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How 404 Errors Can Bring Down Your Online Business?

For the users, landing on a 404 error page is frustrating. It is also bad for a website owner, as ‘Page Not Found’ error can adversely impact the search engine rankings. So, how does a user’s frustration transform into serious setback for your online business?

There are two kinds of links on every website – internal & external links. 

The first one points towards your other web pages, within your site, and you have total control on them. You can make changes to your site, anytime. It is also important to run a regular check on the performance of your internal links. 

External links point to websites of others, and you cannot control the webpage they get linked to. Fortunately, you still have the option to eradicate the broken links.

Important tip – Instead of frustrating users with the 404 pages, which is more like a dead-end. You can instead use 301 WordPress redirect plugin, to send users to another relevant or modified page. You can also transfer the page rank value of a redundant page to a new and relevant one. 

How users’ frustration damages your business?

Direct impact

When users click a dead link, you might think that it is no big deal! 

Well, you are wrong! 

You will first need to understand the repercussions of dead links and SEO. When users see the 404 error, they are left with no choice but to instantly leave your site. They don’t visit other webpages on your website. You may have some loyal users whom you may lose forever. 

You can lose several users with broken links, which is equivalent to the potential income you may have possibly earned. This is the direct impact of lost users, but the indirect impact will be more devastating for your business.

Indirect impact

A 404 Page Not Found error roots several issues. It negatively impacts your SEO efforts. Your bounce rate increases, and this lowers your ranking on the search engine’s result page. When Google identifies that users are leaving your webpage as soon as they land, it assumes that users did not get the information they came in search for. Therefore, Google removes the webpage from searches as a pertinent result. 

Improper webpage indexing also impacts Google rankings. The crawlers crawl across your entire website. It gathers valuable information and reveals it to the search engines about what your website is all about, and what it is capable to offer. As soon as the crawlers identify a broken link, the indexing process stops. This damages your chances of achieving high ranking on search engine results.

What are the causes of 404 errors?

Broken links cause 404 errors due to many reasons

  • Modifying or moving a page without changing the internal links
  • Improper navigation
  • Changes in page address but neglect in changes of the link address
  • The webpage is deleted or permanently moved
  • URL placed improperly

Broken links need to be regularly tracked and removed, but doing it manually is overwhelming for owners with big websites. Several tools can help you identify and remove 404 error pages. 

Many website owners prefer to use a 301 WP redirect tool. That helps to avoid the 404 error page creation, but make sure that you are redirecting your users to a more modified and valuable version. 

Their valuable backlinks also get transferred to the redirected page. You can also resize images online with ResizeMyImage before redirecting, so that the page load speed improves. Thus their SEO value get retained even after the post or page gets deleted, moved or changed!