Websites grow over time, and as you add more pages and organize your platform, you might start making changes that may include changing the names of your pages such as changing your About Me page to About Us because now you have a team. That might also mean changing the URL and the need to set up redirects. A website redirect will ensure that when someone types in or click on the original URLs, they will be redirected to the new page you set the redirection instead and that your visitors won't end up on a 404 error page. This will keep you from losing the value of these links you've built and will contribute to the high-quality experience of your clients and users. For anyone who runs a website and implements a page-by-page basis, they will find something relevant for search engine optimization. In this episode, Joshua Lewis shares his insights about how website redirects work.
What Are Website Redirects?
What are the website redirects? Welcome to Business Built Freedom, where we squirt some sexy on very, very common business problems. Getting back to the topic, what are website redirects?
The easiest way to explain website redirects is kind of like when you move house and you redirect your mail from one spot to another, and that is in its simplest form. You get your mail, instead of going to one spot, it goes to another. Now, does it get there as quickly as it would have otherwise? Absolutely not. It needs to go through a couple of other handling things, and sometimes that costs extra money and all sorts. Website redirects are no different.
So if you've got a website and you've got a single page that you're looking to move to somewhere else, maybe it's your About Us page, instead, you're calling it About Me, or vice versa, or Contact Us is now Contact the Team.
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No Redirect = Website Traffic Lost
If you do that, and you don't put in a redirect, just like that example with the post, you're going to lose visitors and lose traffic. What's worse is if you've had that page in place for any length of time, Google and lots of other search engines will have done something called "indexing." This means that they have popped that into their search engine so that when people search for you and they look at a page to get in contact with you, they have that information in front of them and it links through.
If you don't put in a redirect, you're got to lose lots of traffic. And we see it all the time. People will go and get a new you-beaut website made, and they won't put in any redirects.
Without Website Redirects, You're Starting Over
And it's kind of like starting all over again. Instead of just moving your business address from one spot to another, without leaving a note on the door saying, "Hey, check this out," and updating Google My Business, et cetera, you're instead having people kind of just go, "Oh, they must be gone." And then starting all over, trying to find that traffic again, instead of using some of those existing clients, and existing referrals and existing traffic to build your brand in the new location.
They Speak to Search Engines
So getting back to the question, what are website redirects? Website redirects are a way to tell search engines if something has changed in your website, where to look for it now. The other thing that's really important to do, if you've got a bigger website, or on your website, you're talking to different, not necessarily talking, but referring to other pages, so maybe you've got a blog or a news section, or something like that, and you say, "Oh, if you really like this, go to the Contact Us page," and blah, blah, blah. If you then change it to Contact Me, you need to change all those internal redirects.
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A Real-World Example
This is where it gets interesting. I'll use an easy example again.
So if your business is in Brisbane, and then you move your business to the Gold Coast, and someone drives to your old Brisbane location and you've put in a redirect, awesome. So they get to your Brisbane location, they drive there, maybe they're coming from Logan and they drive to Brisbane, and it takes them, let's say, 20 minutes, 30 minutes to get there. They get there, they see the note on the door saying "We've moved down to the Gold Coast, we're at Mermaid Waters," or whatnot. They then have to drive all the way down. So what that does is affect that user's experience.
Now we're talking about things in the real world instead of online, but the process is exactly the same.
That user's experience now being delayed, and they've gone from being at home to driving past where they need to go, in coming to Brisbane because that's what they thought they were meant to do. And they've gone from Brisbane, and they've come straight back all the way down the M1, and headed off to the Gold Coast at Mermaid Waters, or whatnot.
So they've spent a lot of time now in real man's terms, if they drove to Brisbane, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, and they came down to Mermaid Waters, 45 minutes. We're talking 75 minutes or so. It sounds like a long time, but in a web-sense, it's not that bad. The difference instead of 75 minutes might be something like 750 milliseconds. And you think, "Ah, it's nothing. What am I worried about?" But it is something to be worried about because it's slowing down your user experience and that's what Google search engine is all about: the user experience.
User Experience Is the Key
You get rewarded for having a better user experience. Experience, experience, experience.
So if you, instead of putting that redirect link in, if instead for all of your own internal pages, you update those links to the latest, real links, you're always better off doing that because it's going to save lots of time, lots of processing time, and better user experience, and ultimately better your search engine ranking, which is going to bring more traffic and more happy visitors.
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The Final Word
So what are website redirects or how to website redirects work? Quite simply, that is 0.1 spot to another, use them where you can, but just make sure you understand what they're there for and how they're working.