So you’ve just created a product or post that’s awesome, but you want to send people there without having a huge URL (http://yoursitename/store/category/incredibleproduct). You’d also like the URL to be short and catchy and easy to remember for advertising purposes. What do you do?
There are two options:
1. Redirect with Bitly
You can create a free account on bitly.com and then enter any URL you want and it will shorten it for you. For example, if I enter InspiredBloggersNetwork.com/more-traffic-redirects it would give me http://bit.ly/1B0J4xu.
When someone types in the bitly link, it redirects to the original url. This solves the first problem of needing a shorter link (especially good when sharing on social media where characters are limited). But it doesn’t solve the other problem of being easy to remember.
I can also customize it to be http://bit.ly/IBNredirect. This is a little easier to remember, but still through someone else and not optimal.
2. Use a 301 redirect
You’ve checked GoDaddy.com and there is a domain name available for your product (RedirectUniv.com).You don’t want it to be it’s own site, however, so you purchase the domain and create a 301 redirect, directing the product’s domain name (RedirectUniv.com) to the product page (InspiredBloggersNetwork.com/more-traffic-redirects). Short and easy to remember = problem solved.
What is a 301 Redirect?
A 301 redirect tells search engines that the site has been permanently moved to the new location and will tell search engines to treat the new site as a replacement of the old site. For our purposes, we have purchased a new domain name for a specific product, we want to permanently send people there. We’ll use a 301. (This also works well if you are rebranding your blog and want to permanently stop using the old domain name and want search engines to only “know about” the new site.)
A 302 redirect tells search engines and visitors that the redirect is only temporary. You should use a 302 redirect if you intend to remove the redirect in the future.
How do you create a 301 redirect?
- Login to your GoDaddy account.
- Go to your list of domain names, and find the domain you wish to redirect.
- Depending on how GoDaddy shows you the list, either click “launch” or click the hyperlinked domain name to open the details view.
- Go to Forwarding and click on “manage” under “domain”.
- In the pop up box, click “add one now”
- Add the URL you want it to redirect/forward to.
- Select 301 permanent or 302 temporary.
- Check the box to update my nameservers and DNS settings to support this change”.
- Click “Add”.
You should receive an email from GoDaddy, usually within a couple of hours telling you that the information has been updated. And then the redirect should be working. If you type in the new URL and it does not redirect properly, you may have to clear your browser history (or cache) and restart the internet browser.
Now you have a short and memborable url to share in marketing and an easier way to drive more traffic to that product or post.
Need another example?
I recently created the product Melk, the Christmas Monkey, an advent book of activities for families. I wanted to host and sell it on my main blog, Paradise Praises. So, for advertising purposes, I bought the domain MelkTheChristmasMonkey.com and redirected it to ParadisePraises.com/melk. Much catchier and easier to brand the product with.
Note, experience says it would NOT be a good idea to redirect the main domain of the website (InspiredBloggersNetwork.com for example) to a different page on that site, unless you have advanced technical experience, because redirecting the main domain that the whole site is created on can take your site down temporarily. If rebranding your site, you should have it all set up on the new domain and functioning as you wish it to before redirecting the old domain. If in doubt get help from a professional.