Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, refers to a set of practices for processing and positioning the quality and quantity of website traffic. On the one hand, page speed exhibits how rapidly specific page loads when visitors stop by your site.
These two factors are of paramount importance for a website’s performance and business purposes to some extent.
Nevertheless, neither SEO nor page speed is a core subject in this article. In contrast, you’ll read a far more amusing topic than that.
Here are some questions for you. What would you do once you intend to remove or change your page URLs?
How can the users recognize your new site?
Whatsoever the answers are, WordPress redirects are here for you. Redirect is currently a prominent way to optimize the efficiency of website traffic and better user experience.
This article will introduce you to the best WordPress redirect practices to maximize SEO and page speed.
Let’s break it down now.
- What is WordPress Redirect?
- Types of URL Redirects and When to Use Them
- Is Redirect Always Good?
- How WordPress Affects SEO
- Best Practices for Getting Redirect Right
What is WordPress Redirect?
WordPress Redirect intends to migrate users from one URL to another one. A typical redirection scenario is catching up with incorrect URLs and forwarding users to the correct ones. In other words, despite typing a wrong webpage address, your users will still be located on the right page, thanks to this brilliant function.
Another example of redirects is shifting visitors to the new URL when they request the old one.
Redirects have made a remarkable stride to better users’ experience. That’s also conducive to keeping your site up and running. Your site is switched to a different domain name or your page is taken down. Visitors can easily find it with the help of redirects, though.
In today’s market, there are various redirect types for you to choose from. Each of them has different features, and you can use them for different purposes. So, let’s explore which one is for you in the next section.
Types of Redirects and When to Use Them
Redirects have received a great deal of public attention, resulting in their wide range of categories these days. Some popular redirect types are involved in this section.
Most WordPress users significantly prefer this kind of redirect. A 301 redirect is a transitional modus operandi or redirects response status code. It aims to notify the browsers or search engines that a website or webpage has been moved permanently to a new address. Simultaneously, visitors who request an old URL will automatically be redirected to the new one.
It’s also applicable when you have to merge two or more sites or change their domain names. 301 redirects have added immense value to have users’ experience flowered. They give your users more information than just the new URL addresses.
If there’s content covered in more detail on another page, 301 redirects will come in to help them achieve the necessary page. As a result, they are more accessible to chase desired content.
Similarly, 302 redirects also tell the browsers and search engines that a web page is moved, but just temporarily.
This type of redirect is recommended when you’re upgrading/maintaining or redesigning your website. In other words, your users will be temporarily redirected to another site for a short period until the old one returns.
Use 302 redirects as long as you can make sure to bring your old site back.
303 redirects would be helpful to prevent your visitors from returning to the previous page. Especially in case you have a form to collect users’ feedback, 303 redirects will stop pages from storing data.
As a result, once users hit their browser’s “back” button, they fail to re-submit the form. Noticeably, the 303 redirects can’t be counted by search engines so they are worthless for your SEO.
Meta Refresh Redirects
While the three types above are server-side redirects, a Meta Refresh Redirect happens on the client-side. It’s usually associated with a countdown message, “You’ll be redirected to a new page in 5 seconds”, for example.
Many SEO experts have suggested restricting this redirect since no one likes to wait. Consequently, Meta Refresh Redirect seems to leave adverse impacts on your web traffic and SEO.
To sum up, you can utilize these types of redirect for different purposes as follows:
- Redesigning, maintaining, or updating your site and content.
- Moving or removing a site or page to a new one.
- Changing your URL’s domain name.
- Merging two or more websites.
- Leading users to desired content after unlocking private content.
Is Redirect Always Good?
Everything has its perks, and so do redirects. The process of requesting new URL addresses might walk toward your visitors’ discomfort. It sometimes slows things down for users.
Redirects somehow refer to getting lost and having to bring back the right route. Even though it’s good to go back on the right path, time is still wasted. Regarding this case, the users are prone to loading the page twice or even more if there are many unnecessary redirects.
Notwithstanding there are a few drawbacks of redirecting to page speed, the benefits of SEO would significantly surpass its downsides in the long run.
How WordPress Redirect Affects SEO
Initially, a redirect is in charge of landing your visitors to their target page if you’ve deleted or moved it to a new URL. Without redirects, the visitors will encounter the 404 error message when they reach the old address.
This error can raise a sense of incompetence and confusion among your visitors. That’s one of the merits of the users’ experience we’ve mentioned earlier.
Though 404 error seems innocuous, it incredibly has adverse impacts on SEO. This kind of error results from broken links, resulting in search engines’ resistant crawling of your site and pages.
Hence, setting up WordPress redirects when changing a new site URL or domain name is of the essence. It enables search engines to index your new site and make all link juice of your old page way to your new one.
Under any circumstances, would the upsides of WordPress redirects be more emphasized? So, which WordPress redirect practices should be considered for maximizing SEO and Page Speed?
WordPress Redirect Best Practices
Use 301 Redirects
Out of various redirect types, 301 is always the best choice for many reasons. As mentioned earlier, 301 redirects are accountable for permanent pages moving, while others are for temporary purposes only.
As long as the search engines recognize 301 redirects, they automatically pass from SEO results on the old pages to new ones. Concurrently, the original URLs stated by a 301 redirect are also de-indexed from search results.
Accordingly, it helps preserve most of your ranking power and carry forward all the links laden with this old address to the new one. This way, you are able to keep all SEO efforts you have made effortlessly.
Avoid Redirect Chains
Redirect chains are attributed to slow page loading at most times. A redirect chain can simply unfold when the users can only reach the final destination after 3-5 redirect hops.
They just want to migrate from URL one to two but are forced to move from two to three. Evidentially, this burdens the browsers and delays the page speed.
Avoid Internal Redirects
Sometimes you forget to update the internal redirects to a new location. These redirects are no longer necessary, so just make sure to go to your site’s content and replace them with active URLs. This aims to avoid search engines indexing redundant URLs.
Remove Old 301 Redirects
If there are any 301 redirects that are no longer needed, they should be deleted from your site. In fact, when you remove or change an URL, it still exists in search results. Google has not instantly deleted it from the index. The removed URL can only drop gradually if there’s no traffic.
So, if the old 301 redirects accomplished little traffic, you can delete them. But if they still hit, you shouldn’t change them to avoid SEO problems.
Redirect to Relevant Pages
An ultimate goal of using redirect is to avoid the 404 error. However, it makes no sense to your users if you redirect them to irrelevant pages.
It can cause their resentment and weaken their experience on your site. Both of them are fatal factors in your bounce rate and SEO value.
And what if there comes a time when you want to redirect authorized users to relevant pages after unlocking your private site. For example, redirect them from an introduction page of products to pricing or sale pages.
Then, you should turn to our Password Protect WordPress Plugin for help. Our plugin assists you in redirecting your users to relevant pages based on the password they enter to access your private site.
Therefore, you don’t need to worry whether your users land on inappropriate pages by mistakes cause we never let it happen.
By and large, WordPress Redirects are worthwhile to use for your site performance. They serve an excellent experience to users and have great SEO values. These values can be displayed apparently. It’s when you migrate your old site to a new one, merge two or more locations, remove a page, or lead users to desired content after unlocking a private site.
Even though it sometimes hurts your page loading speed, it can be avoidable by applying appropriate practices such as circumventing redirect chains.
Additionally, we’re also happy to help with your SEO merits via our Password Protect WordPress redirect function. At this stage, you can forward your visitors to relevant pages at ease according to the passwords they use to access your protected site.
Now that you know how to maximize SEO and page speed through WordPress redirects, let’s jump ship onto actions and make what you’ve learned a reality.