Redirect people back!

Let’s stop people from leaving our site just by improving our 404 error links and in return redirect people back to your site.

Have you ever created a blog post and then changed the name of it? Have you ever edited the file name or maybe a link?

Let’s face it, our ideas and efforts are never really great the first time around. When we catch on, we begin to change things around a little more. Don’t. Stop right there.

The biggest mistake is just changing it. I used a tool called Search Engine console which I talk about here. This is literally like picking up the Batphone to call Google.

Here are two different stories that will help you understand how important backlinks and redirects are.

Case study one

The new website goes live and then people start to worry and nibble on their nails. This is common behaviour. After you have built a few websites you learn that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are. A new site just takes a little bit more to get it to that point where everyone is happy.

The main problem here is that content changes. In this story, there are many people who are now developing and changing the site to build it up. Some content might be considered dummy content that then gets removed.

Some of the others pages don’t disappear but they do change massively. The main things that change here are the title and slug (URL link).

What Went Wrong?

The moment some crucial like a slug has changed, it changes everything. Deleting the page is much the same. Google, no matter what, will see this as a page that doesn’t exist. The digital way of telling people this is a dead-end is called a 404 error.

Case Study Two

This one is the opposite. In planning ahead there were conversations around finding what might be helpful and useful for campaigns. Understanding your analytics could aid the development of audiences.

The team goes off and discover all their links work well. No errors and no especially no 404 errors. They also discover backlinks. Their link building was previously negative. Now it has been so well thought out that Google is reading the site with strong signals and promoting it.

Other companies, government and media outlets have found the site and have generated links. These links link their site to an even stronger site.

What Went Right?

They were consistent in building and evaluating links. Their process is watertight. Evaluations mean they have now picked up on top linking page referrers. This is great because they can now leverage their referrers in other digital marketing efforts. In some cases, they could also create a strong argument for further funding from local authorities.

Summary

The lesson to be learnt is to be aware of what you delete and remove. I’m afraid this is where I have to say that WordPress is great. I have never heard of these types of errors being managed in any. way buy other vendors.

For WordPress just type in 404 or redirect and you will get hundreds of plugins. All you need to do is add the old URL and what the new URL is.

This is one example for you, but as I mentioned, there are many.

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