There are many reasons your web pages are removed and URLs are changed. Whatever the reason, these actions are completely normal and in many cases warranted.
It is important to note, however, that it is not wise to simply delete a webpage and leave things there. This gesture will leave you running into unnecessary issues. For this reason, a 301 redirect will come into play to stop any visits to the deleted page.
A 301 redirect is, therefore, takes users and search engines to a new URL because your original webpage is no longer in operation. A 301 redirect is usually put in place when there are no plans to ever return to the old page.
When to use a 301 redirect
Let’s look at some common instances in which you can use a 301 redirect
- Permanently moving your webpage to a new URL
- When site pages are deleted
- When migrating your website to a different domain
- Changing the structure of your website
- Moving to a WWW URL
- Switching to HTTPS from HTTP
- Merging more than one domain
- Resolving upper-case or lower-case issues
How a 301 redirect can be used to fix SEO issues
Having a 301 redirect in place helps with driving growth on your website while improving organic visibility. Here are some tips on how you can use a 301 redirect to improve SEO.
Migrate blog content
Blogs can be an excellent source of content for your brand and your webpage. Blog content also plays an integral role in your page’s SEO.
If your blogs have substantial information that can help you in establishing and retaining a position of authority in your field all while using great links to your website, then using a 301 redirect for blogs such as these to move them from a subdomain to a subfolder will help your website’s SEO greatly.
Used to resolve keyword-duplicating issues
Also known as keyword cannibalization, having multiple pages targeting the same keyword will prevent them from ‘ranking higher up’. Using a 301 redirect will help you resolve such a problem.
Merging all your websites into one
By making a major move such as merging all your websites into one major website will mean that you’re combining all the authority and the equity the other websites would have created in one domain property. This major website will mean stronger successes, more traffic and a stronger SEO presence.
Manage sale items/ out of stock items
There are possibly 2 ways to go about using a 301 redirect in situations such as these. The first way is to use a 301 redirect, as opposed to a 404 page not found when a product goes out of stock. If the product is not likely to be restocked, you can 301 redirect users to a similar product. The second option could be to not remove the page at all with the discontinued product but instead place clearly accessible links to alternatives or turn it into a comparison page.
If you want more information on how to use SEO to get more visitors to your website, click here.
Avoid these common 301 redirect mistakes
Now that you understand what a 301 redirect is and how it can be used optimally for your website’s SEO, let’s look at some common mistakes you should avoid when implementing a 301 redirect.
Do not allow your page to 404
Instead of allowing your deleted page to return a 404 code to your user, it’s better to use a 301 redirect. This way, instead of ending up at a dead-end, they are redirected to a new page that has similar features to the one that has been deleted.
Mistaking 302 for 301
A 302 is used only when changes to your website or webpage are temporary. As long as the change is permanent, be sure to use a 301 redirect.
Redirecting to a page that has nothing to do with the former page
When redirecting a user to a page, ensure that the new page is relevant in comparison to the one that has been deleted. Redirecting just for the sake of redirecting isn’t advised.
Repair of broken links with a 301 redirect
It will always work in your favor to repair any broken internal links on your website. What you should do is update the target of the broken link first and then add a redirect to the correct page.
Having a good SEO strategy in place greatly benefits your website. Though not always considered, using 301 redirects properly can help your SEO strategy significantly.
When building your next website, be sure to use ownwebsite to bring your website to life. Also, remember these tips that we just explored into consideration as well so you can use 301 redirects to your website’s advantage.