How to Avoid Landing Page Redirects?

November 28th, 2018
26 Sep 2018
Arun E
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Redirects are always treated as a Poor SEO practice.

By redirecting your website, you are making your precious customers wait for quite a long time to display them what they love to see.

Redirections not only slowly renders your website but also directly irritates your valuable customers and forces them to leave your website.

You wouldn’t imagine such a situation happening to your website, would you?.

 

Let me explain using a very simple scenario:

Just imagine that you’ve recently changed your website from http://www.sampletestwebsite.com to https://sampletestwebsite.com

Now if a user wishes to access your website (unknowing the changes you’ve made), needs to wait for quite a long time

All the unwanted loading time, till the real site appears, is of no use and it no way attracts any customers.

You never know if the user still wants to stay on your website or not.

In this case, you’ve just lost a customer

By preventing redirection, then you are helping the end users to view your website in a significantly faster way.

Just think that you are riding a bike. Suddenly you are seeing a take diversion board and you are to ride in the diverted path. Redirection of web pages is similar to that.

 

Refer to GTmetrix’s  statement:

Redirections on landing pages add delays to the page load and while the redirections are occurring, nothing is shown to the client.

In many cases, redirections can be eliminated without changing the function of a page.

 

Want to know how redirection impacts load time?

Let’s take a simple example of the website https://www.speedboost.xyz

And do a pretty easy analysis on how the redirection greatly impacts the load time.

The non-www domain which is http://speedboost.xyz/ gets redirected to the original domain with www which is https://www.speedboost.xyz/

The load time as seen in the Waterfall chart when there’s redirection is 48.8 ms + 147.4ms = 196.2 ms which is slow.

 

 

However, when tried loading the original website which is https://www.speedboost.xyz/ where there is no redirect, we could see that the website loads quickly.

The load time as seen in the below waterfall chart when there’s no redirection is 66.5 ms which is really quick.

 

 

What happens when your redirected webpage is viewed by a user?

Since the redirection takes quite a long time to display, the user will get irritated and be literally pissed off waiting for the entire webpage to get displayed.

Moreover, they might exit immediately from your website and there are 200% chance of happening.

Kindly have a look at the below image which explains the perfect and a faulty redirection:

example.com gets redirected to m.example.com –  Allowable and is perfectly normal.

example.com/info gets redirected to m.example.com and is making your user frustrated – Faulty redirection.

 

 

Let’s discuss how to avoid this fuss and give the users what they want, instead of annoying them.

 

Have you ever given thought of why your webpage is getting redirected?

It could be because of any of the following reasons:

Domain redirection:

You would have made a recent change to your domain name.

It is always recommended and best practice to have a single domain for your site.

Device Specific websites:

Having a thought to give your visitor the best, you might have different layouts designed for different devices such as Desktops, Laptops, Mobiles, and Tablets.

Location/Language specific sites:

Some of you might be having location specific websites.

When a user clicks of the website, it gets redirected to a different version depending upon the location where the user is accessing.

I could give you a real-time example of language-specific website redirection:

Website: https://www.worldsim.com

When a USA based customer visits the website, it gets redirects to https://www.worldsim.com/?___store=usa

When a European client visits the website, it gets redirected to https://www.worldsim.com/?___store=eu and for a London client, the website gets redirected to https://www.worldsim.com/?___store=gb

The client was depressed about the load time. We did a deep analysis and fixed it. Now the website’s load time is reduced by 30%.

Get the redirection fixed and optimize your website by clicking here. (CALL to ACTION)

 

You know what, Google penalizes unwanted redirects.

Gone were the days, where most of the websites were making the visitors redirect to a different webpage to boost their traffic and for money in some cases.

This is not the case now.

Most of the SEO analyzing software like Google’s Page Speed pretty easily detects these kinda redirects and warns you about it.

In addition, you should watch over the time your website takes to load and for the redirection, as the server also plays a big part in it.

Moreover, I am sure that you are aware of the fact that Google has started penalizing the unwanted redirects.

Kindly refer to the result of a sample website (http://orange.com/) when analyzed in Google’s Page Speed insights:

 

 

As you can see, there are many redirections happening from http://orange.com/ till the website loads to https://www.orange.com/en/home

In order to avoid such redirections, there are many rules which define the redirect policy.

One among them is the constant redirection.

Consider a case where a website “X” redirects to “Z” or “Y” redirects to “Z” and that doesn’t have an intermediate link, the redirect brings real sense and value to the end users, which is allowable.

 

 

Whereas, contrarily if a website “X” redirects to “Y” and then redirects to “Z” then it honestly brings no real value.

 

 

Other solutions would be serving similar content from multiple URLs without landing page redirects.

For instance, you can serve the same contents for http://www.sampletestwebsite.com and https://sampletestwebsite.com

But from the SEO’s point, these will incur warning for duplicate content and penalize the site that gets crawled in the last.

In this particular case, it’s crucial to use 301 redirects to intimate the search engines and the visitors that, it is not a duplicate content and it was by design.

There might be another issue with redirects, which is having no SSL on non-www and on www  –

Consider that you having an SSL only for the domain with www or only for the non-www domain, then by default the non-SSL domains won’t function anymore.

To avoid this, redirect all the requests which are coming in on the non-www domain to the www domain.

 

How do I bypass these redirects:

Redirecting  non-www domain to www domain

You could manually edit the .htaccess file – the one which is found in your web root.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L]

 Redirecting www domain to non-www domain

You could add the following to your .htaccess in case you want redirection to happen from www domain to non-www domain:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.(.*)$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%1/$1 [R=301,L]
#redirect all www requests to non-www.
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.(.*)$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%1/$1 [R=301,L]
</IfModule>
#redirect all http requests to SSL (https)
# BEGIN rlrssslReallySimpleSSL rsssl_version[2.5.11]
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c> RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%/$1 [R=301,L]
</IfModule>
# END

Make sure that the hosting providers have turned ON the Apache rewrite module.

If you plan on executing the above code for the redirecting to happen efficiently, then the module should be turned on by default.

 

Now it’s time to follow certain redirection rules:

Preventing Redirected URLs:

Always have the practice to avoid the use of redirected URL’s when it comes to content linking.

If suppose URL “X” redirects to URL “Z”, then it is strongly recommended to use URL “Z” for the page content reference, thereby you could remove all the requests of URL “X” within your website.

The same procedure applies to the external links that you have control over and could be able to be modified.

Preventing Chaining:

As explained above, prevent chaining of redirections.

Both the URL “X” and URL “Y” must directly link to the URL “Z” which is the final landing page.

Try to avoid URL changes:

Considering the traffic and the popularity of your website, always try to retain the existing URLs, even if you rebuild or do any design changes.

You could use ServerSide redirection:

It is highly recommended that you use the server side redirection and completely avoiding client-side redirection.

The reason is most of the servers, support internal redirects. And there won’t be any necessity for the creation of an extra HTTP request.

Whereas in the case of client-side redirects, they are usually implemented using javascript code and meta tags on the page.

 

Try implementing Responsive Web Design:

You got to admit that most of the time spend on redirection is on mobile devices, precisely when they tend to use a slower network.

Usage of responsive web designs is recommended while creating layouts and website. This would prevent the necessity to create the redirection for devices such as Tablets and Mobiles.

By doing this, you are doing a wonderful job by spending additional effort in maintaining the links correctly.

This will pay off in a long run, as this helps in maintaining the website easily and also good SEO practices.

Here’s an example of the design which is responsive to laptops and desktops and some of the larger screen tabs.

 

 

All types of Mobile and tab users will be able to see the responsiveness of the website as seen below:

 

 

To know about responsive web designs, kindly refer here: https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/design-and-ux/responsive/

 

Trailing slash(/) makes an enormous difference for Search Engines

Many of you, possibly wouldn’t have known the fact that, using “slashes” results in speeding up the webpage load.

Also, most of us perceive that “with and without slash” makes no difference, whereas for the search engines it doesn’t. They treat both the URLs as separate entities.

Kindly refer the below for easy understanding:

https://xyz.com/ – URL with a trailing slash – Indicates a Directory

when you add a slash at the end, the web server is instructed to search for the particular directory which fastens the webpage load.

Wonder how this quickens the load time of your webpage?

The server fetches the content of the webpage directly and it eventually doesn’t waste time, searching for the file.

https://xyz.com – URL without a trailing slash – Indicates a File

Now, when you use the URL without the slash, you are asking the web server to search for the specific file in that URL.

If in case, the server couldn’t able to locate the file, then it starts searching in the directory and fetches the respective file within it.

Normally this results in error page or page not found.

Asked me, I would recommend you to go with the URL with slash rather than without it.

 

Well,

I have shared my thoughts and you are most welcome to share yours.

 

How would you avoid redirection?

 

 

 

 

Arun E

Arun is the Technical Lead. Having over 10 years of expertise, he is a geek and technology enthusiast. His knowledge in any platform is simply mind-blowing which makes him a specialist in development. He writes blogs based on client queries and shares his Lead that everyone gets lucky to follow the guidelines.
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