertisers take down sales pages, bloggers delete content or change URLs, you never know when those old links are going to just disappear.
Once you get done checking the links on your blog, move to your articles and other web properties where you have even more links. If you’re using article marketing to drive traffic to a landing page and months later you take that landing page down, then you have all those articles out there pointing at dead cyberspace. Go back and change the links to point to something else on your blog.
And finally, as soon as you publish a new blog post, share it yourself across Twitter and Facebook and whatever relevant social networks you use. Then, go to Twitter and Facebook to make sure those links lead back to your content. Nine times out of ten everything’s fine. But you just never know. It’s always best to double check your links every time you publish.