Website visitors get frustrated when they come across landing pages that have been deleted, removed, or migrated to another location. They are forced to abandon your sales funnel without converting as customers, but this problem can be stopped by creating URL redirects. It ensures your site users will never feel upset while engaging with your brand online.
Types of URL redirects
- 301 redirects – It is very user-friendly, so is commonly used to redirect permanently moved URL address. It seamlessly redirects your users and search engines to a totally different URL, in place of the old link they clicked onto. Google accepts 301 redirects because it offers a good user experience. Your SEO efforts also get rewarded, because the link equity is also transferred to the new page.
- 302/307 redirects – A 301 redirect is for the permanent move, but 302 status codes are used for temporary page moves. In this way, the search engine gets a message to keep the old page or domain indexed, but it will not index the new address. 307 redirects are used when URL is changed for a specific time, and again changes back to its original.
- Meta refresh – The browser is instructed to refresh the page, automatically using the URL redirection method. It is not a recommended method. 301, 302, & 307 redirects are conducted at the server level, but Meta refresh is executed only at the page level. It is suggested not to create redirects, which are not controlled by your site servers.
Why choosing the right redirect is important?
Before discussing how to redirect WordPress correctly, let’s get to know why choosing the right one is crucial. Marketers assume that redirects are for technical pros to take care of, but it is a wrong perspective. The choice of redirect is crucial because –
- It ensures that the link equity is retained, or SEO value gets passed to the new URL address.
- It means no need to start building the authority of a new page location from scratch.
- Your site visitors get redirected smoothly, without ending up on a dead link. The 404 error pages get avoided, as they are undesirable in terms of SEO.
- Marketers can share visually appealing links with 301 redirects, without concerns about link quality devaluation.
Anyone can use the WP 301 Redirect plugin to do the entire task of redirects in an easy and systematic way. It is a user-friendly plugin, where you will not need to learn any programming codes to use it.
The right way to redirect a URL
- Redirect to the relevant page – Redirects doesn’t mean transferring SEO values but is also about maintaining spontaneous user experience to visitors.
- Document URL redirect list – When a website is redesigned, the framework changes, and can lead to URL changes. Therefore, you will need to document the existing and new URLs, before the redesigned site goes live. Users will not have to feel stressed when they use old URLs or enter your webpage from a bookmark or email link.
- Domain redirects – For some reason, your domain may undergo some changes, so you will need to set 301 URL redirects. Use different variation redirects like with WWW or without versions. You can even purchase domains with the common misspelling of brand names. Create redirects to your main domain to stay in Google’s good books.
You can also read you cPanel guide to know more about domain management and redirects.