Adding 301 Redirects
301 Redirect - a permanent redirect from one page to another. Used in eCommerce when a product is no longer available and a merchant wishes to redirect a user to a similar or newer version of a product.
How to Redirect
As redirects are very important in terms of SEO we've made it as easy as possible to administer saving you time and energy that can be put towards growing your business.
- Log in to your Shop's Admin Area
- Navigate to Settings > 301 Redirects
- Click the Add New Redirect button
- Add your Old URL to the left hand box (use the full URL e.g. https://domain.com/about-us)
- Add your New URL to the right hand box (again using your full URL).
- Click the Green Tick
- Repeat as needed
Search Engine Optimisation could, if you allow it, be a full-time job. In fact, there are people who do just that. However, we understand that this is unlikely to be your first choice of chores in your never ending to-do list. It is however, a chore that you should assign some time to though.
The best explanation of 'why to redirect' is definitely from the SEO gurus over at Moz who state that:
"A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect which passes between 90-99% of link equity (ranking power) to the redirected page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this type of redirect. In most instances, the 301 redirect is the best method for implementing redirects on a website."
When to Redirect
You should definitely add redirects if you're moving your website host or changing your domain name. You can redirect from another domain TLD for example domain.com may redirect domain.co.uk.
Additionally, if you have a product that is no longer going to be sold, it's worth redirecting that page to its replacement or to a very similar product. This means you keep the link equity that you've built up with search engines and also, as an added bonus, stops customers hitting the dreaded 'page not found' or '404' error. If you are redirecting old product URLs do ensure that the new landing page is a comparable replacement or upgrade.
For example, if you're removing a blue t-shirt do not replace it with a red t-shirt. If you don't have a replacement for the item then just redirect to the same sub-category as the product was in e.g. Clothing>Unisex for blue t-shirts.
When NOT to Redirect
If a product is simply out of stock then don't add a redirect. It's obviously frustrating for a customer to find that a product is temporarily unavailable but if you add in 'Related Items' then they may go and view those instead.
Don't redirect a redirect. For example, if you have previously redirected a page to an alternative, don't then redirect that alternative to a third page. This is called a 'redirection chain' and both browsers and search engines dislike them. In this instance just change the initial redirect to the third page, if needed.