Xenu’s Link Sleuth is one of those rare SEO tools that’s both free and feature packed. In case you haven’t heard of it before, it’s marketed as a tool that can find broken links across your website, but it can actually do so much more.
To get started, visit the Xenu Link Sleuth homepage and download a copy to your PC (you’ll need windows to run the program). Once you’ve downloaded and installed the program, it’s very simple to get started.
- Click File and choose check URL (Ctrl + N)
- From here enter the URL you wish to scan
- Add any URLs you wish to exclude in the bottom section. For example, you may wish to exclude your blog or any tracking URLs associated with your website.
- Click Ok. The program will then scan through your website and gather information on the link structure of your website.
Finding Broken Links
Once the tool has run through your website (it will display a small message when it is completed) sort the status column to find broken links on your website. These links should be highlighted in red and the status message will give you a reason why the link failed.
Fixing these broken links can be a quick and easy way to boost the internal linking power of your website.
Identifying Duplicate Content Issues
You can also identify duplicate content issues on your website by sorting the Title field. This will show the HTML title tag for each page, so if you find any duplicates it may be time to revise your Meta tags on these pages.
Exploring Incoming and Outgoing Links for Each Page
Each page also has columns to display the number of incoming and outgoing internal links. Sorting the Out Links column will show the number of outgoing links on each page and the In Links column will show the number of internal links pointing to this page.
To see further details about these links, right click on the page and select URL properties. This will display the URLs of each incoming and outgoing link.
This can help you identify pages which have too many outgoing links (Google recommends no more than 100 per page) or pages which don’t receive enough incoming link juice.
These are just some of the simple SEO tasks you can perform with Xenu Link Sleuth. If you have any questions please let me know in the comments below.