How SpringTrax Helped A News Website Understand Their 404 Errors

About The Site

An online news website signed up for SpringTrax to determine if their site had a problem with broken pages. This news website knew they were at risk for 404 errors, but weren't sure how big a problem 404 errors really were for the people visiting their site.

How 404's Occurred On Their Site

Along with adding dozens of new articles to their site each day, the news site also removed hundreds of old articles on a regular basis to get rid of outdated content and to keep their server manageable. The news website knew they could be generating lots of 404 errors for every article removed.

Plus, they relied on third party content, like content promotions, videos, social sharing, and advertisements. This third-party content was outside of their control, and could very easily contain broken links. In fact, they'd already spotted a few broken links in some of that third-party content.

What Would A 404 Cost?

The biggest problem with visitors reaching not found error pages was that people would be less likely to return to the site in the future. Who wants to read news on a site containing errors? Like most news website, this website depends heavily on repeat visitors.

Are 404 Errors That Big Of A Problem?

Are the errors in Google Webmaster Tools a problem for your visitors?
Because of Google Webmaster Tools, they knew they had some not found errors. But, how big a problem were these errors presenting to their visitors?

Before signing up for SpringTrax, the news website knew they had some 404 errors. They didn't know how big a problem those 404s were.

The editors, writers, and developers managing the website were busy creating new content. They knew they needed to fix their 404's, but they didn't know how critical those 404's were. Were the 404 errors causing a big enough problem to justify taking time away from their already busy schedules to fix those 404's?

Yes, We Do Have A 404 Problem

How many visitors are you losing because of broken links?
the news website discovered that they had a bigger problem with broken links than they originally thought.

After installing SpringTrax, the news website discovered that they had a bigger problem with broken links than they originally anticipated. One out of every 200 visitors encountered a broken page. That was hundreds of visitors reaching broken pages daily.

Worse, a little over 82% of people who arrived on a broken page left the website altogether. Those visitors who left would be less likely to return in the future, and less likely to share the news website with their friends and family. Broken links were costing this website a great deal more than they realized before adding SpringTrax to their site.

More 404 Errors Than They Realized

Are the errors in Google Webmaster Tools a problem for your visitors?
With SpringTrax, they found other 404 errors they didn't even know they had. Other tools weren't able to tell this site about 74% of the broken pages visits encountered.

Another discovery after installing SpringTrax, was that the other broken link tools they were using only found 26% of the broken pages visitors encountered. The other broken pages were coming from search results, old bookmarks, email newsletters, other websites, and the third-party content.

Only SpringTrax was able to tell the news website about every single broken page their visitors reached. Now, with SpringTrax they have a complete picture of their website's 404 errors.

Clear Priority

SpringTrax was also able to help the site gain a clear sense of priority. The site's staff now knew how many visitors were encountering 404 errors and how many visitors they were losing a result. With that information, the news website was able to justify having their small staff interrupt other work to fix all of their site's 404 errors.

Future Prevention

SpringTrax's continued monitoring now helps the news website detect new broken links visitors encounter. When there is a sudden increase in visitors reaching a broken page, the news site is alerted to the problem immediately. SpringTrax is also able to help the news site quickly fix their site's 404 error pages.

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