Do you have a dreaded number of 404 pages for your WordPress website? If so you could easily be losing lots of organic search traffic, PageRank and position on Google.
Part of the WordPress SEO expertise I bring to the table is not only being able to find your 404 pages, but help you view the amount of traffic they’re getting and ultimately correct them with a 301 redirect.
It used to be that you would need to call on your web developer to save the day, but WordPress makes fixing 404 pages super easy with a number of highly rated plugins. I prefer the plugin call “301 redirects.”
First, Finding Your 404 Pages
I promise you a manual review of your content isn’t the best way to find 404 pages. It’s takes far too long and is far too difficult. Instead, verify your website on Google Search Console using this link. If you’re already verified, you can go to the “Crawl” section on the left sidebar of your account, click on it and then select crawl errors.
Scrolling down a little further will allow you to see the entire list of 404 pages that Google has detected. Some of the URLs you can tell were never on the site to begin with – those you can ignore. They don’t need a 301 redirect.
Fixing the Rest of Your 404’s with WP
Once you install the plugin 301 redirects, it will appear on the left side of your dashboard under “Settings.” Scroll over “Settings” and click on 301 Redirects. The screenshot below is what you’ll see. Notice I’ve added 2 URLs already. These are URLs I needed to redirect a few months back.
The left column is where you put the URL that is broken – the 404 page. The right column is where you put the URL that you want to send the visitor to instead of the 404 page.
It’s that simple. When you get to the list of your 404 pages in Google Search Console, you can download them all onto an Excel sheet. From there it’s just a matter of copy and paste.
For more questions about SEO or WordPress, feel free to reach me using the form below. Thanks for reading.