URL Redirects in SEO
There are a lot of tools and methods used to help improve on-page SEO. One of those methods is URL redirects. While this may seem like a new tool, redirects have been used for as long as the internet has been around. Redirects can help boost rankings, funnel site traffic to certain pages, and even help customers find new products or services from the main landing page. Today we will cover URL redirects and how they can help your SEO efforts.
URL Redirects in SEO
What is a URL Redirect?
A URL redirect is used to direct search engines and site traffic from one URL to the next. The most common URL redirects are Meta Refresh, 301, and 302 redirects. When someone searches for a specific term or uses an old link to reach a page that is no longer functioning, the URL redirect will send them to the new page specified by the site owner. URL redirects are very common and serve site owners by preventing the display of 404 error messages on broken pages. They are also used to help boost SEO and funnel site traffic towards certain crunch pages.
Can Redirects Harm Your SEO?
A lot of effort goes into on-page SEO. Therefore, it makes sense that you would want to avoid doing anything that can harm those efforts. For the most part, redirects won’t have a negative effect on SEO. Moreover, their placement needs to be properly implemented. In fact, proper implementation can boost your SEO efforts making them ultra-effective. Bad implementation, on the other hand, can cause a drop in traffic or even have a negative effect on your rankings. If you make changes to any of your established URLs, then it is critical to implement URL redirects to keep your SEO programs intact.
Why redirect a URL For SEO?
When you change a URL, or when you create new pages to replace existing pages on your website, it is important to tell people where to go. It takes time to build proper site ranking. When you create a new page, it is the same as starting over from scratch. The same is true for when you update a URL, a page that has moved permanently. By implementing a redirect, you will send search engine crawlers and your regular site traffic to your new page, instead of the original url. This will help get people to where they want to go and ensure that your page rankings don’t suffer as a result of your changes.
Any form of site maintenance results in things being taken out. For example, if you delete a post or even change the main headline, the URL structure will change. When you move your site to a new domain, not only will the URLs of your main page change, all of the URLs on your site will change. Without redirects, search engine crawlers and site visitors alike will be presented with 404 error pages. If this happens often enough, people will stop visiting your site, and search engines will stop ranking your website pages.
301 URL Redirects and 302 URL Redirects for SEO
There are a few tips and tricks to using redirects to help improve your SEO. 301 redirects are highly effective when you want to create a landing page that funnels site traffic into perfect use when you transform an authority site or a high ranking page into a new or upgraded page. A 301 URL redirect is a permanent redirect, so your old page won’t lose its existing rank and its benefits will be transferred to the new URL. It is important to keep in mind that this type of redirect is permanent and irreversible.
302 redirects are highly effective when you want to create a landing page that funnels site traffic into a specific web page. It is also great for times that you want to highlight a specific page, product, or article on your site for a short period of time. 302 redirects are temporary redirects and can easily be reversed. For example, if you have a landing page that you want to redirect to a guest post every month, you can use a 302 URL redirect to push search engines and visitors to the new page and have it revert back to normal after a certain time period. URL redirects are an effective way to improve your SEO when used properly, if you have questions, be sure to reach out to us.
Additional Reading: Which redirect should I use?
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