When a business website is new, chances are you won’t need to establish domain redirects. However, as your website grows, some pages may get shuffled around, some links may need to be replaced, or you might want to move on to a new domain but still ensure that your customers find you immediately. This is where a domain redirect can help you.
What is a domain redirect?
A domain redirect is a way for you to forward your website visitors to another page. For example, if you type “fb.com” on your browser’s address bar, you will be immediately forwarded to “facebook.com.” Another good example is if you type “gmail.com,” you are immediately redirected to “mail.google.com.”
There are many reasons why you may want to get a domain redirect. Here are three of the most common reasons businesses get a domain redirect and how it helps their website.
1. To protect your brand
Many businesses purchase other versions of their top-level domain (TLD) names that might confuse customers because of their similarity to the official domain.
In the context of websites, the TLD is the last part of a label name. For example, the TLD of “www.website.com” is com. To protect their brand, a company may purchase alternate TLD names such as “.net” and “.blog” and use those domain names as redirects to decrease other people’s chances of owning the TLDs and cause confusion among unsuspecting customers.
For example, Facebook—the company—owns the domain name “facebook.blog,” which, when accessed, redirects customers to the main site. The same is true for the information portal’s “wikipedia.com,” which redirects to “wikipedia.org,” the official Wikipedia page where users can choose which language they want to use.
2. To supplement an undergoing rebranding effort
It’s prevalent to see small businesses start with a name, build a strong customer base, and expand in operation until such time that their company outgrows the said name. This is common in business who start logically with a local business branding, but eventually expand and want to leave the local sound brand behind.
Changing your domain name in a rebranding process makes sense, given that you want people to move away from the constraints of an older name. That being said, you don’t want people to go to your old domain, get an error message, and assume that your company just disappeared from the face of the Earth. Redirecting visitors from your old website to the new domain is a seamless way of introducing your new brand to your old customers.
If done correctly, you shouldn’t lose all the search engine optimisation efforts and page authority you worked on with your old domain. A rebrand might even raise your search rankings, provided that your new domain is more memorable.
3. To prepare for a product launch
A redirect doesn’t always have to be permanent. Sometimes, companies may be preparing to launch a new product with a dedicated subdomain, but don’t want visitors to see a broken link. This is particularly common for companies who announce a product in advance, but don’t want to run the risk of an enterprising fan to uncover what they’re preparing under the hood. To make for a seamless experience, you can redirect the subdomain to your main page until such a time that the page is ready and good for public consumption.
A domain redirect is an excellent way to implement significant changes to your website without losing or confusing your existing customers. You can also use it to decrease somebody else’s chances of owning a similar sounding domain name and scam your customers by pretending to be you. As simple as it is, a domain redirect is a useful web design feature that can enrich the customer experience if done correctly.
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