301 Redirects – What You Must Know Before Redirect

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What is a 301 Redirect?

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another, telling Google that you have moved permanently.  301 redirects send site visitors and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally typed into their browser or selected from a search engine results page.

When do you need to have 301 Redirect implemented on your website?

  1.  You need a 301 Redirect for SEO if you’re moving domains permanently.
  2. A 301 redirect is key to maintaining a website’s domain authority (DA) and search rankings when the site’s URL is changed. Your goal should be to associate common web conventions (HTTP://, HTTPS:// www., etc.) with one URL to maximize DA.
  3. 301 redirectss are often used when you rebrand a website.
  4. They are also utilized by sites which are moving to the SSL secured web environment.

Domain authority is a metric of the power of a name, in this case the domain name chosen when you launched your website. More importantly, your domain’s authority is the most critical factor in SEO. You can always measure Domain Authority using Open Site Explorer or the MozBar, Moz’s free SEO toolbar, and check how certain changes affect your DA.  (Moz.org)

When you plan to rebrand or rename a website and know that you will also be using  a different URL – use a 301 redirect.

If you decide to rebrand and change your company’s name you won’t want to lose all the hard work that you put into your previous domain. Therefore you should use a 301 redirect.

You should consider 301 Redirects when you clean up dynamic URLs and redirect them to the shorter search engine friendly versions.

As an example;

redirecting

http://www.example.com/page.php?id=68

to

http://www.example.com/content/page

How do you use 301 Redirects?

It is important to check, audit and add 301 redirects as needed to the business website.

You can check if you have redirects and analyze their paths by using specialized tools.

For example:

How can you check if your website has redirect issues?

The main redirect issues are redirected chains and loops. Redirect chains and loops hurt your website instantly. Redirect chains make it difficult for search engines to crawl your website and slow down your site’s loading speed, while redirect loops cause browsers to display an error.

Semrush can help you and identify the issues.

How do you add 301 redirects?

If you use WordPress platforms, there are WordPress plugins that  provide a secure method of redirecting requests to another page on your site. Here are three plugins we have previously used:

  1. Simple 301 Redirects
  2. Redirection
  3. Redirects manager in Yoast SEO Premium

You can also use URL shorteners with permanent redirects. There are many now you can choose from but these are some of the easier ones to set up: Consider using the following:

Most URL shorteners these days include statistic tracking features that allow users to get a more in-depth look at how their audiences are engaging with their content. They are mainly helpful in any kind of email marketing or social media campaign.

There are many SEO myths about redirects (including 301 redirects) that are still alive. For example, there have been concerns about losing Page Rank when redirects are applied, however in 2016 Google announced that no matter what redirection method you use, be it 301, 302, or 307- PageRank won’t be hurt.

Understanding and applying 301 Redirects is necessary technical technique crucial for the health of your domain authority. Domain authority takes a lot of time and effort to build. Therefore, 301 Redirects are an essential part of digital marketing and website analysis.

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