So you’re thinking of making a significant overhaul to your site and need to make sure you check the boxes? You already know that redesigning your website or migrating to a new domain does not only entail making design decisions or picking a new domain, it also requires careful planning around URL redirection. As such, this kind of move can have a significant impact on your website’s SEO ranking.
The most common reason for URL redirection during website migration is making sure that all the links work on your new domain. To start, it is imperative that all your links work properly to ensure a smooth experience for your users. This is particularly important for the main pages on your website, especially if they have inbound links (referral traffic coming from another website). If the content on these pages will remain unchanged, a permanent URL redirect should be implemented via 301 redirect. Using a 301 redirect, also known as a permanent redirect, tells Google and other search engines that your page has moved permanently, as opposed to 302, or temporary redirects. The former passes link equity (SEO relevance) to the new page, while the latter does not.
If you are migrating the majority of the content on your website, you might have numerous pages that have gathered link equity (SEO relevance). Being able to pass on as much of this existing link equity as possible to the new website is a signal of the strength of the new domain’s authority to search engines. Overall this will help you maintain SEO strength and SERP.
Another reason might be the amalgamation of two organizations with two different websites – for example, one company acquiring another. One brand is likely better known than the other, and may have a domain with better search engine rankings and authority. In this case, you would want to keep the higher ranking of the two domains as the primary domain, and redirect links from the lesser performing domain. This is also a good time to decide whether certain URLs need to be redirected to its counterpart on the new site, or to a parent/category page, or even to the homepage.
It is important that URLs are redirected only to pages that are highly relevant, if not exactly the same. Google treats redirects to less relevant pages as soft 404s. If the page with the URL you wish to redirect will not be replicated in your new website, then you absolutely should redirect it to the closest equivalent page, or to a closer category or topic on the site.
A website migration project is also a good time to reassess the 301 redirects you currently have in place. Multiple redirects create redirect chains which impact your site’s loading time, as well as link authority – and therefore, the quality of your site, all of which in turn impact your SEO ranking. Look for opportunities to reduce the number of redirects you have for each link to optimize user experience on your site.
We can help ease the pains of URL redirection during website migration – no matter how big or small your website is. Learn more about EasyRedir pricing plans to choose what’s best for you and sign up for a free EasyRedir trial today.