What are URL Redirects?
URL redirects are directives and commands given to search engine robots to control the index coverage of a website.
What Are The Different Types of URL Redirects?
There are a few types of url redirects that are used for specific circumstances.
1. 301 Redirect
A 301 redirect is used when a page has been permanently deleted, and takes the user or crawler to the new location.
2. 302 Redirect
A 302 redirect forwards traffic to a new location temporarily. This should be used if you’re planning to bring back the previous page, or if you’re testing out another page.
3. 307 Redirect
A 307 redirect is also another http response status code that notifies visitors and crawlers alike, that a page has been temporarily redirected to a new URI (Uniform Resource Identifier).
4. 308 Redirect
This redirect notifies the user of a page’s permanent redirect expressed within the location header.
Why Are URL Redirects Important?
URL redirects are important for a number of reasons.
From a user perspective they improve UX (User Experience). When a user is trying to find a page, rather than hitting them with a 404 page, its best to send them to a new URL which will provide them with the content they are looking for.
From a crawler perspective, redirects enable them to navigate a website more easily. They can then crawl and index the right pages, which is good for your site’s SEO and ranking.
However, there are a few things to watch out for. You don’t want to overuse redirects, because this will hurt your website’s performance.
Redirects can potentially slow page load time, and redirect chains can contribute to a low link equity.
How Do You Make Redirects SEO Friendly?
There are a few best practices to follow when opting for a url redirect:
- Ensure you have set up a 301 redirect before you permanently delete the old page. This will prevent visitors from being confronted with a 404 page
- This goes for new domains too. Be sure that you have a 301 set up before relocating to a new domain
- Keep redirects to a minimum by opting for a canonical URL which enables users to reach the same URL despite typing in a variation
- If you have rebranded your company, but want to retain your old domain, use a 301 to redirect traffic to your new website
- For a temporarily inactive campaign URL you should utilise a 302 redirect
- Keep an eye on your redirects. Do you need all of them? Any pages that don't contribute to link equity or refer traffic can be removed
How Can We Help?
Think you’ve made a mess of some redirects on your site? We can help you figure out a plan of action to get you back on your feet - just give us a call!
We could potentially set you up with a team that can take a deeper look into your site and help you iron out any other kinks they might find too.
Or, if you’re wanting to do this yourself, check out our training courses for up to date and effective SEO practises that we use ourselves.