Why 301 Redirects are Important and How You Can Learn
301 redirects might be confusing for a person or client to see on their website. Even just the name itself, “301 redirect,” sounds like technical jargon. Below we explain what they are and why 301 redirects are important. Learn all there is to know about those three little numbers.
What Is a 301 Redirect?
As explained by SEO expert Joe Laratro in his book, SEO Diet, a 301 redirect tells the search engine that a page located at “x” has been moved to “y.” All the major search engines recommend 301 redirects for pages that have moved.
How to Set Up a 301 Redirect
301 redirects are important and can benefit your website if you replace an old page with a cleaner, more optimized new page. If you have a platform like WordPress, implementing a 301 redirect is fairly simple. All you need to do is navigate to the plugin section of WordPress, download a “301 redirect” plugin, and activate. Once you have completed that step, you would enter the original URL (X) in the Request box and the new URL (Y) in the Destination box. Click “Save Changes” and BOOM! Just like that – congrats – you are done! Quick, easy, and problem solved.
However, not all websites are hosted through WordPress. What happens then? Well, as the SEO Diet explains, a bulk redirect sheet should be created and supplied to your webmaster to implement.
The Benefits of 301 Redirects
Now that you know what a 301 redirect is and how to implement it on your website, you need to know why 301 redirects are important. A 301 redirect can significantly benefit your business by maintaining user engagement and link equity as well as removing the old URL from a search engine’s index. Without the necessary redirects, your rankings on Google may decline – visitors may stop going to your page due to a 404 Error message and then organic traffic slowly begins to drop. 301 redirects can be used as a way to fix broken or missing links in order to regain your “link juice.” Major site redesigns often use 301 redirects for the top 25 to 100 pages for the best chance at maintaining rankings and accessibility to the users.
In chapter 2 of the SEO Diet, we go over Special Considerations for Website Redesigns. For more information regarding SEO secrets and tips and tricks, you can pick up a copy of the SEO Diet book here.