For some websites, broken links may not be as important as major classic errors such as wrong noindex tags or hreflang implementation. In fact, these websites may be lucky enough not to lose anything significant by linking to invalid URLs.
But for many websites like Healthy Spot, broken links can result in very tangible losses when they point to high-value pages. In this post, we’ll see how Healthy Spot is missing out on traffic and revenue from broken links.
In case, you haven’t heard of the company, Healthy Spot is a pet care retail company that offers dog daycare & grooming services and sells nutritional foods for dogs and cats.
Let’s get into how erroneous links are getting in the way of their organic revenue.
Broken Links Pointing to High-Priority Pages
A broken link occurs when a mistyped/malformed URL or a 404 error page is linked to. Commonly, this may not be a priority if these broken links come from and/or lead to irrelevant pages.
But when these broken links point to high-value pages with authoritative backlinks or historically pull in considerable traffic and revenue, they become a problem. I wrote an in-depth post on finding, vetting, and fixing 404 pages. It’s worth reading if you’re not sure how to handle your broken links and linked 404s.
Back to Healthy Spot…
Let me explain how this problem is costing Healthy Spot significant organic revenue opportunities.
A closer look at Healthy Spot’s Broken Links
Healthy Spot is missing out on serious organic revenue because of 40+ broken links pointing to high-value pages.
Healthy Spot visitors land on the website to perform several actions ranging from shopping for their pets, booking Healthy Spot services, or even reading pet care tips. These actions translate to revenue for Healthy Spot. But when broken links get in the way, potential customers may find it difficult to complete some of those actions.
Take, for instance, this Healthy Spot’s Pet Essentials for Summer page below.
The page contains a list of pet foods and treats, accessories, travel kits, and other essentials for summer. The issue? One of the recommended products—Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Treats—leads to a page that has been removed from the website.
If a user is willing to click on a ‘SHOP IT HERE’ CTA to access a product, chances are they are strongly considering making a purchase. But that option is off the table once the user hits a 404-Not Found page. This hurts both SEO and usability.
Another example of a high-value page where Healthy Spot is losing money to broken links is on the West LA small dog daycare location page. The culprit is a mistyped URL page path [/pages/”pages/west-la] that points to the West LA page.
Rather than the correct URL /pages/west-la, /pages/”pages/west-la” was added instead, causing a 404 error response.
Why is this page important and how is Healthy Spot losing money on it?
According to SEMRrush data, the valid URL [/pages/west-la], pulls in a monthly traffic volume of 215. For more context, it’s the 18th best-performing page (in terms of organic traffic) on the Healthy Spot website. More so, it’s a location page that guides page visitors to Healthy Spot’s physical store. So, there’s no doubt it’s a high-priority page.
For more context, let’s assume that 1% of the 215 prospects that land on the West LA page give up when they can’t find contact information to guide them. That would be a total of 21 customers.
According to information on this site, Healthy Spot’s rates for dog daycare start from $35 for half a day.
For 21 customers, that amounts to $735+ daily revenue that Healthy Spot is potentially losing!
What Pages Are Linking to the West LA Invalid URL?
Currently, the only internal page that actively links to the mistyped West LA URL is the general small dog daycare location page as I mentioned earlier.
The bad news is that this referring page is Healthy Spot’s 7th best-performing page, attracting monthly traffic of 328.
It’s also worth mentioning that page visitors checking out dog daycare location pages are likely ready to visit and engage Healthy Spot’s services. Channeling even a fraction of this traffic and link equity by properly linking the West LA page (from the small dog daycare location page) can boost its search performance. This translates to more organic revenue for Healthy Spot.
How Healthy Spot Can Stop Losing Money to Broken Links on High-value Pages
Here are recommendations that can help Healthy Spot handle its broken links:
- For permanently out-of-stock products or bundles: If a retired product or package historically generated backlinks, traffic, and revenue, 301-redirect it to its new version, a similar product, or the parent category (if there’s no alternative).
I have no idea what’s happening on Healthy Spot’s backend, but I would guess the broken link to the Chicken Breast Freeze Dried Treats I mentioned earlier is a discontinued offer. It was likely sold as a single product but isn’t available anymore as Healthy Spot now sells it in a 2-pack and 3-pack product package.
If the Chicken Breasts treats single item page is still actively linked to (which it is) and gets significant traffic, it makes sense to:
a. Update these links internally (i.e., add links to the 2-pack or 3-pack offer instead), and
b. 301-redirect the old URL to either the 2-pack or 3-pack page (depending on popularity) in case other websites still link to the old URL. It’s also good practice to add a message explaining what happened and why the visitor is being redirected.
But if the page doesn’t align with the brand anymore and has no SEO value, deleting it might be a better option.
2. For Temporarily Out-of-Stock Products: If a product isn’t available but will be restocked in the future, here are some things to do:
- Keep the page accessible and indexable, especially if it’s a high-value product.
- Gray out the product and make sure users can’t select it.
- Add a message notifying users that the item is out of stock. If the restock date is available, add it to the message.
- Whether the restock date is available or not, give shoppers the option to join a waitlist and receive email notifications once the product is back in store.
For anyone at Healthy Spot or other site owners, this analysis can help you understand just how much revenue or SEO equity you could be losing from broken links. In this post, I analyzed 2 backlinks, but there are still over 30 more left on the Healthy Spot website.
While some of them could be on irrelevant pages, checking out the others may help Healthy Spot uncover valuable opportunities that could impact its revenue!