SEO Spotlight: Redirects

Overview of redirects

There are several onsite Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) best practices that you should keep an eye on to ensure that your website performance and health is maintained. In this article, we explain redirects and highlight the issue with redirect chains and why they are an important part of SEO maintenance.

If you want your website to be easily found by existing and new customers on search engines such as Google, then it needs to be available and indexable by search engines, so make it easy for them and you’ll make it easy for your customers too!

What is a redirect?

A redirect is a way to take website users and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally requested.

Why do you need them?

Redirects occur for various reasons, for example; a page on your website is no longer available, this will take the visitor to a 404 error page, basically a dead-end for the visitor and something you really want to avoid!  It might be that you have created a new page that you want visitors to see instead of the old one, or perhaps you have a duplicate page. Whatever the reason you need to deal with these using redirects, in doing this you are telling search engines and your customers where to visit on your site for the correct content/URL. In setting up redirects properly you pass on the SEO value (link equity) that has built up over time from the old URL to the new URL.

What’s the best way to set up a redirect?

Generally, redirects are permanent and the best way to deal with these is to use a ‘301 redirect’  A 301 redirect means that a page has permanently moved to a new location on your website. If you are temporarily moving a page to a new location then you would use a 302 redirect so search engines know that this new location is only for a short time. Either way, you need to be careful as having too many redirects in place or not having them pointing to the correct location creates problems and we explain this in more detail below.

What’s a redirect chain?

A common side effect of having too many redirects is that they can cause redirect chains. This is where a URL has been redirected many times and with each step the value of your SEO decreases. Redirect chains can also affect the loading time of your website pages because search engines are being passed from one page to another until they reach the final destination page.

We can help

We can provide a health-check of your website to see if it has any on-site redirect chains that may be harming your website performance and stopping visitors getting to your website content efficiently.  We will highlight any issues found and talk you through how to resolve them.

For a chat and more details, please contact us at hello@teepeedigital.com or call us on 0161 401 1442.   We offer straight forward, reliable advice and assistance.