Let’s say you have a new website with a new url and you and your inbound marketing agency want people to land on the new website/url when they type in your old one. What you’ll do is implement what is known as a “301 redirect.” Doing so automatically redirects the old url to your new url, with site visitors never the wiser. (They don’t have to type in the new url to get to the site.)
You also may use a 301 redirect for pages within a website.
The 301 redirect is absolutely critical when it comes to keeping your website’s domain authority and its search rankings. What’s more, these redirects keep your inbound marketing efforts intact because they link different urls under one authority so that search engines will continue to rank all of the different page urls as before, therefore allowing a page to keep what is known as “search authority.”
A tad confused? We don’t blame you!
Let’s give a tale of two website urls: www.YourOldSite.com and www.YourNewSite.com. Someone who visited your site a few weeks or months ago may not know you have a new name/url for your website, so she types in the url she knows, yet the 301 redirect automatically redirects her to your new url.
What’s more, all that Google juice you worked so hard for with your inbound marketing strategies remain.
Three Different Types of Redirects and When to Use Them
Not to confuse you more – really! – but you should know that there are three different types of redirects and they each have reasons you’d want to use one over another. They are: 301, 302 and meta refresh.
- Redirect 301:
Is for permanent page moves. This is the best one to use for SEO purposes because it basically tells search engines “Nothing to see here, move along and no rubber necking.”
- Redirect 302:
Once told search engines that the page has “moved temporarily.” You rarely want to use this redirect now because the Internet’s new Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which spells out how urls work, changed in recent years and search crawlers now read this redirect as “Found.” Your inbound marketing efforts will suffer. Do. Not. Use.
- Meta refresh:
Is a redirect that moves on the page level instead of on the server level. Meta refreshes tend to be slower and usually aren’t recommended in SEO best practices. You’ve no doubt seen a meta refresh yourself several times: they often come with the text “if you are not redirected in five seconds, click here.”
A Few Reasons to Use a 301 Redirect
- First and foremost, as mentioned above, you have a new website. Whether it has a new name or not, it has a new url and your inbound agency wants to make sure everyone gets there when they type in the old url.
- You have different urls that can take a visitor to the same page. For example, let’s say people can get to your homepage via http://example.com/home, or http://home.example.com or http://www.example.com. Pick one of those urls as your main url (known as a canonical destination) and use 301 redirects from the other urls to your preferred url.
- You want to merge two websites, ensuring that old urls get redirected to the correct pages.
The Main Reason Your Inbound Agency is Pushing You to Use the 301 Redirect
The 301 redirect is a permanent redirect. Which means it passes as much as 90 to 99 percent of a page’s ranking power to the new url. As such, it’s by far the best option for SEO because it moves most the first page’s relevance, authority and ranking power to the new page.
Ingenex is a Detroit-based digital marketing agency. Our forte is inbound marketing and if your firm wants more highly targeted leads and the ability to connect with clients and prospects in ways that help keep them customers for life, drop us a line.