The importance of 301 Redirects can’t be overlooked and cause website traffic decreases if not implemented correctly telling Google about deleted or new pages. First to we must understand what is a 301 redirect. It’s a way to tell Google that a URL on your website has changed the structure or has been deleted from your site. There a couple of ways to set up the 301 redirect. You can either permanently 301 an old URL to a new URL or 302 partially redirect. This is where most people make mistakes when deleting the old page or switching your website to https. I highly recommend permanently 301 redirecting all URLs. This way most of the link juice from the old page authority will be transferred over to the new URL. In either case, when you use the 301 redirect only about 85% of the current page authority it moved over so you need to be cautious using the 301. Below are a few way to avoid trouble or traffic decrease.
- If you are in the process of moving over to a new website design. I highly recommend starting 301 redirect old pages in batches that you plan not move over to the new website. This way you can give Google time to recognize that pages have been deleted and now you would like the traffic or keywords to be pointed to which pages you decided to 301 redirect to. When you 301 redirect a lot of pages at once it can take Google a few month settle your rankings and this can be frustrating and not to mention the loss of revenue.
- Do the work! Don’t take it for granted your hosting company has set your htaccess properly. Take advantage of plugins and other tools to manually redirect URLs. I’ve personally seen a lot of websites loses 50% of their traffic by thinking their hosting company has 301 redirect every URL correctly.
- Don’t 301 redirect every old page to the home page. Before removing the pages check traffic to the page and keywords ranking on the page. If there is traffic and few keywords make sure you properly redirect the page to a new page with keywords that relevant. Just because you are direct the page doesn’t mean the traffic will follow.
301 redirect is not to be taken lightly, contact SEO expert or contact me today before you make mistakes that can be permanently and unfixable. If you have any questions or concerns please leave a comment.