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301 redirects help prevent 404 errorsThinking about redesigning your website? Or changing domain names? Are you already ranking well for some keywords? Hold up! While we are all for you moving away from an archaic website design to a more modern one, there are somethings to consider.  For instance, what are you going to do with all of those backlinks that are pointing to your old site? If you’re not careful, you can loose your SEO power without utilizing 301 redirects. Without a good integrated web design and SEO strategy you may loose the top spot in Google. And it will come right when you have a new beautiful web design to show off.

What You Need To Know About Using 301 Redirects With Your New Web Design

While redesigning a website is a popular option for business owners, it’s important to remember that every time you change the path of your URL structure you may, inadvertently, be breaking links within your website pages found elsewhere on the web. The result? Your new website may not, initially, deliver the results you had been expecting. In fact, many companies actually notice that, when they first go live with their new site, their visitor traffic plummets. Reconfiguring your existing URL structure can instantly drive your traffic numbers into the ground, taking all of your previous SEO initiatives with it.

The best way to ensure that your new website design doesn’t hurt your SEO initiatives is to implement a 301 redirect as part of your website migration process. Sure, under certain circumstances, you may feasibly maintain your existing URL structure with your new website setup. But if you plan on revamping your content, changing your URL may make the most sense. Enter in, our friend, the 301 redirect. 301 redirects have three primary goals to help save existing SEO power.

1) A 301 redirect informs the search engine that old copy and online pages have moved and no longer exist in their previous locations.

2) 301 redirects automatically reroute website visitors to the newly appointed page for a seamless user transition between old and new URL’s.

3) A 301 redirect tells the search engines to quit indexing your old page and start indexing your new page in the future. (there is also a 302 redirect that says the same thing but only temporary)

Another way of saying it is a 301 redirect tells the search engines that people who want page A will be directed to page B instead.

Using 301 Redirects to Keep Your Credibility

One of the quickest ways to annoy visitors and loose your credibility is to bring them to a 404 page. 301 redirects not only help redirect visitors to the correct pages, they boost your company’s search engine credentials. Search engines have algorithms that help it build “trust” with any online site. This trust is based both on having an aged, established website as well as an SEO initiative chock full of relevant inbound links. Without using a 301 redirect to salvage your existing links to new pages, the search engines will instantly deem your new website as a brand new website and you’re starting over. Google isn’t following the power.

By setting up a 301 redirect from your old site to your new site, your traffic numbers should return to normal within a 1-4 month time span.

If you are getting your website redesigned somewhere else, make sure they know what keywords you are ranking for already and fully understand how to implement a 301 redirect strategy.

If you’re ready to redesign your website and have not selected a team to work with yet we can help ensure that you reap the benefits of a new modern look while sustaining your current SEO rankings.

For more information  contact us.