A Guide to Website Redirects

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Tor Jones

Ever felt a web page is no longer relevant? This can happen when your content needs to be updated or more helpful to customers. You could also offer a service or product that isn’t available anymore and doesn’t need the page. So, you can redirect traffic from those pages to another location.

Many website owners must correct the mistake of directing their users to the wrong page or not redirecting them. This can cause frustration for your visitors and lead to a loss in sales. This blog post will discuss how to redirect your website traffic properly and provide tips for making the process as smooth as possible!

What Does Website Redirect Mean?

A website redirect is when you send visitors to a different page than they initially requested. It happens automatically or when a page has been moved or no longer exists. Website redirects are usually done for one of two reasons:

The original page no longer exists: Maybe you’ve updated your website, and the page’s URL has changed. Or, you might have deleted the page altogether.

You want to send visitors to a different page: For example, you might want to redirect traffic from an old blog post to a newer one on the same topic.

Types of Redirects

You may not realize it, but there are different types of redirects available to website owners. Each type has its purpose and should be used accordingly.

301 Redirect: A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that sends visitors and search engines to a new URL. It’s typically used when a page has been moved to a new location or no longer exists. When a customer receives a 301 redirect, their browser automatically updates the old URL with the new one.

302 Redirect: A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect that tells customers’ browsers that the page has been moved temporarily. It’s often used when a website is under construction or maintenance. Unlike a 301 redirect, a 302 redirect doesn’t update the URL in the visitor’s browser.

Meta Refresh: A meta refresh is a redirect placed in a web page’s HTML code. It tells the browser to refresh the page automatically after a long time has passed. Meta refreshes are not commonly used because they can be disruptive to users.

Redirect Chains: A redirect chain occurs when there’s more than one redirect between the initial page and the final destination. This often happens when a 301 redirect needs to be updated, and a new one is added later. Redirect chains can cause performance issues and should be avoided if possible.

Why Is It Important to Redirect Traffic Properly?

There are several reasons why it’s essential to redirect your website traffic properly:

It helps maintain a good user experience: When users land on a page that no longer exists, they can become frustrated. If you’ve redirected the page to a new location, make sure it’s easy for them to find what they’re looking for. If you’ve deleted the page, provide them with alternatives or a way to connect.

It helps with your website’s SEO: Search engines like Google use redirects to update their records of your website’s pages. Your website’s SEO can only improve if you properly redirect traffic. This can lead to a loss in organic traffic and potential customers.

It can help prevent lost sales: If you’re running a business, you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to find your products or services. If they need help finding what they’re looking for on your website, they may go to a competitor’s site instead.

How to Redirect Traffic on Your Website

You can redirect traffic to your website in a few different ways. The method you choose will depend on your needs and technical abilities. Here are a few common ways to redirect traffic:

Have a solid plan – Before you do anything, you must have a plan. That way, users and search engine bots will be taken where you want them to go instead of getting an error page. This planning will also stop any potential disappointment from happening in the first place! You want to retain your visitors and ranking in the search engines because you have prepared.

Before you make any changes, create a copy – Before you delete any content, create a copy in case you need it again. This is good practice for any new website content, so you can access it if necessary. Make sure to add the new URL for this saved content to your website’s sitemap! You can store the backup copy on your computer, an external hard drive, or in the cloud (like DropBox).

Set up the redirect – You should consider adding a WordPress plugin to help with redirects! Most good SEO plugins like SEOPress have it built in. You can also use a dedicated tool such as 301 Redirects. If you have an HTML-based website, the code can be acquired from multiple sources, including W3 Schools.

Test the redirect – Test your redirect by opening a new tab in your browser and navigating to the old page on your website. You’ll be redirected to the new page if the redirect is successful. If not, recheck for errors. If you encounter errors, fix them immediately so your website visitors don’t have issues!

Track any errors – Most redirection plugins have a 404 error tracking option. Many times, these types of errors show up when someone deletes or moves content around regularly. However, you can direct visitors to an alternate page using a redirect tool.

Redirecting traffic on your website can be simple. By following these tips, you can ensure that your visitors will be redirected to where they need to go without any trouble. If you have questions or need help setting up a redirect, feel free to contact us.