It pays to keep a close eye on analytics – a 404 error recovery story

Published on
Recovery from a seemingly small mistake, like a 404 redirect, can have a huge impact on a company's marketing results.

Industry: Healthcare and beauty
Content: Daily news stories
Highlights: Recovered from a 404 error to increase its overall traffic

How bad is one broken link? What would happen if you tried to improve your website optimization and in the process, a few pages didn’t transfer over? If you don’t set up the proper redirects, you could lose all the momentum you’ve built with your existing SEO and content marketing strategies. This Brafton client example shows just how important it is to have a strategist on call, watching the numbers in content analytics reports to identify when an error like a 404 redirect is impacting results.

What happens when a 404 error is fixed

This particular business had been working with Brafton to execute a content marketing strategy, and it was seeing preliminary results. There were more visitors going to the site, and all the fresh content was rapidly being added to Google’s index … but then there was a sudden drop off  - no more indexing  and far fewer visits. The strategist team looked into the sudden impact and identified the issue as a 404 error, caused by a broken link somewhere on the site. 

After working with to fix the 404 issue, the client saw its indexed pages not just rebound, but skyrocket – up 3,700 percent in the course of a month. A spike in cached content could be expected after the error was amended, however the resolution helped the client see the results it hoped for all along: 

One client's recovery from a 404 errorOrganic traffic to the site increased five-fold

Once internet users and crawlers were being directed – and given access – to the news content they came to find, the client could see just how big of an impact it was having on the site’s performance overall. The business’ average number of weekly visitors more than rebounded to five times the number it was netting when its Brafton content strategy started.

It pays to keep a close eye on analytics

The results this client saw demonstrate just how important it is to be vigilant with SEO strategies and content marketing campaigns. A small change (such as tinkering with a URL structure for an article or a website category) can have a massive impact on the website’s health overall and make it look like a functioning strategy is not adding value.

Early analytics detectionIt could be easy to look at this data and misdiagnose the problem without a skilled consultant on board. Marketers are always hearing horror stories about Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithms that steal traffic overnight, and a false assumption could lead them down the wrong path – digging into the site’s backlink profile or conducting a content audit. Instead, this client and its strategic team quickly identified the root cause and made the necessary changes to get the website back on its SEO feet, so to speak.

At the same time, it’s crucial to maintain a domain’s health to prevent issues like this from happening. While a missing blog post disrupts traffic flow, other issues could prevent visitors from reaching crucial hubs, like the homepage or conversion pages. in today’s competitive marketplace, companies need to seize every opportunity to improve their websites and provide visitors with the best possible experience. 

Enjoy our news? Subscribe to the Content Marketzine!
  Daily   Weekly

Lauren KayeLauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.
Author Profile