Dead-end pages are a blogger’s worst nightmare. They look like regular pages on the blog, but they lead nowhere. These dead-ends can be identified and fixed quickly with these seven tips from a top blogger.
This guide will show you how to identify and correct your dead-end pages on your blog.
What is a dead-end Page?
A dead-end page is any webpage that does not have any links to other pages on the site or external links to other websites. This lack of content forces all visitors to leave the site after reading this page.
The difference between a dead-end page, and an orphaned page, is that an orphaned page has no inbound links, and a dead-end page has no links at all.
Examples of dead-end pages
Contact Pages: Contact pages are a pretty popular type of dead-end page. If a contact page doesn’t have any links to other pages, or an “About Us” link with navigation that brings the user to another page, it is a good candidate for dead-end. A visitor will see the contact information and leave immediately after.
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Employee Portals: It is a dead-end if an employee portal does not have information about company policies or a “join” button with valid login credentials to another site page.
Blogs: A blog isn’t necessarily always considered a landing page. It is a good candidate for a dead-end if there are advertisements and no other links within the post or in the sidebar.
404 Pages: A 404 page is often a dead-end page with no links to help the user find their way around. If all they see is an error and no options, then they will leave right away.
Why Do Dead-Ends Happen?
Sometimes a dead end is intentional and is meant to stop the user from going anywhere else on the site or Internet.
This strategy can be a security method for online shopping carts, credit card fields, etc. Other times a dead-end is accidental and only serves to frustrate the user.
Whether intentional or not, dead-end pages are bad for business.
Why are Dead-End Pages Bad?
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When web users read your entire home page but can’t find a way to continue, they will likely go elsewhere.
A dead-end page gives no incentive for those who stumbled upon your site to stay and look around. Now, you’ve lost a potential customer or client.
How can I Avoid Creating Dead-End Pages?
Shift the focus from making as many pages as possible to creating as much helpful content as possible.
First, look at your site’s existing pages to see if it has any links. If you have limited time, focus on creating more pages with multiple links.
How to find Dead-End Pages
If you want to find dead-end pages manually, the best place to start is your most trafficked pages. Check these pages for links that either lead nowhere or repeat the same content on this page.
I use Link Whisper, which is an internal linking plugging for WordPress. Using the link report, I can see which pages have outbound links, internal links, and outbound, internal inks. The pages that have none of these are dead-end pages.
What to Do with Dead-End Pages?
If you find a page on your site that is unintentionally dead-end, make sure you can link it to somewhere.
For example, you could create a new page and move the content there or rewrite the content and use internal links throughout your website. If the page isn’t worth saving as part of your site, then delete it.
The key is to keep the content fresh and useful so that users don’t find themselves on dead ends.
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Are There Any Benefits of Dead-End Pages?
How to Fix a Dead-End Page?
There are a few ways to fix a dead-end page, but none of them work every time. Visitors will always have no way out of your site once they get there. However, you can try:
1. Adding links to other parts of the site or related websites – If you are using your home page as a “landing” page, ensure that at least one link leads elsewhere.
3. Changing your home page from a landing page to an index or portal – This can be on-purpose for security purposes if you still want some external links. In that case, ensure that at least one of your links leads back to the home page.
4. Adding a FAQ or help section is perfect for sites with information pages, but it can be hard to fit everything on one page.
5. Linking out to sources within your site – For example, if you are writing an article about training a dog, link to other articles on your site that you think people will also want to read.
6. Linking out to other sites – If you have a lot of outside links, change it so that only the most important ones appear on your homepage and secondary pages, and the others link out further into your site.
7. Rewriting the content – This is not an option for all dead-end pages, but sometimes it can be good to rewrite the content on a page containing only a few sentences.