URL redirects are a necessary part of any e-commerce site - they allow you to ensure that users are always directed to the correct page, even if they mistype a URL or click on an outdated link. A redirect is a way to send both users and search engines to a different URL from the one they originally requested. Redirects are useful in a number of situations, including when you move your site to a new domain, when you change the structure of your site, or when you retire old pages.
Redirects are one of the most important tools in a Shopify merchant's toolbox. Shopify redirects help store owners to control the flow of traffic and deliver a seamless navigation experience.
What are Shopify Redirects?
When a customer clicks on a link to your store, Shopify redirects them to the correct page on your site. This is important because it ensures that your customers can always find the content they're looking for, even if they click on an outdated link or type in a URL that's not quite right.
There are two types of Shopify redirects:
These redirects are permanent and tell search engines that a page has moved to a new location. When you create a 301 redirect, anyone who visits the old URL will be automatically redirected to the new URL.
These redirects are temporary and don't notify search engines that a page has moved. 302 redirects can be used if you want to test a new page without affecting your site's ranking in search results.
Shopify redirects can be useful for many reasons, including when you want to -
- Send visitors to a specific page on your site (such as your homepage)
- Avoid having certain types of visitors see particular pages (such as pages that contain out-of-stock items)
- To point an old URL to a new page: If you've created a new page on your Shopify store, you can use a URL redirect to send visitors from your old page to your new one.
- Move your whole store to Shopify from another platform and need to set up redirects from your old pages to your new Shopify pages
- Measure traffic from specific campaigns: You can use URL redirects to track the effectiveness of specific marketing campaigns by sending visitors from your campaign's landing page to a unique URL on your shop. Then, you can use Shopify's analytics tools to see how much traffic that campaign drove to your store.
- Create a short, memorable URL for a specific page on your site (e.g., example.com/sale) that you can share with customers or promote in advertising campaigns
- Temporarily disable a page: If you need to take down a page on your Shopify store for any reason, you can use a URL redirect to send visitors to another page on your site instead. This is a good way to keep people engaged with your site even if some of its content is unavailable.
Why are redirects important for your Shopify store?
When a customer clicks on a link to your Shopify store, they expect to be taken to the page they were expecting to see. However, sometimes things can go wrong and the customer is taken to a page that doesn't exist. This is where redirects come in. Redirects are important because they ensure that your customers are always taken to the correct page on your store, even if something goes wrong.
Redirects can be used to direct users to the most recent version of a page on your site, or they can be used to point users to a new page if the original page has been moved or deleted. Not only does this ensure that visitors always end up at the correct page, but it also means that any link juice (ranking power) from external websites that pointed to the old URL will be redirected to the new one. This helps improve your SEO as it ensures that all links pointing to your site are directing visitors to the most relevant content.
Let’s say you have multiple similar pages on your site (for example, different color versions of the same product), search engines may not know which version to rank higher in search results. By setting up a redirect from the less popular page to the more popular one, you can tell search engines which page you want them to rank higher. This can help improve your site's visibility in search results.
Shopify redirects can also help reduce duplicate content on your site. If you have two pages with very similar content, search engines may penalize your site for having duplicate content. By redirecting one of the pages to the other, you can avoid this penalty and keep your site's SEO healthy.
Further, Shopify redirects can help you to track down errors on your website. If you see that there is an error on a specific page on your site, you can use a redirect to send people who try to access that page to another page instead. This helps you avoid losing potential customers due to technical errors on your site.
This brings us to user experience. Using Shopify redirects is a smart way to deliver a seamless online experience for your prospects and returning customers. The last thing you want is for them to feel frustrated because they hit a bum while navigating your website.
5 steps to add Shopify redirects
Internal redirects are managed through the Redirects page in your Shopify admin. To create a new redirect -
- Log in to your Shopify admin and go to Online Store > Navigation.
- On the Navigation page, click on "URL Redirects" under the "Search engine optimization" heading.
- On the URL Redirects page, click "Add URL redirect."
- In the "From" field, enter the old URL that you want to redirect. In the "To" field, enter the new URL that you want to redirect to. Under "Redirect type," select either Temporary (302) or Permanent (301). Selecting one of these options will tell search engines what kind of redirect it is so they can update their records accordingly.
- Hit "Save". You have now added a new Shopify redirect on your store.
Editing a Shopify Redirect
When it comes to managing your shop's redirects, the Shopify platform provides a great deal of flexibility and control. To edit an existing Shopify redirect, follow these steps -
- Go to the "Online Store > Navigation" section of your shop's admin.
- Find the URL you want to change in the "Shopify Redirects" list and click on it.
- Edit the "From" and "To" fields as needed, then click Save.
Running an e-commerce store is a multidimensional process. To build a successful Shopify store, it is important to use all of the tools and resources available to deliver a seamless user experience. Which directly translates into repeat purchases, customer loyalty, and higher conversion rates. And Shopify redirects help you add to that by ensuring frictionless navigation and traffic flow for your e-commerce store.