Broken links? Do you know about 404 error pages? It’s those annoying error pages that sometimes tell us we’re lost or can’t find what we’re looking for.
As a merchant, 404 error pages are the worst enemy of your online store. These error pages disrupt your customers’ browsing experience if they are mishandled or ignored. They very often cause negative and unexpected consequences on your search engine ranking.
It is important to manage links error in your store so that you do not impact your efforts to increase the sales of your online store.
So what can you do to manage these common 404 errors?
Why are broken links your online store’s worst enemy?
Broken links are links that lead to error pages (bad requests, not found, etc.) on your store. You should know they are inevitable as your online store grows. Why are they so bad for your online store?
Error pages distract your online store visitors from their main goal when they arrive at your website. Search engines don’t like broken links. In other words, broken links indirectly send a wrong message to search engines trying to rank your online store.
Let’s say a potential client clicks on a link to your online store that he found by chance in a blog post or the news feed of his favorite social network. The link, being broken, leads him to your store but with an error message. The visitor will be disappointed and, as a result, will leave your online store without spending any time there.
Search engines will think that it is bad or uninteresting if visitors don’t spend time on your online store. They will start downgrading your online store in their search results in favor of your competitors. Finally, you will lose sales and therefore money. This is just one of many scenarios. Is this reason enough for you to take great care of your online store’s broken links soon?
How can you deal with broken links on your online store?
To solve the problems related to broken links, you must first analyze your online store to find them. So, what tools should you use to find broken error pages?
You can use a link checker to find broken error pages. You could use several tools (Google Search Console, W3C link checker, etc.) to check and fix broken links in your online store. Here we will use the W3C link checker.
Below is an excerpt of the result of the analysis of our website with a link broken on purpose to serve as a demonstration.
After finding the broken links on your Shopify online store, one of the best ways to fix them is to use URL redirects. URL redirects allow you to redirect a broken link to an available page on your online store. By setting up URL redirects, search engines will become aware of the new URL of a page through redirection.
For example, if you delete a product from your online store, you can set up a URL redirect. This way, when customers enter the URL for that product in their browser, they are redirected to a similar product in your store.
How could you set up URL redirects?
You can easily create URL redirects from your Shopify admin by following the steps below:
From your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Navigation.
Click View URL Redirects.
Click Create URL redirect
In Redirect from, enter the old URL that you want to redirect visitors from.
Only broken URLs should be redirected. If the URL still loads a valid webpage, then the URL redirect won’t work. You can’t redirect URLs that begin with the following prefixes: /apps, /application, /cart, /carts, /orders, /shop, or /services
In Redirect to, enter the new URL that you want to redirect visitors to. If you want to redirect to your store’s home page, then enter /
The new URL can be either a relative URL (for example, /collections/shoes) or a full URL (for example, http://www.example.com/collections/shoes). To redirect traffic within your primary domain, use a relative URL. To redirect outside your, primary domain use a full URL.
Finally, Click Save or Save redirect.
At Accomplishify, a Shopify SEO service in Melbourne, we track and fix broken links every day to maximize the ROI of your online stores. We know what these 404 errors are capable of, which is why we use some of the many advantages Shopify offers to implement optimal solutions.
Do you think you now have all the tools you need to fix broken links in your online store? What other tools do you use to repair broken links?
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How do I get a copy of WE3 Checker to check for broken links?
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