301 Redirect: A marketer’s guide to search engine-friendly redirects

301 redirect

URL redirects are necessary to provide web browsers with a positive and smooth flowing UX. When a webpage is taken offline, you need to redirect visitors so they don’t get frustrated and leave your site. A 301 redirect is usually the best way to do this – both for your users and your business.

A solid redirection strategy can impact conversions and doing it right will keep your website in Google’s good books. It is also something you need to consider when it comes to URL shortening. Short links work by directing users who click on a short link from the short link’s location to the destination of the original, long link. 

What is a 301 Redirect?

A 301 redirect is the most efficient way to redirect a webpage. It is SEO-friendly and user-friendly. When updating your website or shortening your URLs, make sure to use a 301 redirect.

Essentially, a 301 redirect tells bots and search engines that a page has permanently moved to a new location and that users should go there.

Using a 301 redirect on your website will retain your site’s search engine rankings for that page. While using a URL shortener powered by 301 redirects will ensure that the link equity – aka the link ‘juice’ or SEO value – of the URL you are shortening goes unharmed.

So marketers can brand and shorten lengthy, UTM-filled links without worrying about any negative consequences. Rebrandly and other reputable link shorteners use 301 redirects. Shorteners which use temporary 302 redirects should be avoided as they will not pass the link’s SEO value along to your site.

When to use a 301 redirect

If a page on your website has permanently moved elsewhere, a 301 redirect should be used. This will bring visitors who click or type out an old link to the new page location seamlessly. One of the reasons Google likes 301s is because they are so user-friendly.

A 301 redirect should be used when a web page has been permanently moved. If a webpage is offline temporarily, a 302 redirect can be used instead. You can find out more about the various types of URL redirects here.

How to do a 301 redirect

Using a 301 redirect for your short links is simple – just make sure to use a reliable URL shortener like Rebrandly.

301 redirection for your website is more difficult, but there is a comprehensive guide to implementing 301 redirects here which will walk you through each step whether you’re using .htaccess for Apache or IIS on a Microsoft Windows Server.

If you have any further questions about 301 redirects, let is know in the comments below.

Further Reading:

This Article is About:

  • 301 redirection
  • What is a 301 redirect?
  • How to do a 301 redirect
  • Simple 301 redirects

Photo in main image by Daniel Gonzalez via Unsplash

Louisa McGrath
Louisa works on putting together creative and useful content for Rebrandly customers to read. Though she spends a lot of time reading and writing online, she still loves to buy the Sunday papers.