So you have got your SEO on the mark, created all types of amazing content, and consequently, you get a good load of web traffic and visitors to your site. But all of your efforts come to naught when the visitors get to see a dreaded 404 page – maybe the page was moved, it was updated, under maintenance, or you forgot to update your permalink structure.
Whatever be the reason, it shouldn’t be an excuse for error pages because you end up losing leads and possible customer interaction with each incident of such errors. And your SEO gets badly affected as well. That’s why you should be using WordPress redirects. It is actually simple to set up, and we will show you how.
Backlinks And Redirection
If you are not sure what exactly backlinks are, remember the last time you read some interesting article and found an online link that led to a deep dive into the topic you are reading about.
An inquisitive mind would naturally click on it and find its way into the corresponding website. And if your website has a good level of relevant backlinks, you stand the chance of getting engaged visitors and, consequently, a better SEO ranking.
Backlinks are a critical part of SEO operations as they help drive good organic traffic to your site. Leads from backlinks are also known for having higher engagement levels and better conversion rates. But what if instead of leading to the actual content, the backlink leads to a 404 page. That can be disappointing to the user and can impact your SEO as well.
Once again, WordPress page redirects can save your day. But you have to be attentive about your website changes and track your backlinks to redirect properly.
For instance, a casino site can thrive a lot better with a good collection of backlinks. They can get links from review sites, customer referral posts and social media handles, and so on. But most times, the casino pages keep getting updated due to new updates in games, designs, and regulations.
A poker game may become unavailable for a while due to back-office restrictions or changes in government regulations, and any redirect link to such a poker game may have to be redirected to a similar game, so the prospective player doesn’t just leave the site without giving it a try. Sometimes, a slot game could be updated with a newer version with more enhanced graphics and moved to a new page. All the backlinks associated with the old game version should be redirected to the newer version game WordPress redirect page.
Similarly, casinos run many seasonal offers and promotions, which will get updated frequently. These marketing pages also need to be properly redirected so that the user sees the latest marketing campaign that is up to date and accurate.
There are two major tasks a webmaster has to keep up with to ensure proper backlinks redirections.
- Set up redirects whenever you change a page on your site.
This way, all the supported backlinks will be automatically redirected to the new page. Failing to do so might cause older links to point to an invalid page.
- Track backlinks that are pointing to a 404 page.
This can be done using any site audit tool or backlinks tracker tools. Once you get the details and list of invalid backlinks, you can set up proper redirections to make sure they will lead the customer to a relevant new redirected page.
Types Of Redirects
Basically, a website redirect is a way to instruct the browser to access a new URL instead of the one it initially looks for. This is usually communicated to the browser via status codes in the series 3xx. The right use of status code is necessary as search engines will use it to update the URL indices or refer to the old URLs.
Based on the purpose and the way of implementation, redirects are classified into two main types.
301 redirect URL status code implies a permanent redirect. It means that the original URL is currently unavailable and will not be available in the future. Thus, the old URL will be removed from search engine indices and replaced with the new URL.
This status code is used when the redirect is a temporary situation. These are used when the site is under maintenance or as a quick fix to any bug or glitch.
There are other redirect in WordPress types like 300,303, 304, and so on, which carry little significance to most WordPress sites.
As for your WordPress websites, you will be using the 301 for permanent redirects and 302 for a temporary redirect.
Creating Redirects By Editing .htaccess
The .htaccess file is an important core file that can be used to configure several website settings like file size limits, enable or disable server features, routing instructions, and so on. You can edit this file to redirect a particular web page or URL.
But remember that any errors in this file can lead to website malfunctioning. So, take backup as a precaution before you make the edits.
- To access the .htaccess file, use an FTP program. The file will be under the root folder.
- Open the file and add the following piece of code.
Redirect 301/original_URL //http:/redirect_URL
Redirect 302/original_URL //http:/redirect_URL
- Customize the code as you have to and make sure to spell check the URLs.
- You can also use regex and conditional logics to specify the URLs.
Creating Redirects With Plugins
If opening up the .htaccess seems like a daunting task, don’t worry, you have an easy way. Just make use of redirection plugins that help you redirect pages as you want to. There are many plugins available for this sole purpose. You can set the URL’s status code, and any other conditional logic as the plugin allows you to. Here are some top plugins you can check out:
Check the plugin’s available features and choose the one that fits your needs, install, and use, as mentioned in the documentation.
The Wrap Up
So, this was a brief insight into redirections in WordPress. As you can see, you may use plugins or edit the .htaccess file to introduce redirects. Using a plugin for redirection is way simpler than editing .htaccess files.
What are your views on this? How do you create redirects on your website? Let us know in the comments below.