The Importance of 301 Redirect in Website Redesign
In website redesign, 301 redirect is a technique used to inform search engines such as Google that a web page has been permanently relocated to a new location. It often redirects visitors to a new page. If you do not use 301 redirect, users may encounter the 404 errors when your website is redesigned.
In this article, we shall look at some of these aspects and conclude why we need to take care of such scenarios and how it can have impact on the the ranking of your website.
In many cases, during the process of the website redesign, the address of a website, its structure or URL is likely to change. For an instance, the contact page of your old website was “xyz.com/contact-us” and the new contact page is xyz.com/contact. In that case, you will need a 301 redirect set up so that any visitor who is trying to visit the old page should automatically be re-routed on the new address. It is very crucial for links to your website which is coming from other websites or the search engines.
If you do not consider 301 redirects in your website redesign process, and link all of your previous URLs to the new one, your website visitors may come across as 404 errors. A common 404 or “Not Found” error message indicates that the content is present on the website but not present on the visited URL. So the question is “What are the impacts of 404 Errors”?
The answer is quite obvious. All your customers and prospects may not be able to locate what they were actually searching for on your website as the links will appear broken. It will have a significant impact on the user experience and they may immediately leave your site and potentially fall into the welcoming arms of your competitors. In addition, even if your web page was ranking higher in search results, it could be omitted.
So, How Does 301 Redirect Helps?
Working on the URL structure of your new website is a critical process as it aims to deliver a great user experience and maintaining a good page ranking in Google. One needs to create a map and connect every page of their content from the old website and route it to the relevant pages on the new website. In case your website contains less than a few hundreds of pages, you need to go through the manual process. Although it can be a time-consuming process, but there are no shortcuts to achieve this.
Where To Use 301 Redirects?
Suppose, your old website contains a large number of pages, then you should examine through your website analytics to figure out which pages brings more inbound traffic. In general, you may need to have a 301 redirect for any page which is listed. But, if your website comprises of thousands of pages which are ranked and indexed in the search engines, you may need to put efforts in setting up the 301 redirects for those pages that has the most valuable content. Achieving a good search engine ranking is also a critical factor while planning and implementing any website redesign.
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