Do you want to change already published post URL?
But do you know? you might lose your traffic and ranking for that post if you don’t do this in SEO Friendly way.
It happened with me many times when I need to change the URL of my already published post. It helps in optimizing a post which is not getting rank and bringing the traffic.
When I started my blog, I was writing post insanely that was the mistake I was making. So, when I realized this mistake, I started re-writing them in SEO Friendly way.
I have changed many posts’ URL to gain ranking in SERPs.
Table of Contents
What Is Post Slug In SEO?
A post URL in WordPress known as the Slug, part of a URL after your domain known as the slug.
Slug is the part of your URL after your domain. let’s take an example, I have a post on LSI Keywords on StayMeOnline that URL is www.staymeonline.com/lsi-keywords/. Like shown in the below image:
In the above image, LSI-keywords is the slug of that post.
WordPress automatically generates slug itself when you add the post title for your post. Let’s take an example:
I have added a title for the new post: How To Start A WordPress Blog In 2020? you can see the default slug generated for this post.
But as you can see, it contains stop words and it is very long. So, I made in short and SEO friendly to gain ranking for my focus keywords.
Because adding focus keyword in post URL helps in ranking.
I have removed all the stop words from the Post URL and added the keyword which I want to rank for. Short URLs are better to rank than long URLs.
Adding your FOCUS keywords in URL is a technique in on-page SEO.
But what if you have already shared the post on Social Media, sent the post via newsletter and added internal links on other posts?
If you changed the URL of the post then visitors will see 404 Page not found error when visiting your post.
But there is a solution to this problem.
Yes, You can change your already published post’s URL without losing traffic.
This can be done by creating a Redirection from your old URL to the new URL. Don’t you know about redirections and how to create it?
This post is gonna help in changing the already published post URL by creating redirections.
But before, you might be wondering what are the stop words which I talking about again and again. Here you go…
What Are The Stop Words?
Stop words are the words that Search Engines always ignore. The words a, an, the, are, by are the examples of the Stop Words.
Here is the list of the stop words that search engines usually ignore.
Look at the below image where I removed the stop words and made URL short and SEO Friendly.
As you now know that changing URL of a published post is not hard, you can easily change it via WordPress editor whether it is Classic editor or Gutenberg.
But what if people still come to your old URL via social media, email newsletter and internal links you added to your post already. They will surely see a 404 page not found.
This issue can easily be fixed using a redirection from your old posts to new posts URL.
What Is A Redirect?
A redirect is a method which helps in sending both search engines and visitors to a different URL from the one they requested.
It shows search engines that the post they are requesting is moved from here to a new destination.
In more simple words, you can say redirects is the process of forwarding to a new URL.
There are 4 types of redirects but the most used one is 301 Permanent redirect. Let’s see all types of redirects…
Types Of Redirects
There are four types of Redirects in SEO and here you will learn about all of them:
- 301 Permanent redirect: These are the commonly used redirects in SEO, it is used to tell search engines that a URL is permanently moved from this location and it will be found on this new place. 301 Permanent redirect transfer 90-99% link equity(ranking power) to the new URL.
- 302 Found: 301 and 302 redirects somehow treated equally but 301 redirect is the most recommended and SEO friendly redirect that should be used.
- 307 Temporary redirect: 307 redirects are used when a page moved temporarily for maintenance or any reason.
- Meta Refresh: This is not a good technique in SEO, they are most commonly associated with the 5 seconds countdown redirect which says “you will be redirected in 5 seconds if not then click here”.
What Is 301 Redirect?
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. 301 redirects send site visitors and search engines both to a different URL than the one they originally tried reaching to.
301 Redirects transfer 90-99% link equity(ranking power) to the page where it is sending traffic and search engines. That’s why this is the most SEO friendly method to use when you change a post’s URL.
If you want to learn more about the 301 Redirect then watch the below’s video:
Why Do I Need To Create 301 Redirect?
As I already said, I made a big mistake of writing one blog post daily without even thinking about optimizing them to gain ranking.
Because of this mistake, I wrote many useless blog posts which didn’t get rank and bring no traffic. So, I decided to rewrite them to make them SEO friendly.
I have changed the content of the pages, title, description and also the URL of the post. So, if I change URL then I have to create 301 redirects to keep my traffic and ranking.
Here are the reasons when you need to create 301 redirects:
- When you are updating your blog post like me to make them SEO Friendly
- If you are making your long URLs short
- You need to create 301 redirects when you want to add focus keyword in the URL of those published posts which don’t have keyword added already.
- You need to use 301 redirects when you are planning to change the permalink structure of your blog
How To Change Already Published Post URL?
Changing the post URL is not tough… You can easily change from WordPress editor itself.
Change Post URL In Classic Editor
Go to WordPress Dashboard>All Posts>Edit for you want to change the URL of.
As you can see, the URL in the above’s image URL contains many stop words and it also very long which is not good for SEO.
I can easily change by clicking the Edit button to make it short and SEO friendly. I will keep the slug only LSI-keywords.
Change Post URL In Gutenberg Editor
If you are using Gutenberg Editor, you can easily change already published post URL by clicking on Title. when you click on the Title, you will see the URL and edit button to change the URL of a published post as in the image below.
You can change the post’ URL by clicking on the Edit button, make sure to keep it short and add a focus keyword.
How to Create A 301 Redirection With Plugin?
If you are using a WordPress SEO Plugin for your WordPress blog then it will not be hard to create redirection for you.
I am using RankMath SEO which is a new name in WordPress SEO. And I also recommend you to use the same for your blog.
Because RankMath SEO offer many amazing features for free, whereas Yoast SEO is offering them in their premium version.
Setup Automatic Redirection
If you are using an SEO plugin on your WordPress blog whether it is Yoast or RankMath SEO. You don’t need to do anything when changing the already published post URL.
Yoast SEO offers this feature in its premium version, I recommend using RankMath SEO instead.
RankMath SEO will automatically create a redirection from your post’s old URL to a new URL when you change an already published post URL.
But before you need to setup RankMath redirections, follow below steps to setup.
Go to WordPress Dashboard>Dashboard and activate Redirections.
Once the redirections activated, Go to RankMath>Redirections and then click on the Settings button at the top.
Scroll down to the bottom and On the Auto Post Redirect. It will create redirection automatically when you change URL of any published post, page and category.
Once you activate this option, it will create automatic redirection for you when you change already published post URL. You will see a message like this when a automatic redirect created:
You can manage all the redirection by going RankMath>Redirections.
How To Create 301 Redirections Manually Using RankMath SEO?
I recommend using RankMath SEO or Yoast SEO which can create redirection automatically for you when you change URL of any published post, page or category.
This will be easy for you and also time-saving because you will not have to create redirection yourself.
RankMath SEO and Yoast SEO both can help you to create redirection manually when you change published post URL.
I don’t recommend using any other plugin just for creating redirections.
When you change the post URL, you can easily setup 301 redirections by going to RankMath>Redirections and click on Add New to create a redirection.
Enter the Old URL of the post in the Source URLs box, you can add multiple URLs and redirect them to one destination.
Enter the new URL of the post in the Destination URL field.
Redirection Type should be 301 Permanent Move, it will create a permanent redirection from old URL to new URL permanently.
Make this redirection live by selecting Activate in the status. Hit the final click on Add Redirection button at the end.
This is how you can add redirection using RankMath SEO but if you are using Yoast SEO then here is how you can add 301 redirections?
Yoast SEO offer Redirection manager in their premium plan only so if you are a premium user of Yoast then you will be able to create redirection.
That’s why I like RankMath SEO than Yoast SEO.
Create 301 Redirections Using Redirection Plugin
There are many plugins for WordPress users to add 301 redirects, Redirection is the simplest plugin to create redirections in WordPress.
Then go to Tools>Redirection and add new Redirection.
Add your Old URL in Source URL and New URL in Target URL. Take help of above’s image, do the same settings as shown in the image.
Click on Add Redirect to make your redirect live.
Now if someone visits your post’s old URL, they will redirect to the new one you added when creating 301 redirections.
How To Create 301 Redirections Without A Plugin?
If you are someone who don’t want to use a plugin for creating 301 redirections on your blog then this method will help you.
For this, you need to connect to your server using an FTP Client and search for the .htaccess file. If you are not able to see .htaccess file there then you need to force your FTP client to show hidden files.
Read this for more information: Why You Can’t Find .htaccess File on Your WordPress Site
Make sure to take a backup of .htaccess file before making any changes. Not using this method carefully can break your website or make it inaccessible.
Now when you have created a backup of .htaccess file, open the file to edit and enter the below code and save the file.
RewriteEngine On Redirect 301 /a-very-old-post/ http://yoursite.com/a-very-new-post/
You can add multiple redirections just by adding Redirect 301 /your-old-url/ https://your-new-url/. Make sure to take a backup of .htaccess file before performing this.
How To Create 301 Redirections In Blogger?
Creating 301 redirections in WordPress is very easy with the help of plugins.
But if you are using Blogger platform for your blog then how you can create a 301 redirect.
Follow these steps to create 301 redirections in Blogger…
1. Log in to your Blogger account using your Gmail account.
2. Go to Dashbaord>Settings>Search Preferences and click on Edit next to Custom Redirects.
3. Enter your post’s old URL in From field and new URL in To field to send visitors from your old post URL to new URL.
4. Tick the Permanent to make it 301 Permanent Redirection and hit the Save Changes button.
These are the 4 simple steps you can follow to set up 301 redirections in your blogger blog.
FAQ About Changing Already Published Post URL
If you still have some questions about the same topic then this FAQ section might help you:
What is a Slug?
A slug is the part of the URL after your domain address. For example, if the URL of a post is yourdomain.com/start-a-blog then slug is the start-a-blog in this URL.
How can I change my URL without losing SEO?
For changing a post’s URL without losing SEO, you must have to ensure creating a 301 permanent redirect from your old URL to the new URL.
By using this SEO-Friendly method, you will not lose SEO and also your traffic and rankings.
Do 301 redirects hurt SEO?
Absolutely no, because by creating 301 redirects, you are sending search engine bots and visitors to the new location of your blog post.
How do I setup a 301 redirect?
If you are a WordPress user, I recommend you to use RankMath SEO plugin because it will help you to create automatically 301 redirects when you change any post’s URL.
There are many other plugins also which you can use to create a 301 redirect.
But if you are using Blogger as your blogging platform, then there is no plugin available for blogger users.
You can create 301 redirects in blogger by going to Settings>Search preferences>Custom redirects.
Is a 301 redirect permanent?
Yes, 301 redirect is a permanent redirect. It tells search engines that this page is moved from this location to another location permanently.
What are the types of redirects?
- 301 Permanent redirect
- 302 Found
- 307 Temporary redirect
- Meta Refresh
I do not recommend changing already published post URL which is already ranking and brining traffic for you.
Until and unless your post is not performing well in SERPs, and need to optimize more to get rank and to bring traffic.
Creating a 301 redirection will redirect all your traffic from your post’s old URL to a new one. So, you will not lose traffic if you promoted that old URL on social media and through emails.
This post will help you to change your already published post URL in an SEO friendly way by creating 301 redirections.
I hope you liked this post and found it helpful if you did, then must share it with others.