In this blog post, we’ll be going through what a redirect is. And why it may be important to SEO and marketing as a whole.
What is a Redirect?
A redirect is what happens when someone clicks to a page or URL and is taken to a different URL. This is helpful in many different ways which this blog will be covering below.
Reasons to Redirect
These are the most popular reasons to use a redirect:
Old or Deleted Web Page
One of the most common redirects occurs after a specific page is deleted and the old URL redirects to a new page with similar or the same content. This is to ensure the user is not visited with a 404 error. If you have a large site, you may have discovered old pages that you don’t want anymore that are still in Google’s index. Instead of going through the hassle of removing it, you can redirect the link to a new page that is relevant.
This just ensures the user gets to the most up to date information and is not greeted with a 404 or an old page. Additionally, this may help with added sessions from users clicking on the old page.
You may want to redirect a URL when your site’s on-page SEO and URLs are not SEO friendly. Or contain unnecessary characters, etc.
To do a redirect you update the URL of that page and then ensure users going to the old URL are redirected through to the new URL. For example, you could redirect ‘/wedding-events-to-book1893fd’ to a cleaner URL such as ‘/weddings’.
Types of Redirects
When you’re looking to redirect a URL it’s important to take into account what type of redirect you’re putting in place. As different types of redirects can substantially affect your SEO.
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect for when you want to redirect another website’s URL to your site. Another example of this type of redirect is when a user searches for your site but only types the name followed by .co.uk or .com (e.g. brightdesign.com).
This is common in SEO as it passes a majority of the link equity through to the new URL. This is why it is vital to use when redirecting things like outdated URLs.
This redirect informs search engines of a page or website’s temporary movement.
You should only use a 302 redirect when you are trying to send people to a different page, with the intention of removing the page soon. Sending the user back to the initial URL. This is a useful redirect if a page is under temporary construction, but you still want people to visit a completed page.
However, it’s important to know that your link equity is not transferred from the original URL to the new one. This is because the search engine recognises that this is a temporary alteration.
How to Redirect URLs
There are a couple of ways in which a URL can be redirected. Below are two of the most popular ways:
o Redirection Plugin: This is a great plugin for those who are on WordPress and require 301 redirects.
o .htaccess Redirect: This is the configuration file used to complete many fixes, including redirects. For example, if you want to 301 redirect www.example.com/wedding-events to www.example.com/weddings you would use the following structure:
‘Redirect 301 /wedding-events www.example.com/weddings’
Thank you for reading this blog post. Hopefully, you now have more knowledge of redirects and understand how you can implement them. If you are still unsure about how to carry out redirects and want to optimise your site, Bright Design is on hand to help. Visit our contact page or call today on 01604 806020 for further details.