Websites have become the digital identities for businesses and because of intense competition, it’s integral to keep these web portals up to date. Otherwise, due to an obsolete web presence, an online brand can go out of the market.
In order to keep a website fresh and relevant, it’s essential to redesign it at regular intervals of time. But overhauling your web portal isn’t as easy as it seems to be.
You have to develop a robust strategy to ensure that your customers and the search engines are directed to the latest version of the URL.
Still confused? Let’s do a detailed analysis in order to get the basics clear.
What Is 301 Redirects?
In case you decide to move your business to a new website, there will be a requirement for rerouting the web traffic to the new URL.
A 301 redirect is a command used to guide search engines and your site visitors to a different URL which isn’t the one which they choose from a search engine results page and neither the one that they initially typed into their browsers.
Image Source: netdna-ssl
In order to set up 301 redirects properly (technically) on your website, you can hire an experienced web development company who has a wealth of experience in preparing seamless redirecting maps and implementing them in the best possible way.
But in spite of hiring a professional, it’s equally important for you to gain an idea of how these redirects work and for which reasons you should use them?
What Are The Major Reasons For Which You Might Want To Implement 301 Redirects?
- You have a brand new website or web page and you want to implement a permanent redirect
- Broken pages or URL
- When moving to HTTPS
- Overhauling your web portal (redesigning)
- Altering URLs for any reason
- When removing content or fixing some content related issues
- Resolving dynamic URL problems
- Changing or merging domains
- Maximizing domain authority by linking web conversions with one URL
How 301 Redirects Work?
Basically, a 301 redirect command indicates let the site visitors and search engines know that a particular page has been moved to a different page permanently. The entire process can be divided into the following three steps:
- A user or search engine arrives on an original URL
- The 301 redirect command takes them to the new URL which is not the one which they have typed in the browser.
III. Rewriting URL process starts all over again
Let’s explore an image showcased on Moz in order to understand the entire process in which 301 redirects actually work:
How 301 Redirects Impacts SEO & Rankings Of A Web Portal?
Page rankings or SEO performance of a website gets directly influenced by 301 redirects. It can have either a negative or positive impact on the page rank of your web portal.
Having experience in implementing 301 redirects properly can be an integral tool to optimize your website for increased conversions.
301 redirects are also known as permanent redirects and hence all the qualities of the redirected page such as MozRank, page authority, traffic value, PageRank, etc. will get attributed to the detour page.
This makes the detour page represents the redirected one completely.
As a result of 301 redirects, the old page gets eliminated from Google’s index and the new one take its place.
Gradually, Google, as well as the other major search engines, starts giving your new domain preference over the old one in terms of SEO rankings.
Let’s understand it with the help of a flowchart:
Image Source: Hostinger
With the help of 301 redirects, it becomes easier to repurpose old content and make website redesign seamless. Also, it helps in the smooth transfer of authority and proper redirecting set up boost the SEO performance of your website.
Let’s look at a few key benefits of implementing precise 301 redirects:
- There is no chance of duplicated content as search engines will consider the redirected page as a separate entity.
- Your daily site visitors will not reduce and they won’t land on a page with a “404 page not found error”.
III. Your page rankings will remain intact and you can easily transfer the authority of the old URL to the new one which will help you in retaining your followers by redirecting them to the detour page.
How To Set Up 301 Redirects?
Well, there are a couple of ways which web experts can use for setting up 301 redirects. These redirects can be easily set up for both a single web page or an entire domain.
Setting up 301 redirects is extremely important because these rerouting can provide your site visitors with a seamless experience. Also, it can prevent them from getting stuck in a dead end.
Method 1. Editing Your .htaccess File For Implementing 301 Redirects
You can set up a 301 redirect by editing your .htaccess file and for doing this you have to sign in to your Account Control Center (ACC) and go to the left sidebar and click on Domains.
Select the “Manage Your Domains” feature from the drop-down list and choose the one that you would like to redirect.
Now you have to go to “Manage Web Settings” which you can find from the drop-down list of the Web Settings section.
You need to click on the “View or Edit Your .htaccess File” option in case you already have a .htaccess file.
But if you have never created such a file you can click on “Create a .htaccess File” option. Let’s understand this process with the help of a screenshot:
Image Source: Pair
Finally, to set up 301 redirects you need to include a few lines into your .htaccess file which can be further divided into two main categories:
- Redirect 301 / http://www.new-domain.com/ (Setting up a redirect for a single web page)
- Redirect 301 /old-file.html http://www.domain.com/new-file.html (Setting up a redirect for an entire domain)
After finishing this step you only need to click Save Changes if you already had a .htaccess file. Or, tap on Create File for adding new .htaccess files.
Method 2. Leveraging WordPress Plugins For Setting Up 301 Redirects
WordPress redirection plugin can also help webmasters in setting up 301 redirects. Also, this plugin can help in keeping a track of 404 errors. You can find this plugin in WordPress plugin directory.
Image Source: Inbound Now
For doing this first you need to install and activate the plugin. After completing the activation process you have to visit the “Tools” section and click on “Redirection” to set up your redirects.
Here you can pop in the old URL as well as the new destination URL. After inserting both of these you just have to tap on “add redirection” in order to complete the setup process of 301 redirects.
You can look at the image given below and understand how to execute the entire process.
Image Source: WPBeginner
301 redirects can help your web portals perform better in terms of SEO and retain its visitor base if executed properly.
But an inappropriate approach towards setting up these redirects can hurt your page rankings and can make you lose your precious customers.