Gaining enough credibility online to get people to trust you with their money is tough work. Everything about your website has to be thought out in advance, in detail, and to perfection. It has to give out a professional vibe, it has to be perfect, and it has to leave a remarkable first impression.
With so many website generators, getting a nice-looking website is no big deal these days – almost everyone can do it without breaking a sweat. Unfortunately, people have also developed a better sense of what a good and trusted website entails. Due to numerous scams dominating the market in the past several years, you can expect your users to put every aspect of your website and your company under a magnifying glass before making a purchase.
You probably already know how fickle your customers can be and how easy it is for them to hit the back button. The list of things to make impeccable grows daily, and it takes a team to succeed. The copy should be errorless, your designer filled with experience and confidence, and his thoughts properly executed by your developers. From top to bottom, from header to footer, it has to be impeccable – just like your business that your visitors should trust with their money.
My website is a bit messy.
Don’t worry, this is quite common, and unfortunately, many people are slow on cleaning it up. Unrelevant content piles on the site, the style and theme become entirely obsolete, and what used to be a cool “font,” now seems like your high school pictures Facebook keeps pushing in your face every day. Visitors hit another site, and business suffers.
It is normal to consider polishing it up a bit. Revamping it and updating your website is always a good idea. If your site is not following the trends, how can people expect you to be up to date? Still, doing this often time causes even more trouble than leaving the website alone as is.
What people rarely do while they are taking care of the makeover of their website is being focused on the users. Yes, the owner will consider the user experience, but only after they complete the remodeling. What happens in the meantime is another story that you should consider if you decide to do the same.
If visitors Google a website that is at the moment down for maintenance, they will receive an error and won’t be able to see your site. What would you do in their shoes? Hit the first next result in your Google search. They might be satisfied with the next result, and considering that they don’t know when your website will be back, they decide to go through it and spend their money there. Will they return? Probably not. Everybody knows this: It is essential to keep the existing customers because getting new ones is extremely difficult.
Should I keep the website available instead?
To prevent this, people leave their website available while they make changes. It could be an even worse option. If people see the work in progress, while you are actively working on it, they will know something is wrong. Do you give money to people that come across as trustworthy? Of course not. And if they land on your website which is at the moment a complete wreck, will they leave their money with you? Probably not.
Just losing the money is not a big deal – it happens. Still, what you could also end up without, especially if the work takes a bit longer than everyone is comfortable with, is your credibility. If people stop trusting you, they will, reluctantly, find someone else to trust. There’s nothing new on the market, and somebody is probably providing the same product or service. If their website looks well put together, your customers will have no reason not to go with them instead of you.
What do I do then?
So what is there to be done then, if both options seem so grim? You could hide the work in progress by showing the result instead. It is the most common solution, apart from Coming Soon pages – redirecting the customers to see what you want them to see.
Redirections will work incredibly, regardless of the amount of work you have to put in. A piece of content is no longer relevant? Redirect your customers to a new and fresh article instead. Landing page looking like a shipwreck? Let them see another landing page which looks professional and polished.
Give your customers something to see with a slight nudge in the right direction, and hide what you need to keep out of sight. From non-existing pages which turn your links into bad ones to more relevant contact us forms, all you have to do is to create a redirect.
If you are feeling uncomfortable about this because you are not sure how to do it, don’t worry, 301 Redirects plugin has you covered.
What is 301 Redirects?
If your website is running on WordPress, then 301 Redirects is the WordPress plugin you need to hide the mess while you are working on it. Without pushing for the deadline to get the website back up from its inactive state, go for the gentle nudge in the right direction for your visitors. You would need a completed replacement, which is still easier than looking for new customers and working on getting your credibility back.
The plugin is rather simple and straightforward, and you don’t have to stress about how to get your visitors to go from the URL their browser requested to the URL you designated for it instead.
This plugin will also have you covered regarding the Search Engines, as it will say to them that the Requested URL has moved permanently. It will tell them that the content is now on the Destination URL, and your search results won’t suffer from this sudden turn of your traffic to a new address.
How do I use 301 Redirects plugin?
Effortlessly, and this is no joke. With this great plugin, creating redirects is as easy as copy-pasting the new URL. Very straightforward and simple to use, it will have your traffic ending up where you want it to be, without you having to break a sweat. There aren’t a bunch of features you could spend days figuring out, just the bare necessities that will get the job done in no time.
What can I do with 301 Redirects?
With just a couple of features, that this plugin has, the answer to this question could be: “Not much.” Still, when considering that by redirecting the traffic to a more polished result, you get to save your credibility, your customers and your business running, it sure ends up to a lot. Here are the features that can help you out with that.
Effortlessly redirect everyone
The main reason for downloading this plugin is the ability to redirect your customers. It is, thanks to this plugin, super simple to do.
There are two ways in which you could redirect your visitors to another address. If you want them to land somewhere else on your website, for example, on your brand new and super useful “Contact us” page, pick it from the dropdown menu. With the dropdown menu, you can redirect them to any of the pages you have on your website, or it could be a post, either regular or a custom one. Send them to the archives to dig through, if that will help you remain credible in their eyes, with just a couple of clicks.
Send them to another link
You can also speed up the process by selecting custom which is set up by default, and adding the new destination for your visitors, by pasting the new address into the field. It can be anything you want to draw your attention to instead. Use this to push the visitors into the right direction and to keep them impressed. It is a much better option than having them see the mess another URL hosts and leaving for good.
Keep queries in check
When trying to accomplish this, it is super easy to overlook the fact that query strings might go missing along with the visitors on a specific URL. Luckily for you, this plugin does not forget that, and you keep all the query strings together with the visitors. If you have set up any crucial pieces in place, such as tracking codes that help you figure out where your customer comes from, it won’t go missing. Affiliate codes will stay as well, so this is not something you worry about losing. Focus your attention on figuring out the most beautiful place to send them to, and 301 Redirects will do the rest.
In a blink
Redirecting your users could be a dangerous game. If it is slow, or if they notice anything, they may feel betrayed, and decide to leave the new destination. It could happen if they feel or see that they landed on a different spot from the one they wanted to reach.
Still, this plugin redirections work within a blink of an eye. Your visitors will not notice anything and will end up where you want them to end up. So, not only this plugin is super fast on creating the redirections; it is impeccable when it comes to executing them. You can rest assured that visitors will not feel cheated and that they will get and stay right where you want them.
Another feature that helps get the job done faster is the Import/Export feature. This could save you a bunch of time both now in the future. With a single click, you can manage your redirections in bulk.
If you have used redirections that can be of use again, import them back. All you have to do is upload the CSV file, and the plugin will do the rest. This is a great time saver, as you won’t have to create all the redirections all over again.
If you took your time to create new redirections, make sure to Export them and save them. Just like importing, it could save you precious hours a day later in the future, which you would otherwise have to spend making them again.
Hit, and you won’t miss
Are your redirections useful whatsoever? It could be nearly impossible to track if people were using them without this plugin. The “Hits” feature helps you keep track of how many people used a specific redirection. Every time someone is redirected, the number will go up, which will help you determine the amount of traffic that has moved around your website.
404 Error Log
An upcoming feature that will make you a master of your traffic, and your website! Unless you act like a visitor and check out your site with a different set of eyes, you won’t be able to find missing pages. This is very consuming though so that this feature will be highly appreciated.
How? Well, with the upcoming 404 Error Log feature, you can check in a single glance whether something is not right and if your users can see something on your page or not!
All in all, if your website starts getting messy, and your credibility is threaten to go down the drain, download this plugin. Don’t just go ahead with it and let them see your struggles to reach perfection, and don’t leave them hanging with a website they can’t reach or see.
Instead, pick the place that is impeccable, trustworthy, and polished to perfection. It could be a place on your website you are very proud of or a whole new invention that will keep your visitors on your site while you do your magic. Wherever it is, keeping your visitors is the most important thing you should do.
Let this plugin help you with that. As you could see so far, it is quite simple to use, and setting the redirections up is a straightforward process. Once you click a couple of clicks with this plugin, you can shift your focus on your revamping efforts. In the meantime, your visitors will get where you want to have them, and you don’t have to worry about them leaving. Or, about your credibility for that matter! Give them something shiny with a couple of clicks, and use the distraction to give your not so sparkly things a top-notch polish!