SEO strategies are essential to improve and maintain the performance of websites on search engines. SEO is an ongoing process, but there will always be new rules and search engine algorithm updates. Both, on-page and offsite backlinking optimization will determine the success of your SEO efforts.
However, the overlooked area in SEO is the webpage redirect. A redirect is necessary when a page is moved or deleted for some reason. The visitors get redirected to a updated or more improved webpage on your site. If this is ignored, the visitors land on a 404 error, which says ‘Page not found’. This can hurt your SEO efforts and website ranking.
For example, an e-commerce or a news organization site has its content changing regularly. These have a pile of 404s lurking in the dark. After a major redesigning of a site, where URL structures get altered, 404 errors are seen. It is crucial to clean the 404s or else your SEO can get damaged. For creating and maintaining an SEO friendly WordPress site, you will need to use a redirect WordPress plugin.
Redirects are of two kinds
- Permanent – 301 redirect
- Temporary – 302 redirect
What are the permanent 301 redirects?
As the requested page is unavailable due to the changes made, redirect technique is used to send guests to a permanent new page. The WP 301 redirect tells the crawlers that the page is moved, and thus the new page gets quickly indexed. The 301 status code in HTTP means permanently moved. Users will not hit a wall, but can move to a page that he/she came in search of.
When to use 301 redirects?
Every time you move content, change the domain name, modify page URL, and delete unnecessary content, you must employ the 301 redirects. Or else your guests will land on a 404 error code, which can leave a bad impression on search engines.
Instead, you can direct your visitors to a new improved relevant page that can convert sales. The power from your old page will get shifted to your new page. Why lose your SEO juice of the old page……enjoy it on your new one!
Benefits of 301 redirects to SEO
Besides navigational purposes, 301 redirects offer a great user experience. The key SEO benefit is the link juice preservation. When a 301 WP redirect is performed the original page’s link juice, authority and relevance get transferred to the new one.
Many people get confused about using 301 and 301 redirects. Remember 301 are for permanent modification or deletion, while 302 is for the temporarily moved webpage.
If you use 302 redirects for permanently modified page, then you will lose the juice, which could have been transferred to a new URL. Use proper redirection technique, when you make major changes on web pages.
You can also edit blog images online and send visitors to the new pages with the redirect option. Image optimization is important part of SEO as it helps in compelling the blog visitors to take action.
No one will wish to lose their valuable backlinks, because of new changes made to a site. Use WP 301 redirect plugin and check if your placed redirects are SEO friendly. The key purpose of 301 redirects is to remove the duplicate content occurrence. Google specifically suggests the significance of averting duplicate content.