When you change the URL of any page in your Shopify store, the old URL directs you to the 404 error page. This means all the internal or external links to that page will be broken, which affects not only the user experience on your website but the search engine rankings as well.
This is where you need to create URL redirects. A URL redirect is a technique to redirect your visitors from one URL (non-existing page) to another.
So, whenever you change the URL handle of any store page, make sure to create a URL redirect from the old URL to the new one. This way, anyone who lands on the old page will be redirected to the new page.
For deeper insights into URL redirects, watch this video –
You can create URL redirects by following these steps –
Step 1: Go to Online Store > Navigation from your Shopify admin page.
Step 2: Click “View URL Redirects” just below the header
Step 3: Click the “Create URL Redirect” button, and you will see two URL fields, as shown below.
Step 4: Enter the original URL in the first field
Step 5: Enter the new URL in the 2nd field
Step 6: Click the “Save redirect” button to save.
For example, in the above image, I have created a redirect from the /shop/t-shirt (Original URL) to /shop/t-shirt (new URL).
This way, you can also create URL redirects from your store page to external pages; you just have to enter the full URL of the page where you want to redirect visitors.
How to manage Shopify URL redirects?
If you create too many URL redirects, Shopify makes it easy to manage the URLs in the following ways –
- You can filter URL redirects by date
- You can save repeatedly used URL redirect filters
- You can edit or delete a URL redirect filter
- You can edit URL redirects individually or in bulk
- You can export your URL redirects for backups
- You can import your URL redirects while migrating the store from other platforms.
- You can delete individual URL redirects or in bulk.
Search engines see links as a vote for a website’s quality. External links to your website and internal links within your website play a crucial role in the ranking of website pages on search result pages. And, if you have received backlinks to pages that don’t exist anymore, you may lose preferences among search engines.
So, it is a best practice to create URL redirects of deleted products or other pages to the new ones. If you are not replacing the deleted pages, you can redirect them to the store homepage.
Finally, you can also use Shopify SEO apps to automatically create URL redirects and manage them efficiently. If your store is not ranking on search engines, you should follow our Shopify SEO checklist to make your store pages rank higher on search result pages.