Nothing will make your heart drop quite like landing on a 404 Error page on your own website. The most common culprit? Broken links. Luckily, it’s easy to fix broken links on your Squarespace website using url redirects. And if you get in the habit of creating these redirects when you edit urls, you can avoid that dreaded 404 page altogether.
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VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION: Fix Broken Links in Squarespace with URL Redirects
Did you know that any time you go into your page settings, and you change the URL slug, you change that link? It breaks the old link, wherever that has been linked to in the past. So, if that page was ranking in Google, that link is now broken. If you ever sent that link in an email or message somebody that link, it’s now broken.
So, it’s really important to create what are called URL redirects to make sure that the old version of that link directs people to the new version of that link, so anybody who clicks on the old version, doesn’t go to a 404 page. They’re still able to find the content that they’re looking for. I’m Galen from Local Creative Co.
Thanks so much for watching today’s video. And if you haven’t already make sure to subscribe. So, you don’t miss any videos we put out in the future. You may already have heard that having specific keywords in your URL slug can actually help a particular page rank better in search engines. The problem is if you go through your website and you start editing all of these old page URLs, you’re going to break every single link and you’re going to break all the links that Google knows currently exists.
And you’re going to drop off search results until Google is able to update those links for you. And it can really cause a lot of issues in the meantime. That’s why I’m going to outline the process for you, step-by-step in this video. So, you can update your old links without breaking any of the original ones.
The very first step is to make a list of URLs as you have them now, and then also write down what you want to change them to in the future. So, that way you can see everything in one place. I personally like to use Google Sheets or Excel for this, so, I can have one column for the current URLs, one column for what I want to change them to.
And if you’re confused on how to get started, I actually have a great template for this inside of my membership community, the Creator Club. The link to join is in the description. Next, it’s time to log into your website builder. So, if you’re using Squarespace, you’re going to go into your main website settings, click on Advanced, and then you’re going to click on URL Mappings.
If you’re using my template, this part has pretty much been done for you. And you can just copy and paste in the formulas that the Excel spreadsheet spits out. But if you are doing this from scratch, basically, you’re going to add in the current URL, you’re going to put in a little arrow symbol there.
Then, you’re going to put in the new URL that you want that link to redirect. And then you’re going to choose whether you want that to be a 301 or a 302 redirect. The biggest difference there is that a 301 is a permanent redirect, meaning that link has been permanently moved, whereas a 302 is more of a temporary redirect.
Like you’re just redirecting something to a new link for a short amount of time. In most cases, if you’ve permanently moved the page to a new URL, you are going to be using a 301 redirect. There are a number of reasons that creating redirects can be really, really helpful to your business. The first one I mentioned earlier, was for SEO purposes.
If you’re renaming URLs to be more SEO friendly, you definitely want to be redirecting the old version of that URL to the new version. Maybe you recently switched your website to a different platform, and you want to make sure that all of the old URLs are pointing properly to the new ones. You can also use URL redirects for things like affiliate links.
For example, for me, if you wanted to check out my affiliate link for something like , Planoly which I use for all of my Instagram scheduling. Instead of having to type out my strange affiliate, I’ve created a really short and easy one to remember, and that’s just localcreative.co/planoly. So, I created the redirect, so that forward slash Planoly goes to my Planoly affiliate link. This is great because it’s just super easy for me to remember if I want to share it with somebody. It’s also super easy for them to type in. If somebody is listening to my podcast, for example. And they just want to type in that link. Remember that link, they get the discount, they are able to sign up and then I get that affiliate commission.
Another reason you might want to create URL redirects is just to clean up your site map. So maybe you have some old links you created, and your contact page is your website.com/contactone or something like that. I see that all the time, especially on Squarespace, people are duplicating pages.
They forget to check the URLs and then all of these pages have these weird URL slugs, and they want to clean it up. Just so it looks a little bit nicer and it’s easy for people to remember if you were to link to that page directly, and they redirect the old version of that link to the new cleaner version of that URL.
If you found this video helpful, make sure to let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe and I’ll see you in the next video.
What Is A URL Redirect?
Every time you change a url slug on your website, you run the risk of breaking old links. If you emailed a link to your audience, sent a client a direct link, or added that link to a button on your site, bad news: anyone who clicks on that link is going to land on a 404 page.
The good news? It’s easy to fix those broken links using url redirects!
Basically, a url redirect automatically sends you to a new url when you land on an old one. For example, if you set up a redirect from your old slug /contact-1 to your new page /contact, users who typed in or clicked the old link would automatically land on the new one instead.
Why You Might Need to Set Up URL Redirects in Squarespace
Aside from fixing broken links, you might set up url redirects to…
- Improve SEO by adding keywords to your url slugs.
- Bulletproof your new website by creating redirects after you transfer your site to a new platform.
- Simplify affiliate links. For example, my page localcreative.co/planoly redirects to my full affiliate link. This version is much easier to remember!
- Clean up your sitemap by eliminating duplicate or unnecessary pages.
No matter the reason you need redirects, the setup is the same.
How to Create URL Redirects in Squarespace
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Here’s how to plan and create url redirects for your Squarespace website.
STEP 1: Make a list of all your potential redirects.
Create a list of all your current urls and what you want to change them to. You can write this down by hand, set up a Google Sheet, or (if you’re a member of The Creator Club) use my handy template.
STEP 2: Go to URL Mappings in the Squarespace builder.
In your Squarespace dashboard, navigate to SETTINGS > ADVANCED > URL MAPPINGS. You should see a code block.
STEP 3: Enter your redirects.
If you’re using my template, all you have to do is copy and paste the code from the third column.
If you’re doing this yourself, you’ll need to enter the old url, the new url, and the redirect type in this format:
/old-url-here -> /new-url-here 301
Depending on the type of redirect you’re making, you’ll enter either 301 or 302 after the two urls. A 301 redirect (which you’ll probably use most often) is meant to be permanent, but a 302 is meant to be temporary.
STEP 4: Test them out!
Once you’ve saved your redirects, it’s time to test them! Type the old url into your browser and make sure you’re automatically redirected to the new one. If it works, you’re done!
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