Technology, security and more are constantly evolving. We have to stay on top of our websites. We need to clear out clutter, outdated items and more. But when we do BIG updates and restructure our sites, we have to remember to go back and check for fallout, or the fall-off of inbound links due to errors.
The SLMA has sponsors.
Each sponsor gives us a link to their site for their banner ad. Most of them send us a link they can track. BUT, when these sponsors change marketing team members, structure of their site, campaigns, the links most likely will change resulting in a 404 error when people click on the ad. This makes us look bad. We have clicks but they show no conversions due to the 404.
A great way to see what is happening is to use the search console from Google (FREE) to check for errors in the inbound links. You can see what pages are having issues and who is linking to them. This is a good task for an intern or marketing assistant to check monthly. Doing this will help you correct issues, connect with companies that believe in you enough to link to your content.
Hey, don't forget to check drip campaigns and email marketing templates, too. Once we set up these auto-pilot types of campaigns, we forget that if we restructure the links, change our provider on squeeze pages and more, we break our drip campaigns which will increase our unsubscribes and grumpy recipients. These are great tasks to add to a quarterly calendar. We have found in the past that once in a while we have a typo in a link, but then we share that same content or post with some reworking bringing along the broken link, so we perpetuate our own 404 errors. Search console will help you find those types of errors, too.
While you're at it, send the people linking to broken pages a thank you and the URL with corrected link so they can quickly find it and update it. If you make it easy, they will usually do it for you.