Improve SEO by Using WP 301 Redirects
There is a 404 notification popping up on your visitor’s screen? This can be a consequence of a typo, or an attempt to access a non-existent, removed or migrated page. Whatever the reason behind this problem is, the result is unpleasant and damaging to the reputation of your website. So, no matter how well-designed your 404 page is, landing on it will leave a bad impression and can also lead to a negative influence on your website’s SEO.
Luckily, a simple 301 redirects plugin can help you keep and even improve your website’s credibility. So, whether you have to move the whole site to a new domain, or change the URLs of only some pages, you will be able to do it while maintaining the SEO score and reputation among visitors.
Here is a more in-depth explanation of all handy features these plugins can offer.
What Is a 301 Redirect?
301 redirects fall under HTTP 3xx status codes. Unlike other of its kind – 302 and MetaRefresh – the 301 redirects are permanent.
These plugins are set to inform Google that a certain page or a website have been moved to another URL. So, when it comes to SEO and other operational concerns, Google is instructed to treat the new URL as if it’s the old one. This includes projecting the SEO features of the old URL to the new one, including traffic value, page authority, MozRank, and PageRank.
Similarly, the user experience should remain unchanged. This means that the 301 redirects will reroute all traffic directed towards the requested URL – the old one – to the destination URL, i.e. the new one. Thus, the visitors will access the content they were looking for without bumping into a 404 notification, and finally losing the interest.
301 Redirects and SEO Improvements
Google is in tune with the expectations of an average internet user, and this is what SEO is somewhat based on. Hence, if a plugin improves user experience, it also improves the SEO of a website. In short, this is how 301 redirects enhance your site’s SEO. Now, let’s take a more detailed look at the situations where these plugins may come in useful.
Inactive Web Pages
This also includes pages that will soon expire. The visitors should be redirected to another active page with engaging content. This way you will keep your visitor’s attention and avoid leaving them frustrated for not finding what they were initially looking for. This way you will also avoid negative SEO.
Broken Links Due to Changes or Repairs
In case you have updated some content on your website it might result in broken links. This is certainly a problem you should address. Likewise, if you had any design issues, you’ll want to fix them by uploading a new page with a fresh design.
Rerouting from broken or invalid URLs to the new ones which are functioning properly is an important way of maintaining user experience on a satisfactory level. This, in turn, contributes to your site’s SEO and it’s a great way of dodging SEO penalties from search engines.
Backlinks are one of the significant features according to which search engines estimate a website’s credibility. Broken backlinks can do a lot of damage to your site’s ranking in organic search results. 301 redirects help you keep the inbound backlinks healthy by informing the search engine bots with the new location of your specific pages. Thus, your website gets to retain the hard-earned SEO score.
Smooth Transition to HTTPS Prefix
First of all, this is a more secure protocol, so your users will feel more relaxed sharing their data with you. Additionally, this prefix is associated with a slight boost of the site’s ranking in search engines. Hence, by enabling you to seamlessly move on to HTTPS version of your website, 301 redirects not only maintain, but even somewhat improve your SEO grade.
How to Set up a 301 Redirect
Activating a 301 redirect on your WordPress website is pretty easy. We recommend choosing Easy Redirect Manager as it is truly user-friendly and offers many handy options.
First of all, setting up this plugin doesn’t require any coding skills. Additionally, it allows you to set a custom destination URL which can be a whole new website. Among many advantages, there are features which let you handle bulk redirects, supervise redirect stats, and retain query string in all redirects.
Installing Easy Redirect Manager
There are two ways to install this plugin on your WordPress website. One is to download a copy and then upload it to the WP, while the other is to add it directly through WP plugin search.
In case you decide to follow the first procedure, first you must download the plugin onto your computer. Then, you need to upload it to WP by clicking Plugins and picking the option Add New, and then Upload Plugin. When you find it in the popup window, choose Install Now. Finally, once the installation is complete, all you have to do is activate the plugin.
There is also an option to add Easy Redirect Manager directly through WP. When you choose Add New in Plugins menu, just type in eps 301 redirects. When you find it among the offered search results, the process of installation and activation is the same as in the previous case.
Initiating Easy Redirect Manager
Setting up redirects with this convenient plugin is quite simple. In the WP Settings menu, you will find the option 301 Redirects. A click on that will open the commands to the plugin. There, you will see two columns: Redirect From and Redirect To. This is where you type in the individual URLs.
If you wish to conduct a bulk redirect, you can choose Import/Export Redirect Rules tab and upload a CSV file with the requested URLs. and destination URLs.
On the other hand, when it comes to something more specific such as redirects for individual pages or posts, you can manage those through the Custom option on the drop-down menu.
Although the implementation of 301 redirects is often simple, you should still be careful. Make sure you have done everything properly, especially if you are handling the process manually or if there are certain complex procedures to be conducted.
Also, try to keep enough (around 70%) of the content the same as on the original page. This is how you will additionally ensure maintenance of your accrued SEO score. Finally, always go through the website once you finish the redirection process. If there are some broken links left, you will need to weed them out.
All in all, adding this 301 redirects plugin will give you plenty of advantages, especially through improving your SEO grade and maintaining or even boosting your website’s credibility.