Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Basic Tips You Need To Know About 301 Redirects
On a fine Sunday morning, you order groceries online. It’s been over an hour since your order was confirmed, but no luck having it delivered. After hours of waiting, disappointment sets in when you realise your order has been delivered to the wrong address. Now imagine what would happen if…
On a fine Sunday morning, you order groceries online. It’s been over an hour since your order was confirmed, but no luck having it delivered. After hours of waiting, disappointment sets in when you realise your order has been delivered to the wrong address. Now imagine what would happen if the same transpires to the users who visit your website. No surprise that you would not want your visitors to go through such an inconvenience.
Considering the ever-evolving Google algorithms, it is of utmost significance for brands to optimise and enhance their website. During such updates and enhancement processes, they sometimes lose essential URLs in transit. In such cases, taking the necessary steps to ensure that your visitors land in the right place is paramount. This is when 301 redirects play a dominant role.
301 redirect is a method of directing website visitors to the verified URL when the originally requested URL is removed. Redirects point to the most relevant or similar live page in the absence of the original. This guarantees a smooth browsing experience for your visitors and ensures that the backlink values are appropriately routed and not lost on old pages.
When Should You Use a 301 Redirect?
From replacing irrelevant or not-so-useful pages to rebuilding websites where URLs are cleaned up into new pages, 301 redirects, when applied prudently, prove to be highly effective in enhancing user experience. Mentioned below are some situations where a 301 redirect helps:
Deleting a page from your website
In case the website page gets removed, it is advisable to redirect the same to another related page. This creates a better user experience & gives people an alternative. For instance, if a user clicks on a deleted page, the pop-up shows up, which puts a negative impression on the user. In most cases, we recommend using a 301 redirect to direct users to a similar page on your website.
Permanently moving to a new URL
Another reason to use 301 redirects is in the case of changing the URL of your website. For instance, in case of a product name change or to categorise web pages better, it is advisable to shift to a completely new URL. Implementing a 301 redirect ensures that users and search engines are redirected to your new URL. It also allows search engines to carry over the SEO features of the old URL to the new one.
Changing the structure of your website
Choose a 301 redirect if you want to change the structure of your website to organise your content better and help Google see how pages are related. Opting for appropriate redirects is advisable if you change the subfolder structure of your website. Whether it's a blog, an e-commerce, or some other category, permanent redirects are the best way to implement changes.
Benefits for SEO with 301 redirects
301 redirects play a key role in SEO. There are several ways they can help, such as:
Remove old URLs from search engine indexes
When search engine spiders encounter a 301 redirect while crawling your site, it indicates that the old URL should be removed from the index and replaced with a new one. This means that the new page will eventually have to replace the old page in the search engine's index. In the meantime, the old URL redirects human visitors to the new URL when someone tries to access it. If you don't use a 301 redirect when removing a page from your site, search engines will receive a 404 Not Found error response code, and over time your page may be removed entirely from search engine indexes.
Keep visitors to your website
When a visitor clicks a link and is taken to a 404 page, it can negatively impact the experience of your site and drive them away in frustration. With the presence of 301 redirects, visitors are more likely to smoothly land on your website & navigate to content, which eventually leads to grabbing the attention of more customers & followers.
301 redirects are the preferred choice for 3xx redirects for SEO as it has been proven to be able to pass around 90% link equity from redirected pages. 302 redirects are temporary, so search engines may not pass the required link value to the new URL.
301 redirects play a vitally important role in maintaining the health of a website. They serve a core function to signal both search engines & users when the contents of your website have been changed or moved. This, in turn, ensures that with your evolving web presence, your user journey remains rational & clear. Hence, implementing the right 301 redirects strategy can benefit you to gain a significant increase in organic traffic.