Domain redirect (also known as domain forwarding) is a technique implemented to redirect the visitors of your website to a certain webpage on the Internet. It is a useful tool many website designers often use, as it can save you from losing some huge traffic and can guarantee safe and solid growth over time.
What are the types of domain redirects?
There are 3 types of domain redirects that you may encounter: 301 (permanent), 302 (temporary), and URL Frame. Let’s explore each of those separately to understand how and for what motives they are used.
301 permanent URL forwarding
This is used in case you have permanently moved your website to a different domain and want to redirect your visitors to the new website address.
As you may guess, 301 permanent plays a crucial role in maintaining your website traffic and the rank you had in various search engines. Namely, in case of moving to a different domain, it is to your benefit to redirect your page since the visitors who knew you with the previous name will be trying to access your previous address and will be unable to do so. Thus, you should make sure you are redirecting your visitors to the new, appropriate page of your website to maintain the traffic of your website and the trust of your visitors.
301 permanent also serves as a method to make your website accessible through several URLs at once. By this, it is meant that you use several domain names to redirect all of them to your website. Common examples of this are the misspelled URLs that are redirected to the actual website page of the brand. For example, if you type amzon.com, you will be automatically redirected to amazon.com, the official website of Amazon, regardless of the spelling mistake you had made in the domain name. The reason behind this is that Amazon has implemented 301 redirect, which allows it to forward the users that might misspell the brand name to their official website.
Regarding the SEO-related doubts and questions you might have so far, all the traffic of your website goes to the new website address. The domain name shown in the search bar is the one of the new website, too.
302 temporary URL forwarding
302 redirect is used when you are willing to redirect your visitors to a different page since the page you have been using previously is not available at the minute.
The most common case for the website designers to go for 302 redirect is when the original website page is undergoing maintenance processes and cannot be accessed for a certain period of time. Hence, all the visitors are redirected to a different web page.
Unlike 301 forwarding, the traffic generated as a result of 302 redirect, goes to the original domain rather than the one to which the visitors are redirected.
The URL frame or URL masking method serves for an interesting purpose, too. If you want to redirect your visitors to some page when they type your domain name in the search bar by still having your domain name displayed as a result, you should implement URL masking.
You can use this technique if you have designed a new page and want to move your content to that page without losing your original domain name, which might have already gained huge popularity.
The bad side of URL masking is that it affects SEO negatively. The reason is that the search engines, including Google, consider websites with the same content to be duplicate by thus directing the generated traffic to only one of them, which might or might not be your preferred one. Hence, URL masking is considered unhealthy from the perspective of SEO, and you should definitely take this into consideration if this is a method you are thinking of implementing.
How to use domain redirect for your website benefits?
Having discovered all the types of domain forwarding, let’s now evaluate the ways you can use it for promoting the growth of your business.
301 redirect has to deal with your current traffic and prevent you from losing it unconsciously. By this, it is meant that if people who misspell your website’s domain name are, notwithstanding, redirected to your website, you are saving the visitor that you could have possibly lost because of a spelling mistake. Believe me, this may happen very often. As a result you are able to maintain your healthy traffic and have people who are interested in your website enter and visit it successfully.
Feel free to move on to the new with no fear of losing your old visitors! If you have designed an advanced website and are thinking of moving your old one to there, you can do that easily through 301 redirect. Your old traffic will be safe and sound in your old website, no need to worry about that! Meanwhile, your visitors will see your new domain name on their screen once they type the old one, and you will be able to step ahead to new changes.
You may think that changing a domain name may bother your progress. 301 redirect is to ensure there is nothing to be scared of in the process. Do everything neatly and in an organized way, and the rest will be visible to you once you review your traffic after shifting to the new address.
As already discussed above, URL masking has a negative impact on SEO. However, it can be a good technique to enlarge the framework of your website by redirecting your website visitors to different useful pages. After all, your domain name is what will be displayed on their screen, and the product or the service they will encounter eventually will be referred to as something reached through your website. Thus, if you use URL frame wisely, you may be able to benefit from different perspectives.
Whichever URL forwarding technique you end up choosing, make sure it is safe for your website activity and is the best to implement at the given period for your website. Take into account significant factors such as the possible SEO influences, technical issues, time intervals between the activation of the redirects, etc.