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How to Avoid 404 Errors on Your Shopify Website

How to Avoid 404 Errors on Your Shopify Website

Introduction

A 404 error, signalling a "Page Not Found" message, is a common internet error encountered when a user tries to access a page on a website that doesn't exist. For Shopify store owners, minimizing these errors is crucial to providing a seamless user experience and maintaining SEO rankings. This blog post explores effective strategies to avoid 404 errors on your Shopify website.

Use Persistent URLs

Ensure your page URLs remain consistent, especially for your main product, collection, and information pages. Avoid changing URLs frequently. If you must change a URL, set up a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one to prevent 404 errors.

Implement 301 Redirects

Shopify's platform allows you to create 301 redirects easily through the admin dashboard. Use this feature to redirect traffic from deleted or moved pages to relevant existing pages. This not only avoids 404 errors but also helps in preserving SEO value.

Monitor and Fix Broken Links

Regularly audit your Shopify site for broken links using tools like Google Search Console or Shopify’s Online Store > Navigation section. Identifying and fixing broken links promptly can significantly reduce the occurrence of 404 errors.

Customize Your 404 Page

While avoiding 404 errors entirely is the goal, having a customized 404 page can mitigate the negative impact when they do occur. Customize your 404 page to include helpful links, a search bar, or a way back to the home page, making it easier for visitors to find what they need. Read 'How to Fix 404 Errors in Google Search Console: A Unique Approach'

Keep Your Sitemap Updated

An accurate and up-to-date sitemap helps search engines crawl your site more effectively. Regularly submit your sitemap to search engines whenever significant updates are made to your site's structure.

Use Product Variants Wisely

When managing product inventory, consider using variants instead of creating multiple pages for similar items. This reduces the number of pages that could potentially lead to a 404 error if discontinued.

Educate Your Team

Ensure your team understands the importance of avoiding URL changes and how to properly manage redirects. A small oversight in managing product pages or collections can lead to numerous 404 errors.

Conclusion

404 errors can be detrimental to your Shopify store's user experience and SEO ranking, but with careful planning and ongoing management, they can be significantly reduced or even avoided. Implementing these strategies will not only improve your site's navigability but also contribute to a more positive user experience, increasing the likelihood of conversions and return visits.

By proactively managing your Shopify store’s structure and content, you can ensure that visitors encounter fewer roadblocks, leading to a smoother journey through your online store.

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