Following on from our last blog post by Laura where she discussed things to check before your website goes live, one thing I would personally like to bring more awareness to and therefore it’s own post is redirects.

Redirects are essential when it comes to launching a redesigned or redeveloped website. For those who don’t know, redirects should be put in place when a page URL changes so that users are directed to the new destination. There are different types of redirects including 301 permanent redirects (recommended for page URL changes), 302 temporary redirects and some others that you probably don’t need to know about so I won’t bore you.

Why are redirects important?

It’s just like moving address; you inform the post office of your move so that your post gets redirected from old address to new. It works the same for web pages. If you change the URL of a page, you must put a redirect on that page so that users gets automatically taken to the new page and they don’t hit a 404 not found error = DEAD END. 404 errors are bad user experience which may lose you customers but also lose you SEO points as a) Google records 404 errors found on websites and may drop you in the SERPs if they pile too high (why would they want to send their searchers to dead ends?) and b) any SEO benefit you may have received from external sites linking to yours is likely to be lost.

I’ve seen it all too often…

New website redesign launch date is approaching…

Last minute tweaks flood in from the client…

An unexpected technical issue pops up…

Site gets pushed live to meet deadline day…

WAIT, WHAT ABOUT THE REDIRECTS?

How are website visitors and Google going to know where your new page lives? Well, unfortunately, they aren’t. As much as it saddens me to say, I have seen this happen far too many times.

Overlooked or forgotten about

We have been approached by companies in the past wanting to know why they have disappeared from Google and lost all of their organic search traffic. They had a new website go live 3 months ago that was meant to help their SEO so why has it gone the opposite way?  After some digging around in their Google Webmasters and Screaming Frog, it’s clear to see what has happened. 404 errors have mounted over the past 3 months – why? No redirects were implemented when the new site went live!

This issue doesn’t only apply to newly redesigned websites – if you change a page URL or need to delete a page don’t forget to redirect.

So please, please remember to plan your redirects. They need love too! As tedious as they are, time is definitely well spent.

If you need any help with your redirects or think you may have lost traffic due to lack of, give us a call today on 01403 261491.

Dont forget to redirect

Posted in Digital Marketing, Google, SEO, Web Development, Website Design.

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