5 common URL redirect mistakes to avoid

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Dec 11th 2019

For the less technically savvy, URL redirects can be somewhat daunting and feel like a tedious task. There are plenty of mistakes to be made when embarking on a 301 strategy and whilst Redirectly makes it simple and easy to navigate, here are some of the biggest mistakes still made when putting redirects into practice.

Never move to a domain without a 301 strategy

Big brands have fallen into the trap of moving a domain without setting up a 301 redirect, such as Toys ‘R Us and RyanAir. They watched the results as their search engine ranking crashed and their new domain was crawled by Google, without 301 redirects from their old domain, and so, traffic dropped heavily from the website.

Don’t forget a domain associated to your company

The power of inbound links is infinite and have the power of boosting your domains authority. However, when a company has multiple URLs, such as redirectlyapp.com and https://redirectlyapp.com/, it isn’t just your traffic being split, its your authority too. By choosing your canonical (preferred domain) and using a 301 redirect strategy to direct all variables of a domain to one, it’ll boost your search engine results.

Don’t fix what isn’t broken

It’s best to avoid renaming pages on your sitemap where possible if you’ve rearchitected your website. Search engines will have already indexed pages, so try to keep everything as streamlined and simple as possible. For instance, if your old URL was redirectlyapp.com/pricing then the new URL should be redirectly.co.uk/pricing to avoid confusion for the user and Google crawlers.

Only choose a 302 if it’s temporary

301 or 302? What’s the big difference? If you’re only migrating content temporarily then a 302 is for you. 301 redirects maintain your search ranking, inbound links and domain authority. 302 redirects offer no SEO benefit to your redirect strategy.

Redirects instead of rewriting URLs… no, thank you

It’s important to not get lazy when it comes to rewriting URLs and not just using a redirect to send the user to the content you want them to see. Rewriting URLs is important when it comes to SEO and telling users as well as searchings what the page is about.

A search engine friendly URL such as redirectlyapp.com/pricing/subscription tells the user and the engine what the page is about, where as an unfriendly URL such as redirectlyapp.com/pricing/page=3 would not be indexed.

Ready to get started? Check out our best practice steps on how to set up 301 redirects.

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