While working with our client Hatchbeauty Brands, we were lucky enough to have the previous CPO of DailyMail, Noah Szubski, advise us on our content and digital strategy, while we were working on web development and design for their online stores.
Among the many things we learned from him is the danger of deleting URLs that are a week or two old, or more. Deleting URLs that Google has indexed can result in them downgrading your website in search results, and it's also just a bad user experience for your potential customers. Imagine googling a brand, coming across a URL, and then being directed to an error page — not a good first impression or user experience.
The right way to do this is to simply take that URL, and redirect it to a more relevant page in your Shopify store.
Directions for URL redirects in Shopify:
1. Navigate to your store admin.
2. Click Navigation, on the left hand side, or add this text to the end or your store URL: admin/menus
3. Click "URL redirects".
5. Enter the old URL, and the new URL you would like to direct your customers to.
An example of a URL redirect in action is our fashion client wanted to change their collection URL from shoes to footwear. So instead of changing the shoes collection title, we simply redirected this URL: www.websitename.com/shoes to www.websitename.com/footwear. Both URL's still exist, but footwear is the one customers will see.
Broken URL's are a huge no-no to Google, I hope our strategy for URL redirects is clear and that you'll put this into practice for your own Shopify website.