Let’s say you are updating your hedge fund or Commodity Trading Advisor website. Or your private equity fund site. One of your colleagues asks you, after you have completed your new site with updated branding, text, images, eBooks, calls to action, and lots of other cool stuff, if you have set up your 301 redirects.

“What’s a 301 redirect and why should I care?” You may say, charitably speaking.

A Change of Address Form

A 301 redirect is like a “change of address form.” If someone doesn’t know that your website domain – or web page – have moved, you want to make sure all your visitor is forwarded to your new place.

A “301 Redirect” is a permanent redirect from one URL to the other. For example, if your previous website was www.myokfundwebsite.com and you wanted to change it to www.mygreatfundwebsite.com, you’d set up a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new URL. So everybody who types in your old URL would automatically appear at your new URL. The ‘301”is an essential tool used to maintain the performance of your site by providing search engines (and humans) with the latest and most relevant version of your web page.

A Way to Keep Your Web Authority

Why would you use a permanent 301 redirect to connect it to your new URL? Because without it, you lose the “web authority” of your old domain. The inbound links your old domain earned will become a black hole. New prospects won’t be directed to your new site…they will be lost to you. Changing even the smallest aspect of a page URL structure could cause your page to drop out of search results entirely.

If you don’t use a 301 redirect when you remove a page from your web server, search engines will be ‘served’ a 404 Not Found error response code – which will result in your page being dropped from the search engine’s index.

A Tip…These Are Two Different Pages:

Ok, so it’s a alphabet soup to some, but make sure you have a 301 redirect between the…

http://   or the    http://www

…versions of your website. If you don’t, all the inbound links that point to one site won’t pass authority over to the other address.

This means that the new page should eventually replace the old page in the search engines index – and in the meantime the old URL will redirect humans (us) to the new URL whenever anyone attempts to access it.

A Little Wait

Search engines don’t see the changes immediately. According to Moz, a software as a service (SaaS) company based in Seattle, Washington, “When moving a page from one URL to another, the search engines will take some time to discover the 301, recognize it, and credit the new page with the rankings and trust of its predecessor. This process can be lengthier if search engine spiders rarely visit the given web page, or if the new URL doesn’t properly resolve.”

A Call To Action

Which is all a long way of saying it’s best to set up your 301 redirect before moving your domain, combing pages, or otherwise remodeling your site.

For more detail on how set up these redirects, and how to remake your fund website, please download a free copy of the eBook below.