What Is a 301 Redirect?

“Page Not Found.” Users hate to see those three words whenever they’re searching for something on the web. From a business perspective, having your custom 404 page pop up shouldn’t be a part of your conversion rate optimization strategy. What is a 301 redirect, and how can you avoid users rage-quitting a session on your website?

What Is a 301 Redirect?

What is a 301 redirectThink about a 301 redirect like this: let’s say you’re moving into a brand new house. However, until you fill out a change of address form, you won’t be able to get your mail. The postal service will keep sending it to your old address until you fix it.

301 redirects are literally the Internet’s change-of-address forms. In fact, they even work quicker than the USPS. Whether you’re redirecting a single link on your website or the entire domain, the change happens in real time.

Why Are 301 Redirects Important for On-Page SEO?

Broken links are a nuisance to any user’s experience. Your strong web presence or sound SEO strategies helped someone find your page. Your awesome content made them want to explore other facets of your organization. However, when they clicked one of your on-page internal links, they went from a potential customer to a lost conversion.

Expert webmasters and digital marketing agencies stay on top of 404s as part of on page SEO maintenance to prevent this from happening.

How 301 Redirects Impact Off Page SEO

While setting up 301 redirects for links on your domain is vital, don’t underestimate the off-page impacts. For instance, let’s say you acquire a backlink on another high-authority domain but forget to set up a redirect on your own domain after some URL structure changes. Not only will Google see it as a 404, but that link will also lose relevance. When it loses relevance, the page will plummet in SERPs.

Additionally, improperly setting up a 301 redirect can be damaging, too. For example, some “experts” will simply redirect a broken link back to the home page. This lazy tactic can do more harm than good. Digital marketing gurus who are adept at both on and off page SEO would redirect it to the most relevant page AND ensure that the destination URL absorbs the older page’s SEO value through Latent Semantic Indexing.

Get With Our Award-Winning Digital Marketing Team

What is a 301 redirect? When used properly, it can minimize user frustration. However, a 301 redirect can be costly if not executed properly. If you’re too busy running a company to worry about website errors, Dreamscape Marketing can help. Call 888.307.7304 and find out how an SEO audit now can save you a ton of heartbreak in the future.