In the quest for optimum website performance, it’s important to take a moment to analyze every element of your website. While there are literally hundreds of various techniques and tactics for on-page optimization, sometimes the most important elements are the smallest.
This is especially the case with landing page redirects. Although this may seem like the smallest of issues, when it comes to having a fully optimized website, there are no such things as minor performance issues. In the battle for top ranking position for your keywords, even the smallest of speed issues can mean the difference between achieving optimum organic traffic, or being left in the dust of your competitors.
Perhaps one of the most important optimization issues, which is also the least discussed, is landing page redirect cacheing. While you may not understand what this is, it’s definitely worth your time to learn and adjust your website accordingly.
What Are Landing Page Redirects?
Before delving into why you should cache your landing page redirects, let’s take a few moments and explore what this term means.
Essentially, a landing page redirect is when the end-user receives a 301, which is a redirect, from not including all of the URL. For example, if the end-user types in: http://yourwebsite.com/blog and doesn’t include the additional slash after blog, they’ll receive a 301 redirect to http://yourwebsite.com/blog/
While this may seem inconsequential, the redirect can add precious seconds to the overall loading time. When you’re dealing with high-end competitors, literally every second counts.
The concept of cacheing this redirect is to instruct the end-user browser to remember the redirect page for future access. This way, the next time the user visits your website without including the entire URL, they won’t have to wait those extra seconds to be redirected. Instead, their browser will call upon the cached landing page and will be automatically taken to the non-301 page.
Mobile Landing Page Redirects
In many instances, there are situations where you can’t avoid a redirect, such as an end-user accessing the mobile version of your website. While they may type in: www.yourwebsite.com, they will be redirected to www.m.yourwebsite.com.
When this happens, it’s important to work with your web host to ensure that mobile site access is always cacheable by the end-user’s browser. This will substantially increase page load time, and result in greater page ranking and user experiences.
How To Monitor Redirect Cacheing
There are many different ways in which you can monitor and direct redirect cacheing. While the best practice is to completely eliminate redirects, in situations like we discussed above, it’s not always possible.
When this is the case, you can either turn to your web host directly, or a third-party plugin. For example, if you’re using a WordPress framework, you can use the W3 Total Cache plugin to monitor and establish effective cache protocols. Otherwise, you’ll need to dive into your web host control panel and use the in-house cache program. Thankfully, these are typically user-friendly and are capable of being adjusted by a few clicks of your mouse.