How To Create & Manage Shopify Redirects [2024 Edition]
Published on Dec 12, 2023
Updated on Feb 08, 2024
Have you ever hit a 'Page Not Found' dead-end while browsing online? Frustrating, isn’t it? Well, you're not alone. About 73% of folks who stumble upon these 404-error pages just pack up and leave, never to return. That's a big deal, especially if you're running a Shopify store.
So, what can you do about it? That's where the simple, yet effective feature of the e-commerce world – Shopify redirects – comes in. In this guide, we're going deep into the world of Shopify redirects.
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What are Redirects?
Encountering a ‘404 error - page not found’ message on a webpage is one of the most frustrating things online. You’d hope there’s a sign pointing you to the new location, right? That’s pretty much what redirects do in the online world, including in your Shopify store. It’s a friendly digital sign that says, “Hey, what you’re looking for is not here anymore. Let me show you where it’s moved.”
URL Changes: Let's say you’ve spruced up a page’s URL on your site. You don't want your regular visitors getting lost trying to find it. A redirect is like a gentle nudge, guiding them to the new spot without any hassle.
Product Updates: Got a product that’s no longer available or out of stock for now? Instead of hitting your customers with a dead-end ‘Sorry, we don’t have this anymore’ page, a redirect can take them to something similar. It's a smooth way to keep them browsing and interested.
Website Overhauls: Redoing your Shopify store? Whether it's a full makeover or just some tweaks here and there, redirects help keep the customer journey smooth. They make sure shoppers find their way around your new layout without getting lost.
SEO Maintenance: In the SEO world, redirects are like the unsung heroes. They make sure you don’t lose ‘link juice’ – basically, the SEO value your page has built up – when you change a URL. Redirects keep your site’s authority and search rankings intact.
While dealing with redirects, you’d often come across numbers like 301 and 302. Here’s what they mean:
301 Redirect: This one’s saying, “We’ve moved, and it’s for good.” It’s for permanent changes and tells search engines to pass on most of your old page’s SEO history to the new URL.
In the Shopify universe, redirects help keep things running smoothly. They make sure that no matter how your store grows or changes, both your customers and search engines always find what they’re looking for without getting lost.
Why are Redirects Important?
Redirects in your Shopify store are like the unsung heroes of your online business. They’re doing a lot more than just patching up broken links – they’re a key part of keeping your customers happy, making your marketing smarter, and giving your SEO efforts a solid boost. Let's unpack why redirects really matter:
Preventing Customer Frustration and Enhancing Experience
Avoiding Dead Ends: Imagine if every time a product went out of stock or you changed a webpage’s address, your customers ended up at a dead-end 'Page Not Found'. That’s frustrating, right? It’s enough to make them leave your site and maybe not come back. Redirects are your way of saying, “Hey, don’t leave, what you’re looking for is right over here!” They guide your customers to where they need to go, keeping them happy and shopping.
Seamless User Journey: Redirects make your customers’ journey through your site feel like a walk in the park. Click an old link from bookmarks or saved links? No problem, they’re smoothly taken to the correct page - one with the updated link automatically. It makes sure their experience on your site is smooth and enjoyable, which is great for keeping them around longer and reducing bounce rates.
Strategic Tool in Promotional Campaigns
Directing Traffic for Promotions: Got a big sale or a new product? Redirects can act like digital signposts, guiding your customers right where you want them – your latest and greatest offers. You can use redirects to guide customers from older, related product pages to the new promotional pages.
Seasonal and Event-Based Redirects: When it comes to those special times of the year, like the holiday season, redirects are perfect for getting customers to your festive deals. Set up a redirect from your regular products to your special holiday items, and watch the seasonal spirit boost your sales.
Maintaining Link Equity: When you change the address of a page, you don’t want to lose all the SEO goodness you’ve built up. That’s where Shopify 301 redirects step in. It passes most of that SEO value to the new URL, keeping your search engine rankings and link authority happy and healthy.
Avoiding Duplicate Content Issues: Duplicate content can be a no-no for search engines. It can make your site look less credible. Redirects help you tidy up any duplicate content, making your site look more authoritative and relevant to search engines.
In a nutshell, redirects are more than just a quick fix; they’re an essential part of making your Shopify store a great place to shop, a smart place to market, and a savvy player in the SEO game. They’re like the gears that keep the whole machine running smoothly.
A step-by-step tutorial on ‘How to create and manage a redirect in Shopify?’
From your Shopify Dashboard, click on ‘Online Store’
Click on ‘Open sales channel’
In the Sales channels section on the left, Tap on ‘Navigation’ and then click on ‘View URL redirects’
Click on ‘Create URL redirect’
In ‘Redirect from’, enter the old URL from which you’d like to forward visitors. In ‘Redirect to’, enter the new updated URL, where you’d like visitors to land from the old URL. Click ‘Save redirect’ once you’re done. Done.
Pro Tip: Make sure you use 301 URL redirects only for broken URLs. You can also manage all your URL redirects (filter by date, edit, delete, import, export, and more) from your Shopify admin panel. More details here.
Note: This is for individual redirects. Shopify has discontinued bulk redirects. You will have to use third-party apps like SC Easy Redirects for this. They also have a free trial on their pricing page.
Creating 301 URL redirects for blogs is easy in Bloggle. Here’s how:
Go to your Bloggle dashboard and click on the blog you want to update the URL for
Jump to the SEO tab and in ‘Article url’, enter the new URL where you want visitors to redirect to. Tick the checkbox ‘Create 301 redirection on handle changing’.
Hit ‘Publish on Shopify’ and you’re good to go!
Pro Tip: The ‘Article url’ is one of the most important aspects of the blog that you must optimize for SEO. Include your primary target keyword in this URL.
Redirects in your Shopify store are like the secret sauce to a great user experience, solid SEO, and a smoothly running shop. They're not just a tech thing; they’re a smart strategy. Let’s walk through some best practices to make the most out of your redirects:
Use 301 Redirects for Permanent Changes
Long-Term SEO Benefits: Let’s say you’ve updated your product line, or maybe you’ve shuffled some blog posts around. A 301 redirect is your go-to here. It’s like leaving a forwarding address with the post office when you move houses. It makes sure the SEO value your page has built up over time gets transferred to your new URL, keeping your search engine cred intact.
Consistent User Experience: It also keeps your customers from hitting dead ends. They’ll always land on the right page, keeping the confusion to a minimum and making their shopping trip a breeze.
Redirects for Different Product Variants
Managing Stock Efficiently: Got a popular shirt but just ran out of medium sizes? Redirects can gently nudge your customers towards product URLs where other sizes or colors that are available. It’s a smart way to keep them shopping, even when their first choice isn’t on the shelf.
Guiding to Alternatives: And if you’ve stopped selling a particular item? Use a redirect to guide shoppers to a similar or newer product on the correct page. It’s like a helpful salesperson showing a customer another product they might like, keeping their interest and maybe even leading to a sale.
Using Redirects as a Countermeasure Against Negative Reviews
Protecting Brand Reputation: If a product’s getting some bad press, it can really affect how customers see your brand. While you're fixing things, you can use redirects to steer customers to a newer or different product with better reviews. It can act as a strategic move to keep your store’s image shiny while you work out the kinks in the background.
Smart Damage Control: Use this strategically to do damage control. Remember, though, honesty is the best policy. It’s crucial to use this strategy carefully so that your customers still trust you. Transparency is key.
Implementing these practices means your redirects do more than just prevent errors; they become part of your store’s marketing, customer service, and SEO strategies. By smartly managing your redirects, you're not just making your site easier to navigate; you’re also upping your game in e-commerce, where every little detail counts in staying ahead.
Stepping into the world of redirects for your Shopify store might feel like a daunting task in the beginning. But we hope you now know more than you did earlier about what redirects are, why they are crucial and how to set up a redirect along with the best practices. When used well, it gives a great opportunity for you to improve marketing and boost SEO besides being a tool to improve user experience. You’ll likely notice how smoother your customer interactions become, how better your pages perform on search engines, and, most importantly, how your store starts hitting its stride. Whether you’re rerouting traffic from an old product to a new hit, or keeping your site fresh during big changes, these redirect strategies are your trusted tools. Use them wisely, and watch your Shopify store grow from strength to strength.
Can I import redirects through a CSV file with full URLs? Similarly, can I delete selected redirects in bulk?
Yes, absolutely. All you have to do is click import. You can find the tutorial here.
What are permanent redirects? How do I use them?
There are several types of redirects. 301 redirects are for permanent changes. You use them when you permanently shift a page (like the homepage).
After an exciting 5 years of designing and optimizing Shopify sites for well-known French startups, I launched Bloggle. Our mission? To assist merchants worldwide in crafting compelling articles that rank high in SEO and truly engage their audience. In just 3 years, over 2,000 clients have trusted us, publishing more than 55,000 articles through Bloggle. Thanks to them, I’ve learned the keys to success and the pitfalls to avoid