Do you often see a 404 error when you surf on your website or another website, but you do not understand what it is, its impact, and above all how to correct it? Then this article is made for you! Today, Digital Out Loud tells you everything you need to know about the 404 error code and gives you six reasons to find it and fix it.
What is the 404 error?
A 404 error is an HTTP error code transmitted by the server that indicates that a requested page cannot be found. For the user, a 404 error is a page usually accompanied by the message “File Not Found”, which he sees when he clicks on a link that no longer exists. Simply put, Error 404 is the code a web server gives when a user tries to go to a website that doesn’t exist or doesn’t work anymore.
What is the impact of 404 errors on your SEO strategy?
The existence of a 404 error in one or more of your pages has several negative impacts. Today, we will focus on the three main ones:
- 404 error pages are frustrating for customers and give them an awful experience when they are on your website. This will cause them to leave your website and not visit it again in the future.
- 404 errors create a defect in the exploration of your site by search engines, which can lead to the abandonment of part of your site and affect the number of traffic you desire.
- Error pages can contribute to an increased bounce rate, especially if the wrong page URL led the visitor to your website.
404 errors can have a negative impact on both your SEO and your website. This is why it is imperative that you correct them.
6 tools to find and fix 404 errors on your website
Google Search Console
If you have associated your website with the Google Search Console, you will be able to see the errors that appear on your pages, particularly the 404 errors.
This tool will bring you important information about your site and offers you many optimizations. All you have to do is go to the indexing-page/not found (404) section, it lists you the broken links.
Dead Link Checker
Dead Link Checker allows you to check up to 2000 links on your site to determine if they are working.
Screaming Frog identifies errors on your site that could affect your website’s position in search results. And create a list of broken internal and external links within your website.
Xenu’s Link Sleuth
This tool will allow you to scan your entire site in a few minutes, and will reveal all the broken links to other sites, images, styles, etc.
Monster Insights is a plugin you can install on your WordPress website, it will make the search so easy for you. All you have to do is connect your Google Analytics to your website, it will automatically track your 404 errors.
W3C Link Checker
This tool allows you to check all the links on a page quickly. It also provides you with information about the broken links within that page.