Shopify Redirects: A Step-By-Step Beginners Guide

In the dynamic landscape of online commerce, ensuring seamless navigation for users and maintaining search engine visibility are paramount. Shopify redirects - much like their WordPress counterparts, Shopify redirects play a crucial role in directing web traffic, safeguarding link equity, and bolstering user experience. 

In this guide, we delve into the intricacies of Shopify redirects, exploring their significance for SEO and offering a step-by-step roadmap for implementation. From preserving link equity to optimizing crawl efficiency, join us as we demystify the world of Shopify redirects and empower you to navigate website changes with confidence.

What Are Shopify Redirects?

Shopify redirects are instructions that forward web traffic from one URL to another, often used after changing a website's URL structure or moving content. They ensure users and search engines find the correct page, preventing 404 errors. 

Redirects can be set up through plugins, editing server files like .htaccess, or using PHP functions. They come in two types: permanent (301) and temporary (302), with permanent redirects being preferred for SEO purposes because they pass on link equity. Properly managing redirects is essential for user experience and SEO preservation during website changes.

Why Are Shopify Redirects Important For SEO?

Preservation of Link Equity

Redirects transfer the SEO value (link equity) from the old URL to the new one, ensuring that any backlinks pointing to the old URL still benefit the new page's ranking.

Maintaining Rankings

By directing users and search engines to the correct page, redirects help maintain the rankings of your content. Without redirects, users may encounter 404 errors, which can negatively impact user experience and SEO rankings.

Avoiding Duplicate Content

Redirects help prevent duplicate content issues that can arise when multiple URLs point to the same content. Search engines penalize websites with duplicate content, so using redirects to consolidate URLs can help avoid SEO penalties.

Updating URL Structure

When you change your website's URL structure (e.g., updating permalinks), redirects ensure that old URLs are redirected to their corresponding new URLs. This helps preserve the SEO value of the old URLs and prevents broken links.

Improving Crawl Efficiency

Redirects help search engine crawlers efficiently navigate your website by guiding them to the correct pages. This can lead to more thorough indexing of your site's content and improved search engine visibility.

Enhancing User Experience

Redirects ensure that users are directed to the content they're seeking, even if they access outdated URLs or click on old links. This improves user experience and reduces bounce rates, which can indirectly benefit SEO rankings.

Types of Redirects

There are a few types of redirects or HTTP 3XX codes that you’ll need to be aware of, when implementing redirects in Shopify:

301 Redirect (Permanent): Best for permanent changes, reliably transfers SEO value to the new URL.

302 Redirect (Temporary): Ideal for temporary changes, but doesn’t transfer SEO value.

303 Redirect and 307 Redirect: Less common, used for specific scenarios like preserving request methods or handling POST requests. You’ll hardly come across these, so no need to remember these unless you’re a developer.

Step-By-Step Guide

In this section, we’ll be covering a step-by-step guide on how to implement redirects on Shopify.

  1. 1
    Accessing the Navigation Menu:
    - Log in to your Shopify admin panel.
    - Click on "Settings" and then "Apps and sales channels."
    - From the "Apps and sales channels" page, select "Online Store."
    - Click on "Open sales channel."
    - Within the "Online Store" section, navigate to "Navigation."
  2. 2
    Managing URL Redirects:
    - Click on "View URL redirects" located in the upper right corner.
    - This will display a list of existing redirects within your store (if any).
  3. 3
    Creating a New Redirect:
    - Click on "Create URL redirect" to initiate the redirection process.
  4. 4
    Specifying the Redirect Details:
    - In the "Redirect from" field, enter the old URL (the one you want to redirect visitors from). This should be an existing URL within your store.
    - In the "Redirect to" field, enter the new URL (the destination you want visitors to be directed to). This can be another page within your store or an external link.
  5. 5
    Additional Options and Saving:
    - You can choose to overwrite any existing redirects for the "Redirect from" URL by checking the box next to "Override existing redirect."
    - Once you've filled in the details, click on "Save redirect" to create the new redirection.

Additional Tips:

Identifying Broken Links

When managing your Shopify site, identifying broken links is crucial for SEO. Broken links can harm your site's ranking and user experience. You can use tools like Google Search Console to identify broken links on your website. These tools provide detailed reports on the URLs that are returning errors.

To maintain a healthy website, regularly check for broken links using plugins like Broken Link Checker. By fixing broken links promptly, you ensure a seamless browsing experience for your visitors. Furthermore, addressing broken links promptly can boost your site's SEO performance by improving crawlability and user satisfaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Redirects and Why Are They Important?

Redirects are instructions that direct web traffic from one URL to another. They are crucial for maintaining SEO rankings when you change URLs or delete content.

How Do 301 Redirects Differ from 302 Redirects?

A 301 redirect is permanent, signaling search engines to update their indexes with the new URL. In contrast, a 302 redirect is temporary and doesn't transfer link equity as effectively.

When Should I Use .htaccess File Redirects?

Using .htaccess file redirects is beneficial when you want to implement server-level redirects efficiently without relying on plugins or CMS-specific methods.

Why Is Managing Broken Links Essential for Website Health?

Broken links harm user experience and SEO by leading visitors to dead ends. Regularly checking and fixing broken links ensures a smooth browsing experience and boosts SEO performance.

How Can Recurring Redirect Audits Improve Website Performance?

Regular audits help identify outdated or unnecessary redirects, ensuring an organized redirection structure that enhances user experience and maintains SEO integrity.

Hike SEO + Shopify Redirects

Hike SEO is the perfect SEO platform for beginners, small businesses, and agencies who want to be able to easily manage their SEO performance. In Hike’s action engine, it automatically flags technical and content issues, including redirects & 404 errors that need to be fixed in order to improve SEO.

If you haven’t already tried Hike, sign up today and start feeling in control of your SEO.