Learn all about digital marketing, we have built this glossary to help you understand everything to thrive in online marketing and promoting your website or business.
What is Redirects?
At its most basic, 'redirect' is an internet term used to describe the process where a user’s browser is automatically sent from one URL to another. This is done through specific HTTP status codes sent from a website’s server. These are commonly used when content has moved from one location to another, for site structure changes, or to guide users seamlessly through a digital process.
There are several types of redirects including: 301 (moved permanently), 302 (found/moved temporarily), and 307 (temporary redirect), each having a specific use depending on the situation at hand. One major aspect of redirects that make them crucial is how they impact SEO.
If done incorrectly or in a spammy manner, they can harm a website’s rankings. However, correctly applying redirects can preserve the user experience and site health when making necessary changes or additions.
Redirects Role in Digital Marketing
Redirects play a pivotal role in digital marketing strategies. They help keep a website’s aesthetic and structure in-line while making underlying changes. This is crucial for businesses during website redevelopment, or when updating or removing old content.
They also play an important role in SEO. Without correct redirects, businesses risk losing hard-earned link equity when URLs change. Redirects ensure Google understands the change and transfers most of the ranking power to the new page.
Further, redirects are used to create a seamless user experience. For instance, if a product is out of stock, businesses can use redirects to take customers to a similar product or to an informative page, minimizing frustration and potential loss of business.
Examples of Redirects
An example of effective redirect use is during a website revamp. Let’s say a company decides to completely reorganize their website. They implement redirects from all old-page URLs to the new respective pages, ensuring no user ends up on a '404 Page Not Found' and that any accumulated link equity isn’t wasted.
An example of a 302 temporary redirect might be a company redirecting users from their homepage to a specific events page during a promotional period. Once the event is over, the redirect is removed.
Another common use of a redirect would be for a sold-out product page. To avoid user frustration, the business sets up a redirect that takes users to a related product page, ensuring a seamless browsing experience.