At some point, you may want to change the URL of your website page to something new. It could be because you want to switch to a new domain, change a lengthy URL to be more search engine friendly, prevent duplicate content problems, etc. Regardless of why you are changing your URL, a 301 redirect will direct visitors from your old URL to the new one. In this article, you will learn the SEO guide for 301 redirects.
To most people, a 301 redirect sounds technical and complicated. But it’s easy to implement this command. Especially, if your website uses WordPress.
What is a 301 Redirect?
A 301 redirect is an HTTP status code your web server sends to a browser. It indicates a permanent redirect from one URL to another. When people visit an old URL, they will be automatically sent to a new URL.
Interestingly, this HTTP status code passes the SEO from your old URL to the new one. This status code is mainly used when you permanently move or remove a page from your website.
In the past, people found it difficult to remove or move a page from their websites because of the fear of losing the SEO power of that page.
However, in 2016, Google made it clear that a 301 redirect won’t negatively affect the SEO of a page. That means, if you redirect an old URL to a new one, the new one will still maintain its ranking on the Google result page.
Here are some of the reasons why business owners and marketers set these up.
Some of the Reasons Why Marketers and Business Owners Setup 301 Redirects
#1. Improve User Experience On Website
There are instances when visitors access your website through several URLs. In such a situation, you can set up a 301 redirect to improve your users’ experience.
Let’s say people can access your homepage through the following URLs – http://SEOexpert.com/home, http://SEOexpert.com, or https://SEOexpert.com.
To your website visitors, these URLs are the same. But that’s not the case for a web server.
And to improve users’ experience on your website, you can choose your preferred URL from those mentioned earlier. After which, you use 301 redirects to send traffic from the other URLs to the one you have adopted for your website.
Harmonizing these URLs will help build your domain authority.
#2. When Rebranding or Renaming a Website
You can also set up a 301 redirect when you are rebranding or renaming your website. It will direct visitors from your old website to the new ones.
With this approach, you won’t lose the backlinks it took you time to build. And the old URL will transfer the SEO power to the new one.
So, even though you have a new domain, a 301 redirect will help you retain the SEO power and traffic from the original URL.
#3. Integrating Another Website With Your Domain
You can also set up the HTTP status code when you are integrating another website with your domain.
Brands sometimes buy domain names that are related to their niche to drive traffic to their websites. And 301 redirects will help drive traffic and transfer SEO power from the purchased domain to the brand’s original URL.
For instance, if you visit the website – http://marketingpilgrim.com, it redirects you to neilpatel.com/blog.
#4. Fixing Clerical Errors
Business owners and marketers also set up a 301 redirect to fix clerical errors. Clerical errors occur when there’s an incorrect word within the URL.
For instance, if you want your website URL to be SEOexpert.com and erroneously wrote SEOepert.com, that is a clerical error.
And if you already published the URL, changing it will affect the page ranking, unless you set up a 301 redirect protocol. It will transfer the SEO power from the old URL (with the clerical error) to the new one.
#5. Shifting from HTTP to HTTPS
HTTPS is an important SEO ranking signal. And that is because security is a top priority for Google.
So, if you decide to migrate your website from HTTP to HTTPS to give it a ranking advantage, you will need to set up a 301 redirect. It will help to redirect visitors to the new and secure version (HTTPS) of your website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Website owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers always ask questions about this HTTP status code (301). Well, here are some of the common questions people ask about a 301 redirect;
#1. How Do I Create 301 Redirects?
Creating this HTTP secure code is easier than you think. If your website uses WordPress, you have the option of using Yoast SEO Plugin, 301 redirect plugin, or any other plugin.
But if you don’t want to use any of the plugins above, you can set up the HTTP secure code in the .htaccess file.
#2. Will a 301 Redirect Affect my website SEO?
Contrary to popular belief, 301 redirects don’t hurt your SEO. Google made it clear in 2016 that creating the HTTP secure code won’t negatively affect your SEO ranking. Instead, the new URL will have the same strength as the original one.
#3. What is the Difference Between 301 Redirects and 302 Redirects?
301 and 302 redirects are two different HTTP secure codes. While a 301 redirect is set up to permanently move your page from an old URL to a new one, a 302 redirect temporarily moves your page from an old URL to a new one. And link juice isn’t transferred during a 302 redirect.
Mistakes to Avoid During 301 Redirect
- Setting up a 302 for a permanent redirect.
- Redirecting the original URL to a different page other than the new URL.
- Setting up a 301 redirect after creating a new page.
- Implementing 302 redirects when migrating your content.
If you think setting up a 301 redirect is too technical for you, the Tycoono SEO team can help you handle the entire process.
We will help you effectively redirect your old URL to the new one without losing your page SEO power and traffic.