Changing a domain name can be a daunting process. After all, you have invested hard in raising your brand name and most may have some backlinks going to your website. So, you do not want to lose any ranking on search engines, but you’ve gotten to the stage where domain change is unavoidable.
What are you going to do?
Do not worry; we’ve got your back. This article will explain what a domain change entails and highlight a few reasons for it. Next, we will walk you through the strategies of domain alteration without hurting SEO.
You would love to read this detailed explanation of a domain name and its importance for startups.
What Exactly Is A Domain Change?
A domain change is an alteration to a significant portion of the domain. For instance, your current domain name is table.com, and you want to change to furniture.com. Since you are changing your existing domain name, you need to pay for a new one with your domain registrar. However, note that the following examples are not related to domain change;
Changing HTTP to HTTPS
Not moving the entire website, only part of the content
Changing from www. to a non-www
Reasons For Change In Domain Name
There are various reasons to desire a domain change. Let’s take a closer look at them one after another.
Your current domain name does not establish the tone of your website. Maybe your first domain name was a touch too smart, and the effort at humor wasn’t the tone you desired for your site.
Assume you’re a filmmaker. You may need to change your portfolio domain name from .us to .ca if you are moving from the US to Canada. This will help declare your availability.
Also, if you launched a German beer shop in London, but it didn’t take off as planned, and you need to return to Germany. That .co.uk domain name is no longer relevant. Hence, it necessitates the need for a new .de domain name. So that customers will know your original location.
Your domain name is not too popular. Are there too many hyphens and numerals in your domain name? Is it super long? These factors can limit your domain name’s retention. And if people can’t recall your domain name, they will not locate your website.
Your company has evolved. As a standard clothing expert, you chose the domain name doefit.co.uk. Years later, you sell other beauty accessories like make-up and jewelry. You want to grow your company and select a domain that embodies your whole brand, not just one product.
Maybe you are a software developer and want to switch from .com to .dev or .io to give your website more attention.
You’d want to change the suffix of your domain. Perhaps the.com domain name you wanted was out of your pricing range. So you had no choice but to go for another TLD. But, now that you’ve saved up some money, you can now buy the domain name of your dreams.
Likewise, you may have gained a .com or .org name and since found a TLD more relevant to your specialty, such as .tech or .club, that you would want to use. For a better understanding, check out the most popular business domain extensions. Premium domain names are available at Domainify, to give your brand the right amount of exposure.
Wondering how to change a domain name without losing your rank on search engines? Everything will be revealed soon!
How To Change Your Domain Name Without Hurting Your SEO
Go For A New Domain Name
The first step is to select a suitable domain name. For newbies, select a domain with a suitable Top-Level Domain (TLD). Also, make the new domain easy to spell, type, and speak. With this, visitors will find it easy to locate your business name.
In addition, it will avoid errors and urge people to tell others about your domain name. You should also ensure that your new domain provides flexibility. This will make it rhyme with your online business and avoid the need for a domain change later on.
Learn the 11 things to do before registering a domain name
Maintain Your Existing Content
Even if you have to redesign your company name and website, keep the original content. If you must generate fresh content, strive to mimic your previous work. This will help you avoid losing authority, preventing your rankings from decreasing.
Don’t ignore minor features like typefaces and header. These small touches may make a significant impact during SEO.
Update Your Social Media Accounts
One strategy to keep in mind during your domain change is to update all your social media profiles. Sometimes it is as simple as changing the names. But in some circumstances, one or more of the names may already have social media profiles.
What if you cannot access all your social media accounts? The first step is to contact the current owner; in many situations. Though, the social media accounts may be old and inactive. If the existing owner is reluctant to go with the name, change the handles of your accounts to be the same.
So, customers will find you on any social media if you have similar or identical social media handles.
Set Up 301 Redirects
A detailed 301 redirect plan serves as a critical feature of an effective domain shift. You must link all URLs on your old domain to a corresponding URL on your new domain. Make no attempt to save time by the process by adding redirection to the same URL on the new website.
For instance, do not redirect all blog articles to /blog. So, if you have an article with the URL /how-to-change domains, redirect it to the new similar URL on the new domain. It is tempting to cut corners here to save time. But you must take your time to complete this carefully.
Create An SEO Audit
Before you transfer domain names, review all of your statistics. This will help you understand all about your domain. And it will act as a helpful baseline for gauging progress after the move. The most essential item to examine is the list of inbound links to your site.
It is a critical search engine ranking component. And you don’t want to lose any strong links while altering domain names. You may perform a link audit using one of two methods. The first step is to go to your Google Search Console and choose “Links” from the left-hand menu.
This will show all the links that Google has identified as entering your site. Then you can export the list for your records. Another method for performing a link audit is to use a program like Ahrefs to examine your link profile. This will provide you with detailed information on the quality of links to your domain.
In addition, you can compare the results from Google Search Console and Ahrefs. Then, browse through all the links and highlight the best of the best.
Track Google Analytics
Be sure to set up Google Analytics on your previous website. Do this so you can track the progress of your site’s performance after changing the domain name using the former domain as a yardstick. Also, monitor your traffic and rankings after changing the domain name.
In general, it is unusual to witness a slight decline in traffic at first. Yet, a major decrease in traffic or rankings is a signal that something is incorrect.
Fill Out A Change Of Address Form And Host
We’ve arrived at the end of the strategies. Now is the time to tell Google that you have moved. Here is how to go about it. Go to the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of your Google Webmaster Tools dashboard and submit a change of address. This will notify Google about your new location and that your old domain has been transferred to your domain.
To achieve this, you must be the author of both the old and new Search Console accounts. However, just make sure you do the preceding strategies first. Once your 301 redirects are in place, navigate to the old domain name’s Search Console account. To make the redirect technique work, you must keep ownership of your former domain and continue to run the 301 redirects.
Changing a domain might be a necessity in your branding approach. While doing so, bear in mind that almost every change you make will have an impact on your SEO. However, don’t worry! By following the advice in this article, you may reduce your chances of losing SEO ranks and guarantee a seamless change.
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