We recently took over managing a large PPC account. After checking the changes I was making Google kept giving me disapproving looks because of landing page errors. I wasn’t changing landing pages; I was trying to improve the account structure.
How could I easily and quickly find all the pages that were 404ing?
1. Download Xenu Link Sleuth
SEOs love Xenu link for finding broken links by asking it to crawl the whole site. We won’t need to visit every page on a site but we do want an automated way to check if a page exists or not. Download Xenu here.
2. Get a List of Landing Page URLs
Of course, you need a list of all your landing pages. I got this information using AdWords Editor (be careful with the new version). I put it through Excel to remove duplicates but this step is not necessary.
You must save the list as a text file (.txt)
3. Set the Maximum Level to Zero
Open Xenu, click “Options” and open the “Preferences” dialouge. You need to set the “Maximum Level” option to zero. This means Xenu won’t spider the whole site but will only request the pages on the site from your list.
4. Import your List of URLs
In Xenu open the “File” menu and select “Check URL list”. Choose your text file as the list.
5. That’s It!
Xenu will automagically try and crawl the pages from the list. Pages that 404 or have some other error will be listed in red.