Why 301 Redirects are Best for Law Firm Sites
If you build or manage a law firm website for a long period, then you’ll inevitably need to delete, move, or recreate pages on your website. In these situations, 301 redirection is your best course of action.
How Search Engine Rankings Work
Your website’s rankings within the search engines (i.e. Google, Yahoo, etc) are determined by two main factors. These two are the content on your law firm website and your site’s authority (i.e. domain authority and page authority).
Domain authority and page authority are partially determined by how many websites link to the pages on your website. If you delete a page or move it and change the URL, then all of those links you’ve earned over the years will break and your website will lose authority.
When you lose authority, you lose rankings within the search engines. According to Google, 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine. In order to be found by those people seeking legal advice, websites for law firms must be optimized for search.
How 301 Redirects Work
A component of search engine optimization is ensuring 301 redirects are used every time you remove or move a page. 301 redirects signal to search engines that a page has permanently moved. Furthermore, that the link value or authority attributed to the old URL should now be attributed to the new URL.
By using 301 redirection, law firm sites can maintain their search engine rankings through site redesigns and small site updates. Other forms of URL redirection like 302 redirects, meta refreshes, or allowing a page to 404 will not have the same impact. They could cause you to lose organic search traffic.