Is That a Broken Link? Or just Plain Negligence?


It’s Tuesday.  Admittedly, it’s my least favorite day of the work week.  It’s the day that’s still too early in the week, and not close enough to the weekend.  So why not air my grievances on a Tuesday?  It makes perfect sense to me.  

One of my biggest annoyances in the online world – the infamous Broken Link!  And I’m not talking about a broken link because of downtime or any other technical difficulties, which is both relatively common and unavoidable. Rather, I’m talking about links that are broken by either ignorance or are outright neglected.

Where does this broken link hostility stem from, you ask?

About a year ago, an acquaintance of mine started their own business.   Success came quickly for them, and grew at an accelerated rate in only a few short months after opening.  Being the supporter that I am, I requested the newsletters, the updates, the Tweets, etc. 

So here I am, week after week, reading the newsletters, the updates, and following the tweets.  And here I am thinking about what a great job they have done on marketing and building brand awareness.  Surely, this business must be reaping the benefits of putting social media to use.

But…there was one nagging point.

From the very first message I received – which was quite some time ago – until now, the website link in the body of the message has been broken.  Thinking positively, I assumed someone would have mentioned this to them.  Perhaps someone did, and it wasn’t taken care of.  It was like that for several months – I can only assume that no one pointed it out.

Whatever the case may be, I couldn’t handle this anymore.  I work for a technology company – and I’m sensitive about this kind of stuff!  It’s technology, if you don’t expect glitches to happen, then you are in for a sore surprise – no matter what you are using.

So, without further procrastination on my part, I decided to pipe up and say something:

Me:  “Hey there, I just thought I would let you know that your link is not working…I can’t seem to ever get to your webpage in any of the emails and updates you send.”

John Doe Business Owner: “I know, I’ve been meaning to take care of that.  But it seems to work sometimes.  I suppose I should get on it.”

Seriously!  It works sometimes?

Speechless.  I couldn’t believe it.  Sending out  mass marketing messaging and being oblivious to your broken call to action link is one thing…but knowing about it & willingly ignoring it is a whole different ball game.  I mean, maybe it’s just me (though I doubt it) but driving traffic to your website is one of the most important things you can do when you are starting a business.  I can’t even begin to imagine how many business opportunities may have been missed.

The moral of the story:  Email messaging and social media is obviously becoming one of the most important tools in either building a business from the ground up or distinguishing your personal brand. Before sending anything to potential customers, test it out and don’t ignore those broken links, no matter how seemingly trivial – you don’t want to lose your website traffic or your subscribers.

Not only that, you’ll save people like me from early week rants!

Helpful Hint: Did you know that a broken link can be detrimental to your Search Engine Optimization?  Are you curious to know if your own website contains any links that may need fixing.  Try out this handy link checker.

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