How to find and track broken links using Google Analytics

Here’s a quick and easy way to track broken links using Google Analytics.

It requires you to have

  1. Google Analytics setup on your website,
  2. a dedicated 404 page,
  3. and have Google Analytics running on the 404 page.

 

  1. First step is to open up the 404 page on your website, so go ahead and try a link you know wont work like www.itsupportguides.com/fake-link
  2. Once you have the 404 page open, take note of the page title. For my website it starts with ‘Page not found’
  3. GoogleAnalytics-PageNotFound1
  4. Now open up Google Analytics
  5. On the left hand menu, navigate to (or search) and open ‘Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages’
  6. GoogleAnalytics-PageNotFound2
  7. Directly under the graph, under the ‘Primary Dimension’ option click on ‘Page Title’
  8. GoogleAnalytics-PageNotFound3
  9. Now use the search box to the right of the page to search for the page title of your 404 page, for example ‘page not found’
  10. GoogleAnalytics-PageNotFound4
  11. The results should show one page – your 404 page.
  12. Click on it to view the list broken links that have created a 404 error
  13. GoogleAnalytics-PageNotFound5
  14. Now that you know which links are broken, you can find the working link and redirect the bad link to the good link.
  15. You can also add a secondary dimension to see the website that has the bad URL on it.
  16. To do this, click on the ‘Secondary dimension’ drop down list, search for and click on ‘Full Referrer’
  17. GoogleAnalytics-PageNotFound6
  18. Beside each link you’ll now see the URL to the website that has the bad link.

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