When you move to another home, you make sure to have your mail forwarded to the new address. This is a crucial step to ensure that any valuable information mailed to you does not get missed or lost.
Similarly, you can say the same thing about your WP website pages or posts. When you move your website’s URL address, it is crucial to take redirecting [just like mail forwarding] steps to make sure that the users visiting your website are transferred to the new address. Technically, it is called 301 redirects.
What is 301 Redirect?
It is a status code that indicates to the server that the URL is permanently moved to a new location and redirects the browser towards the right address. Search engines and users are redirected to a new URL rather than the one they requested for. Redirects link links different URLs under a single umbrella, which is great because search engines rank every address based on inbound links domain authority.
For example, here are a couple of different URLs of your WordPress website. Fortunately, you get redirected to the same website because of the 301 redirect WordPress status code.
The second link includes http:// at the start of URL, yet when you see the blog the browser shows the URL ‘blog.articlespot.com’. Why? It is because 301 redirects got created, to enhance search ranking by linking the domain authority http:// address to the blog.articlespot.com.
Reasons to set 301 redirects
Marketers set 301 redirects because of several reasons.
- To rename or rebrand a site with a different URL.
- To conjoin common web conventions like www or http or https with a single URL to stretch domain authority.
- To direct traffic from multiple URLs held by the same organization to a single website.
In the first situation, when a company changes its website name for branding, a 301 redirect is crucial to maintain the inbound links value of the original URL to the new domain address. It sends the users to a correct web address, so they get the information they came in search for.
In the third situation, organizations purchase multiple domains similar to their brand for generating more traffic. 301 redirects ensure that the original domain name of the organization maintains its authority during the search process.
Common errors to avoid while setting 301 redirects
Now, you know how the 301 redirects are important. In the process, it is also essential to avoid common errors that can badly dent your website’s SEO efforts.
- Set 301 redirects from all the different iteration even if all have different URLs to the key domain of your brand, to enhance your ranking on the search query.
- Never migrate to a new URL without setting 301 redirects. It helps to avoid traffic loss during the migration process.
- Always set 301 permanent redirects, if you plan not to return to the original one. It will help to maintain search ranking and inbound links while modifying your domain.
- Set redirects from old inbound links or users feel frustrated as they come across 404s. You may even lose not just potential customers but soon your link value vanishes.
Fortunately, you can set redirects easily using an SEO-friendly plugin. WP 301 redirect tool is worth the try!
You can also use the plugin to reset WordPress, and restructure your website completely. Make sure you take proper backups before doing so. Once you set the WP site to its default configuration, you can use the backup files to create a clean page structure for your WordPress site.