Published: March 1, 2018

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

It requires you to have

  1. Google Analytics account
  2. Google Analytics setup on your website

Locate you 404 page

  1. First step is to open up the 404 page on your website, so go ahead and try a link you know won't work like www.colorado.edu/your-site-name/fake-link
  2. Once you have the 404 page open, take note of the page title. For our website it starts with ‘This page was not found’

Google Analytics

  1. Now log into Google Analytics
  2. On the left hand menu, navigate to (or search) and open ‘Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages’
  3. Directly under the graph, to the right of  ‘Primary Dimension’ select the ‘Page Title’ link
  4. 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’ (the default on most sites)
  5. The results should show one page – your 404 page.
  6. Click on it to view the list broken links that have created a 404 error
  7. Now that you know which links are broken, you can find the working link and redirect the bad link to the good link.
  8. You can also add a secondary dimension to see the website that has the bad URL on it.
  9. To do this, click on the ‘Secondary dimension’ drop down list, search for ‘Full Referrer’ or click on ‘Behavior -> ‘Full Referrer’
  10. Beside each link you’ll now see the URL to the website that has the bad link.

Google Analytics page showing the workflow to find 404 pages on your site