Why You Should Apply A 301 Redirect When Removing Pages on Your WebsiteThe Correct Way to Delete Unwanted Content
It’s easy to remove pages from your website.
With WordPress, you can delete a page with the press of a button.
Continually, I’m surprised of how many people fail to redirect the removed page.
Whenever you remove a page from your website you should apply a 301 redirect to another relevant page on your website.
Potentially links to the old page exist.
The link may be on other websites, directories and socials. They may even be on your own site content and places you can’t remember.
These links will not be because you have deleted the page.
Failure to redirect the removed page will result in people potentially seeing a dead page if they find and follow one of these links.
Ask yourself “where should visitors go who would normally want to see this content?”.
If your fine with people seeing a dead page then do nothing.
People that find the old page will be lead to your 404 error page. This is the page that says “the content you are looking for can not be found”.
Good 404 error pages have links to relevant site sections and a search bar for people to find what they were looking for.
But it’s a much nicer customer experience for people to be directed to content that’s most similar to what they were originally looking for. You’re less likely to lose the visitor. You’re less likely to have them exit your site because they can’t find what they’re looking for. You’re much closer to providing them with what they were originally after.
For SEO, your 301 redirects will save any power gained from links to the removed page.
Whilst it takes a little extra time (a whole 2 mins 😶) applying a 301 redirect is well worth it in the long term.
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