The chances are that there will be broken links on your site, or, someone linking to your site will point to an incorrect page or resource that all generate 404 errors, so why not convert this opportunity into an SEO Hack?
For those that don’t know, a “404 Error” is a page that does not exist on your website that will show an error to your visitors.
OK, so what’s the growth hack?
Make sure the error page has a “Call To Action” on it, for example, you could include giveaways such as an ebook, checklists, or whatever else your visitors might be interested in.
No brainer, but you’ll be amazed at how many clients I’ve worked with that had a bland and blank 404 page.
Are 404 Errors Bad For SEO?
They do, however, send negative signals to Google.
Remember that there are two types of 404 Errors:
- (Hard) 404 Errors
- Soft 404 Errors
The first one is an actual “break” in the site navigation in the sense that a page cannot be found. The server is returning a “Page Not Found” error. This article by Search Journal has a good explanation for the differences.
A soft 404 is not a deal-breaker by any means.
How Easy Is It To Fix 404 Errors?
The answer as ever in SEO is that it depends!
If your site is huge then yes, you will need a ton of resources.
Screaming Frog is a great tool to use to find broken links but you’d be advised to set it up on a dedicated server or a VPS machine (server) with plenty of RAM and Storage.
If your site is under 500 pages then I believe that it is free to scan for broken links.
Scanning For 404 Errors On A Mac?
For the most part, I use a Mac and I’ve discovered a nice tool called Integrity which does a very good job; in fact, it’s very similar to Screaming Frog except that it has slightly fewer features.
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