Whenever a visitor lands on an URL on your site and sees a 404 ‘page not found’ message instead of a high-quality piece of content or a relevant page – it costs you.
The cost can vary (it may cost you a subscriber, the opportunity to gain a new lifelong fan, or the chance to make a great first impression; to give you just a few examples).
You want people who reach your site to have an amazing experience and want to come back.
Broken links defeat that purpose.
Broken links are links that send visitors to a page that can’t be found or accessed by a web server. When a user tries to access a broken link, web servers will often display a 404 error.
404s can happen when:
- A page was moved to a different address
- A page has been deleted or never existed
- Someone mistyped the page’s URL
- Someone linked to the wrong address
On top of being super inconvenient, 404 errors are also extremely common.
Luckily, you can easily handle this issue by using Squirrly to redirect ALL 404s on your site.
The best way to show how Squirrly can help is with an example of a real situation we encountered here at Squirrly and the exact steps we took using Squirrly SEO in order to fix it.
Let’s get to it!
In the screenshot below, you can see one of our infographics which we published on Pinterest.
The issue with this infographic was that it linked to a page which NO longer existed on our website:
So, instead of reaching an article with useful information, visitors from Pinterest landed on an irrelevant page on squirrly.co which also happened to have a very old design.
With Squirrly SEO, we were able to quickly fix this directly within the plugin. Now, when someone clicks on that link, they are taken to our Store for Entrepreneurs, which is exactly what we want.
And here’s how we did it!
How We Fixed this Using Squirrly SEO
For 404 Post Types, Squirrly offers the option to configure a Default Redirect URL to redirect the broken URLs when no valid permalink is found.
So, we were able to fix this issue in just 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Go to Squirrly SEO > All Features and activate SEO Links
Step 2: Go to Squirrly SEO > Automation > Configuration > 404 and make sure the Redirect Broken URLs setting is set to ON for this post type
Step 3: Define a Default Redirect URL
This enables you to automatically forward (redirect) visitors to a specific page on your website every time a visitor reaches a 404 error-causing URL.
You can choose any page on your website (like your Home page, for example).
All you have to do is copy the URL of the page that you want visitors to reach in the dedicated box shown in the screenshot above.
By following these steps, visitors will be redirected to the exact page you want instead of them reaching an error page and having a poor experience on your site.
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