Find 404 errors and fix it! The most common sentence you will listen from a SEO expert about your efforts. 404s are never a threat to a site’s SEO. But, still the indicator of how many of your hard earned visits are getting wasted per day. That is because they actually are not taken to the page they should be and eventually they (your readers) leave your site with sad faces.
Even if no one creates or can prevent 404 errors. They exist for even the most reputed sites. You shall be in habit of seeing that 404 error on some Google Pages also. (remember?)
So, The first thing you need to do about 404 errors even before you start fixing them is find them. And that task seems to be easy and you need to think of the correct URLs that must be fixed! Redirecting your users to the nearest page, or the page that is relevant to what he was searching for. Seems easy? it is! Here is the step by step guide for doing so from all the resources available till today.
How to find and fix 404 errors of your website?
1. For the purpose of finding 404 errors. Firstly, we go to the Google Webmaster Central Dashboard (Our SEO headquarter). Go to Health>Crawl Errors. And you will find a list of all the 404 hits on your site till date.
2. You can also find 404 errors by mobile users in the mobile tab. Now comes the most important part! You need to download the whole table. There is no doubt that your site’s most pages are bad links due to mistaken URLs. Or, you can choose the option to download in Google Docs format (recommended if you have to share it with someone).
3. After that, you have to filter that list completely to what URLs can be fixed and which are not. This might include the following example.
If you have hit at a URL like this : http://seoinsiter.com/wordpress-plugins-seo.html/seo-plugins-wordpress/@amansinghseo . This includes my twitter username, the actual URL of the page is – http://seoinsiter.com/wordpress-plugins-seo.html/. The useless part is automatically added at the end of this article, this is a twitter username, so we can take a guess that the user who had hit the 404 page came from the twitter website.
There’s a option called “Redirect ugly URL’s to clean permalinks.” under the Permalinks menu in Yoast SEO Plugin. You can tick the checkbox to fix this. Remember that this option is known to create issues with other plugins.
4. As I did in the previous example. You can also redirect some URLs assuming that people would want to visit the page and all the other information about that.
So that was how you find 404 URLs for your web pages and site’s pages. You might also have other sources such as using Google Analytics, Screaming frog to crawl the list and check after which URLs are working and which are still not found.