What Are 301 Redirects?
The functioning of websites can often be confusing with many different elements that are needed to ensure that users are able to access web pages easily. You may have moved your page to a new location, changed your domain name or you may have even found a broken URL on your website. These are common issues and changes that may crop up and it is important that you have the know-how to fix and make changes to ensure that your users are not impacted.
So, what are 301 redirects and how can they help you to fix these changes and problems? A 301 redirect will take users or search engine crawlers directly to your new URL When the old one has, for some reason, been changed. While many may just assume that you can simply delete the page and create a new one, further down the road this may cause you to run into a few problems. Using a 301 redirect is an easy way to avoid this happening while still permanently working to redirect users and search engine crawlers to the new URL that you would have created.
A great example of how a 301 URL redirect can be helpful is by looking at how a business that started as a blog may want to change its URL to expand the business. You will still want people who may have saved pages or frequently visited your blog to be able to access it, otherwise you stand the risk of starting over in terms of traffic. a 301 redirect will change the URL of the blog page without you losing the traffic that it receives as people will simply be redirected to the new URL!
Why You Might Need to Implement a 301 Redirect?
Thinking about the reasons why your business may need to be using 301 redirects is important when it comes to understanding how they can be beneficial. The following are just a few instances where using a 301 redirect would be useful!
- Changing of individual pages: You may need to update a page to reflect a new name. This is especially true for those who are in an eCommerce business. When the name of a product needs to be updated or even changed entirely, you may need to use a 301 redirect to do this. It could be a case of something not being spelt correctly or the changing of a product altogether, and 301 redirects can help you to manage this without losing traffic!
- Domain name change: You may need to change the name of the domain you are using at some point. This can be due to you expanding into new countries (you may need to go from .tr to .uk) or you may need to rebrand your business due to conflicting name issues, and this means that you will need to change your domain name. Deleting the web pages altogether will mean that you will lose the traffic you receive and creating two different websites would be extremely bad in terms of traffic and SEO, which is why a 301 redirect would be the perfect solution to these problems!
- You are deleting a page entirely: You may no longer have use for certain pages on your website which would mean that you want to delete them. When a page is deleted with no redirect, users will be sent to a 404 or a 410 error page, informing them that you no longer have the information. If you set up 301 redirects, users will be taken to a new page on your site that may be relevant as opposed to just being shown error messages which will lead to them leaving your website.
How Do You Set Up 301 Redirects?
As we have established, 301 redirects are incredibly important and they can help to ensure that your website is functioning optimally! The following is a look at how to initiate and set up 301 redirects on your website.
Accessing Your .htaccess File
You can place a .htaccess file within the code of your website to initiate a 301 redirect. A .htaccess file controls the more complex configurations on your website and you are able to enable and disable certain features without having to change the code when one of these files is included. When it comes to the best SEO tips and tricks, you will note that adding a .htaccess 301 redirect is almost always suggested!
WP Hosting 301 Redirects
WordPress has built-in capabilities to help you add in a 301 redirect. One of the most important WordPress SEO tips is to understand how to do this! When using WordPress you have the option of automatically adding a 301 redirect through a .htaccess file, helping to automate systems and allow for you to enable and disable redirects when needed. Adding 301 redirects in WordPress can be easy if you have the know-how and understanding of how to do this.
Which Effects Do 301 Redirects Have on SEO?
301 redirects have a massive impact on your SEO and can help to develop your SEO tactics in many different ways! One of the most effective ways to use 301 redirects in terms of increasing your SEO performance is through content pruning. If you are looking at ways to improve your visibility on search engines, you would have to analyse how impactful certain pages are. During this analysis, you may find that certain web pages are not attracting customers and are not visited often enough to be considered important and relevant. Merging the content on pages together and redirecting to the new page will help to improve your SEO and ensure that you have high-quality web pages that have a higher chance of ranking well on search engine results pages.
Having an SEO-friendly website is extremely important for any business and 301 redirects can help to ensure that you have one! While you may not fully understand the intricate ins and outs of 301 redirects for SEO, we here at Markethinkers have the tools and the know-how to strategically structure your website! For more information on how we can help you, please do not hesitate to contact our team!