What is a 301 redirect and how does it impact my website?
Launching a brand-new website can be a bit complicated, but there’s a way to keep all the good stuff from the old site when you do it. It’s called a “301 redirect.”
So, what’s a 301 redirect? Think of it as a forwarding address when you move. When you change a web page’s address, the 301 redirect automatically sends people and search engines to the new address. It’s like updating your address with the post office, so you don’t miss any letters.
Here are 4 reasons 301 redirects are essential:
1. Keep Your Search Engine Ranking: If you worked hard to get your website to show up on search engines, you don’t want to lose that when you move your site. With a 301 redirect, search engines know your website has moved, and they’ll update the new address while keeping your good ranking.
2. Help Visitors Find You: Imagine you tell your friends you’ve moved, but you forget to give them the new address. They’ll get lost and won’t find your new home. The same goes for your website visitors. If they use an old link and it doesn’t work, they’ll leave your site. With a 301 redirect, they’ll be sent to the right place, and they’ll be happy to stay.
3. Keep Your Friends’ Recommendations: When other websites link to your pages, it’s like a vote of confidence. These links, called backlinks, help your website’s reputation. If you don’t set up a 301 redirect when you move, those links will break, and you’ll lose some of that reputation.
4. Smooth Website Moves: If you’re moving your whole website to a new address or changing its structure, a 301 redirect is like hiring a moving company. It helps everything find its place in the new home. Without it, your website would be in chaos, and your visitors wouldn’t know where to go.
So, how do you set up a 301 redirect? Don’t worry; you don’t need to be a tech wizard. If you’re working with a web developer, be sure they are taking care of this essential checklist item for you. Most website builders have tools set up to easily input redirects like this.
In a nutshell, a 301 redirect is a simple way to make sure your website’s move goes smoothly. It keeps your search engine ranking, helps visitors find your new address, preserves your reputation, and makes the move hassle-free. So, next time you’re planning to move your website, don’t forget to set up those 301 redirects!