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Fix 404 Errors on Your Website

August 15, 2017

Has your SEO told you there are a bunch of errors called "404 errors" on your website that you need to fix? Here's an overview of what the heck a 404 error is, why you should care for SEO, and how to fix them using a WordPress website.

Also, understand how to keep track of errors for free.

The instructions below are a great set of notes to supplement the video above. These notes are not nearly as detailed as the video. Watch the video, then hang on to the notes below for future reference.

Goal: Fix all of your important 404 errors with proper 301 redirects.

  • Implementation: If you have access to the site, set up 301 redirects and you're done.
  • Recommendations: If you have access to the site (common for larger businesses), make a spreadsheet or PDF to send to your developers to fix the errors. Our spreadsheet MUST include recommendations on the URL they should redirect to!!! Make it easy to follow.

2 Ways to View 404 Errors

  1. Review in RavenTools —> Site Auditor —> Visibility
  2. Review in GSC —> Crawl —> Crawl Errors

Why GSC?

  • Shows corresponding hyperlinks followed to get to it.
  • Prioritizes according to what Google determines to be most important errors.
  • Export straight to a new Google spreadsheet.

Raven allows you to export to CSV/XLS format and provides extra information about each URL. Raven also sometimes reports on URLs that GSC has not found.

Next Steps: Implementation

  1. WordPress 301 Redirect Plugin: Add redirects there.
  2. TEST each redirect.
  3. If using GSC, mark as fixed.

Next Steps: Recommendations

  1. Create Google Spreadsheet with your 404 errors URL list.
  2. Make a 2nd column for the recommended URL each error should redirect to, add the URL to each.
  3. Check and test your URLs when done.

Lauren L Perfors President

Small business WordPress web developer with over 10 years digital marketing experience, specializing in SEO.
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