SEO Considerations When Changing Website Domain

SEO Considerations

If you decide to change your website domain, relying on a search engine optimization company in New York is a good option. They can help to change your website domain without damaging your site’s SEO. A change in website domain may be considered:

  • When the website’s owner needs a change and wants to make the
  • When the domain doesn’t achieve the expected organic traffic.
  • When there is a transition in business.
  • When a top-level domain (TLD) is needed to enhance brand presence.
  • When a simpler domain name.

Search engines like Google decide rankings via metrics based on page level and domain level. So, when you virtually disappear for a short period, these domain metrics are set back to zero. But there are ways to change your website domain successfully with proper planning and monitoring.

Consider following these steps to change the website domain without sacrificing the traffic.

  • Set up analytics tracking code: To spot issues and to continuously monitor your website success you have to set up tracking code properly when you change the domain. So, before you launch the site, take these things into account:
  • Ensure that you have made changes in Google Analytics to show that you are changing your domain name.
  • Make sure that you link your current account for Google Webmaster tools after all updates are made in Google Analytics area.
  • Check twice the settings for your account if you are using any automation tools for marketing on your website. If it is not done, you cannot track the latest information and searches appropriately after making changes.
  • Google Webmaster Tools is another area where certain adjustments are to be made in the Change of Address tool to show that you are changing the domain name. Before submitting the latest sitemap, you have to add your new site to the Google Webmaster Tools and verify that you are the site owner. Later by fetching as Google Bot, compel Google to index your site.
  • Make sure that the ads are updated with the latest links to the landing pages and in all the text.
  • For proper tracking purposes, your Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics accounts should be relinked with Adwords.

    google analytics

  • Record your rankings and visibility: Always record information about ranking or visibility of your landing pages and keywords before you switch the domain. Doing so will allow experts to work on it if anything happens.
  • Identify the URL structure: Identify how the structure of your URL is going to change. To do the change the easiest way is to break it into smaller blocks. After that, change one top-level domain and do a one-to-one 301 redirect for your top-level domain and then change the URL structure or content at another time. Or you can change the URL structure that is followed by your top-level domain, then the top-level domain itself. When you separate these changes, it will provide search engines and users sufficient time to adjust to the changes.
  • Set up 301 redirects: This is used to tell search engines that the location of a link has been moved to another location permanently. It should be given in all of your old pages to direct you to the new pages. This is a crucial step that should be done even if you are not changing the current URLs structure.

    redirects

  • Monitor the errors: Create a way with the help of your website developers to monitor the errors. It should be visible in Google analytics for every pages.
  • Redirect all sitemaps and robots.txt: Sitemaps provide a list of all your pages that are present on your website; and robots.txt tells search engines the page to be crawled and not crawled on your site. So ensure that both of them is redirected to the proper location of new domain.
  • Identifying the subdomain: Make a list of the websites that are hosted by the current domain, if any. Decide the time when you are moving those to the latest domain. If something like WordPress is used then you have to update few settings before changing the domain.
  • Update brand name mentions: The reason why you change the domain name is because of the business name is changed, then consider changing the online mentions for the old business. You have to change it in socia media, Google places, etc. 
  • Change your email-id: After you switch to new domain, then you will need to change the email-id to match that domain. During the changing period, consider forwarding your messages to your new address or consider autoreply to your users to inform about the new inbox. 
  • Check everything: The day when you are going to launch it, check everything like if it is appropriately linked, and 301 redirect is done correctly. Perform a keyword audit to go through all the keywords that drives traffic for your site and then search for them in Google. Then, check if 301 redirecting is appropriately done. Check for your top inbound links to know whether they are 301 redirecting as well. Also, pull your backlink report several days before the domain switch to know the links and anchor text to be updated, it can be done using the tools like Open Site Explorer, and Google Analytics Referral links. Ensure that your prioritize the links that has old name to be done first. 

You can consider launching a “coming soon” page with a small description about your business until you change the domain, if your old domain is not redirecting to the new domain. It provides something to crawl for search engines before you go live. After you have brought your new site to live, then it is time to tell Google about your new sitemap. You should make sure that you have Google Search Console set up for the new domain and submit it. By doing this, Google will start indexing your new pages fast. You have to wait for a couple of weeks to see the traffic as Google crawls your new site. Weeks after launching your website, it is very crucial to monitor your site traffic and also keep an eye on your keyword performance to see whether it is improving.

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When changing your site domain becomes mandatory consider these SEO tips. Because negative impacts on SEO can happen if domain change is not done with proper planning. So, it is always better to approach a reputed search engine optimization company in New York if you have decided to change the site domain because the SEO experts will switch your domain name without affecting the site SEO performance.