Find Broken Links Easily

How to find broken links

Finding broken links within your website is essential to ensure clicks lead to where they are meant to. Ultimately, not addressing this will contribute to diminishing the power of your rankings.

Why is this important? Links help the user on their journey to find relevant information. When they click a link and it doesn’t work then this poor user experience is recorded and can impede your ranking capability. Links also help prevent pages or posts from being orphaned – which basically means that no content lives in isolation. Everything is related in one way or another.

From your existing crawl, click on the tab ‘Response Codes’ to see the status code for each URL. Ideally, we are looking for URLs with a 4xx status code.

Clicking response codes under Screaming Frog will show the status of each URL

To select the broken links from the long list of URLs click on the filter tab and select ‘Client Error (4xx)’.

Select broken links status under filter with Screaming Frog

An alternative way is via the right-hand window pane and scroll down to the response codes section and click Client Error (4xx) there. Clicking this will highlight the relevant URLs.

Selecting the broken links via the right-hand pane of Screaming Frog

To view the broken link

To view the page that links out to this broken link select the chosen URL and select the ‘Inlinks’ tabs at the bottom of the page. This will show which page the URL is on so that you can go in and fix it either by replacing it or deleting the link.

Discover the page that the broken URL is on in order to fix it

To view the page from which the link is referred, click under the ‘Inlinks tab > From’ and right-click to select ‘open from in browser’.

Open the page from where the URL is referrenced with Screaming Frog

To view the broken link, repeat as above except right-click on ‘Open to In Browser’.

To check whether the link still works and it might be a typo on your website, simply right-click the ‘To’ column to view if the referenced link is still live.

Click to see if the link is still live with Screaming Frog

How to export the list of broken links

You can export a list of your broken links via ‘Bulk Export > Response codes > client error 404s’

Bulk export of broken links from Screaming Frog

The file will contain all the information from the main window and the granular bottom window too.

Sample of an export of broken links from Screaming Frog

Another method of checking for broken links from a list of known URLs that you wish to upload can be done by clicking on ‘Mode > List’ then clicking on the top menu ‘Upload’ and pasting in a list of URLs to check.

Upload a list of URLs to check for broken links via Screaming Frog

Please Note: you can save the export file as a .csv file, an .xlsx file, or even to Google sheets.


Further support

The guide above should help illustrate the simple steps required to get started with Screaming frog SEO Spider.

For more information check out the videos on Youtube.

Likewise, if you have any further questions, then please get in touch via our contact page.