Redirecting URLs is a simple but important component of your website’s SEO. It can help you avoid duplicate content, improve user experience, and send traffic and authority to more relevant pages.
In this guide, we’ll teach you how to redirect URLs on WordPress.
Let’s get started.
What Is a Redirect?
A redirect is a way to forward users and search engines to a different URL than the one they requested.
For example, if you deleted a page on your site and didn’t set up a redirect, the user will get a 404 error response.
Which isn’t good for your SEO.
Search engines don’t index pages that return a 404. And the backlinks pointing to the page no longer hold any value.
Ideally, when you delete that page, you’d set up a 301 redirect to a similar page serving the same intent.
You can easily find broken pages and incomplete redirects using a tool like Site Audit.
How to Use Redirects
Redirects are often used to update a website that has migrated to a new server.
You can also use them if you’ve done a major website update, changed any page URLs, or made updates to your website’s navigation.
You can also redirect a page to avoid creating duplicate content.
If you’re moving content o a new page with an updated URL, you can use a redirect to direct users from the old page to the new one.
Types of Redirects
Each type of redirect can be slotted into two categories:
How to Redirect a URL on WordPress via htaccess
An htaccess file is a configuration file that tells your server how to display pages from the WordPress root directory.
We only suggest you redirect using this method if you are, or have, a web developer. Or if you’re familiar with the technical backend of your WordPress CMS.
WordPress Redirects via htaccess File
Redirect 301 /current-page.html http://www.yoursite.com/new-page/
How to Redirect a URL on WordPress with a Plugin
You can easily implement WordPress redirects with a plugin. There are a ton of options. And they leave very little room for error.
Plus, they all tend to follow the same process:
Here, we’ll explore how to redirect URLs on WordPress with three plugins: YoastSEO, Redirection, and 301 Redirects — Easy Redirect Manager.
Note: Remember to back up your website before installing and using plugins.
YoastSEO is a trusted name when it comes to SEO and WordPress. This plugin addresses several aspects of SEO, including WordPress redirects.
Redirection by John Goodley
This is a very simple and easy-to-use plugin that focuses solely on WordPress URL redirects.
301 Redirects — Easy Redirect Manager
Much like the Redirection plugin, this plugin makes redirects clean and easy-to-understand.
Find & Fix Broken Links
It’s crucial to find and fix broken links and redirect errors in WordPress as soon as you encounter them.
If a user clicks on a link and doesn’t find what they’re looking for (or worse, receives a 4xx error), they’re much more likely to bounce off the page—and your website altogether.
A terrible user experience. And detrimental to your SEO.
Running a regular site audit can help you spot any site issues that arise as you update your website.
If you forget to add a redirect to an updated or moved page and it results in an error, a site auditing tool can spot it.
To audit your site for broken links, use Site Audit.
Enter your domain and click “Start Audit.”
After you configure your settings, click “Start Site Audit.”
In the dashboard, head to the “Issues” tab, and type “broken” into the search bar.
You’ll see all of the errors, warnings, and notices on your site related to broken links. Fix as many of these as you can.
Issue: Pages with temporary redirects
Temporary redirects aren’t 100% SEO-friendly.
Search engines can index the redirected page, but the page won’t receive any of the page authority from the backlinks pointing to it.
This can negatively impact the page’s ranking and traffic.
Within Site Audit, type “redirect” into the search bar to see if you have any temporary redirect issues.
Issue: Broken internal links
Internal linking occurs when you link from one page to another on your website.
Site Audit also indicates any broken internal links it can find on your pages. Just type “internal” into the search bar.
Set Up Recurring Redirect Audits
Broken links and pages hurt your ranking. Redirecting is an easy way to avoid taking a hit to your rankings.
They can be easy to implement or fix, depending on the tools you use. Run audits regularly to see if there are any broken links.
To schedule audits to run automatically, click on the “settings” icon in the top right of the Site Audit dashboard.
Then, scroll down in the Site Audit Settings and click on “Schedule.”
Now, click the dropdown and select your preferred day of the week.
Then, check the box next to “Send an email every time an audit is complete.”
And click “Save.”
Fix any redirect issues on your WordPress site as soon as they pop up.
This content was originally published here.